The Good Wife: Character Throw-Downs, Season 2 Whiplash & Why We Need A Few Real-Life Wendy Scott Carrs

This is Part Two of my analysis of The Good Wife. I’ll quickly do a character list and why I find them so interesting and are  integral to the overall storylines. I’ll highlight the segue from Season One to Two and how pleasantly surprised I am by the addition of certain characters who’ve become key players on the show.

#1 RATINGS

As a sidebar none of this would matter if the show hadn’t been experiencing an uptick in viewers. SO far The Good Wife has won its timeslot and key demographics and they’re not quite one third into the season. It’s Novembers Sweeps and they’re killing it. I know why: Wendy Scott-Carr, but I’ll discuss the addition of my new Shero (besides Kalinda of course) further into the post to maintain some continuity.

Season One was so good I of course wondered what direction Season Two would go in. It’s moved in an entirely different direction without abandoning its core characters or betraying the audience. Yes, we’re all waiting to find out when Alicia and Will get together. I’m stating it as a forgone conclusion because I think the audience wants the payoff. The writers are just not going to give it to us yet and it may not happen the  way we want.

The WOMEN of “The Good Wife”:

Mama Florrick (Jackie) – I’ve got one word to describe Peter’s mother: FORMIDABLE. The way she maneauvered the very ruthless but capable political advisor/campaign manager Eli Gold and had him crying unkle by the end of last season with her order, “You will report to me.” had me rolling!

The other scene that I LOVED LOVED LOVED was also during S1 Ep. 23. CBS won’t allow any stray copies floating around the internet so you have to go to their website to watch the entire episode. I wish they had made a clip of this scene but here’s the dialog. I’m mentioning it NOW because this will be used later in the post.

Peter needs the BLACK VOTE aka black women and he’s gone to a pillar of the black church to get it. Only this misleader won’t give his endorsement to the Florrick campaign but has been counseling him for “spiritual” development. Think Jesse Jackson & Clinton and you’ll get the idea of how legit this is, but Pastor Junior actually thinks he has the Speed Dial to Jesus and is doing some good. Mama Florrick has a certain amount of disdain for her daughter-in-law as if she thinks Alicia is somehow to blame for her son cheating on her with a prostitute. At least that’s what I’ve gleaned, you may think differently.

By this time Mama has had enough of Peter’s navel gazing and wants to ensure that he will run for his old job again NOW not 4 years later. She seems to hate the idea that her son might actually *sniff* reassess his values. So here’s how part one of this scene plays out. She has words for Eli Gold about his need to screen people he lets have access to Peter because her son is “easily influenced”. Oh boy! Next she goes to shoot down the Pastor.

Mrs. Florrick: You said you are a man of God, then stop making him feel this way.
Pastor Isaiah: What way is that, mam?
Mrs. Florrick: Like he’s a bad man
Pastor Isaiah: He is a bad man. I am bad man, even you Mrs. Florrick.
Mrs. Florrick: Who do you think you are? You think you know people. You just use the same words with everyone, you just say God and you think you can make people feel bad about themselves.
Pastor Isaiah: Mrs. Florrick, your son approached me. He asked advice from me. I will continue to offer that advice.
Mrs. Florrick: And I will do everything in my power to stop you. You do not know my son, this is a phase, you are a phase.
Pastor Isaiah: Then, we’ll see.
Mrs. Florrick: No, you will see. He is running this year. He is my blood and I do not know what your God does, but it does not match that.

Earlier she tore into Eli:

Mrs. Florrick: Mr. Gold, there’s one thing you need to know about my son. He’s easily moved. You need to pre-screen the people who see him. And I will talk to this man.  Plan on making the announcement at the end of the week.

Mrs. Florrick: Mr. Gold, are you good?

Eli Gold: Am I good?  I’m the best, m’am.

Mrs. Florrick: I will need you to be.

That scene was so funny to watch because Eli was completely gobsmacked. He was so out of his element and Eli has the confidence of a man who can fly. This is how intimidating Jackie Florrick is and because she’s grandma with pearls people would mistakenly dismiss her!

****

She was confronting this young preacher about not causing her son to think less of himself and I was under the impression she doesn’t want Peter to do any course-correction. Men with social, monetary and political capital are just as flawed as the rest of us but perhaps their foibles (or successes) will have greater impact when one is a high-profile individual jockeying for power.

The purpose of Peter’s meeting with the preacher was a calculated move sanctioned by Eli but something about their meetings had the potential to touch Peter. Also, said preacher man made it clear his counsel would not be relegated to photo ops and surface posturing. He actually expected to administer religious guidance. Like I said the show has many layers.

LESSON: I still think about that scene and I’ve come to realize how this applies to Black Women. All of your church-going/committee-attending/volunteering without reciprocity is MAKING YOU WEAK. This is one of the purest forms of “idol” worship that the Bible warns against. It’s sacrificing yourself at the altar of the black community, black male patriarchy and martyrism. Has your “God” decreed a special commandment that only pertains to black women that states they must give up their time and youth supporting other people’s causes and do so for FREE? I mean if these were paid positions one could at least say it’s a second job and treat it accordingly – but supposedly this is in service for a “higher power” and higher calling.

So I have a question: what about all the other women from other ethnic and racial groups? They attend religious services and institutions. They help other people with their causes, too. Why aren’t they mostly single, never-married, with a majority OOW children and counting?

Does “God” have a beef with black women or are many of us following unspoken rules set by others, to benefit others all used in vain? I mean if we’re going to get serious most religions discuss some form of abstinence before marriage scenario. If black women were to actually adhere to that tenet and not sex any man who they weren’t married to wouldn’t that still mean the majority of black women would then be married interracially or other ethnicities of black males who’d marry them and have left the majority of AA BM alone since they don’t attend church and don’t value marriage? OR are BW only to remain single and virgins, lol!!!  Where’s the balance?

Pastor Isaiah Really Is A Phase!

