Rasha: The one thing I noticed about this episode was how often Alicia looks in the mirror. Like nearly every other shot of her is of her in a mirror.
Gemma: Huh. I missed that, but I believe you.
R: I guess it’s to symbolize how she’s CONFRONTING HERSELF, or something.
G: Because Frank Prady is a GOOD PERSON.
R: Are they playing with us? Was David Hyde Pierce some kind of terrible person in the tabloids at one point? Am I imagining this, or just transferring it from Kelsey Grammer?
G: I don’t recall any severe DHP rumors. Kelsey Grammer has definitely had a nastier reputation over time. Grammer is also a Hollywood Conservative, one of that elite fraternity.
R: It might be that. I did like brother Niles best on Frasier. Prady’s right that there are still things in this day and age that make you weirder in public, especially if you’re a cisgender white male, than being gay. The whole Jesuit devotion bit would probably challenge conventional norms of masculinity more than homosexuality for that particular character.
G: I would say so. I thought it was an interesting writing choice, if a little bit jazz-hands as a Reveal. And then: you asked for more about Israel and Palestine, and I guess we got it? kinda? no, not really.
R: No, no, no. They did exactly what I am annoyed with them for doing: using Palestine as a gag or set dressing. I am done with y’all, Kings.
G: This discussion on the show seems to be written based on two pieces of ostensible knowledge: “All Jews like Israel! Acknowledging Palestine is a liability in American politics!” And the former is stupid, and the latter has some technical truth but could really use more perspective than they give it.
R: They handled it with the same kind of focus on Rich White People Problems that they did for their episode that was trying to be about Ferguson, but was really about how White people in office try to assuage their own guilt. Which is to say: they didn’t handle it at all.
G: Well, I thought the Ferguson episode actually admitted that, in an odd way. Like, how would the people this show is about handle a police shooting in Chicago? Pretty much like that.
R: Over sandwiches. I agree with the Fug Girls that it was too soon, too little, and just one more case of White people talking on TV about how to solve racism/whether racism exists.
G: When this show works, it’s still about white people having white people problems. It’s just that when it works it acknowledges that and lets us sit uncomfortably with it. I thought there was a lot of that in the first two seasons.
R: I think the Ferguson episode let Alicia get off too easily with her “we can only fight racism through policies based on merit”, and neither candidate gets called out for standing around with a room of working-class folks, Brown folks, Black folks, and acting like the opinions of White candidates are what’s most relevant.
G: Right. That’s what I’m saying. When this show works, it calls them out, and that was one of its greatest assets in the first couple of seasons. But it’s not going to stop being about its characters. It’s just that now it has somehow lost the ability to call them out for anything but Not Being Good People. To my mind, that would take only minor adjustments, but somehow they can’t figure out how to make them.
R: Well, Kalinda, you will be missed. Along with all the opportunities to create a meaningful storyline around your character that had more Brown people in it.
G: FOR REALZ.
R: On the plus side, Diane wore a nice jacket that was green for St. Patrick’s Day. Her necklace game was still subpar.
Are they only buying nice clothes for JM now?
G: Diane had hot garage sex. I think she can handle a subpar necklace.
R: Yes, her husband was back!
G: The Vulture recapper pointed out that Diane’s reaction to the case shouldn’t be classified so much as “her politics” as “the response of a person who lost her best friend to gun violence less than a year ago,” which I agreed with, and wish the episode had pushed further.
R: Yeah, that would have grounded it rather than beating some old dead argument between Kurt and Diane that has already been settled. Ooo, remember when she showed up to his shooting range at night in a fur coat? Mama!
G: Oh, those days were hot.
R: What I’m saying is, bringing up Will would have been a new entry in the conversation. Also, Diane is too smooth to just subpoena the very strong gent that she’s married to. She knows better than to expect that to go well.
G: I sort of feel the same way about missing that opportunity as I do about the Israel and Palestine stuff, actually. Like, it would take twenty minutes of research/consideration and thirty seconds of onscreen time to make it make sense in the world of your show, and you didn’t even bother with that. Step up your game, @GoodWifeWriters.
R: Well, without Owen’s DL Palestinian pr0no-making married lover, there’s really no counterpoint to all the voices in chorus with David Lee’s eye-rolling at charity to Palestine. Which, just to be clear, I am being sarcastic about. An invisible Palestinian unicorn used to shame the only out gay character on the show is not a point in the show’s favor. Am I right that there’s no one else really out as gay? Kalinda says she’s fluid, and she’s not really “out” about any damn thing.
G: Nobody we know long-term anymore. I’ve read that David Lee’s character breakdown for auditions included the phrase “probably gay, before Gay Was OK,” but other than that I think it’s just day players. And Kalinda’s lovers.
R: Why are we watching this show again?
G: Powerful characters and interesting story arcs, a compellingly cynical take on law and legal procedure that’s unique in network legal shows, and a history of subtle handling of American politics that we’re not quite willing to believe is over. At least, that’s why I’m watching it. Also, Kalinda. And her two seconds of appearance in this episode.
R: If this show goes one more round on Palestine without addressing it directly, I think it borders on libel/slander. Except there’s no legal recourse for addressing the slander of a dispossessed population of refugees, especially when that people doesn’t have any standing in international courts because they lack statehood. Given that, can I watch this show after Kalinda leaves? The last season has made me lament the lack of substantial storylines and screentime for Kalinda. This last episode proved that they could give us even less.
G: Yes. Though there were several eps like that last season, as well. I do not care about the Johnny/Alicia hookup, though I imagine the fallout could be interesting.
R: It’s like they had to make time for Kurt, and for the Johnny non-story, but they couldn’t cut out any of the moments of Alicia staring at herself in a mirror. So clearly, there had to be fewer minutes of Kalinda.
G: Alan Cumming gave an interview saying that a bombshell drops in E16, so I’m kind of holding out for that
R: Is 16 next week?
G: Yes, 16 is next week. I guess it has to be the election. They can’t stretch this out any longer.
R: All right then. I did like Marissa’s line to Johnny Elfbaby: “Handsome men can be so weak.” Truer words, my friend. Is he handsome? I can’t tell anymore. He just looks tired to me.
G: He’s pretty handsome. Also tired.
In closing, I still appreciate Michael J. Fox.
R: Canning scores from his deathbed. “Alicia! Where’s my money?!”