The Good Wife: Dark Money
March 1, 2015 9:09 PM - Season 6, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Oh goody, it's another Colin Sweeney episode! Also, Kalinda bodyguards Dylan and Alicia and Frank deal with a skeevy rich donor.

Oh Colin, you rascally killer, you! This time he's suing a TV show for defamation of character, i.e. blatantly ripping off every detail of his murder case. (Alicia told him not to....) He'd have a good case for winning except the other lawyer says it's not defamation if it's true... so yes, we're sort of trying to try him for murder yet again. Renata helpfully testifies that Colin told her he did it while they were banging in a supply closet--yes, clearly all this talk just turns them on more from the audience. Damn, girl. In the end, Alicia watches the episode and notes a ton of ChumHum in the background and sinks the case...and then ends up crying to Grace at the end.

Alicia's PAC is doing robocalls for Frank with a very gay voice, only to the burb houses. This totally influences Guy Redmayne, the skeezy rich dude who'd love to donate to Alicia's campaign and fuck her silly. And he hates gay people. It's somewhat debatable who hates visiting Redmayne more, Alicia (who does get in a nice joke about Redmayne's balls of a 20 year old being in his briefcase) or Frank, but I have to give the nod to Frank for walking out with "Well, this was interesting."

And finally, Lemond Bishop forces Kalinda to bodyguard/pick up Dylan after school. She has to deal with (a) some stalker car, (b) Dylan's school bully, and (c) Bishop already knowing everything even before he starts interrogating her about it. Time to check that car for bugs before you hop in, K.

I enjoyed the episode. I've missed these people. Even you, Colin, you old killer squeeze.
posted by jenfullmoon (9 comments total)
I feel like the addition of Laura Benanti to the Sweeney plots was somehow specifically done to satisfy me. Because as good as Dylan Baker is (and I think he's amazing), I'm never really a huge fan. But I'm entertained certainly. And now my love of Laura Benanti distracted me until it was over.

Some people online were saying that Guy Redmayne was way over the top in his bigotry, especially for a Democratic donor. I'm left to wonder how many old rich assholes they've ever met and if they ever wondered why Obama didn't publicly come out for marriage equality sooner when the majority of the party was completely in support of it. These things are related.

I had this scenario imagined last night that Kalinda's exit story line was going to be to take Dylan away from Chicago as a bodyguard/nanny so Bishop doesn't have to worry about him getting picked on/followed by strange black vehicles. I'm still not sure something like this isn't going to happen. At any rate, Kalinda's life feel much less in jeopardy than it did. Which probably means she's doomed.

I love that Alicia's "grey" morality also leads to tears behind closed doors. Something about that felt very real and familiar.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:21 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I figure there will be one Sweeney episode in season seven/when the show ends, and then we'll find out WHICH ONE OF THEM KILLS THE OTHER. I'm actually suspecting it'll be Renata, go figure.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:37 PM on March 2, 2015

What I like about Sweeney is how they deploy him carefully, as opposed to the ChumHum plotlines which sometimes feel like they are eating the show.
posted by jeather at 5:38 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm actually beginning to wonder if Frank Prady isn't the better candidate for State's Attorney. He's the one who told Redmayne off for his disgusting attitude towards Alicia and walked out on him, whereas Alicia, aside from one good wisecrack, kept her mouth shut about Redmayne's bigoted comments about Prady and sexism towards her, posed as a committed married woman (and continues to lie about how long she and Peter have been married, adding an extra year to hide the fact that Zach was on the way before the wedding), and took the money. And I was dismayed by the plans Alicia had for the SA's office. She's going to reduce the murder rate by aggressively prosecuting gun crimes. How will that work, exactly? Increased prosecution doesn't deter crime. She'll double the speed of prosecutions. How will she do that, given that her budget and staff levels will be the same as that of her predecessors? It's not like the current staff is spending half their time playing Candy Crush. She will likely become a competent SA because she's so hard working and intelligent and capable of learning what she needs to know quickly, but she's no visionary and she has much less experience than many lawyers in her age bracket, so... this campaign is much more about her connections and her Saint Alicia image than it is about her actual qualifications for the job.