I was going to do this as a separate post but the latest episode brought the religious leader (in his mind) back into the mix. OMG! I nearly peed my pants and caught the Holy Ghost over the plot twist and free fall off the cliff the writers gave us with that storyline! Just when we were wondering when he was going to reappear he does for S2E7. Again, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it through the end of this season because the creative team has throwing down the gauntlet HARD.

(Secret Ratings Weapon) Wendy-Scott Carr:

I think I’m in love with a fictional character and I want her to be a real person so I can vote for her and heck I don’t even know what her platform is exactly. I don’t care. She’s awesome!

I LOVE Anika Noni Rose’s portrayal as well!

WS-C was just a bit player as part of the legal team for the current State’s Attorney Glen Childs when they attended a deposition at Lockhart/Gardner-Bond (LG/B). She was slick (using honied tones to try to ensnare the opposition) – but it was a mere blip to the other storylines that episode. Or so the writers had us thinking. They’d decided to introduce a MAJOR PLAYER on the sly! Then when word of a third candidate emerges the Florrick and Childs’ campaign both think it’s a current Judge, the only woman Judge mind you who is a frenemy of Diane’s from Season One, but oh no! She announces there will be a woman running to clean house and the little upstart that could is none other than Wendy Scott-Carr. When Peter’s formidable Campaign Manager Eli Gold asked who she was it was the question heard ‘round the world!

Why We Love Wendy Scott-Carr:

Her mother and grandmother helped usher in Civil Rights and worked as domestics. She’s a good lawyer. She’s a married mom of two and a breast cancer survivor. Oh yeah and her husband is white! She has helped the black community and wants to kick it up a notch. She’s the living embodiment of the BWE-BW-IRR messaging about black women taking their rightful place as leaders in reciprocal relationships. She’s clean, articulate and feminine. And did I mention tiny? She’s like an ant. The Florrick campaign was weighing whether to use her interracial marriage against her but went with her plastic surgery instead, passing along the information to the opposing team and her former boss who quickly put together a spoof video ridiculing her on the internet. I found it interesting how these males decided to set aside their competitiveness and animosity to take down a woman and a black woman no less. This was after Florrick tried to broker a back-room deal with her and she turned him down. I mention this because of the Pastor Isaiah connection. Remember Florrick needs black women voters to win and WS-C running means he has no guarantee of that anymore. Plus neither team realizes WS-C’s “elective surgery for vanity” was actually reconstructive surgery she’d had done after a double mastectomy. You know so she coould remain ALIVE for her husband and kids. They shot….and misfired and made it look like the two established white males were ganging up on the newbie black woman.  Oh, but wait they’re not done. And neither is she.

WS-C is not a pushover. She approached Eli Gold about leaving Florrick and working for her because Peter is running out of money! POW! Even Eli looked surprised and maybe a little impressed. WS-C  is playing to win ya’ll! This brings me back to Pastor Isaiah.

Florrick went trolling for a black (male) pastor strictly for appearance to curry favor for votes. As Eli stated without black women voters he didn’t stand a chance of winning re-election. Only this pastor has a bit of a Messiah complex as he thinks he can save Peter’s soul while he bounces back from the sex scandal. He even offered to counsel Alicia to which she pointedly refused. Didn’t Jackie say something about watching who Peter was introduced to because he was easily swayed? Well, the political positioning has allegedly became a moral call to arms where this Pastor (thinks) he’s actually guiding Peter spiritually. Sure he is…until the day after Peter wins re-election then he’ll be all healed. I mean the ego and naivete of this minister is just so darn typical and disappointing. Mind you this is my analysis from reading between the lines and following the behavior of the black church and their political/spiritual alliances with certain white male Presidents and is very telling.

Pastor Junior has a daddy though who was the leader of this church and had stepped down. The writers have a sense of humor naming him Jeremiah. He may not be officially running thangs but is still observing everything. Junior is still spiritually guiding Peter but now Eli has come back again to request an endorsement. His Holiness can’t be tainted by such earthly concerns. At least until WS-C comes a-calling. She wants his endorsement as well. Only she seems to know a lot more about what the church actually does for the black community and needs more than Peter ever bothered to find out.

She cites specific initiaiteves and says if Junior endorses her she’ll make that church her home and give the community real access (pander-free). She didn’t get caught on film with a hooker or be charged with corruption but somehow she has cooties and you can see it by Junior’s scrunched up face he doesn’t appreciate Mrs. Married to A White Man coming to him for help. Yes, I’m going there. He calls Eli and says he’ll give the Florrick campaign his endorsement. So, all of that “I only offer spiritual guidance” went out the door because the SISTA ASKED FOR HELP and he had to CHOOSE PANDERING TO A WHITE MALE FOR APPROVAL INSTEAD. What do we talk about when we’re not talking about how BM denigrate BW? We discuss how they view us as their COMPETITION. So much for God. Choosing the man you “know” is using you is better than helping a black woman get ahead? Um, ok then! So much for community uplift.  ** This is why I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!

But wait…we’re not done. I saw there were 8 minutes left and I knew the writers had a bomb to drop before the end of the episode. Yes, the Diane/Will/Derrick Equity Partner uncoupling was interesting (more on that later) but we saw that one coming from a mile away. Nope, the thing that had me simultaneously screaming, jumping out my seat and doing the Happy Dance was when the next scene opened on Junior at a choir practice and to see the 100 League of Brothers rolling down the aisle with Daddy Jeremiah leading the pack. That was the executioner march.

Daddy wants to know why Junior would ensorse Florrick over Scott-Carr knowing she will deliver for the community. “She puts politics over religion!” he sneers. Nah son, you put your ego over common sense! And for some reason Junior thinks he’s got the very special Florrick Jesus Juice. The church leadership has decided it’s time for Daddy to be in charge again. Guess who’s going to get the “Lord & Christ” endorsement instead? It won’t be Peter! Notice how easily those votes are being taken for granted as well. Eli may be working for a new candidate next week after all. WS-C appears to have plans to actually reciprocate any support she receives from the black community (read that as: black women voters) unlike Peter Florrick who as far as we saw came down to the ‘hood once and promised nothing.

