The Good Wife: Shiny Objects
October 21, 2014 7:25 AM - Season 6, Episode 5 - Subscribe

When Alicia and Dean represent a fired female CEO in a sex discrimination suit against her company, they face a tough defense team in familiar foes Elsbeth Tascioni and Rayna Hecht. Meanwhile, a hacker seizes control and threatens to delete all of Florrick/Agos/Lockhart’s files, sending the firm into panic mode when he demands a ransom

Inside the mind of Elsbeth Tascioni and Kyle MacLachlan still holds a torch for her. Diane accidentally sets off a malware program and makes an appeal to David Lee's better nature. Kalinda keeps busy and the other Cary gets some screen time. Alicia asks Finn to publicly endorse her campaign and she and Peter have an epic shouting match. It ends with two side by side photos of Alicia, one as the humiliated wife from the very first episode and one as the candidate for SA.
posted by TWinbrook8 (16 comments total)
Okay, I set up this post just so someone could explain to me: how can Alicia make a formal announcement for her SA campaign without informing her partners first? Did I miss that scene? or is this going to be the big drama for the next episode? Seems a bit maladroit on her part.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:53 AM on October 21, 2014

It's interesting that there hasn't been any onscreen discussion about it, but they must know or they never would have fired Bishop as a client.

The "inside Elsbeth's head" stuff didn't work for me, a rare misstep for the show. There were rumors going around about a possible spinoff but if that's the stuff they were thinking of it's far better to leave her as an occasional wacky spice. I did enjoy Alicia trying to distract her in court with kitty pictures, but I'm not sure I like her as much as an adversary.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:17 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

The way that Kalinda's character has devolved from a whip-smart, multifaceted legal investigator to someone whose resources appear to be drawn all but entirely from a constellation of exes and fuckbuddies to whom she provides sexual favors in exchange for [random super-important information that always just so happens to be available to the ex/FB of the hour] is depressing to me. Plus I just think it'd be nice if there was a bisexual character on TV who wasn't portrayed as having an unstoppably voracious sex drive. No other character on the show is shown in flagrante delicto half as often as she is, and the fact that they're ramping it up rather than pulling it back is totally gross and sexist.

Elsbeth's appearance in this episode was a total miss for me; they took her extant wackiness factor and turned it up to a degree that made her seem barely capable of holding down a job, let alone serving as someone's legal representation in a court of law. I seriously doubt there are many working lawyers who are given to hallucinating kindly xylophone players on the regs.

The way Diane called Kalinda to just be like, "We have ransomware! I downloaded it! And there's an 800 number on the screen! That's enough information for you to take care of this, right?" and Kalinda was all, "totes obvi np" made me laugh so, so much. I get that we're supposed to silently understand that Kalinda is some kind of all-knowing, all-powerful, bewitching sex ninja with innumerable unfathomable talents, but trying to paint her as a black hat hacker left me unable to suspend my disbelief.

Not my favorite episode, although I did enjoy the number of timely topics they tried to cram into this episode, definitely appreciated the shout out to Pussy Riot, and LOVED Alicia raining some righteous truth down on Peter in the hallway before the endorsement. Let it go? Fuck you, pal.
posted by divined by radio at 9:16 AM on October 21, 2014 [10 favorites]

This episode was the first one of the season that wasn't an "A" rating for me; it was certainly good, better than anything else I watched that night, but it was just 'solid' rather than 'exceptional.' (oh what a wonderful world we live in that this is even a complaint)

But then Alicia WENT OFF on Peter and I fist-pumped and high-fived from my couch for real.

Also, the Pussy Riot Solution to the problem made an entertaining-but-ridiculous plot also end pretty satisfyingly.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:39 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

Love Elsbeth as a character, HATED the inside her mind stuff. I seriously thought she was having a stroke for the first half of the episode.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:10 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

I thought Elsbeth was having a drug reaction. Also totally missed that Alicia was playing her in court; I thought it was another hallucination. Mostly I was wondering how the case would resolve as neither one of them ever (mostly never) loses a case.

