Winning doesn't fix everything--and sometimes it creates more problems than it solves.

This week, Alicia Florrick won her season-long campaign to be the next Illinois state's attorney, but The Good Wife episode depicting that victory was not very triumphant. Alicia spent most of election day preparing herself for a loss, after a last-minute sabotage attempt by her husband.

Even though he later repented, and helped Alicia win, "Red Meat" lined up all the problems that she's about to face in her new role: Drug dealer Lemond Bishop, who funded her campaign, is ready to start calling in favors. Kalinda's being tailed by the state's attorney's office, meaning that Alicia is about to inherit an investigation into her colleague and onetime friend. The Florrick marriage of convenience appears increasingly toxic, as Peter's threatened by Alicia's political success. And even his last-minute change of heart, and effort to help Alicia win, involved creating a traffic jam to block Frank Prady's voters from reaching the polls. That's surely going to come back to haunt both Florricks; just ask Chris Christie.

Still, Alicia's victory in this election has never felt all that much in doubt, if only because there seem to be a limited amount of stories left for The Good Wife to tell if she loses and goes back to working full-time at the law firm. And despite all those looming disasters, "Red Meat" was more fun than tense.

A good half was devoted to Diane's wacky adventures hunting wealthy Republican clients, and another quarter used up by watching Alicia, Marissa and Finn play video games together. It's a surprisingly revealing 25 percent: Alicia admits that she's unhappy with the campaign she ran and "the right man's winning," while Finn tells Alicia he's dating someone. (Bad timing for her love life, as Johnny appears to take off at the end of the episode.)

While Alicia shoots virtual targets, Diane's making her kills in person. Christine Baranski gets to have some fun at a Republican hunting lodge, surrounded by the upper echelons of the 1 percent ("set off a bomb in here and you'd have Democratic presidents for the next 50 years") and "the Mark Zuckerberg of Austin, Texas." Suddenly she's hunting wealthy tech clients, not deer, but the Texan Zuckerberg has other plans; he gets all the ladies out of the way of the menfolk's manly hunting outing by buying them a spa day instead.

"This is sexist," Diane hisses, forced to be pampered instead of getting to do her job, and it's both funny and true. But when her husband finds an excuse to have her join the men, Diane regroups by making friends with their host, a genial uber-conservative Oliver Platt.

It turns out he's both the fourth-wealthiest man in the country and looking for a new lawyer. Diane wins him over by debating abortion rights, and by killing her first deer--which, by the end of the episode, she eats with relish. So even as the show distances itself from Alicia's triumph, Diane gets to savor her victory.

Published on: Mar 22, 2015