Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Good Wife Starts Second Season on CBS

The Good Wife returned to CBS last night, with a great episode that picked up right where the first season ended, Alicia about to join Peter on stage after his political come-back speech, phone ringing for a second time in Alicia's hand with a call from Will, her boss and almost more ...

Will's first call, a few minutes earlier, was to tell Alicia that he wanted to be with her.  Alicia's response was that she got the romance, but if she was to jeopardize her family, she needed a plan.   In the premiere of the second season last night, Alicia doesn't get to answer the second call - one of Eli Gold's guys takes the phone from Alicia, and she joins Peter on stage.   Will, seeing the two on television, leaves voice-mail - it's best that Alicia forget what he just told her, their relationship will be strictly professional from now on.  But, then, a few beats later, he reconsiders and calls back with a different message: he loves her, they can make this work, if she agrees then they should get together and work out a plan, if not, he won't bother her about this again.

But Alicia never gets to hear that second message, because Eli erases it.  This is a good move, narrative-wise, because it allows the new season to start off as if the end of the last season didn't happen.   (But, technically, wouldn't Alicia have seen a second missed call indicated on her cell phone?  And my wife doubts that Alicia would have let anyone take her phone, even under these pressured circumstances.)   But keeping the lid on Alicia and Will for now does make for exciting possibilities in the near and later future of this series.

Meanwhile, the most powerful scene in the episode - and I'd guess on all of television last night - comes after Peter sees Alicia stand up to a judge in a courtroom, and risk a contempt citation in defense of the Fifth Amendment.   Peter is turned on by Alicia's daring and power, and later, at home, he walks into the steamy bathroom where Alicia has just finished her shower and dressed.    She's happy enough to see him, but demurs and says she has to study up for a case.   Peter says that's ok, he'll take of everything, which he does, with about as explicit oral sex as we've seen indicated on prime time network television without actually seeing it.    This is a significant reversal of usual male-female power-sex roles, because Peter is doing this a little more for Alicia's pleasure than his, to in effect reward her for her brave courtroom performance.

Other good touches on the last night's show are additions of Scott Porter (Jason from Friday Night Lights!) and Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell, FlashForward) to the cast, and indeed to Alicia's law firm.   But Julianna Margulies as Alicia remains the towering figure in the show, continuing to deliver an awesome performance in every episode.

5-min podcast review of The Good Wife

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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