How do you top a special appearance by Michael J. Fox? With an episode that deals with a topic both relevant to society and The Good Wife characters themselves, while also introducing new divisions, storylines and conflicts.
Incredibly, "Bad Girls" accomplished all of these tasks, making it one of the best episodes in series history - and that's saying a lot for a show that pulls off fascinating hour after fascinating hour every week.
First, let's stop and give props to Miranda Cosgrove. The star of Nickleodeon's iCarly shined as a young singer/celebrity, as the series likely had Lindsay Lohan in mind when it first came up with this concept.But in a sad bit of fortunate timing for the series, Demi Lovato entered rehab this month for emotional issues, placing the question of how fame can affect a teenager squarely in the spotlight again.
What's so refreshing about The Good Wife is how it can take a pressing topic such as this, base an episode around it, and yet never come across as preachy.
It's clear the writers had a point of view, as they likely aren't fans of how the parents of celebrities treat their offspring. But it never came across as cheesy or sentimental or anything other than an interesting case for the firm, and especially, Alicia, who has a daughter at home that clearly worships her.
This could easily have felt like a stunt-casting plea for ratings on lesser shows.
Meanwhile, the drama continues to feel more current than anything else on television. Sloan wanted to "climb out of the Disney ghetto thing?" Miley Cyrus pretty much says the same thing every week. We were also treated to references to Rahm Emanuel running for Mayor, Howard Dean as head of the DNC and a Thailand website that really does mock scandals with humorous videos.
Were these important to the plot? No. But they made the episode feel fresh and intelligent. Rahm, huh? Rahm. It's the sort of short, simple exchange that actually would take place between Peter and the head of the Chicago Democratic party.
Elsewhere, two new conflicts emerged, via a pair of characters we hadn't seen in awhile. The sudden importance of David Lee felt a bit rushed (were we ever shown just how much of a big shot he is at the firm before?), but I'm all for internal office strife.
I also didn't expect a feud to develop between Pastor Isaiah and his father. On a less capable, well-written show, I'd worry that there were too many balls in the air, but I have nothing but faith that The Good Wife can keep me interested in them all. It's interesting to note that season one focused on Alicia's family as a source of tension, but things in that area have calmed down a bit. Peter and Alicia act like a normal couple now.
However, life at work for both sides has grown complicated. It's been a seamless, interesting transition for a show I can't stop raving about each week. What did everyone else think?