On a treadmill, in her own world, and in a court room on the opposite side from Florrick Agos. Uh-oh.
The case of the week is about sexual discrimination; a female CEO’s been fired for – depending on who you listen to – her “strong management style” or being a “bitch on wheels”, and, as you’d expect from TGW, this means some deft points about sexism and attitudes to women in management roles. They’re overshadowed a little, however, by our, yes, amusing but also slightly uncomfortable detours into Elsbeth’s subconscious. She’s clearly struggling and while, thanks to Carrie Preston’s joyous performance, there’s a lot of fun to be had throughout with the clown and the composer and the cats, Alicia taking advantage of this woman’s mental health issues seems both cold and cruel, particularly in a week where she’s being held out as the soul of justice and integrity.
I think we all realised a long time ago that all’s fair in love and lawsuits as far as Alicia’s concerned, though; there’s very little she won’t do to get ahead. Except disinvite Finn from a press conference, apparently, which somewhat puzzling line in the sand gives us both the strangest storyline and the best scene of the week.
Finn – for reasons which I really hope will turn out to be nefarious, because the alternative would make him an idiot – has agreed to introduce and endorse Alicia at the launch of her run for State’s Attorney. I can’t quite get my head round how weird this is. Finn works for the current SA. Why put himself in such an untenable position? And Alicia has her husband, the GOVERNOR, to endorse and introduce her. What on earth does she need Finn for?
Never mind the set-up, however, let’s just enjoy the fall-out since Peter, of course, agrees with me, leading to the mother of all rows; Chris Noth and Julianna Margulies are on blistering form, ducking it out with dialogue as quick as it is brutal. And magnificent.
Those scenes are such dynamite that the reason for them ceases to matter, especially when they lead us to an ending which brings everything back round full circle to season 1 of episode 1, (how different it was back then!) while simultaneously turning the way in which the show started completely on its head.
Few shows can constantly re-invent themselves, but this one seems to do it with alacrity every season.
The good stuff doesn’t stop there, either. The Ransomware story is hilarious, especially Kalinda using Pussy Riot to defeat a Russian hacker when Kalinda usually uses….. I think you can finish that joke for yourselves. Unfortunately, however, Kalinda doesn’t stray too far from her usual sex-for-favours techniques for much of the episode – I was over it and this character several seasons ago, and a sizeable chunk of the episode is dragged down by it as a result, meaning it’s nowhere near as brilliant as eps 3 and 4. But Diane’s still glorious, David Lee talks about monkeys flying out of his butt and Eli feels like he’s in a Bruckheimer movie, so never mind Kalinda, I thoroughly enjoyed “Shiny Objects” anyway.