Written by Matt Taylor
Leave it to The Good Wife to take a storyline long forgotten in the show’s seven-season run and suddenly make it shockingly relevant. “KSR”, the midseason finale, tied up some loose plot threads and ended on one hell of a cliffhanger, making for one of the darker episodes of the series, as well as one that could seriously alter the path that the remaining episodes will follow.
First, let’s talk about the episode’s “case-of-the-week”, which once again took a scandalous courtroom drama and offered a deep analysis of it, as opposed to relying on melodrama to keep the audience’s attention. “KSR” found Alicia and Lucca defending a respected pediatric surgeon who has been accused of conspiring to commit a deeply disturbing sex crime on a kink website. Alicia and Lucca choose to argue that his comments on the website were merely fantasy, and that he was never actually planning on committing such crimes, even though they themselves are not sure what they believe. The episode found the characters debating on where the line between private thoughts and actions lie, and offered some interesting questions for its audience to ponder. While certain developments felt a bit too contrived, it was an interesting storyline centered on a character that audience members will certain have mixed reactions towards.
The main focus of the episode, however, was how quickly it resolved many of the season’s outstanding subplots. While some resolutions were more abrupt than others, it certainly made for an interesting way to end the first half of the season, and suggests that anything could happen when the show returns in January.
In terms of which subplots could have been resolved better, the end of Cary and Diane’s conflict with the younger associates in the office felt somewhat cheesy and underdeveloped. While the writers handled the drama in the best way they possibly could (namely with a beautifully directed opening shot), the subplot relied on us caring about a conflict involving characters we just don’t know that well. The new associates at Lockhart, Agos & Lee were too underwritten and, to be honest, I had trouble telling them apart. While the season is only halfway done, I feel like this entire storyline wasted its potential (especially since Cary’s encounter with the gay associate has gone unmentioned for eight episodes!). Luckily, the episode implies that Nikki M. James will be around for quite some time as Monica, the lawyer who called out the firm for racist hiring practices, and that’s certainly something to be excited about.
But this episode mainly worked because of Alicia’s subplot, which found her facing the reality of losing Jason as an investigator due to her husband’s campaign advisor (Margo Martindale) believing that they were having an affair. Of course, Alicia and Jason were not romantically involved at all, but that didn’t diffuse the tension between her and Eli, which finally reached its climax in the episode’s last scene. Longtime fans of the series will be happy to know that an event from much earlier in the drama that has long gone unmentioned has finally become relevant again, leading to a fight that is sure to have a ripple effect over the rest of the season, if not the entire series. And, once again, Julianna Margulies handled the twist perfectly. Without even saying much, she communicates so much of Alicia’s pain, frustration and outright anger, so much so that she becomes downright terrifying. But, not to be outdone, it must be said that Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski and Christopher McDonald all did great work in this week’s episode too.
Rumor has it that this could be The Good Wife’s final season, which had me somewhat conflicted. On one hand, I’d rather see the show go out while its still on top. But, on the other, I feel like this season has been rather uneventful, especially when compared to the hugely dramatic last two years. But, thankfully, “KSR” provided a welcome change of pace. If this is going to be the last season of The Good Wife, it looks like it might be going out with a bang. But, we’ll have to wait until January to know for sure.