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The Good Wife season 2 thread

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Patrick Sun, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That was the scene that most pushed me out of the moment. While it was good drama, it felt implausible. A woman belligerently blocking a stranger's boarding in O'Hare at final boarding? Actually physically standing in the way at the gate? People would have been involved. Gate Agents would have called security. Passengers would have been surly. It was good emotion but it felt completely unrealistic, for a show that always has a strong amount of truthiness, that I got pushed out of the fiction.
     
  2. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    I thought it was a very good episode. I was surprised to see the sodium thiopental issue on the Colbert Report this week as well. The interaction with Cary was great and saw another side of him.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Interesting that an episode that was all about laywers' methods ended up turning on a decision that seemed to be entirely beyond their control. The real question is this: did their client already know that Neal was the OBGYN, thus causing Will's ploy to backfire, or did Alicia tell their client that his girlfriend was pregnant? It was left ambiguous, and I kind of liked that.


    Everything about Alicia's brother was handled well. Much like "Julia" followed "Amos 'n Andy", a lot of gay characters fall into the trap of being too perfect, to being a counterweight to negative stereotypes that have come before. Alicia's brother is no more or less scummy than any of the straight characters. Unlike Kurt or Kurt's boyfriend on "Glee", he never feels like a mouthpiece for gay issues. He's funny, he charming, he's deeply flawed -- and he's resigned to his flaws. I loved the kitchen conversation between him and Peter's mother. When it starts out, we think it's going to be about her prejudice, and so does he. As it unfolds, however, it turns out to be something else entirely: she has misinterpreted Grace praying with her evangelical friend as some sort of early lesbian experience. Alicia's brother makes her uncomfortable, because the truths he holds as self-evident would mean that if Grace is a lesbian, there's no shaking it. That offends her conservative (small-c) instincts, but mainly it troubles the grandmother side of her who knows how much tougher life growing up gay would be for Grace than growing up straight. And Alicia's brother gets that, and lowers his guard a bit as a result.


    The highlight of the episode came toward the end, though, when Will finally confronts Diane and throws all of her wrong assumptions back in her face. She has miscalculated, and forced Will's hand. Now it might take both of the resulting firm down. Alicia's never been more vulnerable, since Diane can't be convinced that Will is telling the truth about Alicia not ratting, and Will's trust is broken by the fact that Alicia didn't rat Diane out. Diane immediately faces the problem she faced before bringing Bond in, which is that her new firm has a serious cash flow problem. Getting kicked out of the firm with less than a day's notice puts her in a much weaker position than if she'd launched her coup on her own terms with all of the pieces in place. Gardner and Bond are still sitting pretty from from the settlement with the pharmaceutical company, but the loss of a good chunk of their expertise and clientele will hurt. The instability shown by fissure will undoubtedly cause some clients to bail from both resulting firms. And without Diane, Will will find himself very much in Bond's turf, playing Bond's game.


    Will the show expand again to follow two separate law firms on top of the state's attorney's office and the Florrick campaign? Or will some main characters suddenly find themselves bumped down to recurring status? After all, the show can't succumb to the ridiculousness of something like The Whole Truth, where the same law firms battle it out week after week after week.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Nice summary, Adam.


    Great episode.


    I loved the extended use of Carey in this episode. He learned his lessons from Wil well better than Wil would like.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I enjoyed tonight's episode as usual, especially Will's slow realization that Bond doesn't pass the smell test.


    But my local CBS affiliate screwed up and accidentally cut with the weather man looking confused and embarrassed in front of the green screen mid way through the episode. What happened between Will telling Bond that the waters were about to get choppy and Kalinda leaving Will's office?
     
  6. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Adam, Will met Diane again, was honest about the earlier meeting and told her about Bond. Now they're working together again to get rid of him.

    Will gave the 50k rise to Kalinda anyway (and a country club membership) and told her he had her back. She told him she would always have his.


    Very good episode of The Good Wife (as such it is sub-par). Loved the powerplay between Eli and Jackie and the possibility of Cary returning to L/G as Alicia's "supervisor"!
     
  7. Spero D

    Spero D Second Unit

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    I like how they didn't go the easy route with Cary, and I still find him a likeable guy.
     
  8. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    What I always enjoy about The Good Wife is that they never go into overt explanations of why and how.. there is a lot of storyline that basically establishes that not everything has a grand explanation, it just is.


