The Good Wife: Dear God
October 6, 2014 9:55 AM - Season 6, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The state tries to pull Cary's bail, Alicia pulls some faces when a case is transferred to Christian arbitration, James Castro pulls no punches in going after Alicia's possible reasons for candidacy, and Gloria Steinem pulls feminist rank.
posted by MCMikeNamara (25 comments total)
This episode was great. Loved the sort of Monsanto plot, Dr. Wilson as a Christian arbitrator, and "Everything is Kafka in action." All of this before the titles.

Not crazy about Alicia actually running, but I have faith the show will handle it well. Pretty certain Eli was somehow behind Gloria Steinem brainwashing her into it.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:06 AM on October 6, 2014

Gloria Steinem certainly helped pushed her into it but in my opinion she still wouldn't have run if September hadn't made the incredibly poor life decision of mocking the fact that Will ("your lover" was murdered in one of his courtrooms.

He chose... poorly.
posted by Justinian at 12:20 PM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

So after the cliffhanger last season and throughout the summer, I was also pretty much in the "It makes no sense for Alicia to run" camp. And as a fan of the show*, I'm still not convinced it's what I want to see.* But I do feel like the show has convinced me why the character is making this choice, so I'm also continuing to have faith in the show.

For a show whose main character is not just an atheist, but an "eye rolling at certain public displays of faith" atheist (a trait I love, btw, because it is both so rare and so exactly who I imagine the character of Alicia to be) this show sure can also handle religious stuff with respect as well. I loved that the Christian arbitration worked.

* As a fan of the show, I also probably wouldn't have said "hey Will should be shot dead in the courtroom by his client" but I can't imagine wanting the overall story any other way now.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:21 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

He chose... poorly.

Yeah, I think my favorite thing about The Good Wife this week was the realization that it is a "Prestige Drama" that can still make me go "DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN.....dummy" because when he said:

"That's the rumor. Will Gardner was your lover and you blame me for his death and that's why you're running. Retribution."

going "DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN.....dummy" is exactly what I did.

I believe it was the AV Club review that pointed out that this was a big mistake not just because it made Alicia hate him even more than she already did (which, given their history, is really a "stretch goal" as we call it in the corporate world) but because invoking Will is also like sending up a flare to Alicia that says: "Hey, remember when you had that opportunity and you didn't take it and then circumstances took away the possibility forever." That is not the state of mind you want her in if you want her to not run.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:29 PM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

It's also a pleasure to watch Julianna Margulies. The cast on TGW is uniformly excellent but Margulies in particular makes the actors on most other shows look amateurish.

I barely remember the first couple of seasons of ER but Margulies and Clooney must have been amazing.
posted by Justinian at 12:34 PM on October 6, 2014

I find Cary inexplicably adorable and I really enjoyed this week's episode. I like when they shake up the flow.

I can't take September seriously as a Bad Dude. He just has no intimidation factor for me, and I think it's the actor, not how the character is written.
posted by desjardins at 12:57 PM on October 6, 2014

I barely remember the first couple of seasons of ER but Margulies and Clooney must have been amazing.

I didn't watch ER constantly but my feeling about her was always sorta 'meh' which I cannot fit with my perspective of Margulies as an actor now.

Also how good was Linda Lavin both in her acting (no surprise) and the character in general: a hardworking woman who is a cog in the justice machine we are constantly shown is manipulated by those in power to keep their own power and corrupt in just doing her thankless job, trying to do it right and help the people she's there to help, and getting a dismissive side-eye from pretty much all of those more powerful than her.

It reminded me of what somebody said in last week's thread, in regards to Diane, about people who are passionate about their jobs and good at it. But if that motivation is more about doing what is right and less about having power and money, you end up another victim of the system because a lot of the time you're getting screwed and being the "good guy" is a waste of time.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:56 PM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Best line ever: "Men always have something to say."

You tell em Alicia.
posted by bluloo at 5:18 PM on October 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

If they make Alicia find god I will be so mad at this show. (It's the "until I was" line.)

Since they were clearly heading to Alicia running, I'm glad they found a way to make it seem reasonable for her character.
posted by jeather at 7:08 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

All of this before the titles.

I do enjoy how this show just puts the titles in whenever they've finished building up to a crescendo of setting-up-all-the-problems for the episode, even if it's like 20 minutes into the show.

Also, I was glad to see Grace - that was a great scene between her and Alicia.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:15 PM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Pointing out also that Cary was the one who consistently noticed the clients' body language and knew to set the legal argument aside and focus on the client. The others want to win the argument with the other lawyer, but Cary was somehow more attuned to the clients - who will in the end make or break their firm. Cary is also financially the most precarious of the partners. He doesn't have family money to fall back on either.
posted by viggorlijah at 1:16 AM on October 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I can't think where this show is heading: the SA is trying to intimidate Alicia to prevent her from running by dicking around with her partner Cary and yet now she's pissed off and intimating that she will run which means resigning from her own firm and a future of butting heads with (a furious and betrayed) Cary and Diane in court.

Finn was taken out of the running last season, I forget why--druggie sister? In the laundry list of rejected candidates that Eli rattled off, was Diane mentioned? I thought I heard her name.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:20 AM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Eli said Diane said no.

