The Good Wife Season 4 Review “The Art of War”

The Good Wife Season 4 Episode 6 The Art of War (7)

This episode of The Good Wife dealt with war on a couple of different levels. There was the obvious political war still raging on. But there was also the more subtle war of women in the military fighting institutionalized sexism.

A few thoughts on “The Art of War”:

The case of the week involved a female Army JAG officer, Captain Hellinger, who was assaulted by one of the government contractors in Afghanistan. A JAG judge, Colonel Kuhn, approached Alicia to represent Captain Hellinger in a civil suit because the Army had dismissed the criminal charges. The defense attorney initially argued that the rapist was military personnel and, as such, was immune from prosecution. Alicia did a very good job of rebutting that argument by showing that since contractors are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice like actual military personnel, they don’t fall into the same category. When that argument failed, the defense argued that by the time the attack occurred, the rapist was no longer a civilian contractor; he was an active duty reserve officer because he’d received new orders 15 minutes after the captain alleged the attempted rape occurred. Alicia tried to argue that the attack began when the rapist started harassing Captain Hellinger in the bar, but the defense was able to successfully rebut that argument with a text message the Captain sent to a friend. Ultimately, the judge reluctantly ruled in favor of the defense based on case precedent.

Although this week’s case was focused on a single officer that had been assaulted, that’s not really what the case was about. It was about the lack of equality overall for military women. Colonel Kuhn approached Alicia to represent Captain Hellinger because she was all too aware of the sexism inherent in the military. She was doing her best within the system to change it, but the problem with the military system is that it’s slow to change. Do not misunderstand me. I have nothing but the utmost respect every single person who has served in the armed forces. That being said, there is still a great disparity between the treatment of men and women in the military and that’s what this episode addressed. I thought it was very effective to have an older, more seasoned officer working with a younger, more inexperienced officer to effect change. They were both in the fight, but they were coming at it from different perspectives. Colonel Kuhn seemed to have pretty much resigned herself to the fact that she was not going to be able to see true equality during her time of service. She was not unsympathetic, but she was less emotional about the whole situation. However, it was evident that she wanted to make it better for the women coming up behind her. Captain Hellinger was still heavily emotionally involved in the fight. It’s always tough to be the pioneer and that’s what Captain Hellinger was. She was being blocked at every turn by a military structure that wasn’t really looking out for her best interests and by bad case law that tied the court’s hands. I liked the interactions between the colonel and the captain because there was a lot being said between them without many words being spoken. Sometimes, there’s just nothing that needs to be said. But the war on military women wasn’t the only one being fought.

I hate being right. Ok. No I don’t. I love being right and I was so right about Maddie. Maddie’s support of Peter and her subsequent “befriending” of Alicia always seemed highly suspicious to me. Now her endgame is finally revealed. She used Alicia to find out dirt on Peter because she planned to run herself. That is not only low, it’s downright evil in my book. And like I suspected last week, Maddie is the one who made sure that the false story about Peter sleeping with the intern got out. She wanted to make sure that was fresh on the minds of voters before she announced her candidacy. I find it disgusting that after she screwed Alicia over, she tried to act as if Alicia was too stupid to realize what just happened. If you’re going to screw someone over, at least man up and own it. Peter totally called it at the end when he said that she’s not just a liar. She’s a hypocrite. And on top of all of that, she was so smug when she went to offer Peter a Lieutenant Governor position. I’m not a big fan of Peter, but I truly hope he demolishes Maddie.

This was a very enjoyable outing for The Good Wife. I liked the pacing this week much more than the last couple weeks. The story kept me engaged and moved along at a decent clip. I’m interested to see how Eli and Peter are going to match Maddie. I’m also interested to see whether Alicia and Carey will tell Kalinda’s creepy husband the information they found out. And I really hoped I was going to get my musical number when Nathan Lane and Alan Cumming were in the office together, but alas, no. So what did you think of this week’s The Good Wife?