The Good Wife: Season 4, Episode 14

Red Team, Blue Team (17 Feb. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.5
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Alicia and Cary get bad news about their partnerships just as they are set to take on Diane and Will in a mock trial. Meanwhile, Elsbeth discovers that the Feds are playing dirty in their Eli Gold investigation.

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Alicia and Cary get bad news about their partnerships just as they are set to take on Diane and Will in a mock trial. Meanwhile, Elsbeth discovers that the Feds are playing dirty in their Eli Gold investigation.

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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17 February 2013 (USA)  »

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For Your Consideration
19 February 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

If you suspect, like I do, that some shows are written for the Emmys, then this is one of them. This episode will give HBO and their copy-cat cousins some worthy network competition on awards night. I've only recently began tuning into The Good Wife. And despite it's unfortunate title, I find it amusing, easy to watch, and with just enough subtextual intrigue and intellectual stimulation to make me believe that I'm not wasting my time; but not so much that it comes off as pretentious. The characters, the stories they inhabit via the law firm they represent, straddle the line between opportunistic narcissism and cultivated benevolence. Between power and wisdom. It either appears to be getting better every episode or my critical acumen has been compromised. I thought the last episode was good, where Alicia Florrick, at her politically-aspiring husband's press conference, defiantly asserts to the public (fictional and actual?) that she is an atheist. It confirms that the title is partially ironic and/or paradoxical.

But this week's episode is exceptional. It has it all. Julianna Margulies' inspired best-actress moment beginning with her verbal lashing out at Will Gardner, only to be subjugated by his sexual advances, followed by her bewildered, self-narrated exit, and cursing at herself as the elevator doors shut. Cut. Print. Wrap it up and send it to Hollywood's Foreign Press. This show also has to be in the running for best writing. The court-within-a-court scene, or meta-trial, is fabulous. Like Hamlet's play-within-a-play, it simultaneously exacts revenge on the mother (in this case, Diane Lockhart), and uproots the evils of Lockart's unscrupulous bedfellow (the corporate client). But that's not all. There is a conspiracy emerging. A revolt brewing in the ranks, as Alicia and her peers entertain inspiring ideas of forming their own law firm that can "change the world". Her son's plea: "Don't lose your job, mom", quickly brings her down to earth. And when the partner superiors, utilizing the venerable divide-and-conquer strategy, make Ms Florrick a partnership offer she can't refuse, they promptly clip the budding rebellion.

This is a pivotal episode. The accommodating Good Wife has been promoted to Den Mother. Justness be damned. Nothing corrupts heroic values like a fatter pay check. Maybe now she'll believe there's a blasted god.

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Endnote: I forgot to mention the subplot featuring the delightful Carrie Preston who plays the quirky savant, Elsbeth Tascioni. While I absolutely love this character, and it would be wise to keep her in the mix, don't overdo a good thing.


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