So Kalinda's favour for Bishop has, surprisingly, turned out to be something entirely legal and even moral, but of course there are serious complications. The darkly comic aspect to all this is that Bishop wants Kalinda to be more than just his son's driver and bodyguard. Bishop wants Kalinda to talk to Dylan and help parent him, because Dylan doesn't have a mother or any woman in his life he can talk to. For that matter, Bishop probably doesn't have anyone to talk to about parenting Dylan (which could have something to do with the inconvenient fact that he murdered his ex-wife and has alienated all his family and community by being a murderous asshole). The big problem with that is that if Kalinda does do so and gets it wrong (in Bishop's opinion), he'll probably kill her.

Dylan Baker is the Laurence Olivier of playing perverted, repulsive characters.
posted by orange swan at 7:59 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really, really hope Prady wins. I hope Alicia loses and we can drop this whole terrible politics idea altogether. And given how it would upset the balance of the show because she'd have to leave the law firm and drop a lot of characters, maybe she will? Also, I don't know whatever happened to the actor playing the SA, but once he dropped out of the show the whole idea kind of lost its point.

Why the hell does Bishop keep asking Kalinda what Dylan said WHEN HE ALREADY KNOWS EVERYTHING THAT IS GOING ON? Is he just trying to figure out whether or not Kalinda lies (uh....)?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:42 AM on March 3, 2015

And why does Kalinda keep lying (so badly) when it's obvious Bishop already knows?
posted by cardboard at 11:08 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is something unsettling about Kalinda tip-toeing around Bishop, calmly answering his bullying questions (Why did it take you eight rings to answer the phone?) instead of ignoring the question as she would for someone less lethal, carefully addressing him as sir (who else does she call sir?). Versus Alicia's handling of Colin Sweeney (Diane and Cary don't like me -> I don't like you either.) They are both murderers after all.

I still think Alicia's motivation for running for SA is weak, especially as the campaign drags on and ooooonnnnn. In the aftermath of Will's death and the slimy current SA harassing Cary, it made some sense but now it's just to see how much she will compromise her principles in a race that the viewers are bored with.

The threat Bishop was holding over Kalinda was so ominous that I thought her write-out scene would be either killing him or leaving the country or both. Instead it's two weeks of bodyguard duty for his kid. At this point, I'd believe that mystery black car is driven by Bishop himself; it would explain how he knows about the black eye.

The AV Club pointed out how divided the cast is: Alicia/Kalinda/Diane & Cary are basically in three separate shows--and none of those shows are featuring David Lee--when the genius of TGW is the whole cast together.

It was so long ago that I've forgotten the political origins of Frank Prady. Wasn't he a conservative? In which case, I don't understand why Redmayne was calling him.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:24 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think the simple goodness of Prady is the point. He is a better person than Alicia in many ways, but being good and doing good are two different things. Alicia is definitely more effective and her long arc towards justice may be better than Prady's straight line (cut short by his ineffectiveness).
posted by Monochrome at 4:33 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think the simple goodness of Prady is the point. He is a better person than Alicia in many ways, but being good and doing good are two different things. Alicia is definitely more effective and her long arc towards justice may be better than Prady's straight line (cut short by his ineffectiveness).

Just watching now, so I don't know where this is all going yet, but it feels as though there's more to it than just Prady's idealism and sincere goodness, but inexperience, versus Alicia's moral relativism that she hopes can lead her to a position where she can finally lean on her idealistic instincts again. I think the show makes that case very clearly and very well. But we also see that Prady's campaign is doing very well considering how "against the conventional wisdom" it is...

I have a hunch that the main theme of this season is of our heroes selling their souls when they don't need to, because they think by this point that it's their only option. We've seen it with Kalinda, indenturing herself to Bishop for information that only dragged her (and potentially Diane) further down, when the real evidence Cary needed was free of strings. We're seeing it with Alicia on the campaign, accepting (or allowing) money from sources that she knows will come back to bite her on the ass either now or when she wins, when she likely could have won on her own merits if she'd insisted on running her own idealistic and moral campaign. I think we might have even seen it with Peter, in a ripped-from-Mark-Sanford's-life story where he sent away the woman he was in love with in order to maintain a fiction of a marriage that was in no way going to survive anyway.

And even if Alicia wins, well... how well did moral relativism until you get the chance to do good work out for Carcetti in The Wire?
posted by Navelgazer at 10:21 PM on March 13, 2017

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