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The Good Wife: “The Wheels Of Justice”

Illustration for article titled The Good Wife: “The Wheels Of Justice”
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The return of Colin Sweeney to The Good Wife always threatens to be the episode where his shtick gets really old. I love Dylan Baker, and the job he does as the rich wife-murdering creep is always top-notch, but at a certain point, what’s going to shock? We’ve already firmly established that Alicia doesn’t like working with him, but has to, and that he likes a whole ton of weird sex stuff, but probably hasn’t killed anyone else recently. The addition of Morena Baccarin as his new squeeze Isobel (she’s going to marry him soon, we learn) in season three’s “Long Way Home” was a little fun, but hardly vital.

So I didn’t go into “The Wheels Of Justice” expecting as good an episode as I got. The Sweeney stuff was fine, and although the gimmick of his trial was completely ridiculous (“We’ve got to hold the fastest trial ever!” Alicia declares as the opening credits music swells), it meant that we only had to rush through the broad strokes of his debauched sex party and his and Isobel’s crazy courtroom antics that took a liberal approach to the concept of perjury. Sure, Laura was very flustered the whole time, but Alicia’s closing summation was truly memorable stuff. “The evidence proves that Colin Sweeney did not shoot the gun, your honor. He’s innocent.” That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

This was just a generally fun whirlwind episode that really confirmed Colin’s diagnosis of the great thing about Lockhart/Gardner: Sex is just in the air over there. Alicia, now firmly with Peter, is conflicted over Will all of a sudden, partly because he’s embarking on some dates with Laura. We get a funny little fantasy sequence where Alicia imagines herself in bed with Will and then transforms into Laura; it hit the point home a little too strongly, but whatever.

I’ve never really been sold on the Laura angle here—Amanda Peet doesn’t have a ton of chemistry with Josh Charle,s and the whole thing felt like an excuse to justify Alicia’s conflicted feelings, which we don’t need since we’d buy it based on nothing. Just the mere fact that she’s settling back into her relationship with Peter would be enough to give her serious doubts. Why turn it into a jealousy thing surrounding Laura? Either way, it looks like that’s all over since Laura shuts things down, inventing a very lame excuse about someone she used to date in the military returning to her life. Will accepts it rapidly, since they both know he’s hung up on someone else.

Another long-running, on-off couple may have really gotten going this week though, and I’m not talking about Cary and Kalinda (more on that in a second). No, the darling Kurt McVeigh returns to Diane’s life once again, since they need the best ballistics guy in the world on the Sweeney case. Sure, there’s some jabs thrown around about Mitt Romney and Obamacare, but quickly enough, they get down to brass tacks, since they’re in a later phase of their lives and why beat around the bush. Diane proposes marriage, to her own surprise; Kurt is as cool about it as he is about everything, but seems to supernaturally know that it would mess with her Supreme Court job and says they should wait.

Diane, though, has been putting this kind of thing off her whole life for career stuff. Since Kalinda’s already spent the whole episode shattering her world about what is good and right (turns out her housekeeper writes Vampire Diaries fanfiction and her dad named names on his best friend in the McCarthy days), Diane decides to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. “And then what?” Kurt asks, fairly reasonably since he’s a wacko who wants to secede from the nation. We don’t know. But we do know that Diane wants what she wants and she never gets to have it. As usual, Christine Baranski does a great job in a showcase episode; if Gary Cole were made a series regular tomorrow, I’d have no objection.


What’s that about Cary and Kalinda, you ask? I know they did nothing this week, but I was very intrigued/perturbed by the flirtation between him and the new investigator, Robin. Not that I don’t like her; she’s a lot of fun, and her skills in flirting info out of a douchey lawyer were impressive. But really, Cary? You gonna get a crush on the new investigator just when you’re getting somewhere with the old one? Leave Robin alone, enjoy what you have. You’ve already got your own office again, and maybe a partnership once Diane leaves the firm (as she intimates to him).

Ah, fun stuff. I love it when The Good Wife is just a lot of fun, sexy legal hijinks. If the show wants to do another Colin Sweeney episode, it had better be this light and frothy.


Stray observations:

  • Very much enjoyed the return of Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola) as Judge Politi. Abrasive and charming as ever.
  • “Elena and Damon have sex at the end in a pick-up truck.” Kalinda, stop spoiling!
  • Diane watches an inflammatory video starring her boyfriend. “Would it be too ironic to ask you to shoot me?”
  • So Colin’s going to marry Isobel without a pre-nup. “I love her too much.” “She’s gonna cheat you.” “I know, it’s okay; I’ll just kill her.”