A few quick, late-in-the-day thoughts on last night’s “The Good Wife” coming up just as soon as I appeal to blue-collar white voters…
Today was largely a personal day for me, as a check-up at the doctor piled on top of school meetings and various other pieces of grown-up fun. I hadn’t even been planning to have or make time for “Good Wife” until tomorrow at the earliest, but when I stopped to check Twitter over lunch, my feed was full of A)People telling me about the confluence of three “Wire” actors in one episode (including one scene in which JD “Bodie” Williams played opposite Pablo “Nicky Sobotka” Schreiber), and B)People demanding my take on the ZOMG! revelations of the final scene. So when I finally had a 40 minutes or so to breathe, I put “Ham Sandwich” on.
As for “The Wire” stuff, that’s not incredibly surprising at this point. “The Good Wife,” like the “Law & Order” shows, films in New York and most of the people who were on “The Wire” are based on the East Coast, which is why it’s not surprising to see these shows sharing the same smaller pool of actors. Still, the Bodie/Nicky scene was kind of unintentionally amusing, even if Nick’s brief career as a drug dealer involved Prop Joe’s East side crew.
As for Kalinda, Blake and the big reveal… well, one of the reasons I found the last original episode so compelling was that it focused largely on the season two story arcs I feel have worked well (battle for control of the firm, the election) and didn’t bother with the ones that haven’t (Kalinda vs. Blake, Peter/Alicia/Will triangle). There wasn’t any unrequited love here, but there was a whole lotta Panjabi/Porter tension. I think Archie Panjabi is probably giving the show’s most compelling performance, but I often find Kalinda to be a less-is-more character, where she’s most effective flitting in and out of other people’s stories, or else when her own stories are fairly oblique. I know I often bag on showrunners who drag out different personal stories – be they will-they-or-won’t-they? (see Will/Alicia) or some kind of personal mystery – but this is one case where, at least based on how they’ve executed the reveals so far, I would have been fine with just leaving her a mystery woman. The revelation that she slept with Peter will obviously jeopardize her new open friendship with Alicia – and we should have all seen something like this coming once those two started being so chummy – and maybe from here things will get good. But everything involving the Kalinda/Blake rivalry has (as Fienbergnoted on Twitter earlier today) pretty consistently violated the “show, don’t tell” rule of good dramatic writing.
By Alan Sepinwall – Did the big Kalinda surprise work for you?