The Good Wife

Alicia begins to see the benefits of running for state’s attorney on The Good Wife‘s “Dear God”

The Good Wife’s always found a lot of use in things we don’t see, things we don’t even know about, that get brought back into the fold later. It did it plenty of times last season, notably with Will and Alicia’s romance, dredging up previously unmentioned encounters to fill in some blanks in present interactions. This season’s only three-episodes in and it’s doing plenty of it. In everyone’s interactions with Cary’s pretrial officer to Kalinda perhaps giving Lemond Bishop the name of an informant and making him disappear to the very nature of Cary’s conversation with Bishop’s crew.There’s a lot happening we’re not privy too, even when we follow these characters around every week. This uncertainty is even more pronounced among characters, who hide things from each other and even then there’s always an added perception that comes with seeing things from one person’s point of view. “Dear God” has Alicia and Cary with differing opinions on the nature of their conflict with one another, rooted in the newbies now rounding out their firm. Alicia sees Cary as being the difficult one while Cary’s of the opposite opinion, and everything they say, however much they try to sugarcoat it, gets filtered through Joy Grubick (Linda Lavin) the woman who determines whether or not Cary will stay out on bond.

Cary’s case is just as dire as before, despite his new circumstances. The SA’s office is still looking for someway to nail him, and they keep coming up with ways to do so (probably because people keep giving them ammunition to use). This time it’s Cary and Kalinda’s celebratory romp after his release, soon followed by Kalinda paying a personal visit to the informant and his subsequent disappearance. It’s a terrible look for Cary’s case, absolutely terrible, though Kalinda meant well in giving Bishop the name and then warning the informant. People’s many attempts at helping Cary, preserving his freedom and career, continue to be double-edged swords. The only reason Cary’s not put back in jail this time around is because Grubick’s report is favorable, while it looks less and less likely that Diane is going to be able to hold off Castro’s attack forever.

Also happening in the background is the political world contorting itself in preparation for Alicia’s rumored campaign. The talk about her running is only becoming louder and louder, this time reaching Diane, Dean and Cary not to mention Gloria Steinem. And it doesn’t matter how many times or in how many ways Alicia says she’s not running, that the dialogue remains enough so to push Castro to continue his thinly-veiled threats toward Alicia and her firm. With all the trouble Castro’s bringing her because he only fears her running, she might as well actually run, and Alicia’s of the same mind by the episode’s end, going to Eli to ask about his plan for her hypothetical campaign. That said “Dear God” is loaded with all the things that Alicia would positively despise about a campaign from the rumor mongering to the caucus members bothering her at work to the backstabbing, subliminal messages and harassment.

But as much as Alicia hates these things, she also loves power, and she’s been getting only more and more of it as her journey progresses. When Alicia’s hazy visions of Gloria Steinem mention that she could potentially find herself on the Supreme Court at some point, all the pieces begin to fall into place. Alicia’s been on an upward trajectory for awhile now, and there’s no telling how far she could go if she really tried. She’s not an unambitious woman. She’s well aware of her own abilities, and as it becomes clearer just how capable she is the longer we know her. Throw in Eli’s promise that if Peter can’t endorse Alicia he’ll be forced to endorse Castro, and it’s even more likely that Alicia’s going to run just to make sure Castro doesn’t win. As far as recurring villains go, Castro’s proven himself to be a good one in that he’s positively despicable, abusing his position on a regular basis to fight personal and political vendettas and even chalking up Alicia’s potential interest in running as some kind of vengeance for Will’s death. And now Alicia running, and winning, isn’t just for getting ahead but it’s for the greater good.

That’s a bit of a dramatic reading considering how there are few people on The Good Wife who are “good”, but it had to be said. Alicia is a “saint” (compared to whatever the heck Castro is) and she’ll likely go through the same tarnishing everyone else does on the campaign trail. Considering how this season’s made itself all about dredging up very real transgressions instead of fabricating them, Alicia’s going to have to provide some explanations for the past five seasons of whatever damning activity the “oppo research” can dig up.

Stay Observations

  • Joy: “I say this because I care. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but that’s just the way I talk.”
  • The case of the week was a weird one. Not weird but weird. It gave Alicia time to consider her religious beliefs, as well as treat us to some of her incredulous and annoyed looks at Christian Arbitration. And it gave us Robert Sean Leonard as a dude named Del. Grace was there, too, but eh.

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