With Lockhart/Gardner out of the picture as an interesting weekly foil (unless they deepen Louis Canning and David Lee), they'll need some other conflict -- Alicia immediately leaving her new law firm to run for SA and then having to fight Cary and Diane in court again could be interesting. I have my issues with this plotline, but the writers deserve my trust here.

Since they apparently have a 2-season exit plan now, I sure hope they get renewed for one more full season. I hope that the good press and awards from last season will pull them through.
posted by jeather at 7:28 AM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

They will get whatever renewal they need, I don't know what the ratings are like but the show is finally getting more of the critical acclaim it deserves. CBS has all the ratings they need from other shows, they can afford to keep a critical darling on the air.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:10 AM on October 7, 2014

From your lips, Drinky Die.

(We heard the two more seasons because of the length of episode titles -- 1-2-3-4-3-2, which means next season would be 1 and that's it.)
posted by jeather at 9:43 AM on October 7, 2014

There's another great Nussbaum article on The Good Wife in this week's New Yorker.

Also: Christian arbitration in KANE COUNTY!
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:45 AM on October 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

I didn't watch ER constantly but my feeling about her was always sorta 'meh' which I cannot fit with my perspective of Margulies as an actor now.

Admit it, MCMikeNamara, you just hated her old hair.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:47 AM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also: Christian arbitration in KANE COUNTY!

Also, I grew up in Kane county, and I'm pretty sure there are approximately zero farms left. They should have gone for Kendall or DeKalb county instead (and even there things are getting mighty built up). Soon it'll be wall-to-wall McMansions from lakefront to quad cities and Wisconsin to Bloomington.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:39 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I can't take September seriously as a Bad Dude. He just has no intimidation factor for me, and I think it's the actor, not how the character is written.

Cerveris can do Bad Dude: he played Sweeney Todd and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins on Broadway and won a Tony for the latter. Maybe they should have Castro sing and brandish a straight razor to up his creepy menace factor, but I find him fairly sinister sans props.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:55 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can't wait until Alicia uses the wisdom of Solomon in Grundy County.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:04 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

So is the religious experience of meeting Gloria Steinem in keeping with Alicia's character? Sonia Saraiya's AV Club recap thinks otherwise:

Perhaps the most surprising thing to me about tonight’s fantastic and crackling episode, “Dear God,” is that Alicia Florrick gets absolutely googly-eyed when confronted with feminist icon Gloria Steinem, and sort-of-kind-of decides to run based on Steinem’s exhortations. It’s not that we all wouldn’t go a little weak in the knees, confronted with the founding editor of Ms. Magazine. But I never would have pegged Alicia Florrick for the type of college feminist that would have fawned over a second-wave women’s lib icon like Steinem—not the Alicia who eschews so much of the messiness of progressivism for a sharply tailored skirt-suit and a tastefully understated, expensive watch.

Personally, I loved the scene, perhaps because it reminded me of the brilliant moment in Ab Fab when Edina Monsoon encounters God in the form of Marianne Faithfull.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:50 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I didn't think Alicia being dazzled by Gloria Steinem was so far-fetched. She lives in a pretty liberal city and Peter is a Democrat. If I had to choose, I'd be more surprised at her admitting she doesn't believe in God than her being a feminist. Atheism still seems more radical for a politician/politician's family than feminism.

I loved the Christian arbitration storyline this week. The exaggerated eye-rolling we get from L&G attorneys in every episode gives me life.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:03 PM on October 7, 2014

I disagree with Saraiya's reading here. In her actual meeting with Steinem, Alicia was admiring of Steinem, but not overwhelmingly starstruck: still able to carry on a normal, lucid conversation about whether she should run. She didn't strike me as "absolutely googly-eyed" in that scene.

In her later imagined encounters with Steinem, the tone is certainly different, but I see that as being more about Alicia's own ambition and egotism than about her fawning over Steinem. IIRC, imagined-Steinem went as far as "you could be President," when Steinem had said nothing remotely close to that in their actual encounter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:00 AM on October 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Gloria Steinem thing seemed like such a shallow stunt. It bugged me the way certain white knight moves bug me. But that's probably not fair to the rest of the audience.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 2:28 PM on October 14, 2014

Not sure anyone will see this but some additional notes:

It strikes me that in both this episode (with Gloria Steinem) and the last (with Valerie Jarrett), they're getting good, natural-enough performances from their non-actor political cameos. I wonder if they're just being more cautious about which non-actors they cast, or if they're spending more time getting performance options to weed through than other shows w/ non-actor celebrity cameos.

Alicia's behavior in the religious court bugged me a bit, because while I get that the attitude she was demonstrating is consistent with her character, she seems like someone smart enough not to show it in front of the church-judge deciding the case. So the eye-rolling, etc., felt like it was for us, the audience, and not true to how Alicia super-lawyer would act in that context. (Her disdain was so great that she couldn't help but act it out despite it not being in the best interest of her client?)

Lastly, is this the first time they've put our heroes on the 'wrong' side of a real-life political debate? (It felt like we were meant to root for Monsanto?)
posted by nobody at 3:01 PM on May 26, 2016

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