Sunday, November 16, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Good Wife' - Cary Fears for His Life While Alicia and Prady Discuss the Ethics of Their Campaigns in 'Sticky Content'

CBS' The Good Wife - Episode 6.09 "Sticky Content"

Alicia faces a crisis of conscience when she's encouraged to go negative in her campaign for State's Attorney. Meanwhile, the Feds try to persuade Cary to work with them as they attempt to build a case against Lemond Bishop.

The main reason Alicia joined the race for State's Attorney was because she didn't like the way Castro was running the office and she thought she could do a much better job. Since then, Castro has exited the race - for reasons unknown - and legal commenter Frank Prady has become her new opponent. Frankly, David Hyde Pierce is a vastly more interesting performance for Alicia to be sparing with in this corner of the show's universe. And yet, she doesn't really have a platform anymore. The show went out of its way to establish that Alicia was the only person who could theoretically beat Castro in this race. And now, he's a non-factor and it's basically a coin flip between Alicia and Prady. The actors make this story interesting. Prady reaches out to Alicia to agree to a non-negative campaign - like all fictionalized tellings of elections do at some point. But there's actual merit to it on The Good Wife. Prady joined the race because he wanted to do things differently than all of the recent people in the office. He is a man of morals but Alicia is trying to decide if he can be trusted or not. It's vastly interesting watching them chat without the press or their campaign managers fueling their thoughts. They are just two people wishing for a better way to do things in a system that has grown so accustomed to going negative that it ultimately doesn't make a difference. Attack ads are released by both sides and Alicia and Prady have nothing to do with either of them.

It also seems like Alicia is getting more and more to lose the larger this election plot gets. Cary is in a life or death situation and Alicia seems as distant from that as possible. Additionally, it is confirmed that Peter is sleeping with old family friend Ramona. Alicia has the photographic proof. She doesn't really care what he does in his personal life. The two of them have split. But publicly, they are still together and need each other. For her campaign video, she needs a joint interview to further showcase how strong her marriage is. That is appealing to a certain demographic of voters. The audience can tell that both Alicia and Peter are faking it. They are able to put on a smile and brave face for the interview and the public appearance. But once they are alone together, the contentious sparks start flying yet again. Alicia doesn't care for Peter anymore and yet it's still okay for her to feel betrayed by him sleeping with someone both have known for years now. Plus, if the news were leaked, it could destroyed her campaign. That interaction in the car was brutal. Peter wants to do the right thing in order to help Alicia. But he's still very much interested in Ramona.

It all comes back to Alicia not really being the person in charge of her own campaign. The people surrounding her are telling her what she needs to do and how she needs to act. Whenever she has an honest thought, it always comes back to hurt her. She did the soup kitchen last week and it went horribly. She didn't want to go negative and the ad was still released anyway. Elfman is managing this campaign. As Alicia has learned, she's not the person running. The public's perception of her is the person who is running. The distinction there is vastly interesting. It's a dynamic I'm glad the show is invested in telling - even though it seems pretty clear to me that Prady is ultimately going to win this race.

Elsewhere, The Good Wife continues to be stressing me out to the max with Cary's ongoing legal troubles. This week it's the actual threat of death. The Feds have a wire tap of Bishop ordering his execution and the rest of the hour is determining whether or not it has actual merit. I'm not that interested in the ongoing Cary-Kalinda-Lana love triangle. I'm mostly bored by Kalinda and Lana using sex and intimacy in order to get what they want. It hasn't been original for a couple of seasons now. But there is an urgency in Cary and Kalinda's actions in trying to validate the authenticity of the wire tap. Cary is always looking over his shoulder and it's terrifying. Kalinda gets him a bodyguard. After that, he still manages to run into Bishop twice - once in passing and the other intentionally. Only after Cary goes into the lion's den does everyone get confirmation that the wire tap is real. Bishop wants Cary dead and the only way to save himself is to agree to never betray Bishop. Now, it seems like Bishop and Cary's fates are linked. Cary continues to be spiraling downwards without an end in sight. How will he emerge from this experience once it's all over? I have no idea.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Sticky Content" was written by Robert King & Michelle King and directed by Michael Zinberg.
  • I love how we're getting this peak into the world of political advertising right after we just finished up an election in real life - in which we were subjected to so many ads, both good and bad. The ones showcased here are hysterical - Prady as a dinosaur and Alicia getting into bed set to a catchy jingle. It's weird and yet they offered a good laugh.
  • The show has definitely been playing up the flirtatious interactions between Alicia and Finn this season. If they were to get together, I would want it because of their own merits and not simply a reaction to some bad thing Peter has done.
  • They shouldn't stop worrying about Cary's safety just to fulfill this, but seriously what are Cary, Diane and Kalinda's thoughts on Alicia running for State's Attorney?
  • Diane also made a reference to Robyn this week! We finally got confirmation that she still works for the firm!