‘The Good Wife’: The Anti-Chandler Bing Effect

by | March 26, 2012 at 10:43 AM | Recap, The Good Wife

This week’s episode of “The Good Wife” went beyond ripped from the headlines, to, given how far in advance the episode must have been written, predicting them. The results were spectacular. “Blue Ribbon Panel” was one of the best episodes of the season. Alicia’s (Julianna Margulies) two main storylines came together in a spectacular way — someone from the past returns, and a character has a creepy name.

Alicia joins a blue ribbon panel investigating a police shooting. Matthew Perry plays Mike Kresteva, the chair of the panel. He is absolutely, positively, not Chandler Bing. The panel is there to rubber stamp the police department’s findings that it was a clean shoot. Alicia is in a “Twelve Angry Men” mood, however, and insists on asking questions, uncovering evidence that the police may have planted a gun on the good Samaritan that was ‘accidentally” shot to make it look like self defense. By the way, the victim is black and the officers are white. Is this starting to remind you of a case that is inspiring demonstrations all over the country right now? What if I told you that the cop who seems like he planted the gun has the last name Zimmerman? Given the lag time between writing, production, air airing, the last name is in all probability an eerie coincidence. Standards and Practices would have likely vetoed it if it weren’t.

The rest of the panel is initially opposed to Alicia’s effort to actually do the job she was tasked with doing. But Alicia’s dogged pursuit of the truth wins over the sole African American member of the panel, a pastor played by Charles Dutton. It seems like good will triumph over evil. Instead, in a great twist, it turns out that getting justice for the victim could come at great personal cost to Alicia. Watch the clip and find out why.

It turns out Peter (Chris Noth) decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Peter may have been concerned that charging the officers could inflame racial tensions and hurt his gubernatorial campaign. To make matters worse, Eli (Alan Cumming) was in the meeting with Cary and Peter. Mike, who is a status quo loving jerk,  loves that Alicia is now going after her husband. Mike offers her two versions of the report, the truth or a sanitized version that protects Peter. Alicia recuses herself, reluctantly, because she is more of a politician than she wants to admit.

Alicia is also busy with her quest to buy her old house. The realtor advises her to write a personal plea to the wife. Her note is accompanied by flashbacks of her raising her kids and everything going wrong with Peter. But she also remembers romantic times with him. The realtor phones her to say that another Florrick has bought the house. Alicia is ready to rip Peter a new one, not thinking about the fact that Peter makes less money than her and she can’t afford the house.  The other buyer is Jackie (Mary Beth Peil)! That is so perfectly evil of her. Alicia tracks her down at the hair salon, ready to throw down Kalinda style.

Speaking of Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) she and Alicia meet with the IRS about the investigation into Kalinda’s freelance work. One of her gigs was giving Diane firearm lessons. Hee! Kalinda notices a web camera on one of the computers in the office. Alicia speaks into the camera and tells them to call her.  The spy turns out to be Lana (Jill Flint), the sexy FBI agent who offered Kalinda a job.  Lana shows up at Alicia’s office and asks if Kalinda has ever freelanced for Lamar Bishop.Kalinda publicly flirts with Lana, attracting attention in the FBI cafeteria. Is this about Bishop, or just a lovers spat?

Finally, the battle for Will’s Named Partner position ends when one of the old geezer partners from last season is given the role. Nice power play, Will  (Josh Charles) and Diane(Christine Baranski). He admits to spending his days watching porn. Maybe he’s responsible for all of Lockhart-Gardner’s computer problems.