LESSON: Don’t let your ego submit a check you can’t cash

LESSON: Don’t give away your resources for a temporary pat on the head – especially don’t ignore the needs of your “flock” or yourself without a quid pro quo arrangement.

LESSON: Black males will give away the resources of black women for FREE so they may get ahead

LESSON: The writers did black women a huge service with this sub-plot and most won’t even get it

So apparently Jackie was right all along: Pastor Isaiah was a phase and he’s been phased out!

Oh and did I mention that there’s a defector in the Florrick home? Their 14 year-old daughter Grace likes Wendy Scott-Carr, too. In fact, because she was filmed saying show much she admires her it was enough of a concern that Eli went to Alicia so she could talk to her. POW!

Updated with rest of the post:

Kalinda Sharma: British actress Archie Punjabi is brilliant! You can still her accent sometimes – or maybe that’s just me noticing because I lived there. She played the older sister in the film Bend It Like Beckham.  She has the Emmy to prove it. Considering this is her first main role in a US series it is an impressive combo of acting chops and excellent writing that paid off. The voting committee decided on her win perhaps about half-way through Season One, months before the ceremony. Kalinda is the no nonsense Investigator whose values are firmly intact. We’ve got this question mark about her sexual orientation or some other family secret she may be keeping OR using for another agenda. The writers haven’t revealed their purpose for this storyline yet. Two examples of her value system at play occurred during S2Ep 7 when Alicia asks if she’d let a relative go to prison for a crime they’d committed or take the fall for them and Kalinda responds if they were guilty of a crime – yes! The other incident was during the deportation case episode when Cary assumed Kalinda spoke Hindu AND that she would automatically be sympathetic to the family because they share a common background. Well Kalinda reminded Cary that she grew up in the United States with English as her main language and that when her parents emigrated they did so legally. I was surprised they wrote such an easy loyalty between the scrappy investigator and Alicia quite frankly. I was wondering how Alicia could trust someone so quickly. Kalinda strides up to SWAT and other law enforcement officers during active raids as if she served time working with them (which makes me wonder all the more about her backstory) in high heeled boots and a miniskirt! She is the one phone number you want to have in case you are in a jam. This work battle she’s having with the second investigator is one of my least favorite plots because something seems off but that might be the underpinning of the story itself. Personally, I’m waiting for him to go away! She is my favorite character on the show. Well…I think it may be split between her and Wendy Scott-Carr now, lol!

Diane Lockhart: Equity Partner of Lockhart/Gardner-Bond. She’s an elegant dresser befitting a woman of her stature and age, she has quirky taste in men (her ballistics expert beau gave her a copy of Sarah Palin’s autobiography just because) but she’s not petty and doesn’t hit you over the head with her “power”.  I like her personality. She’s a born leader. Season One offered viewers a lesson in a real snatch and grab power play when she was offered a Judge appointment while being undermined by her “friends” the entire time. Just when I’d thought the writers were beginning to neglect her she’s been featured as First Chair in a few court cases as well. What has been interesting for Season Two is how she’s dealt with the emerging competition factor regarding the Gardner/Bond bond. It has also been amusing to see her reacting to their making sports references during meetings as this is clearly not where her interests lie. Now that one of the Senior Partners has clearly expressed his disdain for Derrick (can you do that when it’s someone who saved the law firm where you work?) we’ll see how this latest upheaval plays itself out. Season One already saw them lose their seasoned Equity Partner and nearly go belly up when he took one third of the business and tried to pilfer their key support staff.

Alicia Florrick: I’m almost loathe to say she is the heart of the show because she’s much steelier than that. I can’t quite pinpoint how I want to describe her. She’s obviously intelligent, fiercely protective of her teenage children and didn’t fall apart when her family was blown apart. She had to return to work and lucky for her she’s still well-connected. I’m fascinated by what held Peter and Alicia together in the first place when under the surface the audience can see that she is fully prepared to leave their marriage.  The writers have hinted at a lack of closeness in her immediate family with the introduction of her brother this season and I’m dying to meet the parents. Speaking of…is Jackie a widow or is Peter’s father just out of the picture? Oh the things the writers are saving….

LESSON: Alicia Florrick is shrewd without ever coming across as a shrew. You follow suit.

Season One gave us a woman who was still reeling so I have no problem with her testing the waters with Will because Peter has not yet proven he’s reliable to me, only that he wants his job back because his entire identity is tied into certain social and political capital. He would never be satisfied merely being the Partner at a law firm for example.  I trust the writers to take this romantic triangle somewhere we weren’t prepared to go.

LESSON: Appearances aren’t always what they seem.

The MEN of “The Good Wife”:

Peter Florrick: Chris Noth is so good in this role! I know many of us are torn about him playing a bastard because of his near iconic status as John James “Mr. Big” Preston from Sex and the City – but he’s an actor and needs to work. He does bring a certain gravitas to the role of a man who married his college sweetheart and years later publicly humiliated her and tore his family apart because of his selfishness. The jury is still out on whether he’s worthy of our support, which shows you how good an actor he is because it’s his delivery that makes you feel non-specifically uneasy. There’s something off but you can’t quite put your finger on it. As we know thanks to Momma, he has an ethical deficiency. I’m waiting for him to go head to head against Will in direct competition for Alicia. The viewers are now wondering if his campaign is over as well. I doubt it…..

The way the writers have made references to real political campaigns (Howard Dean) and backroom deals and the Party “leadership” throwing obstacles against candidates they don’t want (who might actually be GOOD for the people) makes for an interest survey into who is manipulating us as well.

LESSON: OTHER people will try pulling the strings at OUR expense so we need to be paying attention.

