sat 24/06/2017

The Good Wife, Series 5, More4 | reviews, news & interviews

The Good Wife, Series 5, More4

The Good Wife, Series 5, More4

If anything it's still getting better

Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies, centre) prowls among Chicago's legal and political big beasts

The annual reappearance of The Good Wife is always a cause for celebration. Why they persistently park it in the twilight zone of More4 remains one of the enduring mysteries of our era, since it's one of the best shows on TV, but the only question that need concern us is: will season five be as good as the ones that came before? On the evidence of this opener, yes indeed, so much so that American critics have been hailing it as the best ever,

Change is in the air at Chicago's upmarket law firm Lockhart Gardner. Not only does Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) have to be mindful of her new status as wife of the Governor of Illinois, following the election triumph of her husband Peter, but she's also on the brink of leaving the firm to join a start-up with her ambitious colleague Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry). Yet, we sense, the deal still isn't quite done and dusted.

Alicia's residual feelings for Will Gardner, and her admiration for the steely professional skills of Will (Josh Charles) and Diane Lockhart, are keeping her glued to her old alma mater like an invisible force field. She's also unnerved that David Lee (Zach Grenier), the firm's brutal and bruising divorce specialist, has sniffed treachery on the wind, and is trawling the phone records of potential ship-jumpers like a one-man Stasi (pictured above, Grenier with Christine Baranski).

Meanwhile, the lawyerly pumps had to be manned as Alicia and Diane (Christine Baranski) raced to the rescue of Death Row prisoner Eddie Fornum, wrongly convicted of the murder of two teenage girls during a car-hijacking. As the prison staff attempted to find a suitable vein into which to plug the tubes which would deliver Eddie's lethal dose - his history as a junkie had left him with "rolling veins" -  Ms Lockhart smartly seized the moment to intervene, claiming that the panic-stricken jailers were in effect torturing the distraught prisoner. A stay of execution was duly granted (Josh Charles, pictured below).

The battle of wits between the opposing teams of legal bloodhounds as Lockhart Gardner battled to have Fornum's death sentence quashed was drawn with pace and cunning, with ace investigator Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) helping to uncover a complicated trail of bribery and deceit. Yet there are always multiple plot-plates spinning busily, and you have to look sharp to keep up (though it wasn't possible to avoid the remote-controlled iPad-on-wheels trundling around the office, a recurring gag which ran a little out of control).

For instance, while Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) was hailing his wife's bold decision to fly the nest and start a new law firm, the ghost of scandals past stepped pertly into the room in the shape of Marilyn Garbanzer (Melissa George), head of the Illinois Ethics Committee. Peter Florrick's history of parallel womanising has almost destroyed his career, as his wily aide Eli Gold (the pin-sharp Alan Cumming) was quick to point out. Ms Garbanzer was hastily promoted to the board of the Transit Authority, but the way Peter was looking at her legs boded ill. Already, the plot thickens.

The battle of wits between the opposing teams of legal bloodhounds was drawn with pace and cunning

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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