The Good Wife Season 5 Review “Whack-a-Mole”

It’s been nearly a full month since the split, and The Good Wife finally gave the people what they want: Will Gardner and Alicia Florrick throwing hands… in the courtroom. They’ve been after each other over clients, but tonight’s case marks the first time they’ve battled one another while representing clients. The episode had its moments, but I left the first Florrick-Gardner client battle a little underwhelmed.

The Good Wife can struggle with pretentiousness especially when their lawyers enjoy themselves a bit too much. Unfortunately, it now seems like every Gardner-Florrick showdown will feature mostly them strutting around the other when they gain the upper hand. While Julianna Margulies can strut in a way that still seems demure, all of the chest-puffing is not a good look for Josh Charles. Whether intended or not, his behavior is getting increasingly grating. His motivations notwithstanding, Will Gardner is a man who has been understated for much of the show’s run. Now, he’s someone completely unrecognizable to me. With Alicia not exactly endearing herself to the viewing public either, the show is starting to lack a rooting interest. I’m sure there are plenty of pro-Alicia people as well as pro-Will people. I’ve mentioned in previous weeks the show’s obvious desire to play it down the middle when it comes to Alicia and Will, but it is running the risk of making them equally insufferable.

The case of the week Will and Alicia were given to fight over didn’t do them any favors either. The Good Wife never does well when tackling the Internet. It’s continued insistence in doing so means we’re going to get the occasional clunkers like this one. Why they persist is anyone’s guess. It’s nice of them to attempt to stay current with events and societal happenings, but television shows in general struggle with the recent past. Reality on its own is rarely entertaining, so shows have to jazz up their “ripped from the headlines” storylines to make them suitable to a television audience. As a result, the show seems either out of touch or like it’s lecturing. The Good Wife managed to pull off both.

Though I didn’t like the case of the week and the people surrounding it, there were still several enjoyable parts of this episode of The Good Wife. One of the great things about the show is its ability to successfully juggle several plots within a single episode. For example, watching the introduction of Jason O’Mara’s character into this world was pretty enjoyable. I caught myself smiling as he and Kalinda circled each other like two wild animals trying to decide if the fight was really worth it. I’m not sure how much mileage the show can get from the mysterious Danny Boyle, but I enjoyed his introduction this week.

In addition, I actually enjoyed Jackie Florrick this week. Granted, she somehow seems to be ruling the Governor’s office more than the actual Governor, but watching her bare the claws on someone other than Alicia or Eli was enjoyable. There was no gimmick, games, or false pretenses. Jackie wanted to take that woman out, so she did. Plus, anytime a horrible person on television admits how horrible they are, I tend to appreciate it. However, it does make me worry I could see Will and Alicia join the same club soon.