The Good Wife, Ep. 5.03, “A Precious Commodity” delights in moral murkiness

The Good Wife S05E03, "A Precious Commodity" promotional picture

The Good Wife S05E03, "A Precious Commodity" promotional picture

The Good Wife, Season 5, Episode 3, “A Precious Commodity”
Written by Keith Eisner
Directed by Brooke Kennedy
Airs Sundays at 10pm EST on CBS

This week, on The Good Wife: Will leads a coup against Diane, David Lee works pro bono, and Grace wants to look pretty

The Good Wife continues its strong fifth season this week with “A Precious Commodity”. While the court case of the week doesn’t go to the show’s most entertainingly reliable well, bizarre quirks of the law, it does embrace another- moral murkiness. Alicia is wholly in the clear, doing her best to represent the wishes of her client, no matter her personal thoughts on the issue, but the case itself is deliciously tricky. Abortion is an incredibly complex issue, both intellectually and morally, and its quandaries are frequently reduced or dismissed simplistically by arguments from both sides. It’s incredibly refreshing to see the topic addressed in such an interesting, engaging, and respectful manner. By the time Alicia starts using pro-choice logic to support her pro-life argument, writer Keith Eisner’s hand is perhaps too strongly felt, guiding the narrative to bring it to this point, but the scene is so fun and interesting we’re hard pressed to care. It’s always great to see Alicia excel at her job and this week is no exception, and the addition of Janel Moloney and Christian Borle, among others, to The Good Wife’s frankly ridiculous guest cast list certainly doesn’t hurt.

Elsewhere, Melissa George is back stirring up trouble in the Governor’s office. Glaring accent work aside (why won’t shows just let George use her actual accent? She’s a talented actress- let her play Australian now and again!), her return promises interesting things to come, if only because Marilyn looks to be the most interesting and formidable opponent (or ally?) Eli’s had to interact with in quite a long time. Given Chris Noth’s cagey delivery in his real estate-themed scene with Julianna Margulies, the Peter of old may be back. Can’t wait to see what that could bring, as more time with Noth is always good for the show. This arc, along with Grace’s continuing journey (the scene this week between Makenzie Vega and Margulies is particularly strong), promises plenty more drama on the Florrick home front.

Just in time for massive upheaval at work. The Will/Diane fallout is abrupt, but effective. Given the show’s track record for accuracy, this is presumably a reasonable depiction of the process, but hopefully there will be a greater exploration of the firm-wide interpersonal dynamics moving forward. One can’t help doubting the show will reduce Diane’s role as drastically as her appointment to the State Supreme Court would require, but at the moment, it’s hard to see how she can come back from this. While the Florrick-Agos departure has felt somewhat stretched out, there’s still some material there to explore, most notably between Kalinda and Alicia, and after Diane’s betrayal, Will is not going to respond well to Alicia’s decision to leave. With these threads, and so many more, to look forward to, the next episode can’t get here quickly enough. The Good Wife has been firing on all cylinders, and “A Precious Commodity” continues the trend, giving us the strongest episode of the season thus far.

What did you think of the episode? Which side did you fall down on in the court case? Think Diane is really leaving? How will Kalinda react to Alicia leaving? Post your thoughts below!

Kate Kulzick

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