Season 4, Episode 7 | Original air date: November 11, 2012
Every so often, we’re treated to an episode of The Good Wife that is not only deliciously intriguing, its humorous undertones echo long after the final credits roll. Any episode starting with “I smiled at my lawyer because he’s cute” is destined to be a winner in my books. Throw in conveniently timed car horns to cover up ‘indecent’ language and the question of Brazil-shaped birth marks, and you've got a recipe for success. “Anatomy of a Joke” = straight A’s from this fan.
I’m not going to lie. This week, I found myself clapping and maybe squeeing* just a little bit. Or a lot. There are only a couple of witnesses, so I’ll leave my reactions up to your imagination, but let’s just say, I was seriously entertained. This week, I’m taking a look at all the things that made my love of The Good Wife grow.
Road Rage and Football Angst
As “Anatomy of a Joke” opened, we found ourselves watching a late night program – Jimmy Fallon style – with a doe-eyed comedian, Therese Dodd (Christina Ricci) chatting about breast health. Before we knew it, her blouse was off while the footage was paused and we were quickly transported into the courtroom where a battle between the esteemed Burl Preston brewed against the stealthy pair, Alicia and Will. The best part of this scene came in the details though. This is what makes The Good Wife so smart. One of Alicia’s arguments hinged on the fact the network the late show was being shown on, had readjusted time slots to accommodate football. If ever a real life situation were to echo in a show, this would be it. East coast viewers of The Good Wife know the one thorn in the show’s side, is its placement in proximity to Sunday night football. It was coy commentary on their situation and, I feel, served as a statement to the fans and maybe also CBS. Thank you, The Good Wife Writers – we know you’re frustrated, too.
But I digress.
The second best part of this scene came in the form of the road rage-filled Chicago drivers whose horns kept interrupting the courtroom drama in a most strategic fashion. Instead of having words bleeped out, horns sounded as a court clerk worked tirelessly to close the window. While entertaining and, let’s face it, pretty funny, these honks kept the show ‘network friendly.’ This seems like an on-going battle for The Good Wife as it continues to be compared to cable dramas, where swearing and graphic language doesn't seem to have any governing rules.
The more I think about it, the more I realize this opening sequence was almost its own commentary on the state of The Good Wife at home on CBS. I’m not the only one who saw those parallels, right?
Mr. Agos Goes to Washington
Don’t get me wrong: I like Will Gardner. Okay, maybe more than like, but I’m not completely blinded by his interoffice biases. When the opportunity to travel to Washington DC surfaced, Will was the first to say Alicia could handle the case (awww, Will!), while Diane was the first to advocate for Cary to help (go Diane!). Alicia and Cary are the epitome of a dynamic duo, so I was sitting there couch cheering for them to go together. While it seems Will is still holding a grudge against Cary for the whole grand jury debacle, Diane’s voice of reason might slowly be having an impact on Will’s decision-making. We’ll have to watch that going forward, but for “Anatomy of a Joke,” I’m sure glad Cary and Alicia were tag-teaming things. And no, not just because Therese was wearing the scent, 'accommodation' while planting a gigantic kiss on Cary, but I mean, sure, I’ll take it. And so, apparently, will he.
Drinks with Friends
My favourite scene of this episode, and perhaps favourite scene of the season so far (yes, I liked it THAT much), was Alicia and Cary sharing a drink in his hotel room. After watching Cary’s interaction with his cold-blooded father, Alicia ventured the room next door to talk to the one person who knows more of her secrets than anyone else on the show. Cary knows about her affair with Will, and yet when he found out, he was almost apologetic about having been privy to that kind of detail surrounding Alicia’s life. He holds no judgement and is really just doing his best to be a great lawyer.
And he is.
The conversation and interaction between these two was almost poetic. They are comfortable with each other in a way that a lot of people on The Good Wife aren't. Maybe it’s because of their history, but I think it has a lot to do with the level of respect they have for each other. They don’t need to poster anymore - they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they are better because of it. These two have one of my favourite friendships on television and it’s something of which I can’t get enough. This scene has quickly moved to the top of my re-play reel.
Let’s Make a Deal
Laura (Amanda Peet, aka, the Captain Alicia defended in “The Art of War”) needed a job and Peter needed Alicia to say he doesn't have a Brazil-shaped birthmark on his penis. Well, it seems like a fair trade to me. With life being a little like Let’s Make a Deal, these two struck an agreement: Alicia would talk to the press (while keeping her laughter under control) and Peter would hire Laura to take over the job Cary had last season. The good news is, Laura and Alicia seem like they could be great new friends and with Laura at the SA’s office, we’re bound to see a lot more of her, in the courtroom and, if we’re lucky, over a glass of wine after-hours.
Am I a little uncertain about Peter working so closely with a stunning brunette who has befriended Alicia? Yes. But there’s precedent. Even Geneva Pine is suspicious, but then again, I don’t think she’s Peter’s biggest fan. Also, based on what we saw of Geneva last year, she might have a torch out for Peter when it comes to racial bias. While I don’t believe any of Peter’s actions are racially motivated, he has made some decisions that could lead someone like Pine down the path of heightened inquiry. This could get interesting.
Scene in a Car
Kalinda and Jim out investigating together? I didn't see that coming. I’m not sure whether Jim was trying to be friendly or flirty, but either way, watching these two lurk with a camera in K’s SUV was worth the price of admission. Side note: Did anyone else notice Kalinda’s hair in a curled ponytail? While this is a small detail, it definitely signals some kind of transformation for her. We’ve never seen her in curls, let alone with her hair not pristinely pinned. I’m adding this observation to my radar list, right next to Alicia’s new wrist watch.
Okay, but back to the investigation for a second. Am I the only person who totally missed that Maddie would turn out to be a conniving politician and also a lesbian? Somehow I missed all of the warning signs for this entire story line. Sure, I could see her running against Peter. But planting the story about “Brazil?” Befriending Indira Star? Maddie Hayward, while a great new character, seems also to be a bit of a disaster. Alongside Mike Krestiva, Peter Florrick is in for one long campaign season.
Next Up: Here Comes the Judge:
In episode eight, Will and Alicia take to the courtroom against Laura, and this time with a client everyone believes is guilty. Also, the moment we've all been waiting for (or not): Grace gets a boyfriend. I have no idea how I’m going to react to this story when it finally surfaces on my screen, but I have to say I’m moderately intrigued. Let’s be honest though, I’m outrageously excited for episode nine: Thanksgiving at the Florricks. Alicia’s Mom (played by Stockard Channing) will be in town and enjoying the holidays with Owen (yay!), Jackie, Peter and the kids. I hope Eli’s invited and maybe Cary, too!
Related to this Post:
- Catching up: “The Art of War" and the Mambo
- Special Feature: WhyWe’re Glad Eli Gold is Back on the Campaign Trail
- This week in news: TheGood Wife’s latest briefs
- Food Inspired by The Good Wife: Chocolate Pancakes, because Cary needs a good breakfast to make up for his Dad
*Squee = "A noise primarily made by an over-excited fangirl, however it has spread rapidly and is now widely spread among the web community." (Urban Dictionary, 2012)