The Good Wife: “Innocents”

(Episode 7.02)

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The Good Wife: “Innocents”

One of the best things about The Good Wife is that the show flourishes in the grey area. Nothing is ever black and white.

Alicia is in bond court defending Erik, a young man accused of vandalizing a photograph at a museum. The photographs are nude portraits his mother took of him when he was eight. At first, I thought the mother (played to perfection by Amy Irving) was horrid. What kind of mom would exploit her child especially when she knows how unhappy it is making him? But the episode brought up great counterpoints—what is art and what isn’t? What constitutes parental consent? What is inappropriate and what isn’t? In the end, I still was on Erik’s side, but no longer found the mother to be a monster. Alicia can’t stop the photographs from being shown, but she is able to get Erik paid for all the work he did for his mother, which adds up to a nice pay day for Alicia.

Alicia is also on the hunt for a PI. She hires Amanda, a young investigator who reminds her of Kalinda. But we all know this isn’t who Alicia will eventually hire, since she also interviews Jason Crouse, played Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a series regular this season. Amanda is no Kalinda and makes major errors in her investigation. Alicia unceremoniously lets her go, “Fired. I don’t need you” she barks at Amanda, as Amanda protests that she’s the best investigator in town (I highly doubt that Amanda). Diane offers Jason $250 an hour to work exclusively for Lockhart, Agos and Lee (again is this the firm’s name now?) but Jason chose to work for Alicia at $95 an hour. (Maybe he’s a good investigato,r but he’s not a great financial planner). Morgan smolders on screen, but his banter with Alicia was a little too cutesy. I smell a love interest. Do you?

Meanwhile, Eli is up to something. He apologizes to Peter and convinces Alicia to apologize to Frank Landau, the very man who took her victory away from her last season. “You apologize and he won’t see you coming,” Eli tells Alicia. So Alicia apologizes and Frank offers her a position on the election board if she votes “no” on the first vote to come up. We don’t see Alicia’s answer to that, but we do know that she’s on the election board so draw your own conclusions. Interestingly, she also doesn’t tell Eli about Frank’s demands. Saint Alicia’s descent into the dark side continues.

Peter is thrilled that Eli has taken care of the rift between Frank and Alicia, and tells Ruth she should call Eli to congratulate him. Eli is getting to Ruth. She knows he is actively plotting against her, but she has no way to prove it. Ruth asks Eli’s assistant Nora to spy on him, but of course Nora’s loyalty remains with Eli. Eli asks Ruth if she’s seen It Follows—a movie about a woman who is followed by an unseen force. Perhaps this is Eli’s plan—to make Ruth so paranoid that she’s incapable of being an effective campaign manager, and then not come to Peter’s aid when he needs him the most. My theory that Alicia is the candidate Eli is going to come up with to run against Peter stands.

For her part, Alicia knows she’s just a pawn in Eli’s game, but seems happy to go along with it. “You’re being used,” Peter tells her. “I know. Who isn’t?” she replies.

Back at Lockhart, Agos and Lee the associates have had it with Howard Lyman—he sleeps all the time, takes credit for all their work and is horrendously inappropriate. Cary is down for a fight and takes Howard on. He suggests that Howard take on an emeritus status, but that’s not happening. Instead, Howard tells Diane and David Lee that either Cary goes or he does. “Did he just issue the easiest ultimatum in history?” David wonders. Still, I’m not sure a Howard/Cary throwdown is the best way to keep Diane, Cary and David relevant to the show.

Other thoughts on “Innocents”:

Something is up with one-word episode titles this season. Last week’s premiere was “Bond.” This week is “Innocents” and the next two weeks are “Cooked” and “Taxed.”

When Cary and Alicia were discussing potential investigators, shouldn’t Robyn’s name have at least come up? Like “Too bad Robyn moved to California” or “Too bad Robyn is working for a different firm.” We need some sort of explanation, because otherwise why wouldn’t they hire her?

I hope Howard gets to stay. I’ll miss lines like, “And may I say how honored we are to be having this meeting with the leadership of Emily’s World.”

Great to see Mamie Gummer’s Nancy Crozier. “What is your name again?”

Mackenzie Vega is a recurring cast member, not a regular cast member this season, but we are seeing a lot of her. Also isn’t Grace in school? How does she have all this time to help her mother?

Clearly I need to watch It Follows.

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.