Alternate title of this episode: The Good Wife deals with entitlement. As Diane worked feverishly to prepare Cary for the trial of his life, Alicia dealt with her public image while taking on a campus rape case and Kalinda dug herself in deeper with Lemond Bishop. "Red Zone" was an entertaining hour, planting the seeds for much to come. Let's break it down, shall we?
Alicia's focus group was basically a chorus of fans discussing what they do and don't like about the character. She stood by her husband, she didn't leave her husband, she seems entitled, etc. It was like a room full of Team Will and Team Peter fans, but it really bothered Alicia. So much so that she started picturing one member of the focus group in her head either praising or criticizing her with big decisions she made throughout the episode. It was a nice touch.
While dealing with her public image, Owen (guest star Dallas Roberts) resurfaced for the first time since Alicia asked him about his affair with a married porn star who likes bareback. They swept that little disagreement under the rug and she helped Owen with a student who was accusing a fellow student of rape in front of a school's disciplinary committee, not in court. Outraged at the lack of due process and the bizarre rules, Alicia sought to bring a class action suit against the school after discovering a "rape wall" and other students who were victims of sexual assault. I wish The Good Wife had spent a little more of the episode on this very timely topic because it is a huge problem on college campuses. In the end, the student accused of rape got expelled…for having pot in his room. This "random search" satisfied Alicia's client and she disappeared as quickly as she entered Alicia's life. There was a highlight to this sped-up case: Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) vs. Alicia in court. It's been so long since we had seen the two square off in front of a judge and it was a delight.
Meanwhile, Diane and Alicia discussed urging Cary to take a plea deal. If he was any other client, they would push for it. But he's not just any other client. Viola Walsh (Rita Wilson) was hired to help prep Cary for court and it just was not going well. At least until Alicia came in and dropped some truth bombs and told Cary to get his head in the game. Cary is all about Kalinda. Kalinda is not all about Cary…or at least pretending not to be. She's going hot and heavy with Lana (Jill Flint) again and Cary knows that…but what will this relationship cost her. Kalinda has also been at the beck and call of Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter). Now that we know Archie Panjabi is leaving the show, I feel like I'm paying extra attention to everything Kalinda does. I'm looking for clues about her exit and it seems evident that it will have to do with Lana, Lemond and Cary. But the best thing about The Good Wife is I could be totally wrong in that assumption. The show time and time again proves that nothing is as it seems and pulls the rug out from right under viewers, but not in a hokey and unbelievable way. The Good Wife plays its cards close to its chest and that makes for truly riveting TV.
Gasp count: 0
Some other things:
What was that white card Bishop gave Kalinda?! It didn't seem like a tracking device…something tells me Lana's time may be limited.
With Castro out of the State's Attorney race and no other candidates in sight, that means Alicia or Frank Prady (David Hyde Pierce) has to get the position. I hope it's Frank Prady. I don't want to lose the dynamic of Alicia and Diane! And election storylines are not my favorite.
Please, more Owen. This felt like a waste of him.
"Thank you and go to hell," Cary to Kalinda.
I do enjoy the mutual respect between Alicia and Louis Canning. The little humanizing moments between the two make everything worth it.
The Good Wife airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on CBS.