The Good Wife Season 5 Review “Goliath and David”

When we last left our heroes in Chicago, The Good Wife was churning out maybe the best season of network drama since the first season of Lost. The show ripped through episodes and plot like it was no tomorrow, and the results were staggering to those of us who had become accustomed to seeing television’s best work reside outside of the five networks. (That’s right, CW, I counted you too!) The show had its usual level of measured precision, but coupled it with a sudden willingness to let things get a little messy. They will be hard pressed to match the level of quality in the back half of the season, but whatever comes from January to May should in no way diminish the high quality of work done from September to December. Those 10 episodes should be set aside as an example of what network television has the capability to do in 2013.

Having said all that, “Goliath and David” was an amiable enough start to the show’s second half. It manages to accomplish several aims while continuing to troll the masses by openly satirizing other pop culture areas in the stunted manner that has become an unintentionally amusing staple of the show. By picking up right after Eli’s spit take, the episode finally puts a squash on all of the nonsense surrounding Marilyn Garbanza. At her very best she was a nuisance to the show. Now with the baby daddy situation resolved, she can get back to charging into meetings with worries about the ethics surrounding Peter’s purchase of a pack of gum at a local mini-mart. Most likely, the show moves on from her as she continues to approach motherhood. If nothing else, we should be getting less of her. This should free up time for the show to worry about people who actually, you know, matter.

While Marilyn has been squashed, the other issues surrounding the Governor’s office seem interesting. I’ve mentioned earlier in the season I liked the addition of politics into the squabble between the two firms. This new storyline further teases that possibility. I like the idea of the problem being Peter possibly fixing an election. What makes the particular storyline so intriguing is the fact that you can’t put it past a guy like Peter Florrick. Normally in these situations, a seasoned television viewer would know there was some sort of explanation, and we’d just bide our time until the peril and the resolution of the situation. Here, I believe Peter could have done it, so the storyline seems worth exploring. There are ways to do it where it becomes more fascinating, and ways in which it becomes dramatically less so. Though my guard is always up, it’s hard to go against the hot hand of the Kings these days.

One aspect of the show’s first half of the season that has run its course is the eternal battle between Will Gardner and Alicia Florrick. Towards the end of the fall season, I was encouraged by their begrudging kindness. It seemed like a sign of less sophomoric behavior. Clearly, that was just the eggnog talking because the fangs were back out tonight. This struggle doesn’t make either one of them look good. While that’s probably the point the Kings are trying to make, it’s never a good thing to make two of the main characters this unlikable for an entire season. Will is smarmy and obnoxious. Alicia seems to continue to sink farther away each week from the “St. Alicia” moniker bestowed on her by the always forgiving Chicago press. However, morality is not the question here; likability is the question. I don’t enjoy either character very much right now. For awhile that’s fine, but even these two fine television characters only hold so much currency.

Random thoughts:

*How many times did you have to listen before you heard the bowling balls? I had to wait for Robin to point it out to me.

*Kalinda’s “relationships” are officially THE WORST. It’s a real shame what has become of that character.

*It was fun to watch F. Murray Abraham do something where he was allowed to look like he was having fun. I really enjoyed his limited exposure on Homeland, but his limited work here seemed so much more vibrant and engaged.

*After tapping into something really deep during the first season of The Bridge, it was disappointing to watch Matthew Lillard turn into the grown up version of every movie role that made him a lot of money when he was younger.