Episode Title: "Death Row Tip"
Season 3, Episode 8 |Original Air Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011
After last week’s, “Executive Order 13224” (a law I now find myself reciting as though it’s a commonplace term such as ‘grande, non-fat peppermint latte’) we find ourselves out on a ledge with “Death Row Tip.” It wasn’t a groundbreaking episode, but a few slippery slopes opened up in a big way…
In my opinion – episode commentary
To open, we find ourselves face-to-face with Ricky Packer, a death row inmate who is being charged with a double homicide. Packer also happens to be full of tips and information on other Chicago crimes, but he’s slated to die in 36 hours. Enter Cary and Dana who arrive on a crime scene from the State’s Attorney’s office to find two rotting corpses being dug up in a park. It wouldn’t be a day on the job without the involvement of Lockhart Gardner in an SA matter though – between Alicia, Kalinda, Diane and Justin (the head of legal aid), this episode was fraught with intermingled relationships and plenty of soul searching when it comes to the death penalty.
While Packer has a lot of insider information that can be useful, at the end of the day we find out he raped and murdered two 14 year old girls – a case that truly gets under Alicia’s skin. It has been awhile since we saw Alicia in an emotional place with a case (even the exceptionally creepy Colin Sweeny hasn’t truly rattled her). As it turns out, Packer’s entire support network is holier than thou and he is, in fact, the crazed murderer. This is a character we won’t be seeing again.
I think what’s most interesting is that we see a different side of Alicia – a side that supports the death penalty in extreme criminal circumstances. I felt a bit like I was watching an episode of Dexter – what’s the right thing to do? Alicia is always struggling with this question, but no matter what, she works hard for her clients.
Getting a bit complicated
Will: “Diane’s been eyeing us like we’re a lawsuit waiting to happen”
Alicia: “It’s getting a bit complicated, isn’t it?”
Will: “It is.”
Alicia: “Do we need to pause?”
Will: “Do you want to pause?”
Alicia: “I’m afraid even if we say we will, we won’t.”
Will: “That sounds right.”
Team Gardner is in a bit of a tight spot right now. Rumours are beginning to surface out in the community that the firm is being investigated (how is this becoming public knowledge?) and Diane is stealthy at keeping her eye on Will and Alicia whenever they’re together. Their fishbowl office layout definitely has some drawbacks.
Meanwhile, I was thrilled to see Kalinda approach Will about the investigation (thanks, Dana, for spilling the beans!). Will knows things are always better with Kalinda at his side. While he hasn’t confessed many of his secrets to K, he doesn’t have to, at least not yet. Maybe because they’re drinking buddies, maybe because on some level they understand each other, but whatever it is, Will and Kalinda need each other’s friendship… and now Will is going to need Kalinda’s power-sleuthing to get him out of the hot seat. I still can’t tell how this is going to play out, but I’m convinced wherever the cards fall, Alicia and Kalinda will end back in something that resembles friendship. Kalinda is actively looking to take one for the team – she wants to help Will.
Lock your doors
When Alicia told Grace to lock the front door (a little Packer paranoia coming through), I don’t think she intended it to mean ‘lock Jackie out,’ however, that would have been a fringe benefit. Sure, Chicago’s murderers are bad, but would they go through your laundry basket and try to get onto your computer? Probably not. If ever there was a case for having your locks changed, it would come in the form of Jackie Florrick.
Through the entire ‘investigator Jackie’ bit, I couldn’t help but think, “please tell me Alicia is spending more time at Will’s place than she is at her own.” A bit of dirty laundry? I think that can be explained.
A shoot out
This episode rolled along nicely and came to an explosive ending when Cary and Kalinda were caught in the exchange of gunfire. It could be a metaphor for their relationship – Cary had a crazed amount of angst this episode, what with Dana and Kalinda befriending each other – but there’s just something about Kalinda that gets to him. “I don’t like you being in my head” notes Cary… and then his kisses Kalinda before running away. I honestly don’t think these two are going anywhere. Cary and Dana are definitely a better match and she seems to have much fewer issues than Kalinda. Then again, who doesn’t?
Quotes of the week:
Will: “I used to be good at reading the political tea leaves, now I can barely tell why people say hello to me in the morning.”
Will: "I feel like hugging you."
Kalinda: "No, just, just ask for my help."
Kalinda: "No, just, just ask for my help."
Cary: “I know a lot of people who weren’t anything before they met Kalinda."
So, what’s next?
With fall sweeps coming to an end next week, it can only mean one thing: drama! Word on the street is that super investigator Andrew Wiley (played by Tim Guinee) is going to be back on the scene within the next few episodes. This is a character I both love and hate. He’s just like Kalinda in that he always gets to the bottom of things… only he collects information legally. Okay, that’s not as fun to watch, but he is good. I’m a little concerned he’s going to come back to work for Cary again… and that means going up against Will. If this is true, all bets are off. Unlike Jackie Florrick, Wiley knows how to use a computer. Team Gardner, we have a problem.
Next week: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” Yes, writers of The Good Wife, your ‘WTF’ cleverness is not only putting you at the top of my Christmas card list once again, it’s putting you at the top of my tree. The preview alone made my heart rate spike. I literally couldn’t help but shriek. It looks amazing (and Diane looks on the top of her game! Can you say, ‘power suit?!’). I just hope my Team Gardner coffee mug won’t be deemed null and void before the end of the episode… I’m not quite done with all of the dirty laundry.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: “Tensions run high at the firm as Will and Alicia argue in front of a mercurial military judge and Diane issues an ultimatum.”
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