Personally, I find it easy to get fed up with The Good Wife‘s kooky trial gimmicks. This week Alicia and Will sat in a fenced-off gallery while their clients were questioned in an inquest, which amounted to “a fact-finding proceeding to answer the question, ‘What is the cause and the manner of [the client's husband's] death?’” It took place in the morgue too, for extra weirdness. Basically it was a trial with rules like “Alicia, you can only ask three questions per witness! No more! This is weird, after all!” I wasn’t really feeling it, dawg. For me, for you. A little pitchy. (Sorry, I’ve been recapping American Idol for weeks now, and Randy Jackson swims in my blood stream at this point.)
But an OK episode. Here are the five things that mattered about it.
1. All right, strange blonde woman. I like you.
Kalinda and her hired investigator compadre Robin are an interesting little team. Together they looked into the “car accident” that took a judge’s life, but ended up discovering a (WAIT FOR IT) cheating scandal. Which is just so shocking. A judge! A noble man of the law! Who ever thought? What I really mean is: If that judge weren’t a cheater, this episode would’ve been monumentally boring, so thank God for his predictable-but-fun indiscretions.
Robin’s giddy nervousness still reminds me (mournfully) of Elsbeth, but at least now she’s grounded enough not to infuriate me for wearing a hideous red-and-blue checkered winter coat during her adventures with Kalinda. I can’t decide what this character’s endgame is, though. Is she secretly a mole or something? Her demeanor is offbeat enough to warrant Kalinda’s own investigation into her life. We’re all expecting a Single White Female twist, right? Maybe she’s hiding in Kalinda’s closet and stealing her Under Armour businesswear? Sniffing it a lot? Muttering “Kalinda…” into the vents while Kalinda sleeps? All of the above, hopefully.
2. The most nefarious lawyer ever was back. And… yeah.
I’m sorry, but it’s not compelling when Alicia’s courtroom competition is so dastardly. Brother was hamming it up in the courtroom with record levels of unprofessional wackiness. Think Raymond Burr smashing an oar to the ground in front of a jury in A Place in the Sun. Basically that, except douchier. While Alicia seems to be methodically balancing austerity with strength and professionalism with passion, it seems so weird that a competing lawyer would be so determinedly one-dimensional. Contain the crazy, hot sir.
3. Aw, an evil hug between Eli and Jordan!
Eli’s back! And he spent yet another episode looking like an angry little pencil. His hair is 100% graphite, I sh*t you not.
But the surprisingly better news is that Jordan (T.R. Knight) is back, and he and Eli agree that Zach Florrick shouldn’t be posing for photos on Facebook with his new girlfriend, whose parents are affiliated with terrorists? Thaaaat was a hastily drawn issue. But no matter: The fact that Jordan and Eli agreed about something meant that the two prickly men shared a fast hug, and that means two comely gay actors on TV shared an embrace that filled me with endorphins, electrolytes, and other ingredients of sex and Gatorade. Maybe next week they’ll hung for a longer time. Maybe Jordan will dress like a pink eraser and thrust himself against Eli’s graphite crown. Maybe I love this pencil metaphor too much.
4. Cary’s stupid dad is back! And still stupid and toothy!
Cary’s dad was back, and you know what that means: Sad Cary. Ugggggh, that’s my husband.
Actually, the plot with Cary’s dad mainly served as a device to prove that Cary could outplay his scheming father, which just proves they share the scheme gene. Ah, genetics! Can we get Lee Grant in here to play Diane Lockhart’s mother? Those two ladies could challenge each other to a duel where the only allowable weapons are Anna Wintour-style haircuts. And I’d cry and laugh and fall in love with this life again. Lee Grant! Lee Grant.
5. Annoying Illinois thing: Alicia and her I-Pass Monologue
I really want to believe that The Good Wife takes place in my home state of Illinois, but the clumsy way Alicia explained the definition of an I-Pass — which Illinois motorists affix to their windshields as a convenient way to pay highway tolls electronically without having to stop and use change — took me right out of the Illinois funk. The I-Pass is such a longtime ritual now that no one would even think to explain its definition. I understand this is a TV show, but I also understand that Illinois is Illinois, and I can’t disown my profound knowledge of The Land of Lincoln’s stupid-ass highway rules.
Did you dig this episode? I found myself bored, but enchanted with Cary’s facial expressions (for a change, right) and Robin’s half-frightening cheeriness. You?