After an excruciating hiatus (made even more excruciating by that amazing promo put out by CBS), The Good Wife was back this week with another stellar episode titled “Pants on Fire.”
Recommended Reading: The Good Wife – Quotes – Season 3 – “He’s Blagojevich dangerous.”
And the Liar, Liar whose proverbial pants were burning? Returning guest star Matthew Perry as Mike Kresteva, who is making us all wonder how we all were so in love with him as Chandler Bing. Because clearly, he is evil.
Before we get to Mike’s fiery pants, the case of the week was a good one. Taking a page from the Law & Order handbook, this week’s trial was ripped from the headlines. It was a take on the recently released trio known as the West Memphis Three. This time it was three girls who have spent 5 years in prison for the murder of a fellow camper. Diane (Christine Baranski) and Alicia (Julianna Margulies) were representing one of the girls. The other two had their own lawyers, Tommy Segara (Dennis Boutsikaris) and Callie (Julianne Nicholson – they borrowed a cast member from Law & Order too).
Callie we instantly like and dislike. Like because she is sassy with Cary (Matt Czuchry) in court. And Dislike because she goes out on a date with Will. How dare she! Doesn’t she know he is supposed to be saving himself for Alicia? I kid. But still…. Back off.
As always, the case takes a lot of twists and turns, and despite how wonderful the lawyers of the Lockhart/Gardner team are, it is Kalinda who figures out that one of the girls actually did commit the murder (not their girl, though, natch) and so they make a deal with Cary. My biggest question focuses on the thing that broke the case open, and proved that the story against the girls didn’t quite fit. There were marks on the dead girl’s ankles that Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) discovered were from those bands bikers wear to keep their pants from getting in the way. Two questions- why was she wearing pants at summer camp in Chicago? Isn’t it hot and humid? Second – Why did she have those clips in the first place? The bike was borrowed? Does she carry around biking gear even though she doesn’t have her own bike? I’m confused. But to be honest, I’m easily confused and perhaps there are perfectly rational explanations for these questions. The point is – those marks helped Kalinda head down the road that solved the case and they all lived happily ever after. Except the dead girl. And the one who killed her.
But as we all know, it isn’t the case of the week that really matters on most episodes of this series. It is the other stuff. One of the big aspects of the episode was the fact that Jackie was the one who bought the house. Alicia confronted her in the end of the scene at the salon that was started in the previous episode. Those two are fireworks together. I feel like Alicia is always *this close* to just punching Jackie in the face. Or sending Kalinda after her with a bat. Then when she told Peter, there was what I thought a perfect moment. Alicia was complaining about how Jackie buying the house would leave her on the outside. So Peter pointed out how if Alicia had bought it like she wanted to it would have left him on the outside. Alicia may be a Good Wife, but she isn’t a perfect one. That being said, Peter did sleep with a hooker, sooooo….
Peter was chilling and, I’ll admit it, kinda hot when he gave Jackie the verbal smackdown and told her to stay out of his and Alicia’s relationship. He threated to cut her out of his and the children’s life! I cheered. And then immediately felt bad for cheering on the take down of an old lady. But I got over it. Of course then Jackie calls Alicia to let her know she had a stroke. Right before, we learn that Jackie got the money for the down payment by stealing from the kids’ trust funds! WHAT?! Can we go back to that for a bit because WOW. That’s ballsy. But as for that stroke, is it real? I mean, it’s hard to fake a stroke, I assume. But her actions in the hospital with Alicia certainly made me think it wasn’t as bad as she led them to believe. That Jackie is a piece of work.
Also a piece of work, Mike Kresteva. I sat with my jaw on the floor as Alicia confronted him about his press conference where he said she wanted him to lie about the blue ribbon panel. Talk about a sociopath. I mean, sure, he’s just a politician. But like Eli said, he’s like Blagojevich scary. Of course his horribleness is the reason that Alicia convinces Peter to get back in the race for Governor. Eli is on board, but sadly it means he has to not consult on his wife’s campaign anymore. I hope that doesn’t mean that is the end of Eli and Vanessa because Alan Cumming and Parker Posey have perfect chemistry. Besides, who doesn’t love seeing Eli’s after sex hair? It cracks me up every time.
Before I end, I want to take a moment and talk about the final 3 seconds of the episode, because they are so important, and led us full circle back to the pilot episode. As Peter announces his campaign, it is revealed that standing next to him is his Good Wife, Alicia. Mike had threatened that she would be the one to be made to suffer if Peter ran, but you can bet Peter didn’t tell her that. Now, whether or not she would have gone back on her endorsement of his campaign is up for debate. I actually think she would have said to go for it still because Mike pissed her off so much. But still, it’s the lie of omission that is so big right there. Then there is the freeze frame of Alicia’s face. That look said SO MUCH. Go back and watch again if you can. I got chills and almost teared up at the perfection of Julianna Margulies in that moment. The fear, the frustration, the pride, the love and the hate of the moment, the man next to her, what standing there represents. All of it was captured in that one look. She should get an Emmy just for the freeze frame.
I am giddy with anticipation for next week when Cary comes back to where he belongs. And hopefully regains second position in Alicia’s BFF line-up.
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae
Photos from AMC.