I like Chris Noth but I am #TeamWill all the way! I love when shows cast actors who are not easily recognizable for any previous work but are really good. They just needed the right project and timing. Josh Charles is the surprise heavy-hitter which I think applies to life. Despite appearances Alicia is still weighing her options when it comes to Peter. We as women who want proper male companionship need a man who can deliver across the board.

LESSON: It’s the “regular” (but achievement-oriented) guys who make the best partners for women who want long-term stability.

In celeb news Eva Longoria and Tony Parker have split because he was cheating amongst other things. Yet, he’d cheated before they got married. He plays with balls for a living, is young (28) and very good-looking. Perhaps he wasn’t the best candidate for a marriage that would span a lifetime but you never know. Maybe seven years is the best you can get in a situation like that.

Bringing it back to the show, Peter is a baller politician. He can’t stay away from the limelight. The temptations are sure to follow. When he’s offered an inside position with his political party conditioned on giving up his candidacy he can’t do it. He doesn’t want to accept how fragile the relationship with his wife really is. He thinks the can rewind the clock and she can go back to being Suzy Homemaker. I don’t think Alicia will ever allow herself to be put in such a vulnerable position again. The show hasn’t indicated the hooker scandal as the only time he’s cheated, just that it’s the first time Alicia has gotten wind of it. So we don’t know and my guess is that she’d be none too pleased if more indiscretions were revealed.

WILL GARDNER: Equity Partner and torch-carrier of Alicia’s for how long now?  I get the sense Will is confident in his manhood and obviously very focused career-wise if he’s an owner at a major law firm. He certainly doesn’t hesitate to have his needs met as we see him with a string of (often younger) women, but that’s so he doesn’t grow a beard and become a serial killer. We need normal human interaction and..ahem other needs to be met if we are normally functioning people. Will is the type of man who puts all his energy into whatever he decides to achieve. Since he’s already declared his love for Alicia(!!) and said their timing was always off clearly his heart was never on the table for other women, BUT if it was he’d be a devoted lover, husband, protector and provider. The writers gave us a bit of his lion skills at work when Cary went after Alicia in the deposition hearing (that introduced us to Wendy Scott-Carr before we knew her name!) and this was after he thinks she’s rejected him in favor of remaining with her husband. I think a man like Will is 1) more communicative  and 2) more loyal than a man like Peter because while he has an ego he doesn’t need the adoration of others to validate himself. Didn’t he tell Alicia that “he likes himself and who he is when he’s with her”?  Real men of quality must aspire to be better than themselves around the right woman.

Yet, Will is not exactly squeaky clean either. The details of that past tie to new partner Derrick Bond that Kalinda uncovered has yet to be revealed. Speaking of, why hasn’t Bond tried a case yet? This situation needs to be played with the finesse of the opposing lawyer in Ep 6 who dropped the bombshell about the real settlement offer that was available to the firm. He was playing Chess and they were not, so their “win” was still a loss.

DERRICK BOND: We don’t know enough about him yet. Lots of women consider actor Michael Ealy the dreamboat factor the show was missing. I find myself comparing and contrasting him with Terrence Howard now that ol’ Senor Baby Wipes has stopped relaxing his hair. As for his character, he agreed to be the 3rd wheel and upstart to Diane and Will and save them from collapse since Vernon Jordan made an appearance in Season One and said he’d rather gut the firm than be their partner, haha!  There’s an as-yet unrevealed connection between Will and Derrick and they may strike out on their own. Derrick is supposed to be a DC big shot and I’d like to see that instead of him buying iPads (still a stupid name) for the office or conducting staff evaluations and the ridiculous notion of them giving up prime office space for the Associates. Are you sure he was in DC and not LaLa Land? For all of the business Derrick has brought in why has he not tried a case in court yet? We need to see him in action. I’m.Just.Waiting.For.The.Payoff. Episode.I.Know.Is.Coming

ELI GOLD: Alan Cumming is playing one of the most butchest characters on television. Compare him in some of his other roles compared to this one and you’ll get what I mean. I was surprised he was elevated to Series Regular over Chris Noth but he’s such an interesting little man my curiosity is piqued. The only time his game is thrown is when he’s dealing with a strong woman. Just something to think about…..

The Resident Antagonists: Glen Childs & Cary Agos…and Blake, too!

Cary is a petulant sore loser and the fly that needs to be swatted – but I love Matt Czuchry’s portrayal. I don’t like his overuse of Botox though. What is it about the under-30 boys from the WB/CW starting so young? Cary was hired as an Associate at Lockhart Gardner just as Alicia was and told there would be a vetting process where only one would get to remain at the firm. He assumed he had it in the bag for as an unmarried, child-free adult he had more time to generate billable hours that Alicia did. Also, he’s a good lawyer. Alicia had to play to win and she did. He thought he had his whole life mapped out and one firing did him in. Now he’s agreed to work for the Florrick nemesis as an act of revenge and I say he should be glad he has a job and move on. They say women are petty? Jealousy thy name is Cary!

Cary: This was not fair. And I was stupid; I acted like it would be.

Glen Childs is Peter’s political nemesis who took over the State Attorney’s job and tried to keep him in prison. He’s certainly not above playing dirty, but the nasty divorce and his ex-wife’s selection of Alicia as her divorce attorney made for one amazing episode. Frick and Frack are fun to watch for entirely different reasons but Cary had better watch his back because he’s not nearly the shark Childs is – yet.

I forgot about Blake! He’s the second firm investigator brought over from Derrick Bond’s DC firm and from day one has had an agenda to move against Kalinda. I have NO IDEA where this stroyline is going but it makes me very uncomfortable because Kalinda is supposed to be unflappable! Also, the writers are hinting that he may be a physical threat as well so this has me stumped. He’s been alluding to her “hiding” her orientation but I don’t buy Kalinda as someone who’d be ashamed of being LGBT. There’s more to this storyline than we’ve been shown so far but we’ve got more than one dozen episodes to go!

