The Good Wife Season 5 Review “The Next Month”

The Good Wife has been slinging high heat for close to a solid month. At some point, the show had to slow down to catch its breath. Will and Alicia can’t run around in an attempt to outflank each other until May. Therefore, the show decided this week was a good time to slow things down a bit. The hour still advanced the ongoing battles at Lockhart/Gardner LG and Florrick/Agos, but the show spun off in a thousand different directions in a whirlwind hour that felt overstuffed. With the exception of the case of the week, the show paid lip service to several items without taking the time to really develop any of them.

The case of the week involving a Mexican immigrant seemed heavy-handed at times, but the execution of the story was well done. Robyn’s performance was pretty weird (nobody can do Kalinda like Kalinda), but it was good to finally see her be really effective. She had receded into the background as the startup firm got going, so the show needed to remind us why she is around. I always appreciate it when television shows allow people to be good at their jobs, so Robyn’s strange effectiveness was most welcome. The rest of the scenes involving the case featured lots of crazy running around typical of many episodes of The Good Wife. I did find it interesting that Alicia is painted as the impassioned crusader while Will seems like the cold vulture. It seems as though the show wants to keep our allegiances in the middle. No one looks great. No one looks awful. Whether or not you buy it depends on your point of view leading into the split, but the show has done a nice job of servicing both characters while calling it right down the middle.

One interesting choice the show made was to not mention two open-ended stories from last week. There was no mention of either Will’s case with Jeffrey or Alicia’s 6 million liability. The show has no need to service these plots every week, but to not mention them at all is a relatively risky gambit. Part of what made Jeffrey’s case so compelling was the emotional stakes involved in the story. If you don’t have the emotion to rely on, the story becomes just another in a long line of LG cases. Given that they chose to let it span multiple episodes, the show clearly believes in the case as a dramatic story. Therefore, letting an episode pass without a single mention seems like an odd storytelling choice. It’s far easier to understand letting a week pass without mentioning the suit against Alicia, but the show may have some work to do to bring the audience back into that storyline.

Much of the rest of the episode seemed to come out of left field. Will’s decision to “rebrand” makes since dramatically, but the firm seems pretty cavalier with money considering they were bankrupt not that long ago. Just in case we didn’t understand Will is loose and cavalier, we have Isabel. I really don’t mind Isabel as much as some (and some really, really mind), but she’s unnecessary to the story the show is trying to tell. As far as I can tell, she’s there so David Lee can sneer some more and to be in her underwear (probably more so the latter).

As for Eli, I’ve got nothing. I guess it’s good to establish he’s not an asexual political droid, but I don’t buy this one at all. It felt rushed and seems really strange. No offense to Mr. Gold, but I’m not entirely sure what a young, beautiful, bright woman would want with Eli Gold. It’s especially hard to compute when you don’t give me much of a reason to buy it either. Then again, it only makes slightly less sense than Will’s ongoing relationship with a hippy supermodel. Go with God, Eli.