You know what I love about The Good Wife, besides everything? It's the only show that dares to remind viewers that they live in the here, the now, 2010. Not for TGW the fake controversy, the phony issue. In this week's episode, "Breaking Fast," Alicia not only bests Glenn Childs without setting foot in a courtroom, she also defends Peter from false charges of homophobia and anti-Israel bias--charges a real-life politician might face.
In the main legal case, the firm works on the civil case of a boy whose father died of a heart attack after being charged as the "Northbrook Sniper." Trying to prove malicious prosecution is a tough row to hoe, Diane points out. The firm will have to show that the State's Attorney's office knowingly prosecuted the wrong man and also prove his innocence.
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Not every case goes the firm's way on TGW (this isn't your father's Perry Mason, after all). But justice triumphs this time. To cap it off, Alicia uses the "Alicia stare" (as her brother calls it) on Childs to demonstrate her disappointment in his craven behavior.
What do you think Kalinda discovered about Will's past history with Derek, if any?
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Behind the scenes, Alicia's math professor little brother, Owen, makes an off-handed remark: He thinks Peter is homophobic. Unfortunately, the comment ends up on the Web. A frantic Eli confronts Peter--could this hurt them? Peter says absolutely not--he's not anti-gay, that's just his brother-in-law talking.
Nevertheless, Eli meets with Spencer, Chicago's leading "gay money" donor (Eli's term). But Spencer isn't holding back campaign funding because he thinks Peter is homophobic. Rather, he has evidence that Peter is anti-Israel, pro-Hamas. No way, Eli says--in fact the Florricks have invited him over to break the Yom Kippur fast because, "as you know, I have no life." He asks Spencer to come.
The resulting "high holidays at the Florricks" dinner yields conversations both serious and hilarious. On the Israel-Palestinian issue, daughter Grace turns out to be the contentious one, not Peter. Meanwhile, Peter's mom (who seems to be imbibing a bit too much Manischewitz) muses on the propriety of serving bacon at a post-Yom Kippur meal.
Mama Florrick caps off the evening by randomly pronouncing to Spencer and his partner that "If you get marriage, you're still just going to run around like little boys with your pants down."
Alicia breaks the tension by offering a Yom Kippur toast--asking everyone at the table to atone. As people look around the room, it appears everyone present is thinking of something they can make amends for.
This was a particularly good ep for dialogue. Some evidence:
Alicia (to Owen, though she might as well have been saying it to everyone in her life): "You know what I want, Owen? I want everyone to stop worrying about me. Stop reviewing my life. I'm going to do what I want, and it won't be what you want, and it won't be won't be what Mom wants. So back off."
Owen: "Peter doesn't like me."
Alicia: "Yes, Owen--that's true. But it's not because you're gay. It's because you're a jerk."
Kalinda (to Cary, who is working on the sniper case): "So, do you like being at the State's Attorney's office?"
Cary (pauses): "Yes, I do. I like...the moral clarity." (Which is ironic given his unethical behavior in last week's show. Later in the episode, Kalinda hands him a package of evidence and addresses him as "Mr. Moral Clarity.")
Despite the lack of courtroom confrontations and not quite enough Diane, a satisfying (and frequently hilarious) episode. I'm off to practice my "Alicia stare" in preparation for next week.
(Image courtesy of CBS)