As our fearless leader, Matt Richenthal, prepares to take a few weeks of well-earned time off, I'll be stepping in to cover The Good Wife on his behalf. I hope I can deliver close to the same level of quality to which you've become accustomed.
A thick layer of uneasiness was draped across "Killer Song," a feeling that never really seemed to fade, despite the few moments of comic relief we had from Mr. Eli Gold.
If the main Lockhart/Gardner case wasn't disturbing enough, the plaintiff was downright chilling (as were the lyrics to his single) in his extreme lack of remorse, flippantly remarking "Oops" when Alicia suggested things would have been smoother for him if he hadn't killed somebody.
Watching him talk to the people around him as if nothing untoward had ever taken place actually unnerved me. I suppose his actions were intended to come off darkly funny, but it was just unsettling. It was definitely an interesting twist, though, to have the daughter (was that really Gaby Hoffman?) link the song to a different murder, finally bringing her mother's killer to justice. Good on Cary, too, for being there to help nail the guy in the end.
Speaking of which, what a change in tone for Mr. Agos. I love seeing Cary, jaw unclenched, talking to Alicia with those friendly eyes, and actually helping Lockhart/Gardner versus trying to trip them up in a thinly veiled attempt at revenge. I've been a little disappointed with Cary's role ever since he went on the offensive, so this reversal of character was nice to see.
As somewhat of a respite from all the dark edges to this episode, Eli proved his last name rather appropriate as he showed himself to have a bit of a Midas' touch with regard to the circumstances surrounding Natalie Flores (the ever-luminous America Ferrera). Eli is good, and really funny, when he's his near-curmudgeonly self - the scenes with his daughter had me laughing out loud - but what a treat to see him light up every time Natalie was around, even finding himself tongue tied, like a nervous teenage boy approaching a beautiful classmate.
Such a bummer that she turned out to have a boyfriend, though, because I would not object in the least to having Ferrera join the cast on a regular basis. Eli could definitely use some lightness and warmth in his life.
The meat and potatoes of the episode, however, came from last week's shocking revelation of Kalinda's fling with Peter. Watching with a pit in my stomach, I honestly couldn't determine who I felt the more sorry for, Alicia or Kalinda.
Alicia is finally starting to bounce back from the tumultuous year she's had. She's walking with a bit more spring in her step, and she's smiling more than I can remember her doing before (sans wine glass, anyway). In that last scene at home, she seemed to be more buoyant than usual, once again feeling comfortable in her home life - and it broke my heart to watch.
When she told Kalinda she doesn't know if it's happiness or just relief that the storm is over - at this point I don't think she cares which - it was clear she has no clue that she's only made it into in the eye of the storm; that brief calm before the relapse happens.
Peter has humiliated Alicia, stolen her pride, made her at once a laughingstock and someone to be pitied. This time, though, it will be even worse because now there's a level of trust and personal connection to the other woman. He'll not only destroy Alicia's self-respect for a second time, he'll be taking away the first real friend she's had since the scandal happened.
And we all know how loyal her former friends turned out to be.
Kalinda, on the other hand, was flat out scared for the first time I can recall since the show began. The fear in her eyes was pure. It's so atypical to see Kalinda this raw and exposed, and the way she lost focus on the case was a testament to how shaken up she is that her secret will get out. Every time Alicia got a phone call, or even approached her, Kalinda seemed genuinely thrown.
It's very difficult to see Kalinda like this. I'm used to her being so tough, strong, the one who has everyone else's back in a pinch. But now... there's no one to have her back.
Her conversation with Peter didn't do anything to ease that tension, either. The politics at play are dirty, and provide a guarantee that one way or another, the secret is going to come out.
And it's gonna be all kinds of ugly when it does.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.