Only a show of a certain caliber can take a lame case-of-the-week and surround it with enough brilliance that manages to make the entire hour worthwhile.
First off, let’s take a moment to acknowledge guest-star Linda Lavin and her astonishing performance as Joy Grubick, Cary’s service officer. Lavin delivered just the right dose of detachment and concern, and she completely sold the character down to every nuance and sigh. The fact that she turned out to be so vital to the proceedings at the end was icing on the cake. I found it extremely satisfying to see her swoop in and save Cary by delivering her conclusions. Simply awesome.
But Alicia… oh Alicia. Dear God did an incredible job of gradually building toward Alicia’s stunning declaration in the hour’s final moments. From Gloria Steinham making an appearance and urging our girl to run, to Alicia’s ego hijacking her daydreams as she imagined Steinham encouraging her to take her place as the ultimate feminist – all the pieces were put in place for one heck of a final ten minutes.
And let’s be clear, Alicia facing off with Castro was the real highlight this week. I couldn’t help but feel like that scene epitomized an epic battle between Good and Evil. Everything about the faceoff was perfect, and I love how it slowly escalated towards Castro shockingly bringing up Will’s death and his status as Alicia’s “lover”. It’s here that Juliana Margulies absolutely blew my mind as a performer with her flawless mixture of anger and restraint. There’s a reason this woman won an Emmy this past summer, and this sequence certainly showcased why she’s my favorite actress on television.
Of course the greatness doesn’t end there, and Alicia’s casual response (“Talk to you”) gloriously transitioned to that wonderful first person perspective before she arrived at Eli’s office. The episode’s final line: “If I ran… what’s the plan?” was the perfect bookend to the hour. This show is impeccably directed I tell you.
Cases And Bits
– Brilliantly-constructed teaser with Carey and Ms. Grubick intercut with Carey and Kalinda savagely doing it against the glass. You can’t say this show doesn’t go all out.
– Alicia mentioning Castro’s “threats” while being questioned by Grubick was badass.
– Alicia imagines Steinham telling her that she’ll make it all the way to The Supreme Court. Foreshadowing? I used to think I wanted it The Good Wife to end with Alicia as First Lady, but I now realize Supreme Court is a much more fitting conclusion to her inspiring journey.
– Alicia telling Eli that he should run for State’s Attorney himself made me laugh.
– The case of the week itself with the seed and Christin Arbitration wasn’t a terrible engrossing one. Still it was worth the admission just to see Alicia roll her eyes in practically every scene, and it at least allowed Alicia to find a use for Grace. That’s how I like my Grace… in small doses once a season.
– Intriguing new development: Diane and Dean are willing to personally finance a new floor in exchange for an executive committee. Things are going to get complicated people.
– I honestly considered the possibility of Alicia slapping Castro after he brought up Will. I’m glad she didn’t give him that ammunition.
– The music reaching a crescendo in the final sequence as Alicia arrived at Eli’s was simply perfect. I honestly got goosebumps.
Nora: Mrs. Florrick is here to see you!
Eli: Thank you Nora, your precognitive powers amaze me.
Alicia: You have something to say to me?
Alicia: Oh, I doubt that. Men always have something to say.
Although the case of the week was unmemorable, everything surrounding Alicia’s run helped make Dear God an excellent hour of The Good Wife.