    With such a large cast, you'd think at some point, characters would feel shafted or have so minimal a role that there moments would mean very little. But even in short moments on screen, characters were able to present motivations, make themselves come off as real. Carey's moment with Diane, negotiating whether or not he would go into private practice. And even in those short sequence as he ran gave you time for them to not stuff exposition in his mouth, but to give him a chance to evaluate what was being said, and you get a chance to see his response and think about whether this was a step he wanted to do.


    The jury case, especially the end, was brilliant. It flew completely in the face of every TV show - which always has intent, listening, devoted juries who take their civic duty seriously. Here, you had a jury that at the end it became obvious really just wanted out there. They made their decision early, the evidence and situations really didn't matter that much. They had assumed guilt. There wasn't much discussion because they were ready to split and the trial was over early..

    This is a show that really goes out of its way to change your expectations of what to expect. Moments like that last night tell you that a courtroom situation really is about 3 different bodies.. lawyers who do their work; a judge who may or may not take their bias into a courtroom, and a jury which can be biased as well. The way it used small scenes to show you the bias, the gamesmanship that goes on in the courtroom.. The Good Wife really works hard to make small moments matter and play with them.


    I also liked that the "B" story, regarding the campaign, answered issues that I've wondered forever, like how involved the mother is with the campaign, and what it would take to get Peter's attention. It also took time to show Alicia's disinterest in the campaign, and the mothers overwhelming zeal to get him elected.

    One of the best scripted dramas on TV right now.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    So, any chance Diane actually ponies up the money/power to bring back Cary?
     
  10. Spero D

    Spero D Second Unit

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  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Boy was that a fascinating episode. Matt, I'm not sure I share your view on the jury but I appreciate the perspective. Im still left boggled by what to make of it and the micro-expressions expert. ??? Always enjoy seeing Wil and Eli "bring it" :)
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Thanks Philip!


    He's a total sham that exploits the insecurities of the obscenely rich (and, I would guess, often obscenely guilty), maintaining a high success rate by only accepting cases likely to have a strong jury reaction (and therefore be readable by anyone with half a brain). The gag, of course, being that he is extremely anti-social, so that the audience wonders how the hell this guy could read any social subtext, much less things as complex as the facial expressions and body language of a jury. He had Alicia et al convinced that juries were full of complex inclinations and sub-inclinations. In the end, as we saw, all of the stagecraft was for naught and the jury looked beyond it to make a decisive judgment of guilt. If a jury thinks the accused is guilty, they're not going to worry about whether a photo is prejudicial or whether the judge is being mean to the defense lawyer.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Part of the confusion, for me, is I believed the client was innocent. Unlike a previous client, the flamboyantly guilty but geniusly crafty fellow, this guy seemed innocent. So when he was found innocent, I was first wondering if the jury was tempered with, if the jury whisperer was purposefully misleading the team. Everything seemed more likely to me than the client actually being guilty. But. Ok. Sleep, that was an interesting review. Does that paper review every week's episode?
     
  14. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Dave- I came to my conclusion based on the statement "they were out 20 minutes", which means they had to deliberate less then that; that 20 minutes includes time they leave the courtroom, to alert an officer, to come back. So, they basically went back and voted.. I say this because in comparison to most legal shows, you see juries who do the series "12 Angry Men" deliberations, and this was a jury that basically went back and said "Yes or No" voted once and came back. I'm not saying whether or not they got it right or not, but the fact it was so quick was a sign to the audience that the jury was ready to split and there wasn't a big debate over anything presented at all.
     
  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    This episode was about our protagonists, who aren't exactly squeaky clean themselves, feeling out exactly how far into the moral gray area they're willing to tread. Alicia was put into a position by Bond that she was absolutely disgusted to be in. Cary wants to swim with the sharks, but he's going to compromise his prosecutions to do it. He's also probably not going to lie about Kalinda to aid Childs's investigation of her. Peter had to chose, essentially, between his son and his campaign. He chose his son, but that may be more about trying to win Alicia back than about his son. If so, the ploy seems to have worked.


    Was I the only one who thought Wendy Scott-Carr's campaign produced both fliers after seeing her meeting with Childs? I was happy to see that it really was about her concern for her children, because making her that scummy makes it too easy on the viewers.


