The Good Wife: Targets
February 21, 2016 9:15 PM - Season 7, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Alicia gets recruited into a super secret, super shady secret court to get a guy killed. David and Cary are worrying that the firm's going to go all-female. Jason has a very interesting episode. Eli hires Elsbeth to look into Peter's FBI problem and hears a lot of things that creep him right OUT.

I didn't take notes on this, so forgive my inaccuracy.

The Super Shady Secret Military Murder: Alicia, along with her old acquaintance Col. William Hicks, have been recruited to some super secret military panel thing for two days to legally figure out a way to justify killing an ISIS recruiter who also happens to be American. On day two, Hicks doesn't return, presumably because they suspect him of leaking. Or possibly Alicia. Who called it about the NSA wiretapping last week? Yup, it's back! The NSA guys (who can literally hear everything Alicia says within earshot of the phone and I do mean EVERYTHING, apparently they got cleared for a "hot mike") start thinking maybe it was them, unintentionally, and by the end of the episode one of them is pulled away from listening to dirty talk to presumably be fired/deep sixed/interrogated/god knows what. Meanwhile, the ISIS recruiter is killed.

The Gender Wars: Someone is doing some article on Lockhart Whatever that's focusing on the women, which makes Cary (somewhat) and David Lee (entirely) paranoid that Diane is secretly plotting to make the firm all female. David Lee hires Jason to look into this freelance, so Jason earns his money by (a) strolling into Diane's office and makes sure she knows what's going on without his saying a word, and (b) asking Alicia, who says "I don't know" and that Diane vaguely floated this idea like a year ago and never did anything. (Oh yeah, and Cary took Lucca to lunch, no idea on any major significance on that.) This plot is a giant who cares compared to...

Alicia and Jason Finally Bone In Her Office. With the NSA listening in and sending dirty talk and heavy breathing around the office. Jason wonders about the logistics of boning the First Lady of Illinois and Alicia is pretty much all "don't worry about it, I want to bone."

Elsbeth Has An Ex-Husband: So Eli hires Elsbeth to look into Peter's little FBI problem, mentioning eventually that whole vote rigging thing. Marissa is interviewed and mentions the Israeli Defense Force and her crazy designer purses (I want pictures of these things if they involve Kewpie dolls and bullet shells), and that combination makes Elsbeth realize she has a conflict of interest and can't represent Peter or talk about it. However, she attempts to let them know by referring them to her ex-husband Michael.

Hoo boy, Michael. Just as weird as Elsbeth in his own way and carrying around their mutual dog. And apparently he and Elsbeth are still hot for each other and poor Eli is in grossed out misery when he hears them talking to each other. Anyway, Michael does his best to help figure out who it is (including attempting to figure it out via their divorce papers, but the name's redacted), they set up a scheme to supposedly put a GPS tag on the dog, which Elsbeth of course leaves where Michael proposed, which puts her off the scent of Jason tailing her to find out her client is some Israeli donor of Peter's who got Marissa a job at one point. Whatever that means.

Oh, and at one point someone (either Eli or Michael, I forget which) says that everyone should always look smug.
posted by jenfullmoon (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Loved this episode. Real reminder of why this show is great and it sucks that a lot of internal friction is helping to end it a little bit early.

I loved the subtle bits of misogyny in the first scene in the secret hearing. Alicia gets totally spoken over when she is introduced. It's assumed she would be bleeding heart emotional about the case. It's assumed she needs a dude to help her open the sealed book when the issue was she just hadn't done it before and was figuring it out, she has no problem ripping open the next one. I like when shows can present stuff like that without very special episoding it, it's just there as part of the regular bullshit she has to deal with in her professional life.

I love that she proved them wrong about being a bleeding heart, and that they let the conservative guy who was supposed to be the opposite also show a positive commitment to American values and the law. They were in the room to be foils for each other, but ended up taking the same position. "Prove to me this is actually legal."

I love everything about Elsbeth. I loved her husband. And I wish more TV shows prominently featured cute chihuahuas. HE WAS SO CUTE.

I wish they didn't write Cary to be as big of a douchebag as they have this season. He should be written smarter than that. But then the writers have done a lot of disservice to that character over the years.

I love that they continue to portray the NSA as deranged peeping tom perverts.

