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The Good Wife, Ep. 6.02: “Trust Issues” turns the page on Lockhart Gardner

The Good Wife, Ep. 6.02: “Trust Issues” turns the page on Lockhart Gardner
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The Good Wife, Season 6, Episode 2: “Trust Issues”
Written by Ted Humphrey
Directed by Jim McKay
Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on CBS

Sometimes what’s noteworthy about The Good Wife is in what it chooses not to give us. A fine example comes in the form of Diane Lockhart’s exit from the firm she started with Will Gardner before the series began. While the synchronized-to-the-second exit of Diane and her fellow jumpers (including new cast addition Taye Diggs as Dean Levene-Wilkins) is a bit much, it’s still a remarkably restrained sequence. Diane knows what she wants to do and she does it, without any overt nods to the partner she lost. The show is smart enough to know that we know he;s in her thoughts, along with the many years of memories associated with Lockhart Gardner, but we’re thankfully spared any kind of literal highlight reel.

While that final sequence is the most important in terms of defining the season’s direction, “Trust Issues” isn’t lacking for incident on any front. After what feels like a long break from the show’s procedural element, we finally have a case of the week, this time a trifle concerning ChumHum and an alleged wage fixing scheme. While the idea of Alicia facing down the woman who declined to hire her when she first returned to the workforce makes for a neat parallel with Diane’s move, Alicia’s moment of triumph feels a little out of place in this episode. Did we really need the umpteenth character to point out that Alicia’s grown teeth?

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The continuing fluctuations of Cary’s case and Alicia’s hypothetical State’s Attorney run make for more interesting drama. “Trust Issues” buries the lede on this a bit, but it’s made clear that Cary did coach Lemond Bishop’s crew, if not in the strictly illegal sense, then at least couched in barely-there metaphor. Though he only gets out of jail at the end of the episode, it’s Kalinda who feels most exposed in all of this, having been forced into the impossible position of having to identify the CI in Bishop’s crew by omission. While I really, really could have done without the hip-hop flourish in the score when the body of Cary’s best witness turns up (because violence in the hood, right?), this is the sort of actually compelling dilemma we’ve not seen Kalinda get mired in for quite some time.

Meanwhile, Alicia’s insistence that she has no intention to run for State’s Attorney has begun to take on a Kafkaesque dimension, with people from all corners just sort of materializing to treat her running as an inevitability despite her repeated, unequivocal denials. One of them is real estate magnate Ernie Nolan, played by the never-trustworthy Michael Gaston, who literally offers Alicia the entirety of Cary’s bail with no explicit strings attached. Jess Weixler’s Robyn has become quietly indispensable as Alicia’s right-hand woman, and her knotty rationalization of why she should be able to take the money is one of the episode’s comic highlights.

While it’s principally a transitional episode with a handful of key events, “Trust Issues” does do something important: it reopens the question of Florrick Agos’ identity. While Diane is able to sell Dean on leaving by promising a more diverse workplace and a more dynamic work environment, there’s no real reason to believe that the startup will diverge from Lockhart Gardner in any meaningful way, especially given just how many Lockhart Gardner department heads have just filed in. Perhaps that’s the true purpose of refocusing on Bishop; not just to put Cary through an ordeal or Kalinda in a compromising position, but to serve as a stubborn reminder that regardless of whose names are on the company letterhead, only the money really matters.

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Other thoughts:

It’s week two for Fred Melamed, who really would much prefer it if you stayed behind the line.

Of course, the real star of the episode is Gunter, the perpetually shirtless contractor whose only desire is for readily accessible hot water, and to enlighten you about 9/11.

The actual case of the week barely merited mention, especially given that its best attempt at fun legal minutiae was the question of whether or not emoticons can be considered substantive communication.

As much as I love Alan Cumming and Eli in general, his obvious machinations and subsequent flapping in the wind weren’t much fun to watch this week. You can do better, all concerned!

What on Earth is Lockhart Gardner going to be called now?