Julianna Margulies may have plenty of detractors, but my God, she’s an absolutely outstanding actress.
Her performance this week as Alicia struggles to deal with the voicemail revelation and doubting just about every single life choice she’s ever made is nothing short of incredible: from the violence in her apartment and the disorientation when Jason turns up, to the dark glasses and Jane Eyre on the campaign bus; from the “what ifs” with Ruth to the enigmatic expression on her face in that final scene with Peter – wow. She is fantastic and so is the gorgeous song soundtracking her angst: a perfect combination of majestic acting, magnificent music and years of patient, painstaking character development all coming together to give us some of the best individual minutes of tv work I’ve seen.
All of which means that Alicia’s strand of the story is so compelling and beautifully realised, that we get half an amazing episode this week. The other half: not so much.
I understand the points made about the disproportionate impact the smaller states have on the Presidential campaign because of the way the U.S. system works, and the stupid things candidates can end up doing to pander to people on the campaign trail, but, for the most part, the Full Grassley shenanigans just come across as snarking at the “country folk” of Iowa for the sake of it. And I say that as a lifelong city-dweller. While some of it’s funny, most of it’s snide and it left a slightly unpleasant taste in my mouth. As for the Lockhart Agos Lee / Jackie stuff: passable but nothing special, and Monica is really getting on my nerves. If she could move to, California with Jason, that would really help me out, but I fear we’re stuck with both of them.