Week 2 of Not The Good Wife, and we have more of the Good Wife Gang jumping aboard, as it turns out, firstly, that Julius – JULIUS! – Cain is a partner at Reddick Boseman too, which is great, because I love Julius, and then Marissa – MARISSA! – moxies herself into a job as Diane’s assistant there as well, which is great, because everyone loves Marissa, except that…. Well, Diane, like Peter Florrick before her, might think employing people because you “know” them has nothing to do with race, but TGF is trying to be more aware than that so it’s very obvious, even just from the expression on Barbara’s face that, in bringing with her a Caucasian associate and selecting a Caucasian assistant she knows (like Peter picking Cary for promotion over Geneva or Matan) over a roomful of African-American candidates recommended by the senior partner, makes it look very much like Diane is happily creating a Caucasian clique in a proudly African-American firm, and that does have something to do with race, whether Diane realises it or not.
Yes, Marissa is a terrific assistant, and Maia might one day reach the dizzy heights of a thoroughly mediocre associate (more on that in a moment) but since a hefty dose of privilege is what got them anywhere near Diane and the jobs they eventually landed, it’s difficult to say they earned everything have on merit alone.
And it’s even more difficult to say that when, as I said last week, Maia is so wet. Of course, she’s inexperienced and she’s in the middle of a horrendous family crisis, but she has no personality to speak of beyond “constantly terrified”; watching her cower through each scene is bordering on uncomfortable, as opposed to entertaining. Yes, she takes on a case off her own bat this week, but at every stage Lucca has to step in – and since Lucca has all the fire and presence Maia does not, it just makes the newbie look worse. Normally, I would root for the plucky underdog, but this is a show not tell situation – it’s no good for Diane or Adrian or whoever to tell me Maia is plucky and smart and a fighter, Maia herself has to show me (like those other newbies Alicia and Cary did before her), and so far she hasn’t.
What she has given us by taking on this week’s case of a man accused of theft by his employers, though, is a chance to get to know Delroy Lindo’s Adrian. He is awesome, reminding me a bit of Will in temperament and humour, and in turn, he gives us the gift of another chance to hang out with Denis O’Hare’s fabulous Judge Abernathy, another member of the Good Wife Gang who pops in this week with trainers and prescription sunglasses and, as usual, steals the show. I love that guy. Even if his ruling this week made no real sense, but there we go.
Characters old and new aside, however, this was a very good episode which felt a bit more like a show in its own right than last week’s did, even if it’s always going to have the usual TGW markers: this week’s including arbitration, sneaky Christine Lahti, an interesting and topical case, computer technology taking over every aspect of modern life, and such like. I enjoyed it a lot.