The Good Wife Season 6 Ep 14 aired last night. The official episode title is Mind’s Eye. It occurred to me that I could call it Saint Alicia Goes to Fantasyland to Find Herself. Basically the episode was an interior take with nothing much happening, and most of that was played out in Alicia’s head.
Maybe an easier way to describe it was that instead of Alicia just doing a voice over telling us what she’s thinking about, or struggling with, it is visualized. She has three or four things on her mind that can be designated with the term ‘of paramount importance’.
First is the later that day interview with potential backers. Alicia is worried about how she will respond to possible questions that could come up:
1) Her son Zach (away at Georgetown University) had impregnated his girl friend. And with Zach’s help, the girl had an abortion. Alicia thinks this is generally not widely known but this information could be damaging if she is either dishonest about it, or conversely, honest about it. The girl was just 15 at the time.
Alicia has a recurring image of Zach (in her mind’s eye) as being both a college dropout and homeless. Just the kind of person you hope won’t sit next to you on a park bench.
2) Lemond Bishop had told her that he’s funding a Campaign PAC for her.This has all sorts of negative repercussions. Alicia is backed by a drug dealer, Alicia as State Attorney might be lenient toward Bishop on drug charges.
What if she is asked directly if she has any knowledge about Bishop funding the PAC. As a candidate, she is not supposed to know anything about the who and what of the PAC. Communicating with the PAC could result in her being removed as a candidate.
But, in the truest sense, Alicia does not REALLY know about the PAC. Bishop only told her that he was going to fund the PAC. Alicia can honestly say – that to her knowledge she does not know anything.
Second is her love life which has been dormant – except for thinking and fantasizing about Finn and Johnny Elfman as well as not being able to finally let go of Josh who inhabits her dreams, even now. Tied to this is the thought of Kalinda and Peter. She has not forgiven Kalinda as of yet, and in her thoughts today Peter appears and says something like (how is it okay for you but not for me?).
Meanwhile, we hear Josh’s voice in these inner Alicia thoughts, and we see a representation of him physically. Notice I said a representation of him, as the voice is his, but we can never quite see Josh’s face.
Third is Louis Canning, the lawyer who has popped up repeatedly in Alicia’s legal life – seemingly always as an opposing attorney. Most recently, Alicia’s firm evicted Canning from the old law firm’s space. Canning had taken over the former Stern, Gardner & Lockhart offices. Now Canning is suing Florrick, Agos, & Lockhart for losses stemming from his eviction.
Alicia had her thoughts about not settling with Canning, but a part of her thinks that settling might just be the way to go. The elephant in the room is the fact of Canning’s illness, which at times Alicia believed that Canning often paints a dimmer picture than his reality. Like his disease comes and goes when he needs it to.
But when Alicia is notified that Canning has been rushed to a hospital, and Canning’s wife tells Alicia that he may not survive that very evening, Alicia is asked to pray for Canning’s recovery. She agrees to pray but is then troubled by it, as she is not a practicing Christian.
Alicia will tell her daughter Grace about this and ask Grace to do say the prayer (as in Grace being Alicia’s proxy). Then there’s the fact of Alicia’s mobile phone is now receiving Grace Florrick’s text messages. So Alicia learns that Grace may be undergoing a crisis of faith.
Immediately Alicia imagines the worst – that Grace has turned into a glue-sniffing addict and on top of that, she is knocked up. (The horror – a mother’s worst nightmare).
So that’s the major points of the episode. Most all of it is internal thinking brought to visual life. Alicia sits at a desk, takes notes from her own mind on two separate notepads, interrupts her thoughts to take phone calls, and on top of that she has laryngitis and should not be speaking. She will listen to music which we hear (she used ear pods), and then take the ear pods out for a phone call.
She’ll go for a walk. No destination to speak of – she just needs to get some fresh air (or clear her mind)
As I said, nothing happens – none of the above is resolved, and the episode ends with Alicia stepping into a paneled office for the interview.
This was a clever episode, but to me it was almost too clever. Like we all have experienced, and like we all know, the mind is capable of jumping from one task to another, even if it really shouldn’t. So there was a lot of repetitive images and repeated conversational scraps. Like how many times did we see Alicia looking at the same still image of her opponent, Frank Prady.
And I know for a fact, that there were three cuts to a homeless and desolate Zach Florrick on a park-bench. Ditto Lemond Bishop announcing intentions about funding the PAC.
Most of the other major characters like Gary Agos, Kalinda, Diane Lockhart, and Frank Prady – all had their screen times slashed to next to nothing. Alicia’s ‘Body Woman’ Marissa Gold was also a repetitive figure but she always had something useful to say. I’d call her a high point of the episode.
While nothing happened and the episode can correctly be called a placeholder for future events, this was not quite a successful episode. Yes, it was a step up from last week’s debacle, it still left me closer to turned off rather than turned on or invested.
On the plus side, there was no sign of Colin Sweeney or the Redmayne character, and we witnessed the return of Eli Gold, as a constant naysayer to Alicia’s intentions. He, as usual was annoying, but it was nice to see him back in play. Summing up, the ep was unique and smart. But not smart enough. At this point, five plus seasons in – do we really need a full episode to tell us, and show us – that Alicia has doubts, is often unsure of what to do, and like the rest of the world, she sometimes has to deal with a series of scattered thoughts which sometimes come all at once so as to avoid logical resolutions.
So Saint Alicia has to struggle within herself. But you already knew that. Just as we already know that Alicia is not squeaky clean or even close to being a Saint.
What did you think about this episode?