    I wonder how many of Bond's clients in Baltimore are mob and gang related? He's got to feel pretty confident about his grip on the firm to be making such a bold play in the open for the drug dealer after reading up on the firm's history with the guy. The sick thing is that Bond probably doesn't care that the drug dealer through his client under the bus on the witness stand, as long as he passed the audition. Say what you will about Will and Diane, but they put the client first, and don't put themselves in the position to be morally compromised like that. There is a line with them, and they'll walk right up to it at times, but they won't cross it.
     
  16. Spero D

    Spero D Second Unit

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    I love this show it is so smart. But I thnk I must be the only one that doesn't care about the Kalinda past plot.
     
  17. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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    I found it odd that Wendy characterized the flier as 'lies.' The inferences were detestible, but they were open-ended questions based on fact. That she has a white husband and lives in a white neighborhood should not lead to questions of character, but they aren't lies, so far as I know of her backstory.
     
  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Interesting twists and turns tonight. The depths to which Bond had been playing everybody was surprising; we were led through most of the season to believe that Blake was Kalinda's problem. As it turns out, he was the first system of the larger rot in Bond's organization. At least the other lawyers who tried to buy Lockhart & Gardner out were honest with their intentions; Bond's end game was always to have total control of the firm, but apparently looked at Diane and Will as short-term liabilities to leverage an expansion into the Chicago market. It was nice to see Will and Diane as a team again. The plot to use Bond's underhandedness against him was actually kind of brilliant. Bond tipped his hand without even knowing it.


    This show has one of the best gallery of recurring characters of any show on television, but Michael J. Fox's Louis Canning may be the best of them all. I liked that this episode paid only lip service to him exploiting his disability; since the audience knows the score with his character, we were treated to more or less a bare-knuckle legal battle that had virtually nothing to do with the law and everything to do with interpersonal politics. At the same time, we were afforded a chance to peek a bit at the man behind the curtain, and what we found was almost uniformly surprising. A beautiful, intensely loyal wife with two adorable young children. Is Canning completely honest with them? No; he's probably not completely honest with anybody. But his home life is certainly stronger than anyone else's on this show. At the same time, Alicia's trying to figure out if it's all a big scam, or if Canning really has had a come-to-Jesus moment for plaintiff's rights. The truth, it turns out, is more complicated than that. What Canning did was undeniably unethical, since it wasn't in the best interests of his real clients. But at the same time, his opinion is perfectly valid. We all pay the costs of outsized awards and settlements, in the forms of higher doctors' bills to cover astronomical malpractice insurance, higher lift tickets at ski resorts to cover liability costs, and good businesses sunk by the costs of excessive litigation. At the same time, the specter of costly liability results in safer products and workplaces, more consumer friendly policies and prevents the kind of ecological and health calamities showcased in tonight's episode. If the award isn't large enough to really smart, companies might not be so careful going forward.


    I loved Eli listening to the school music teacher talking about why he supported Peter. Here's a guy he's visiting to basically cap at the knees in the friendliest possible manner, and he comes away moved by what he had to say. This guy's motivations for supporting people are the kind of things that should attract voters to candidates for office. Seeing this guy actually believe in his candidate instead of merely choosing him as the least evil among them has to make Eli at least pause.
     
  19. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Adam-


    You really summed up my thoughts. I think what really works for this show is that all of the characters, large or small parts are so well rounded and thought out that even if you don't see them all the time, you get a good feeling of who they are and they aren't just a single concept. Canning could have been played as an evil lawyer, rah rah the bad guy. And, you still come away with the feeling he was wrong. But his final speech was where he stated what he believed: these people were harmed, but you're over-promising and over-punishing, and that doesn't help anyone. Whether you agree or disagree with his idea, they managed to do it in such a way you could view him as the bad guy - but still understand his motivations.


    I think that's missing from a lot of other shows. Your other moment, where they reached out to the band teacher, also a home run of the second tier cast. Here, you were able to play out why a guy who will only appear in one episode likely, but is a "voter who cares" gives an honest answer as to why he WANTS to be excited about politicians. That real people inhabit the TV world these characters live in, and they all have goals. That was a really nice touch, and Eli's reaction was fantastic.

    This show keeps more plots and subplots spinning then most on TV, but it does it so well, so completely that it's a joy to tune in.
     
  20. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    Yes, another great episode and for a change things went right for our main characters. After so many setbacks in previous episodes it was nice to see things work out.
     

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