DIVERSITY IN CASTING/STORY DEVELOPMENT:

The series didn’t have any black series regulars – and still don’t despite casting Michael Ealy as the new Equity Partner Derrick Bond – (hint hint about Anika Noni Rose to CBS) but they’ve had significant roles as the show has progressed. We need to let them know we’re the reason for their increased viewership and we’d like to be acknowledged appropriately. From the Senior partner played by Michael Boatman who changed allegiances when there was a near-mutiny at the firm last season, to the JAG officer who tried an acquitted criminal defendant in military court at Cary’s behest they make good use of characters.

The storyline about the Indian neighbors of Alicia whose mother got caught up in a deportation sting due to the criminal activity of one of her children was a great storyline from Season One. Had they not been covering for Peter they would’ve remained invisible.

The casting directors get a shout-out for casting amazing guest stars and day players with acting chops. Meryl Streep’s daughter has a recurring role as a would-be ditz who uses her looks and demeanor to sway cases. I love the fact they’ve cast so many black actresses to remind us it’s not an oxymoron. I have been very pleased to see Renee Goldsberry at least twice now (note to her team – please update her official website stat!!). You may remember her from One Life To Live where she played… a lawyer. The head writers loved her but the network didn’t want a black female lead to emerge or be paired with their popular white male anti-hero despite their INSANE onscreen chemistry (and the mostly black viewing audience should have mobilized to protect their interests) so off she went to coma-land and the actress left. I have a LONG memory – and dumped the show permanently because of it. Nowadays we could have launched an internet campaign.

Before I get completely off track Michael J Fox’s appearance as the conniving disabled attorney will likely net him an Emmy nomination. Just say you read it here first. I’m also interested in the exploration between Alicia and her daughter Grace as the season progresses. She’s a teen and she’s testing the waters with her mother. I want to see how the impact of Alicia future coupling with Will affects her (if it happens).

Also, I was just reading an Investigator for the State’s Attorney’s office will be added to the show for the second half of the season. Remember, if Peter won re-election Cary would be out of a job again.

LESSON: Congratulate those that elevate us!

LESSON: Don’t take anything for granted.

Alright folks, that’s it for now. I’ll do a Season Two Recap when the show goes on hiatus to bring us up to speed but all in all this has been a stellar season and I am duly impressed. They’ve not only managed to avoid the Sophomore Slump but have kicked the show into high gear. Can you believe the network wanted Elisabeth Shue to play Alicia? That would not have worked. I have no idea what the writers have in store for us viewers but I know it will be memorable.

15 Replies to “The Good Wife: Character Throw-Downs, Season 2 Whiplash & Why We Need A Few Real-Life Wendy Scott Carrs”

  1. Part Deux,

    Derrick Bond: After I finally stop trying to figure out whether 'they' have Michael Ealy wearing brown contacts, I decided actually pay attention to the Bond storyline. This thing about the peer evaluations: I think its a way for Bond to establish that he is the HNIC. Its his money and connections that saved the firm from going under. And he isn't going to let ANYBODY forget it. This marking of territory is angering the Family Law division head (whose name escapes me at the moment). I wonder what Family Law guy has up his sleeve since it seems as if he is now in cahoots with Diane.

    Also, what happened to Bond being Alicia's mentor? I haven't seen any mentoring considering he hasn't tried a case where Alicia is second chair (Has Bond tried a case? I don't think so). Was that peer review evaluation discussion apart of the mentoring relationship? CBS/Casting please develop this story line at some point.

    Superficial comment about Bond: He can fill the hell out of a suit.

    The Florrick Kids: Glad that these two are not background filler (hate it when this is the case in tv shows). They add to the complexity of the story. Gracie testing the waters with her Alicia, ha! I tried that once with my mother around the same age. And the response was similar. Loved the Alicia DeathCon 5 stare she gave Gracie for calling her 'Alicia'. I was scared too for a minute! Gracie is also finding her own voice with her support of WS-C's message, checking out what her mom does for a living and deciding she wants to become a lawyer as well. She appreciates her mother's efforts more after seeing Alicia strut her stuff in the courtroom.

    Kalinda: This character is just 'whoa'! Its great how the secondary characters is this show get near top billing in terms of story lines. Kalinda's street smarts, connections, is she/isn't she sexuality, keeps me thinking 'oh no she didn't!' in dang near every episode. Oh yes, and the gorgeous outfits and makeup. Let's just hope that crazy Blake character doesn't get the best of her considering he is uh…undercover crazy. Which leads me to…

    Blake: Meh. Good height and cute to look at but meh. The adversarial relationship between he and Kalinda is somewhat interesting. This story line about Blake being connected to the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) in Baltimore has the potential to get real cheezy really quick. Lets all pray to the CBS gods this will not be the case.

    I have now declared Sunday the beginning of a new week which means I can talk about Will Gardner aka fantasy boyfriend-in-my-head: I love Will because he is not Peter. Thank G-d. He really cares about Alicia (Im sure Peter does as well but he cares more about his own ambitions than anyone else). When she asked him to the show her the plan in last season (another life lesson from a tv show!) he made his plan known, although she does not know of it since Eli erased the phone message. I think anyone who has read a Good Wife related post on Faith's blog knows that I am pulling for these two to make it. Yes I know it isn't anytime soon but a girl can dream.

    I am looking forward to finding out his background with Bond. How do they know it each other? And what is this 'something big' Bond is talking about that will take Lockhart, Gardner & Bond to another level?

    Diane: I have come across quite a few Diane's in my working experience and I like how Christine Birinski (sp?) is interpreting this character. She has an anti-Bond ally in Family Law guy now and I forsee major trouble and a possible parting of ways of this firm. Ha at her annoyance to the Gardner/Bond bonding over sports topics. I know how she feels to the point that I have started listening to sports talk radio on my way to work some mornings just so I could know what the men around me are talking about (found the station by accident but now I am hooked).

