I’ve written on this blog before about how I believe “Breaking Bad” was perhaps the best drama ever produced for television. I still think that, but the field is definitely getting crowded. For instance,”The Walking Dead” continues to provide scenes so intense you practically have to watch them through your fingers. Always has. But TV shows about meth cookers and zombies don’t appeal to everyone. That’s where a nice show about good old knife-in-the-back lawyers comes in. What’s not to like?
“The Good Wife” was good from the get-go. You have a likable protagonist in Alicia Florick (Juliana Margulies), cheated on by her politician husband (Chris Noth), who is out to make her way in the workplace. She’s supported on the show by a large and stellar cast of lawyers, guest lawyers, judges, governors, children, and clients–all who combine to provide for endless plot-lines of romance, drama, double-dealing, clock-beating, one-upmanship–in short, never boring.
But last night’s episode, “Hitting the Fan” (read no further if you haven’t seen it yet) was perhaps the best yet. It was as if the entire first four seasons were just a prelude to what’s happening now. With what we know of all the characters and their backgrounds, all the ways they’ve been there for (or double-crossed) each other, loved each other, provided shoulders for one another–or even sabotaged one another–gave us a very rich context as to what is happening now. We have become heavily invested in the outcome of these people, and Sunday’s explosive episode (“Hitting the Fan” was a perfect title) was masterful.
It began where it left off last week, with Diane (Christine Baranski) alerting Will (Josh Charles) that Alicia and Cary (Matt Czuchry) were leaving Lockhart/Gardner to set up their own firm, and taking all their top clients with them. Will springs into action and confronts Alicia immediately. That confrontation is extremely tense, with Will firing Alicia and accusing her of extreme disloyalty. You can see both of them hurting, and Alicia is in tears when she departs in the elevator.
Then all hell breaks loose with a scramble by Lockhart/Gardner to find and fire the “fourth-years,” while locking down files and keeping their clients at the same time. Nasty shenanigans involving threats, allegations of theft, and even cutting off office space–all happen in rapid succession. Newly-formed “Florick/Argos” is left to huddle in the lobby coffee shop to debate strategy. Then there’s double-dealing Kalinda to deal with. Whose side is she on, really? And there’s a powerful husband out to help his wife, and nasty courtroom exchanges, all of which provide a tantalizing glimpse of how the rest of this season will play out.
I wanted last night’s episode to go on for, I don’t know, another three days. It was that good. If you have not been watching this excellent series and have the opportunity to go back at the beginning and play catch up, by all means do so. You won’t be sorry.
© Wade Kingston