Sunday, November 11, 2012

'The Good Wife' Review - 4.07 Anatomy of a Joke

        On the newest episode of CBS' The Good Wife, Cary has an uneasy reunion with his father (John Shea) when he and Alicia travel to Washington, D.C., to advocate for a comedienne who is being sued by a television network for indecency; a former client turns to Alicia for help; and Diane and Will question Clarke's latest strategy to help the firm out of debt.

        Christina Ricci was a fun and entertaining guest star this week. It was very humorous for this show to tackle the claims and regulations of decency on network television since it is the show that is always pushing those boundaries. However, the episode's main case wasn't as entertaining as the various side quests going on as well. Sure, it was fun to see her ruin everything with her bad humor and her continuous flirting with Cary but there really wasn't enough weight for me to care which way the verdict went for her character. Plus, why would Cary and Alicia have let her appear on Bill Maher's show other than the show to throw some plot twist in.
        This entire season many people have been desperately begging for Cary to have his own story. All of those prayers were finally answered tonight where we met his father and saw just how tumultuous their relationship can get. We previously had been teased about Cary's struggles with his father but they were never as palpable as they were here. But the show made the smart move of not having them start with animosity. They built it up - for both the audience and Cary - about change: How he has changed, how his relationship with Alicia has changed and the prospect that his father too could have changed. Seeing him be disappointed yet again was truly delightful to watch as Matt Czuchry played that pain in that moment very well.
        After last week's episode, I wondered how the series would continue to incorporate Amanda Peet on the show. The last episode clearly only had her as a part of the case-of-the-week and yet it was previously announced that she would recur this season. Her case was nicely tied up last week and this week the show did a respectable job of introducing her longer season arc. She will now be working for the States' Attorney's office. This was a brilliant move because that side of the law needed a new face after Cary left and now it has one that should make the inevitable episode where she and Alicia go up against each other even better. Speaking of that relationship, it just has this very real and natural tone and pacing to it. This friendship makes sense and does actually add to the overall hour.
        F. Murray Abraham was also a part of the main case but he was much more engaging in Clarke's sub-plot of trying to "help" the firm. Clarke has been a true highlight this season as the show has done an effective job of building him up as this calculating, opposing force to Will and Diane even though both sides are working towards the same end goal. It's a story that could have been shuffled under the rug (like Nick's apparently has been) and yet it is so captivating to see Nathan Lane play this character as well as see everyone react and worry about what he is scheming to do next.

So what did everyone think of the episode? How fantastic was Cary in this episode? Would you enjoy seeing Amanda Peet for the rest of the season? Share your thoughts in the comments.