Sunday, April 5, 2015

REVIEW: 'The Good Wife' - Alicia Handles a New Scandal While Diane Goes for the Jugular in 'Loser Edit'

CBS' The Good Wife - Episode 6.18 "Loser Edit"

Still reeling from the cyber-hack at her law firm, Alicia is ambushed with questions about her leaked emails during a television interview. Meanwhile, Diane takes on a case that pits her sympathies towards gay marriage against the rights of religious freedom. Also, an investigator starts looking into the evidence Diane used to get Cary out of prison.

Alicia is a very private person. And yet, her biggest selling point for how she will handle the job of State's Attorney differently than her predecessors is transparency. She wants to do an honorable job representing the best interests of the community and not go after people based on a personal vendetta. That's her ambition for the job. She doesn't want to be a politician. She wants to be a lawyer. Running for this office though has forced him to make a handful of brutal decisions in ordered to get elected. She has now won and is determined to actually follow through on the promises she has made. She did whatever she had to do in order to win. And now, she can actually be honest and do a good job serving the citizens of Chicago.

Alicia has had very little time to celebrate though because her life is riddled with potential scandals. The show forces so much of the audience's attention on the threat of her private emails with Will getting out to the public that it's able to slide in a new scandal - voter fraud - at the last possible moment. It's an effective strategy that does mimic real-life politics while also aspiring to something much more complicated. As Peter claims to Petra, it's a miracle that Alicia was able to run for office while keeping her integrity intact. That's not entirely true as she had to embrace the morally grey area much more this season because of the campaign. And yet, she was still able to get elected. That was a victory. But as soon as it happens, her personal character is being attacked and exploited. For better or worse, she is a public figure and the reveal of this affair could destroy her office before she even has a chance to get started. She has worked so hard to get to this point and wants to effectively bring change to the judicial system. It's potentially devastating to her to have all that ruined because of the affair she had with the man she loved.

The way Alicia and the team handle this issue is very political. They handle the story by attacking the source of the information and getting her own version of the truth out there. It is not the full truth which is something that Alicia desperately needs to get off her chest before Eli articulates the rest of his plan. There is so much truth to these emails. They were flirtatious and she was having an affair with her boss. It's nice to see that not everyone at the firm was oblivious to their relationship. However, telling the full truth will likely destroy her career. So, of course, she has to listen to Eli and give the statements that will allow her to keep her new job. She actually does get some solace and compassion from Peter. He has been at the center of a scandal like this and the two of them are able to have their most mature conversation in the longest time. Sure, it all circles back to sex eventually. Both of them are capable of calling each other out on the painful truths. That has been the most refreshing change-up to their dynamic this season. However, it was also nice to see a quiet moment between the two of them. They aren't suddenly best friends capable of talking about stuff that they can't share with anyone else. But they are on the path towards that the point.

Alicia and Eli are able to shut down this potential scandal. Their plan of attack goes off without a hitch. They get that small moment of victory right before Petra returns with the breaking news of this new scandal. They were able to quietly deal with the emails because Petra hadn't released that interview yet. But now, the news that the voting machines may have been tampered with is public knowledge. They can't keep a lid on it because it's already out there. It blindsides all of them for sure. None of them had any knowledge that this happened. So moving forward, they have to learn whether or not it's true. I'm guessing it is and that will force Alicia out of the office and back to the firm. Lemond Bishop could have something to do with it. But if that's true, what was the whole point of the election story? For Alicia to get a rough lesson of what really happens in politics and how it changes people?

Telling the truth is also a big part of the episode's other two stories as well. Diane starts providing legal services for R.D. by arguing why he shouldn't fund the case of a wedding planner who refused to offer her services to a gay couple. It's a tricky and sensitive story that is also a very timely issue. Diane and R.D. are both very passionate people who like to stand firm on their beliefs. That's why R.D. was so happy to hire her in the first place. He likes that she has a point-of-view different from his and that can come in handle when it comes to figuring out which cases are the best to fund. He's a well-connected man and Diane gets the sense that he was gonna fund this case no matter what. But it did further showcase how their dynamic will become a crucial part of the firm's legal services moving forward.

And then, Kalinda is finally having to face the repercussions of creating fake evidence in Cary's trial. Andrew Wiley is largely just a one-note character. He's a good investor who is always used comedically because he needs to bring his children everywhere with him. More importantly though, Kalinda is trying to handle this situation but it becomes apparent right away to everyone whom she talks to about it. When she wants to refer to it hypothetically with Finn, he's able to connect the dots when Wiley visits him. When Kalinda tries to horribly cover-up the crime, Wiley is able to figure it out right away. Things just aren't working for Kalinda right now but the story also lacks the complexity to make it interesting. The audience knew this was going to come back and hurt her later this season. And now that it has, it's occurring in such a predictable way. And frankly, I don't really care what happens to Kalinda. I'm much more concerned about what it could mean for Diane.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Loser Edit" was written by Luke Schelhaas and directed by Brooke Kennedy.
  • I wanted to hear the rest of Marissa's two-pronged attack story. Actually, I always just want more Marissa.
  • Josh came onto the campaign as a media consultant and it's just weird seeing him sticking around the way that he has and trying to help Eli use the law to get Petra to back off using the emails.
  • It sure is nice to see Finn interact with other characters outside of Alicia. That's very important if he's going to be a new legal friend of the firm and not just a potential love interest for Alicia.
  • R.D.'s gay nephew being a part of the legal story was just weird and added another dynamic to the story that wasn't completely necessary.