    Mama Florrick: My oh my. She cracks me up. At first I thought she was just going to be the nosey Mother-In-Law character but Mama has a quiet power. Still waters run deep. Mama Florrick is really the brain behind the Peter Florrick campaign. Eli is the executor but she is the decision maker and is truly aware of her son's shortcomings. After seeing Alicia having to hold down the fort, I think Mama Florrick respects her now. It was evident that she looked down on Alicia at the beginning. While she would prefer a DIL that was the Suzy homemaker type, its Alicia's legal background and connections that kept all of them afloat during Peter's stint in prison. Alicia may still be footing the familly's bills since Peter doesn't exactly his job back yet.

    That's all I have for now. Can't wait until this Tuesday so I can live tweet all the shock and awe moments I know are coming!

    -Vanessa F.

  2. To Vanessa,

    Excellent review of the show. Allow me if you will to respond to the following comments;

    1.The script dealt with this power play very well. I wonder about that back story: Was Junior engaging enough with the elders or was he as his father said “caught up in the personal”? (paraphrasing here) Yes, Junior’s phase has come to a close with Senior doing him in!

    — Did you see how when Eli couldnt get Junior to go along with his original invite to consider endorsing Peter..he went RIGHT ON OVER TO POPS who was sitting in the pews in the church watching over the whole interplay with his son and Eli? When I saw Eli go right on over to Pops and when their dialogue displayed a long long accquaintance in the political realm so to speak I knew right then that Pops was going to "handle it" so to speak. HOWEVER I in no way knew or even had an inkling that he was going to take back the reigns of the church. I just thought that with Eli shaking his hand and bantering and smiling and such that Pops was just going to "speak to his son ON Peter's behalf and coerce his son to actually endorse Peter. Simply because as you said Pops ( as I had thought) enjoyed the access to power/Peter that his son seemed to have curried. But, I was definitely not expectin' that twist at the end!!

    2.I adore Alan Cumming as Eli Gold. You are correct, considering his working background, this is a very *ahem* ‘gangsta’ low-down dirty role he is playing. And he is doing a superb job.

    --I am also an Alan Cummings fan. I believe he was that little blue creature in XMen ( the last one?) If I am not mistaken. I was just enamored of the deep soulfulness of that little creature, he seemed to be enamored of the church and all the underworkings of the philosophy of everybody treating everybody as they wished to be treated. I remembered watching that movie in the theater and being moved to tears with his performance. And also I later have learned that Alan Cummings has won many awards for his stage work and has won awards for his life work from the LBGT community as well. As it pertains to his work on The Good Wife he is absolutely fabulous -- his tight wiry face just is a complete "tell" about the emotions/ stress of the job and is another "character" so to speak whenever he is on screen.

    1. MsMellody,

      Yes, Eli did not take Junior seriously at all. Me thinks Eli was more in-tuned with the inner workings of that church than the man he is working for (Peter). The ending to Junior's preaching 'career' threw me for a loop too! I yelled at the screen "No Way" when Pops and the Elders Mafia showed up! Sunday dinner will never be the same in that family.

      Re: Alan Cumming -- I really appreciate how this drama is showcasing actors that are not 'big names' but have the acting chops to make it happen. I think Faith pointed this out as well. The talent on this show is amazing. IMO, Its like watching a BBC drama in terms of story lines and development.

  3. I don't even know where to start so this post will be all over the place.

    Regarding Jr. Pastor and Sr. Pastor: I thought it was very interesting how Junior overestimated his power or 'juice' if you will, over the Church elders/congregation. The script dealt with this power play very well. I wonder about that back story: Was Junior engaging enough with the elders or was he as his father said "caught up in the personal"? (paraphrasing here) Yes, Junior's phase has come to a close with Senior doing him in!

    WS-C: I could see disappointment in her face on two occasions when Jr. pastor would not give her endorsement and when Eli informed her that Jr. Pastor would be endorsing Peter Florrick. WS-C was willing to have the Church's back but that wasn't enough for Junior. By the way, Junior with his sanctimonious mess about putting politics before religion. Please. That's a very naive view of the world. Junior was more into siding with Florrick than addressing the needs of his congregation. What is Florrick delivering than giving Junior a little star power serving as a powerful man's spiritual adviser?

    I adore Alan Cumming as Eli Gold. You are correct, considering his working background, this is a very *ahem* 'gangsta' low-down dirty role he is playing. And he is doing a superb job.

    Peter Florrick: Help me Jeebus! Kicking dirt in the DNCs face saying thanks but no thanks (in the most insulting way) to making $400k to do very little work. He was that sure of himself. So sure that he had the AA vote, not taking into account that religion is very political as well. Unlike WS-C, he is not familiar with the inner workings of the AA church (Baptist, AME, COGIC, and if you were I am from Catholic -- covering all the bases here because I do not know the church's denomination on the show). His ignorance is costing him big time Can't wait til next week to see it all blow up in the smug mug of his.

    Will Garner: I'm not going to gush over him anymore (well until next week). You know I am TeamWill all the way.

    Alicia: Dealing with her case this week, it was interesting to see her take a mother role to her client moreso than the client's own mother! How sad. Client is the meal ticket until the mom's $30mil divorce comes through.

