The Good Wife Season 5 Review “We, the Juries”

And the squawking from The Good Wife hen house rages on.

I’ve stated many times my distaste for the ongoing battle between Alicia and Will. It diminishes both characters, often makes them seem like petty children, and has too often distracted from elements of a typical episode of The Good Wife that work so well. While it is probably unnecessary to have a central rooting interest in a morally duplicitous show like The Good Wife, the characters still have to be likable. Though Will and Alicia have been trying to trip each other up for awhile now, many of the people around the fray have managed to stay above it. Unfortunately, the ex-lovers petulant squabbling continues to add more and more victims. Not even the Governor of Illinois is immune from one man’s outsized anger and one woman’s stunted frustration. The characters still have their moments (Julianna Margulies in the Governor’s office was particularly fantastic), but those are coming fewer and far between these days.

Since they apparently have to alternate from week to week, tonight was Will’s turn to play the true heel in the confrontation. He refused to work with Cary and Alicia, outright lied to a judge (I don’t think that’s allowed), and basically threatened to lie to an ethics investigator in an attempt to bring down the Governor of Illinois because he made his friend sad (I don’t think that’s allowed either). Without a doubt, it’s perfectly legitimate story plotting to have everyone angry at each other. Make no mistake: Alicia and the other associates leaving was a massive betrayal obviously made more complicated and personal by the relationship between Will and Alicia. Still, these are all very serious people doing very serious business. Yet somehow, the show continues to want to make this into a high school melodrama.

Now that Peter has been further dragged into this clusterfudge (though one could argue he put himself in it), it does offer the possibility of more engaging material for Alan Cumming. Eli has been adrift for much of the season. He’s spent more time arguing with the Governor’s mother then helping govern the state. Considering this show isn’t a political show, Eli is always going to be waffling on the edge of the show if he has no legal reason to be around. The show has now given him a reason to drift back into the orbit of Lockhart/Gardner and Florrick/Agos. More Alan Cumming is always a good thing for the show.

While 4 members of the cast squabbled in front of the rarely seen double jury (Sadly, neither client was put on double secret probation), it was some of the bit players who got opportunities to shine. It was to see Kalinda to something other than play super detective and seduce everything in sight. Cary’s defeat of her should be a nice feather in his cap. Matt Czuchry’s face at the door of his apartment pretty well captured his feeling of satisfaction and amusement.

In addition to Cary, I was surprised to enjoy the work of Melissa George this week. Last week I called her a nuisance. However, it seems the show has been selling short Ms. Garbanza. Getting to act as more than a crazy pregnant lady, George was able to make her character seem useful for the first time in quite some time. Still, this new iteration of Marilyn seems to fit with the character’s ongoing transformations. This storyline may have been the plan for her all along, but the continued ebbs and flows of her character make the show seem like it doesn’t know what to do with her character. None of that changes the fact that Melissa George did some good work tonight. It’s too bad she was one of the few.