THE GOOD WIFE: 3.12 “Alienation of Affection”
As this week’s episode was clearly a love letter from the Good Wife writers to the too-long back-burned character of Diane, I thought I’d compose a little haiku in honor of the occasion:
Oh lovely Diane/
Wielding intellect like a blade/
Who makes those cute flats?
In what was perhaps the strongest first scene of the season, we follow Diane on a morning off, as she checks out a modern art exhibit to a gorgeous classical score. This is exactly how I imagined Diane would spend her free time, and the focus on her character—complicated by the introduction of Jack Copeland, a smooth-talking Australian process server—got me quite excited for the rest of the episode.
Yes, Diane Lockhart was clearly the heroine of the hour in “Alienation of Affection,” which saw LG&B under fire from bigwig attorney Burl Preston, representing two of their former divorce clients who had since reconciled. Now, the firm is liable for $44M (or $1.2M per equity partner) in the event that they’re found guilty of either “alienation of affection” or business fraud. The shit has truly hit the fan, and Eli, David Lee, and Julius are all at one another’s throats, leaving Diane to mediate (which she does with, how shall I put it, BAMFness).
Meanwhile, Alicia professionally sets up Will with attorney Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) to help him in his grand jury defense against Wendy Scott-Carr. Oh, Elsbeth, you were also a highlight of this episode, with your physical comedy and sweetly packaged form of confrontation against the supremely annoying Wendy Scott-Carr. Elsbeth has cleverly leaked the names of three very honest judges that Wendy Scott-Carr may be investigating to the press, throwing some serious heat on Wendy and her investigation. Looks like things will come to a boil soon on that front.
For the week, however, the fate of the firm hinges on whether or not Alicia and Kalinda can track down a signed Conflict of Interest rider from one of Alicia’s earliest divorce cases. And despite some shady wheeling and dealing from David Lee, Cary surprisingly testifies in Alicia’s defense, saving the firm’s butt and once again reminding us (and Alicia) that he can really be the good guy when it comes down to it. This move really restrengthened Cary’s character for me, as did the disappearance (for this episode at least) of his childish girlfriend/sidekick Dana. I was glad that storyline took a backseat to Diane’s flirtation with Jack, who won major points by tipping her off that the husband who was suing the firm was once again cheating on his wife, leading to the disintegration of the lawsuit.
Noteworthy (but superficial) moments: The writers were clearly taking the piss by putting “Captain” David Lee in full Gilbert & Sullivan musical garb. And I fully appreciated it.
Also, the classical music from the opening scene was recycled to underscore the montage of successful strategic moves by the players at Lockhart, Gardner, and Bond. Well done, show! The episode was not only characteristically well written and visually gorgeous, but the soundtrack upped the emotion of it as well.
Given twitter responses to this episode, I’d say that it was certainly a season favorite and a great reminder of why The Good Wife absolutely exemplifies high quality television.
Next on The Good Wife: Next week, Jason Biggs guests (sans pie) in “Bitcoin for Dummies,” wherein the Kings take on the internet black market.
Were you feeling the love for this week’s episode? Share your thoughts in the comments!