Anyway, I understand why The Good Wife has to end but I hope the creative forces try and put together a good spin-off. There is so much good in the formula here to exploit as long as you have a team that is more able to work smoothly together. Would love Lucca to be a main character in a new show, the way they have illustrated how even progressive people like Cary and Diane can't seem to see who she is beyond a lawyer with brown skin is incredible and true to life about how even well meaning people can express racism unintentionally.

A show that explored how she confronted that problem would be a good successor to Alicia's story about being a woman returning to work and overcoming the barriers that presents. She could even come back for some mentor scenes to help keep the audience invested in a new show.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:34 AM on February 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Will Patton killed it as Elsbeth's ex. What a brilliant piece of casting.

it sucks that a lot of internal friction is helping to end it a little bit early

Maybe I'm not up on the latest rumors being bandied about, but AFAIK the Kings have maintained right from the beginning that the show was intended to end after seven seasons. ("We thought about the full story we wanted to tell and how long we wanted to tell it, having come from movies,” recalled Robert King. “We quickly thought that the show could only support seven years, so we started to build toward that. What you will see in last nine is the third act.”) I wouldn't consider CBS choosing not to bring in a new showrunner to keep it going without them to be the same as it ending early.
posted by mstokes650 at 6:52 AM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Would love Lucca to be a main character in a new show, the way they have illustrated how even progressive people like Cary and Diane can't seem to see who she is beyond a lawyer with brown skin is incredible and true to life about how even well meaning people can express racism unintentionally.

Lucca is nuanced enough to carry a show with ease. I'd love to see it.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:00 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think the symmetry of the episode titles is decent evidence it was always intended to be 7 seasons.
posted by Justinian at 3:22 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Diane and Cary's racist treatment of Lucca seems bizarre. The two of them have been working closely with people of colour for years -- and Cary has been romantically involved with several women of colour -- without saying anything of the kind, and now they start doing clueless things like assuming Lucca and Monica are going to love each other because they're black women?

The business with Eli attempting to find out what Elsbeth's conflict of interest is bizarre. Why does it matter? Just get another lawyer. Like, right away, because Peter's in trouble. I was so disappointed when Elsbeth said she couldn't handle the case though. I love her and was so excited to see her for what promised to be a narrative arc lasting the rest of the season.

Alicia finally gets some. Yay! Now will she finally finally finally put her dead marriage officially to rest and move on with her life?

Alicia's seventh season wig is awful. It looks so fake, almost deliberately so, as though in the finale she's going to rip it off to reveal her untamed black curls and announce that she is not only not the good wife anymore, she never was, and has been secretly living a double life as a flamenco dancer all along, and HELLO SPINOFF.
posted by orange swan at 7:48 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'll be fair: Monica and Lucca seem like they'd have similar smart, spunky, not-too-into-taking-shit personalities even beyond their race and gender--but yeah, it's so clueless and irritating and I doubt they're thinking of it like that.

I was disappointed about Elsbeth too, but I think her client was some kind of clue to them as to what the FBI was up to (for some reason).

That hair spinoff sounds awesome. But yeah, I think the end of the show is her end of wifedom, like How I Met Your Mother, well....
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:07 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Elsbeth's client is the reason they are investigating Peter; he's a donor. The undercover FBI schmuck asked Marissa who Eli's rich friends were. There's a problem with the dairy guy and it will link to Peter or to Peter through Eli. For a minute there, I thought Elsbeth's client was going to be Vanessa Williams and I wasn't looking forward to seeing her again; she was awful.

Is that going to be it for Elsbeth? Here's hoping her ex-husband (perfect casting) continues as Peter's lawyer on the chance we'll see her again. And maybe they could meet up with Kyle MacLachlan's FBI agent for a triumvirate of weirdness.

As always, love an NSA interlude.

Nice little bit where Alicia skipped over Peter's name when she was checking her messages.

Did Jason get his hair cut halfway through the episode? I only noticed it when he came into Alicia's office that night.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:42 PM on February 22, 2016

oh no, according to AV Club, this was Elsbeth's swan song.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:26 AM on February 23, 2016

This was more of the Elsbeth I loved early on when it seemed like much of her wacky persona was put on to keep opponents on their heels. Then there was that episode or two where she had visions of someone in the lamps or whatever and the portrayal took a bad turn for me [Oh, she's got real issues! She's not just "crazy like a fox"].
posted by chazlarson at 5:57 PM on February 26, 2016

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