First of all, congrats to Julianna Margulies for snagging another Screen Actors Guild award for being such a good wife -- and a fine performer. A real bright spot in an otherwise annoyingly snowy week.
Second, this week's The Good Wife lets you know right off the bat from the title, "Silly Season" that politics -- office, bedroom and electoral -- will be front and center this week.
On the Docket
Although Alicia and Cary face off over a murder case, the real action takes place outside the courtroom. In a somewhat convoluted back-and-forth, Cary wants to prove that the defendant, Church, has ties to Lamont Bishop, the drug dealer first introduced several episodes back. Alicia -- at first unaware that defendant knows Bishop -- eventually wises up. She realizes Lockhart-Gardner & Bond (well, Bond, really) took on the pro bono case as a kind of "audition" for Bishop's potentially lucrative legal business.
Alicia is furious about the firm vying for Bishop's business. Cary in turn infuriates his boss by making the connection between Church and Bishop. Although he wins the state a murder conviction, he also ruins any chance of the state's attorney's office using Church as leverage against the bigger fish, Bishop.
The only people who are happy are Will and Diane. They believe Bond going after a drug dealer's business can only help them when it comes to convincing the other partners to vote Bond out. I love seeing Will and Diane plot -- so much more fun than seeing them at each other's throats.
And that was about all of Will and Diane for the week. Much of the focus, in fact, stayed on Cary. It's clear that he's become a favorite of Peter's rival, Glenn Childs (annoying Cary's co-counsel, Geneva). But while Cary is quite obviously competent, does Childs admire his skill as an attorney or his inside information on Lockhart-Gardner?
Cary also inadvertently brings down Childs' wrath on Kalinda -- he orders a full-scale investigation into our favorite PI. Cary tips her off about it -- without confessing that his complaints about insufficient funding for investigators in the state's attorney's office spurred Childs' ire against her in the first place. Oops!
Speaking of Kalinda -- Blake tells he's finally got her figured out. He says he believes she's a young Toronto woman who "died" in a house fire but in reality disappeared and then took on an assumed name. Kalinda, ever the poker face, says nothing.
Evidence of Wrongdoing?
As with the Cary plot, Alicia's real story involves Peter's dual campaign -- to win the election and to move back into her bed.
Peter's political rival, Wendy Scott-Carr, confronts Alicia with a scurrilous poster accusing her of not being "black enough" because she's married to a white man. Make this stop, she says, or else a new poster will start making the rounds -- one that accuses Zach Florrick of getting creepy Becca pregnant and having his dad pay for the abortion.
Scott-Carr even references President Obama's oft-quoted statement about "the silly season" -- the period when campaigns are more about innuendo than facts. (Thanks for putting things in context for us, Wendy, but blackmail isn't a good color on anyone.)
Alicia brings both posters to Eli, who gets to the bottom of them. It turns out that Peter's political action committee indeed created the Wendy posters. And Becca did have an abortion -- while she was sleeping with her college-prep tutor, not Zach. This gives us another never-fails-to-entertain face-off between Eli and Becca.
Early in the ep, Peter had made an impassioned plea to Alicia to return to their bedroom and restart their marriage. She tells him she has to think about it. But after Eli lets Alicia know that Peter told his PAC -- and all its money -- to take a hike over the offensive Wendy posters, she returns home with a new attitude about him. Maybe.
Best line of the night: After Peter tells Alicia, "I love you," she just looks at him and says, "I know." C'mon -- who out there wasn't thinking of the identical exchange between Princess Leia and Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back?
Best cameo appearance: That was Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated Jane Alexander as the judge in the murder case. Please TGW producers -- bring her back! Her warmth and innate intelligence shine through even in small roles.
Overall, despite a somewhat ho-hum criminal case, a solid episode. I'm very intrigued by where things are going with Cary and Kalinda. And what about Peter's campaign? Is it really bankrupt, as Eli says? Hard to believe we won't get to Election Day without Peter in the race. Sounds like it's time to form a quality-drama-on-TV PAC.
(Image courtesy of CBS)