The Good Wife
Dramatics, Your Honor

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 278 USERS: A
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Life Is Overrated, And You'll Miss It

Cary helps Alicia with her first deposition for Dubeck, but once he brings up her past romance with Will, Alicia cuts him dead with a brutally brilliant takedown that sends him screaming out the door (and Cary almost faints with pleasure): That after five years of constant surveillance, investigation and peril, she knows well enough to know that you only start getting personal when you have nothing left to work with. It's pretty great. But a larger conspiracy develops itself, as Dubeck produces more and more videos of stuffed ballot boxes all over town, which makes Jim Moody not only the weakest link but his star informant.

Jeffrey Grant -- the sweet-or-psycho beautiful white kid from Weeds that might have raped and killed a girl; whose innocence became something of an obsession for Will -- comes back into the story and we face off against the newest hotshot at the State's Attorney, Finn Polmar (played by Matthew Goode!). Kalinda's been thinking about leaving LG because, she says, she doesn't want to be an investigator forever -- but some last-minute Kalinda tricks turn the case around so beautifully that Will may have convinced her to stay on.

Grant's been getting it pretty rough in jail since the last time we saw him, but repeatedly demurs when Will offers to get him into protective solitary. (He also refuses all plea offers, because he is actually innocent from what I can tell.) The case fluctuates enough that his parents get antsy, and call Alicia for a second opinion. She sits in on the trial for an afternoon, but only so she can warn Will the parents aren't acting in good faith, and they explore their new d├ętente, which is chilly but cordial, and respectful of history in a way they speaks well of both of them.

In the end, between a last-minute damning development in the case and Will's executive decision to get the kid away from his abusers and into solitary -- which, I think, Will could handle a lot better than most -- the stress proves too much for Jeffrey Grant and he shoots up the courtroom, wounding Finn and killing Will.

I don't know how to triage that, or help you with that. We sat in the dark in my house for about ten minutes, nervously laughing about our inability to form complex thoughts or make words out of sounds.

Karen: "I have clothes in the dryer. Are we just going to sit here until they're dry?"
Jacob: "I don't know what we're supposed to do or what happens now."
Karen: "What if I didn't have clothes in the dryer? Would I just leave?"
Jacob: "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know."

I would say that if you feel mistreated by a show, if I've learned anything in ten years, is that you will do anything to get control back of it: They're making it up as they go along, they are just trying to get ratings, whatever complaint you need to formulate the feeling that you are having in a way that puts you on top, over the show, and thus over the complicated meaninglessness of tragedy in general. In those instances I say, "Think like a writer. They've been writing toward this -- in a way that is purposively unsatisfying, in terms of a lower-level type of pat TV narrative this show has always transcended -- all season. They knew it was coming, we did not." That comforts me, I guess. The bird's eye view of the episode, the seasonal act, the series as a whole, reminds you that the world doesn't revolve around you and that what you are subjectively experiencing is not the entire truth about anything; that's very comforting to me.

I think it's okay to use the word "brave." What I would say is that the show is proudly organic: Kalinda and Alicia can never be friends, because that wouldn't happen in real life. And so when Will dies, that's the story, which is the story of all death: What is the meaning of this? There isn't one. Why now, just when things were getting smoother? Because. What is Alicia going to do? Flip the fuck out, obviously. As will Diane, and Cary, and Kalinda, and everyone in the world. And that's the story now. Or, to borrow from last week's recap: This story is made up of the shapes Alicia finds herself forced into; when you are out of options and forced to change shape, that is the soul of this show. Take away one leg of the chair that's holding you up? You can learn to change shape pretty fast, when you have to.

The Good Wife

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