Written by Matt Taylor
The grand jury investigation into Peter Florrick’s political activities is finally getting started, but the mystery about why he’s being investigated is only becoming more mysterious. And as we take another step towards its series finale, The Good Wife proved yet again that they know just what they’re doing from a storytelling standpoint. Tonight’s episode, “Hearing,” was one of the best written episodes of the season thus far, tying the story together while still keeping viewers in suspense.
The worst part of the episode, once again, was the case-of-the-week, but that boring subplot was easier to swallow because it involved Alicia’s mother, Veronica, played by the series’ secret weapon, Stockard Channing. The subplot itself, which involved Veronica investing money with the wrong con artist, was a snooze, but Channing had some memorable one-liners and all but stole the episode with her funny performance. Since this might be the last time we see Veronica, it’s nice to see the writers give her a memorable sendoff. Dallas Roberts also returned (albeit briefly) as Alicia’s brother, Owen, and while I’d like to see more of him before the series ends, he’s always a welcome presence.
Much of this week’s episode involved the development of Alicia’s relationship with Jason, which has now become intimate in every sense of the word. As always, The Good Wife handles sex with a sense of maturity and realism that most network dramas lack, while still allowing these sequences to be appropriately erotic and satisfying. Their relationship is about much more than sex, however, and the writers are intelligently revealing how this new bond is slowly starting to change Alicia’s personality and career aspirations. While I do feel like the writers are rushing this development (in one sequence, Alicia mistakenness Jason for Will, which feels wholly unearned), it feels necessary for the show’s conclusion. Furthermore, this subplot is tying into the mounting tensions at Lockhart, Agos & Lee, which should lead to an exciting finale.
Finally, this week’s episode introduced us to Connor Fox, played by Broadway vet Matthew Morrison, who will be leading the grand jury investigation into Peter. Now, anyone who watched Glee knows that Matthew Morrison isn’t exactly the best actor (in his defense, any white guy that tries to rap “Gold Digger” would come off as punchable). Even during the musical comedy’s first (great) season, he was always the cast’s weakest link. His casting as the last antagonist on The Good Wife, a series with so many memorable villains, was worrisome. But, based on his short amount of screen time this week, Morrison seems to be up to the task. While the writing will make or break his character, Morrison gave an understated performance, and helped make his character seem more mysterious and morally ambiguous than outright bad. Thanks, in part, to an ingenious storytelling device that slowly revealed information about the investigation, this long gestating subplot got off to a great start. And, thanks to some surprisingly dark humor for the series, it was also quite funny.
Robert and Michelle King have always said they knew how they wanted their series to end, and this episode certainly backs that claim up. The series seems to be heading in an interesting, entertaining direction. While the show could really afford to lose the case-of-the-week format that it’s relying on, “Hearing” proved to be a solid hour of television.
Overall rating: 9 out of 10.