Would Diane have been able to access her Lockhart/Gardner email by using --I forget the site, I haven't used it in so long.. webmail? something like that. Not to mention if Kalinda is such a skilled hacker, why couldn't she get it? But then we'd not have that great scene with David Lee to learn that Florrick/Argos/Lockhart has the power to evict? co-exist? with L/G in a building without leaks and cockroaches.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:41 AM on October 21, 2014

I agree with you all that there were some misses in this episode, however, I really felt they were underusing Diane a lot the last few weeks and I was really glad to have her back in fine form, including her amazing laugh which she pulled out in the David Lee scene.
posted by matildaben at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the Elsbeth's head thing was a miss; I was okay with her being distractable by pictures of kittens, but it was done poorly. The ransomware plot was pretty dumb.

However, the Diane vs David Lee and the Alicia vs Peter stuff were so great that it made everything worthwhile.
posted by jeather at 4:36 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by roger ackroyd at 4:56 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

The "inside Elsbeth's head" played for me very much like the abandoned storyline when Jackie was hallucinating creepy crawlies in her drink.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:17 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

I started watching all these some weeks ago and now I'm all caught up!

This episode was not so great, though. The hacker subplot was mostly bad and it was weird that being without their files didn't impact anyone's ability to do their job. "This is going to cause huge problems for us! [Proceed to have no problems whatsoever]." In general everyone was just a little too inept and bumbling, all the characters felt off their game.

Line I wish had been said:
FBI agent with perfect eyebrows: "I don't like how I only see you when you need something."
Kalinda: "But I always need something."
(Instead it was something like, "I don't like it either," an obvious lie.)

I'm late to the party. I've missed out on the shared appreciation/commiseration! General blah blah follows.

I really miss Will as a character and the Alicia/Will dynamic. The scene where he was imaginary-questioning Alicia to plan strategy (and gets her wrong (on purpose?)) was so good, as was Alicia's trying out different visualizations of Will's last voicemail.

One thing I really like about TGW is how they are doing Lawyer Stuff all the time; the affairs of the firms generally "feel real" in plot terms. I like when TV shows show characters actually being Good At Their Jobs, whereas for example Mad Men, as another show centered around some client-oriented business, more and more over time seemed to disdain even showing the characters doing their jobs, and mostly sucking at it when they did. I always wanted more of Don and Peggy being creative, not Betty Draper sitting in a hotel lobby nodding as some throwaway character delivers exposition about some issue.

Comparing Mad Men's "Let's all leave and form a new company and work out of someone's apartment" moment to The Good Wife, the Mad Men one was only exciting because it was after a pretty bad season and the feeling was like, "Yes, let's throw all this shit out and try to make the show good again." But it was business as usual pretty quickly and anything that might have been fun or dynamic was glossed over in the season break. In The Good Wife they actually showed a bunch of stuff happening, they had to deal with secrecy, Alicia being on the fence a lot, defectors, the looming question of what Will and Diane would do, and then they showed a lot of that reaction. Generally The Good Wife hits my preferred level of show vs. tell, I guess.

Not that it doesn't have missteps. Often it feels a bit like a bad soap opera, and its social commentary is kind aggressively centrist that often reads to me as stealth conservative.
posted by fleacircus at 6:29 AM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

It would have been cooler if I could have figured out what the random pictures in Elsbeth's head actually translated to in her talking/actions in court.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:46 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

One thing I really like about TGW is how they are doing Lawyer Stuff all the time; the affairs of the firms generally "feel real" in plot terms.

Are you kidding me? I love TGW, but the show's portrayal of the practice of law is roughly equivalent to Agents of SHIELD's portrayal of international espionage.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:13 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Okay, I set up this post just so someone could explain to me: how can Alicia make a formal announcement for her SA campaign without informing her partners first? Did I miss that scene? or is this going to be the big drama for the next episode? Seems a bit maladroit on her part.

Given that Diane and Cary sat in on the meeting where she fired Bishop as a client, I assumed that she had informed them of her decision to run off screen. There would be no reason to fire Bishop if she wasn't running.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:18 PM on October 26, 2014

Old thread, but I was really bugged by this new Elsbeth. I've always viewed her as a brilliant lawyer who's just playing the scatter-brain to her advantage. "Oh it's my turn? I guess I'll just move this horsey thing and oh dear I seem to have checkmated you son" Seeing her as this barely competent individual was a Bad Thing.
posted by chazlarson at 11:35 PM on November 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I read the Elsbeth scenes differently from all you guys. I thought it was clear she wasn't literally seeing these things in her vision; her inner thoughts are more unusual than most. The mind's eye is difficult to show onscreen and I didn't see a big problem with it.
posted by Monochrome at 3:52 PM on August 25, 2015

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