    Will return with a part 2 to this comment later on…

    1. Vanessa F: The nuances you've introduced I hadn't considered between the relationship between father and son. Dad seemed okay with letting Junior run the show but he was still using training wheels apparently and didn't realize how much growing he needed to do. I was actually surprised that Pastor Jeremiah (ha) was being so generous in grooming his son. He son should have been more humble but he thought he had it all figured out. I love that the writers intentionally named Daddy Jeremiah as well especially considering they're in Chicago and it's an obvious reference to Trinity. Also, Peter's arrogance is just so darn irritating. I want to see the look on his face when he realizes Junior's "endorsement" has no validity without the support of the church. And yes, it's even more insulting how Peter hadn't bother to do even basic due diligence. I did notice WS-C's disappointment but she tried to recover quickly and she was still professional, but she is clearly the upstart and for all of her pluckiness she does need the backing of an infrastructure. The "Lord & Christ" endorsement will help. I'm seeing parallels between this and the Chicago Mayoral race with both Rahm Emmanuel and Carol Mosley-Braun running. Has the DNC decided Braun is the pesky fly that needs to be sent packing in real life? When she last ran for office she dropped out to support Howard Dean in what I'm certain was under similar circumstances and considering how Dean himself got the shaft by Obama & Co. this is all very messy and ugly. I want to see how this race plays out through the rest of the season for certain and will be using this as a bit of an insider's template for what goes on behind the scenes (that no one can talk about). This is another element to the series that will be very telling for sure!! I can't wait for your part 2 and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Ms.Mellody: I think Alan Cumming is an excellent actor. Yes, that was him in X-Men. You should go online and watch the commercial for his celebrity scent. He definitely likes to push the envelope and he's been very outspoken in calling out Obama for his betrayal to the LGBT community regarding DADT. Of course we can separate politics from the character's people play but with those things in mind it only reiterates that when he's working and playing such a complicated character I really appreciate the depth and breadth of his skills.

      1. Re: Senior Pastor. I forgot his name was Jeremiah. Ha! Good one 'The Good Wife' writers! Yes it would make sense that the church is tv's version of Trinity. Back in my visiting Chicago days, I attended a service there. Its all coming together now.

        Peter's arrogance is annoying as heck but haven't we all seen that type at some point? I know I have.

        Re WS-C: Yes, she recovered quickly from her disappointment. I wonder about that feeling of hers. Did she expect for Junior Pastor to have her back due to her being the AA candidate? If we are talking about growing an AA powerbase it would make sense for her to think so if Junior was of the same mindset. We all now know he isn't. A possible undercurrent of sexism in his decision to endorse Florrick has crossed my mind.

        More on WS-C —> I like that she has a vulnerable side. She was hurt a bit by the non endorsement although it did not last long. There wasn't any stereotypical garbage of her turning into a combative shrew like many AA women are shown to be in television and movies. Kudos again to the writers of the Good Wife for writing a AA woman character who is not one-sided. Kudos for Anika Noni Rose for having the acting chops to pull off this complex woman so smoothly.

        1. Thanks for the rest of your analysis. I think Michael's wearing brown contacts which as I joked between that and Terrence Howard's unrelaxed hair on L&O:LA makes them look more alike than not. Derrick's exertion of "power" with those evaluations is rather juvenile then. I can't remember the Family Law guy's name either but he's certainly got spunk, lol! HE doesn't want to take orders from Derrick and despite the fact that he "saved" the firm it's clearly not a permanent alliance. I also think this is a valuable lesson to learn and I sense there's something from Machiavelli I should reading regarding the way Derrick is playing this. Perhaps there's a bit of a racial element as play as well? I don't know, but his character is somewhat diminished when he's supposed to be mentoring Alicia and they haven't tried a case together, but we've got 15 more episodes!! Is Derrick playing to win or about to get played?!! Or is this about separating Diane and Will? This season has already surpassed the first one in terms of storylines. And yes the writers have written an excellently nuanced character and TPTB cast a great actress in Anika Noni Rose for the Wendy Scott-Carr role for all the reasons you've mentioned. I'm looking forward to the Kalinda payoff/payback since I still have that scene of her busting Blake's windows in mind while writing this!

  4. " you can see it by Junior’s scrunched up face he doesn’t appreciate Mrs. Married to A White Man coming to him for help. Yes, I’m going there.."

    . SO all of that “I only offer spiritual guidance” went out the door because the SISTA ASKED FOR HELP and he had to CHOOSE PANDERING TO A WHITE MALE INSTEAD. What do we talk about when we’re not talking about how BM denigrate BW? We discuss how they view us as their COMPETITION. So much for God. Choosing the man you “know” is using you is better than helping a black woman get ahead? Um, ok then! ** This is why I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!

    Nope, the thing that had me simultaneously screaming, jumping out my seat and doing the Happy Dance was when the next scene opened on Junior at a choir practice and to see the 100 League of Brothers rolling down the aisle with Daddy Jeremiah leading the pack. That was the executioner call.

    Guess who’s going to get the “Higher Power” endorsement instead? It won’t be Peter! Eli may be working for a new candidate next week after all.

    LESSON: The writers did black women a huge service with this sub-plot and most won’t even get it

    So apparently Jackie was right all along: Pastor Isaiah was a phase and he’s been phased out!

    Oh and did I mention that there’s a defector in the Florrick home? Their 14 year-old daughter Grace likes Wendy Scott-Carr, too. In fact, because she was filmed saying show much she admires her it was enough of a concern that Eli went to Alicia so she could talk to her. POW!

    Faith Faith Faith, Oh my gosh how I love this show!!

    It is just absolutely a deliciously written purposefully and artfully drawn out indulgence. I pulled the quotes from your post and listed them above. I just absolutely AGREE with every single one of them.

    One in particular I have to comment on especially; " What do we talk about when we’re not talking about how BM denigrate BW? We discuss how they view us as their COMPETITION."

    I remember when I finally understood this undercurrent as it pertains to the trolls/dissenters in this discussion at BWE-IR blogs. I was blown away..I mean totally and completely floored. I had no idea that Black men thought of Black women as THEIR COMPETITION. It took me reading over at Evia's blog how she explained that Black men only take their cues from the dominant Alpha males in this our societal structure. When she explained that for example…when a white man starts saying/acting/ documenting and responding to Asian women are/as attractive then Black men followed suit..and how that pertains to just about any structure/person/place etc. THen I sat and thought about it..and saw how that is the gospel truth.

    Black men of whom are dbr men want desperately to be given that green light of approval..and when dbr men see a Black woman with a white man they feel jealous, they feel rejected, they feel not seen as good enough, they envy and then they turn and want to destroy that very thing that they see the white man has "approved of"! Now considering that these dbrm can NEVER destroy/taint/damage Asian women because of their actual community's ability to thrive and sidestep dbrs, the damaged beyond repair black men then take their hostility and anger out on a demographic that is not in being protected- the race women, the sista soldiers, the mules.

