Dear Robert and Michelle King ,
Even though the first season was meh, I’m loving the second season of The Good Wife! Up to this day, I occasionally re-watch Episode 5: VIP Treatment even though it first aired way back in October 2010. It’s just that good! It’s the series at its best. It has a strong case that the lawyers are trying to sort out and it still has room for the political backdrop and the love triangle.
In the episode, a woman accuses Joe Kent, the Joe Kent, of sexual assault. Ironically, he’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner known for his work with women in Africa. The lawyers, including Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies from E.R., aka the good wife), try to figure out if the victim is telling the truth within a four-hour deadline.
While the attorneys are questioning if Joe Kent, the Joe Kent, is guilty, the bigger question the episode asks is, “Is it worth it to get justice for this one woman if it means that the politician’s goodwill in Africa will be ruined as a result, that thousands of women in the Congo will continue being raped?” The ending is devastating, the type of conclusion I normally hate, but in this case, it brings the episode to an inspired cadence. *Standing ovation*
Meanwhile, in the same episode, a new political opponent (the marvelous Anika Noni Rose from The Starter Wife) threatens the career of Alicia’s husband, Peter Florrick (Chris Noth from Sex and the City), so he’s off trying to solve that. Usually, secondary story lines like these bore me, but this one, as in other episodes, kept me engaged.
And the love triangle turns into a square somewhat. Alicia’s other love interest—who happens to be her boss—Will Gardner (Josh Charles from Dead Poets Society) finds comfort in another woman’s arms (Elizabeth Reaser from Grey’s Anatomy) after Alicia rejected him for her philandering husband in season 2’s first episode.
And trust me, once you start watching the show, you’ll be invested in the show’s pairings, whether it’s Alicia and Peter or Alicia and Will. (Personally, I’m Team Alicia and Will.) After all, when you heard about Bill and Hilary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, did you or did you not have a strong opinion about what Hilary should do? It’s the same for The Good Wife, the premise of which is actually based on such scandals.
I didn’t know it the first time I saw it, but this episode in particular is patterned after the Al Gore scandal. I love how current events are incorporated into the show because it’s done in such a smart and pretty subtle way. I also learned, after the fact, that Bill Clinton’s political adviser, Vernon Jordan, made a cameo in VIP Treatment. (The producers had more cameos lined up like a key player in the Bush administration and on the basketball court, but both fell through.)
Taking the no. 2 slot in my list of favorite The Good Wife season 2 episodes (so far) is Episode 9: Nine Hours. Again, they have a timeline, which adds to the urgency of the situation. The characters have to prove the innocence of a man already on death row. This was another episode that I replayed for a while. The scenes before the opening credits alone keep you on the edge of your seat; it was that brilliant, mesmerizing, nay, fabulous! Watch below: (By the way, if you know the song that plays at 3:09, please let me know!)
Nine Hours also worked in some smart trivia. It mentioned a New Yorker piece, Trial By Fire: Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man? by David Grann, which made me Google it and as I write this, I am reminded that I have yet to finish the article. Hee. But I digress. The show teaches me something new each time. Don’t you love learning outside of the classroom?
It is also in episode 9 that I realize I am falling in love with actor Matt Czuchry and his character on the show, the rival lawyer, Cary Agos. I never liked him during his entire run on Gilmore Girls even though we were supposed to like him. After all, he was playing the love interest of one of the main characters. No, it’s in The Good Wife, that his comedy timing is on display and he’s just more—what’s the word?—likable.
Friday Night Lights fans will be glad to hear that another recurring guest star is Scott Porter, who plays a private investigator. If iCarly is more your thing, Miranda Cosgrove guest starred in Episode 7: Bad Girls, which I think is the creators’ take on Lindsay Lohan. In Episode 6: Poisoned Pill, Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future) makes an appearance as a lawyer with Parkinson’s Disease. In Episode 10: Breaking Up, Leelee Sobieski (Never Been Kissed) makes her return to Hollywood in an episode for all you die-hard romantics (and cynics, actually) out there.
The gorgeous Michael Ealy (Seven Pounds) guest stars in the second season as another lawyer. As always, he gives a nuanced, quiet performance, but you love him all the same. Alan Cumming (X-Men 2), who appeared late in season 1, continues his run as Peter’s political adviser. He gives terrific and funny performances. But his character is also the reason why Alicia and Will have been kept apart for so long. Cumming deleted an “I Love You” voicemail from Will to Alicia. See for yourself:
I can’t wait to see how that goes down when the truth finally comes out. Will Alicia have a screamfest or will Will punch him or something better? Knowing you guys and the writers, I’m thinking, something better. It’s going to be epic.
Your No. 1 Fan,