Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 4, Episode 6 of CBS' "The Good Wife," titled "The Art of War."
Ladies and gentleman, the gasps have returned. This episode of "The Good Wife" -- "The Art Of War" -- is a game changer. In fact, it's the game changer many stories needed.
Where to begin? Amanda Peet's fine performance? Maura Tierney's character's bombshell? The drinks between Alicia and Kalinda? So much to discuss.
Judge Kuhn (Linda Emond), one of my favorite recurring characters, returned to ask Alica for her help in Captain Laura Hellinger's (Amanda Peet) case. I really enjoy the way Judge Kuhn interacts with the characters, how her mere presence makes them act -- even Nick (Marc Warren). That very first scene with Judge Kuhn, Nick, Maddie (Maura Tierney) and Mandy (Miriam Shor) all sitting around amused me. Alicia decides to help Judge Kuhn and an unsure Captain Hellinger. However, Captain Hellinger changes her tune once she sees Alicia in court. It's been a few episodes since we had a really strong court case and episode, I think that's what was lacking from the last couple of installments. Plus, when Alicia is good, she's great.
Military law episodes used to scare me at first, but they've since become a strength of the show. Julianna Margulies truly shined. Captain Hellinger accused a civilian contract of sexual assault and Alica tried to prove he's not protected by a law that prohibits servicemen from suing the military. However, after a series of twists and turns, it all came down to timing and the accused was technically called to active duty at the time of the supposed assault, thus not allowing Captain Hellinger to sue him.
You know how sometimes you're watching something and you can't see the actor as anything but the actor? That wasn't so with Amanda Peet. I completely forgot it was her, which is a compliment. Just add her to the list of guest stars who successfully play against type and turn in a fine performance.
While the major case was going on, Maddie was still all worried about her friendship with Alicia after she announced she was pulling her support from Peter's campaign. Why was she pulling her support? BECAUSE SHE'S RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. That's when the gasps returned. In fact, I gasped twice at that bombshell. It was EXACTLY the game change the show needed to 1) Make me interested in the election story; 2) Create conflict on many fronts; and 3) To give Maura Tierney some juicy material to work with. Emmy time! I also standby my thoughts on giving her a spinoff because it would make perfect sense: She becomes governor and it's a "West Wing" sort of show, only with state government. I would watch it in a heartbeat.
The stone expression on Alicia's face when Maddie dropped the news on Alicia's lap ... is there any wonder why she keeps getting nominated for awards for this show? To make herself feel better, Alicia gets drinks with ... Kalinda. There was no tequila on Alicia's part -- just red wine -- but it was so nice seeing them at the bar together. They discussed Nick briefly, because, like the majority of us, it seems like Alicia is tired of that whole thing. Nick lost his government bid, but there's a way to get him back in the game ... if Kalinda wants Alicia and Cary to do it. Waiting for that to wrap up any minute ...
Over in the campaign worker sex scandal world, Kristin Chenoweth returned as Peggy to help Eli deal with Mandy (Miriam Shor). "GCB" reunion alert! The two didn't interact, but Eli planted a story in Peggy's lap about a family member of Mandy who was tried many years ago by Peter as the State's Attorney, thus allowing Peggy to insinuate that Mandy's campaign sex scandal story was her act of revenge. Hope to see you again soon, Cheno! You too, Miriam.
The episode ended with Maddie telling Peter she's going to outspend him and win the election, so he should just be her lieutenant governor. He declines, obviously, and is very villainous about it. "Let's get to work," he said. And the episode ended. Such a super villain.
Some other things:
- Will still doesn't trust Cary? I thought they were over that. And the show hasn't done many criminal cases lately, I kind of miss them.
- Diane needed to ask Cary for help in dealing with Clarke (Nathan Lane). Since Cary and Clarke are BFF, Cary told her he's starting to care about the firm. That made me "aww."
- Hoping this whole "Jackie is unraveling" story goes somewhere interesting and doesn't just fade away.
- "What do you do when it's all over?" "You start up again."