The last time I wrote about The Good Wife, I said I didn’t want Alicia to run for State’s Attorney. And I’m still not so sure that I do. But I can’t deny that this week’s episode, “Oppo Research”, was fantastic.
Basically the entire episode had Alicia, Eli, and her potential campaign manager, sitting at a table uncovering the skeletons (real and perceived) in Alicia’s closets. It showed the cracks in “Saint Alicia” in more than one way, and it was perfectly executed.
Alicia has never been perfect. She can be kind of cold and calculating, and rather high-and-mighty. She’s someone who likes the law because she likes clarity and rule-following, not necessarily because she’s out to save the world. I think Alicia is a good person, but like all normal people, flawed.
Alicia isn’t running for State’s Attorney because she wants to do good for Chicago. She’s running because Eli has correctly fed her ego, making her feel like she’d be a feminist icon if she ran. Like she’d be setting an example and making her mark. She also wants to help Cary, and sure, she thinks the current guy is a corrupt bully. Will she actually end up running? I’m not sure. It would certainly make a mess of her life, both personally and professionally. I don’t know if she wants the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny.
The skeletons revealed to Alicia was JUICY. Zach got Nisa pregnant and she had an abortion. Zach was there – he’d lied and told Alicia he was visiting a college in Boston. Her mother hit a child in a department store. Her brother is sleeping with a married porn star. Her Christian daughter is still perfect.
The way Alicia spoke to Zach at the end of the phone call was probably the meanest she’s ever been. She was hurt by Zach’s dishonesty, but man, that was harsh. She also acted very selfishly, in using the tape of that bratty kid knocking over an old lady to quiet a potential scandal rather than helping the old lady sue for medical costs. Politics brings out the imperfectness in Alicia.
I’ve always gotten a kick out of Alicia’s obsession with that crappy TV show, and it was particularly poignant this week as she had an AMC “Talking Bad” recap type show on in the background. The Good Wife is one of the few quality dramas on TV right now that doesn’t rely on having a dark, misunderstood male anti-hero and all the surrounding tropes. Alicia is not an anti-hero. But she ain’t no saint, either.