Written by Matt Taylor
After seven seasons, you’d think I’d learn to trust Robert and Michelle King. Time and time again, the spouses/writing pair surprises their viewers by manipulating formulaic plot devices. So, after five weeks of being completely uninterested in the latest addition to The Good Wife’s ensemble, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Jason Crouse became considerably more interesting in this week’s episode, “Lies.”
With Alicia and Lucca in the process of developing their own firm, the question as to whether or not make Jason a permanent part of their staff weighed heavily on the episode. Alicia, of course, had complicated feelings about the matter, since he’s an undeniably talented investigator (and, of course, she’s attracted to him), but the revelation that he assaulted a judge in the past put her on edge. While Jason played the accusations off with a laugh, it’s pretty clear that there is more to this story than meets the eye. It’s great to see the Kings implement an effective twist like this, especially since Jason was a relatively dull character who paled in comparison to Alicia’s prior love interests. While I highly doubt Jason will prove to be some sort of psychopath, he will, at the very least, be a more captivating character.
The hiring process also played a major part in another, very different, subplot this week with Lockhart, Agos & Lee at the center of a scandal after choosing three white male associates over an African American woman. The subplot was beautifully written in that the Kings proved, yet again, how little they care about depicting the series’ protagonists in a flattering light. Cary, David and even the typically progressive Diane came off as ignorant, if not flat-out racist during the scenes, while the topic of diversity in the workplace was explored effectively. The actress playing the disgruntled lawyer (Tony winner Nikki M. James) was perfectly cast, showing how microagressions and ignorance slowly chipped away at her starry eyed demeanor. I’m curious to see if the Kings bring this storyline back in the coming weeks, since it would certainly be one of the more dramatic subplots this season. And I’m all for seeing more of Ms. James in the future.
Elsewhere in the episode, Alicia’s “case-of-the-week” was somewhat disappointing, even if it brought back the quirky NSA workers who provided some amusing meta-commentary over the past two seasons. Eli also made his next attempt at sabotaging Peter’s campaign for President, which produced some amusing sequences and one hilarious gag about an interfaith break dancing competition. Margo Martindale is also really starting to shine as Ruth Eastman, whose Southern charm constantly has a dark undertone to it. With so many different subplots, and Alicia directly related to all of them, its becoming a bit hard to process all the information being thrown at us but, at the very least, this week’s episode was consistently entertaining.
Unlike the last three seasons, which dealt with dark subplots involving political correction, spousal abuse and the sudden death of a loved one, this year has been a surprisingly light hearted one. Not that a more optimistic tone is a bad thing, but The Good Wife is at its best when it’s raw and dramatic. The emerging subplots suggest that a dramatic climax is on its way, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. But, in the mean time, episodes like this will help make the wait more pleasant.