Friday, October 5, 2012

The Good Wife fights the law

CBS's The Good Wife returns with the episode "I Fought the Law." The episode title refers to an incident where Zach (Graham Phillips) is pulled over and subjected to a search under false pretenses, as so many have been before him, because he is profiled as possibly having drug money. He's clean, of course, but the event spurs Alicia (Julianna Margulies) to fight back in order to protect her son, which leads to the uncovering of this immoral practice.

I liked the story because Zach rarely gets anything good to do on the series. Having him involved in a court case, and proving his mettle as an online investigator, is a worthy plot, allowing the actor some positive focus. It also lets he and Alicia bond as they play hero together. In the end, they win, and the arresting officer (Matthew Del Negro, United States of Tara) apologizes.

The question is, what repercussions might occur? The district attorney of the county where the arrest takes place is not happy to have Peter's (Chris Noth) family interfere with the way they do things. At one point in "I Fought the Law," he vows retribution. Even though Zach comes out on top, it would not be surprising if this comes back to haunt Peter in his attempt to seek the governor's office. This might even happen as early as next week, as that episode will be called "And the Law Won."

Poor Peter. He is already suffering because his opponent, Kresteva (Matthew Perry, Go On), is selling himself with his sick kid, and Alicia will not allow Peter's children to participate in the campaign. How do the voters not see through such an obvious ploy? I mean, it's one thing to trot out your smiling family for photo ops, but it's quite another to play on sympathy the way Kresteva does. And one would think that parents would understand Alicia's desire to keep her kids out of the spotlight, and appreciate that Peter agrees to this.

At the firm, things are tense. There have already been cutbacks, and now, facing bankruptcy, there will have to be more. This means people are going to lose their jobs. Hopefully, not Alicia or Cary (Matt Czuchry), as they are more senior now, and have earned their spots. But it will surely make things tougher on everyone.

At first, the court appointed man who gets to make the budget decisions, Clarke Hayden (Nathan Lane, The Lion King, The Producers), seems like a jerk, telling the partners bluntly that he will be making cuts to their budget. But then, seeing him manipulate David Lee (Zach Grenier) into staying, and seemingly approving of Diane (Christine Baranski) and Will's (Josh Charles) loyalty to each other, which he immediately tests by offering them both sole leadership, it seems that there may be compassion within him. He may not turn out to be bad news, after all, as Diane and Will are clearly not good at managing money, and it would be nice to have someone who knows what they're doing in that arena, but still cares about people.

Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) sure has a weird relationship with her husband, Nick (Marc Warren, Hustle)! She beats up his point man, then fist fights with Nick himself, then falls into bed with him, before pulling a gun on the guy. So there's a strong physical attraction, but she's also afraid of him? And he definitely seems up to no good, throwing punches at a girl he's supposed to care about. It would almost be funny if Warren didn't play Nick so scary. Kalinda has a real ugly situation on her hands.

"I Fought the Law" is exactly what an episode of The Good Wife should be. There is character development for most of the leads, wonderful (but not too showy) guest stars, some thrilling legal issues, and an overall entertaining package. New episodes air Sundays at 9pm EST(-ish, depending on stupid sports run overs) on CBS.

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