“One woman on a focus group” has Alicia obsessing about whether she comes across as “entitled” and inadvertently turning herself into Marie Antoinette in the process. Pre-trial prep has Diane enlisting the help of Viola Walsh to see how Cary will come across on the stand (badly, you guys. Cary will come across BADLY). And annoying Kalinda’s annoying relationship with the annoying FBI woman has Lemond Bishop questioning her loyalties, Cary questioning their connection and me questioning if the Kalinda-as-magic-sexpot storylines will ever END.
The focus group stuff is superb – especially when it intersects with the case of the week and the previously suspicious woman starts arguing with a suddenly wary man about whether taking on a campus rape lawsuit makes Alicia a “feminist activist.” First of all, dude, no it doesn’t, and second of all, so what if it did? I don’t understand why, in the twenty-first century, “feminist” is still used as such a bizarrely pejorative term, even if I’d hazard a guess that the deeply worrying climate of misogyny online and in the media might have something to do with it, but it’s a question that needs to be asked and a point (as I’ve said before) that this show is never scared of making, so, once again, kudos.
As far as the lawsuit itself is concerned, however, the university panel scenes are another excellent example of TGW’s fascination with and peerless skill at portraying extra-judicial proceedings, but the subsequent court scenes, fantastically-played though they are, did disappoint me a little. Campus sexual assault is such an important, relevant subject, particularly just now, and turning the storyline into one more opportunity for Canning shenanigans just cheapened the whole thing, I thought.
But I’m nit-picking, I guess. By TGW standards, “Red Zone” was a mid-table rather than top-tier episode, but by any other show’s? It was pretty damn good.