21 November, 2011

"Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"

Episode Title: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"
Season 3, Episode 9 |Original Air Date: Sunday, November 20, 2011

Like a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” had all of the elements that make a holiday feast something that can (and should) only happen a few times a year.  It was witty, wry and wily with a scoop of savoury drama on the side – everything a good family gathering should be.  Add in two scathing admonishments, an equal amount of high-end whiskey and stir to combine. This episode was a recipe for things to come…

In my Opinion – Episode Commentary
As the episode opens we find ourselves watching surveillance camera footage as someone maps the distance from a truck to landmarks and civilians.  Before long… kaboom.  With the push of a button, the truck explodes in a cloud of flames.  Enter one of my season two favourites, Captain (formerly Lieutenant, so things must be going well) Terrence Hicks, who is representing the person responsible for the explosion which killed 12 people. The charge? Murder and one dozen counts of it.  Captain Hicks has a soft spot for Will and Alicia over at Lockhart Gardner (and the feeling continues to be mutual) so he pitches the idea of them working together for a second time.  After getting word the State’s Attorney’s investigation is coming to a close, Will takes Kalinda’s advice: “Now go exhale. Do something nice for someone.”  Translating this into something tangible, he decides that Lockhart Gardner can work with Captain Hicks and tackle the murder case.  The only downside?  That means going back into military court.

Moving swiftly, we’re quickly whisked away to the military court room where there is nothing to do but have flashbacks to season two’s “Double Jeopardy.”  At the outset, Will is immediately cast in the role of pariah by Judge Leora Kuhn, who picks up right where she left off: making Will enemy number one.  As an audience, we were all thinking the same things Will was saying, “are there any other judges in the military?” The answer, “Yes there are, and yet here I am again. Happy days.”

The Investigation
While things for Will are shaky at best in military court, things aren’t getting any easier on the home front.  Kalinda was premature in telling him the coast was clearing on the investigation… the new special prosecutor assigned by Peter is none other than Wendy Scott-Carr.  Based on last season, we know that Wendy has a propensity to fight to the death while covering her claws in a sugary sweet coating.  Also, she’s dressed to kill… and it seems her plan is just that – bring down Will Gardner on charges of judicial bribery.   After a visit with Diane, who was, thankfully, not willing to buy into Wendy’s veiled threats, Diane confronts Will, in what can only be called the cautionary reprimand of the century.    

“Peter Florrick is coming after you because you’re sleeping with his wife. Don’t lie to me. It’s wrong. You are her boss. He is the State’s Attorney.  Even if it weren’t wrong, it’s not smart. Stop sleeping with his wife. Do you understand me?”

Given Will and Diane’s close relationship, I can’t help but think this conversation will have an impact on him.  Will has worked hard to get where he’s at and I don’t think he’s about to throw it all away.  Perhaps it will mean a cooling-down of things, or maybe it will just mean Team Gardner will have to get a little stealthier in their relationship?  Will can clearly keep things hidden – his gambling past is proof-positive – the question will be how far Alicia wants to push the limits.

Stuck in the Middle
Meanwhile, Eli is in knee-deep with the cheese people.  I’ve been waiting for this storyline to resurface for a few weeks and I’m thrilled to report it was back with a vengeance. You see, the food pyramid has been changed into a food plate, which is much more ambiguous when it comes to what you are supposed to eat and in what quantities.  I’ve been saying this for years.  Okay, I haven’t. I didn’t even know there was a food plate now… but I agree that it’s less helpful.  Obviously, there’s nothing else to do but lobby: Food pyramid vs food plate.  Who is stuck in the middle? Corn, of course. While Eli tries to form some natural synergies with the Fruit Association (cheese and fruit plates have been wooing party-goers for decades), plans backfire and he’s left to create his own new food diagram (the food person) and try to find an ally with the bread and grain people.  As it turns out, none of the food groups can play nice together and Eli, sadly, loses the Dairy Association as clients.  Well, there’s no crying over spilled milk.  There’s nothing left to do but wallow… or at least that was Eli’s plan until Diane had something to say about it.  The new plan? Win them back.  Operation ‘stick it to the cheese people’ begins tomorrow.

Locked Up
There’s nothing worse than opening your computer to find an unexpected surprise.  It can come in the form of the blue screen of death, or in finding out your webcam was on when your mother-in-law was snooping through your things when you weren’t home.  Last week, Jackie channeled her inner Kalinda to spy through Alicia’s things, not knowing that Alicia’s computer was recording her rummaging.  This week, Alicia turns on her computer only to be greeted by the footage.  If we’ve learned anything from Alicia over the least 15 episodes, it’s that she’s all about action.  Pull up a chair, it’s game time. Step 1) Change the locks! Step 2) Talk to the kids – while the phrase “Jackie is crazy” didn’t emanate from Alicia’s lips, the sentiment was there. Also, finally Grace was on the same page as everyone else in noting Jackie’s insanity.  Step 3) Confront Jackie. “I don’t want you in here Jackie. I don’t want you going through my things. I don’t want you in my computer. … Look at my face, Jackie - You no longer have the power to wound.” Point Alicia Florrick.  This scene was priceless! Step 4) Buy Zach a car.

And the Emmy goes to… 
Christine Baranski.  Once again, this was a fantastic episode for Baranski’s Diane Lockhart.  She’s hard-hitting, poignant and can deliver a line like no one else.  Pure brilliance. Give this woman an Emmy!

Quotes of the Week 
Will: “I told Mrs. Florrick, ‘You take it, she hates me’”
Judge Kuhn: “You wound me, sir.”

Eli: “I need something to drink.”
Diane: “Well, don’t get morose.”
Eli: “Why not? It deserves a little wallowing, don’t you think? Four or five million a year between us. NORA – why don’t I have scotch?!”
Diane: Win them back
Eli: Oh yes, you’re right, what was I thinking?
Diane: Do men really have that much success in their life that the first setback that comes along they get all weepy?
Eli: We’re not weepy. I’m… tired.

Diane to Eli: “You are brilliant, but you’re not God’s gift”

So, what’s next? 
With Wendy Scott-Carr hot on Will’s trail, I think we can expect to see a lot more investigators hanging around which could make Will’s life less than comfortable.  Remember Andrew Wiley?  He’s definitely coming back and as we know, he always gets to the bottom of things.  Will is going to have to run his personal and professional life on the up-and-up for the next while which could signal an unwanted pause on the budding romance of Team Gardner (things are far from over there though… thank goodness!).  Of course, there’s no accounting for working late hours at the office.  This is something Cary, Dana and Kalinda know all about… though their overtime seems to involve shots of tequila and trading insider tips on one another.  I think we can expect Cary to continue to fight his conscience on the legitimacy of the Gardner investigation while Dana tries to climb the ladder over at the State’s Attorney’s office.  Dana and Wendy could be a powerful force.

Next up?  Sadly, we’re on a one-week hiatus.  I’ve been dreading this announcement since week six when I started to expect a break.  A nine-episode run has been a welcome marathon though and it gives us just enough time to prepare for the return of Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning in episode 10 “Parenting Made Easy.”  The preview indicates Grace has been kidnapped.  I have one word for this news: Finally. On the downside, things like this tend to bring people together.  Look out Team Florrick, episode 10 could be for you... but hopefully it won't last.

Related to this Post:
*Episode 10 preview - "Parenting Made Easy"
*Josh Charles talks about the Will Gardner Investigation
*Don't forget to keep up with "The Latest Briefs" - your one-stop-shop for news about The Good Wife

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