    Do you see how Wendy Scott-Carr is neither a mule, nor a sista-soldier nor a race-woman. Do we see how she is indeed a refined genteel woman. I do. I see that she is highly educated, but she is also highly dignified in her presentation, she has NOT limited herself to her dating/marriage choices ( and yes I do realize that she is just a character on television and that some writer sat and dreamed her up..but really just think about it..I am assuming at this point that the writers for this CBS drama are all white and maybe for good measure I will venture out and say there is a person of color on the writing staff. ANd for further seasoning I will venture to guess that there HAS to be a woman or two women on this writing staff). Also this character of Wendy Scott Carr gives us the viewing audience a good indicator as to how the writers see Black women..educated, dignified and making choices that will further them in the global village. And with that in mind the character of Wendy Scott Carr with her rarified presence is given a white husband, mainly because the writers see or are seeing more amd MORE black women of education/substance and genteel manners with white men. Just my round about observation.

    Now on a lighter note, as it pertains to The Good Wife, I have always considered that Jackie as a silent deadly ticking bomb in the Florrick household. I saw that episode where she went toe to toe with Eli and Eli's face told the whole entire story. He at first openly just dismissed her in the condescending "old bitty" way..but Jackie has been around for quite some time and she ACTUALLY is a better political operative than any man could be. She is a woman who has lived thru history, she has steered her son in many many ways..she has steered him to the seat of power that he holds and you better believe your sweet bippy she AIN'T givin' them reigns of power up for anything, anyperson and let alone some "silly little hoochie prostitute issue.."

    And ladies remember she is a woman who came from an era where women "overlooked" their powerful husbands indiscretions. Especially if your powerful husband could have you living on the North Shore, living in one of those stone mansions, with a car service, your kids in the best private schools, and fellow wives lunching with other wives of powerful rich men.

    So Jackie is not about to let this Junior Pastor come along with "his God" who might make Peter re-assess himself. Also..I sensed this too Faith, that Jackie has in some way ( that we havent seen yet ) resents or looks down on Alicia. I really believe that Jackie feels that Alicia should be at home with her children, lunching, schmoozing, going to the salon, just putzing around as a "wife-of" !! I think that Jackie thinks that Alicia is in some kind of competition with Peter…you know like Alicia is APPRECIATIVE of what Peter has accomplished, and that Alicia should have just played the hurt damaged wife due to Peter's little indiscretion. Jackie feels that Alicia should have just skulked off somewhere and got some plastic surgery maybe..and gone on a spa retreat and made Peter "pay" for his discretion but God forbid don't "upstage" Peter by going to work and establishing your legal career!! God forbid?!!

    Thanks Faith for your insight and especially that hilarious line about the "100 League of Brothers rolling down the aisle behind Daddy Pastor"…when I saw that on the screen I was thinking the EXACT EXACT same thing!! And yes, Junior Pastor got the suprise of his life at the end of that episode.

    1. MsMellody: I'm loving your analysis as well!. I definitely get the feeling the back story is that Jackie never approaved of Peter marrying Alicia to begin with and that she thinks he was slumming it a bit. Alicia would have resigned herself to being cordial but distant with Jackie. There's also the as-yet unexplored family dyanmics of Alicia's parents. Her brother was a hoot! Neither Peter nor Jackie like the idea of Alicia taking the lid of the box they want to keep her in, whereas Will would view her as his equal in every way. Peter definintely deploys a bit of the Madonna/Whore complex where his wife is concerned. Will would want to bring the "whore" out on Alicia. At least that's what I'd consider to be an underlying dynamic between them IF they get together. The fact Alicia was willing to leave Peter a few months ago (between seasons) speaks volumes. I don't think his moving back into the bedroom has repaired the damage to their marriage either. This is all about his political ambitions. He would have taken the position offered by the party leaders if he was really thinking of putting his family first. Instead he thinks if he can reconstruct external circumstances that will fix everything. Jackie's objection to his self-reflection would seem to bear that out. I have to say this is great we can talk about this show! So many life lessons…

      Vanessa F: Comment away when you get the chance.

      Foreverloyal: Even if you watch the beginning and last episodes from Season 1 and and maybe three from Season 2 (exercise in front of the tv to make it worth your time or similar) it will be worth it.

      Deborah: It's a very good show which only demonstrates how crappy most of tv is. Quality REALLY stands out.

      LaVonne: I love the mother-daughter dynamics at play here and am adding the rest of my analysis where I mention this. I have no idea what's going to happen during the race unless Eli goes rogue, works for WS-C and tells her about Alicia & Will who uses it to win. THAT would be so ruthless but so engaging to watch. If it was a real political campaign that's exactly what would happen. I like the idea of Alicia & Will striking out on their own, but I still think he'll want another Equity Partner. Alicia using all of her husband's (future ex?) considerable influence to secure her own separate power base the way the ex-Mrs. Childs used her privileged info to her advantage would be interesting to watch and a powerful step forward for Alicia to come into her own. She's spent nearly all of her adult life with Peter thus far and should benefit from it after the hih price she'd paid.

  5. Faith, I am watching closely to see how the race turns, because I see some real issues coming along the way. I also found this week's interaction between Alicia and her daughter (when she called her "Alicia") interesting. This teen is watching here home life through the eyes of the media and it is changing what she sees vs. what she knows. I want to see how that will play out. As to the firm, my desire is to see Will and Alicia having to go out on their own (start from scratch, so to speak). They are passionate about what they do and don't take losing well. Alicia, especially, now has a taste of what power can do, and she is not about to let that go.

  6. Wow! This Good Wife analysis was on point. Will get into this in-depth tomorrow morning.

    -Vanessa F. (who in a fantasy world would want to work on Wendy Scott-Carr's campaign)

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