The Good Wife
The Death Zone

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 3 USERS: A+
Cold Equations


Izzard tries to bug Brannon about his Irish heritage and does this obnoxious accent thing that's about class and Ireland and solicitors and barristers and it's all totally grody, which of course arouses Alicia's sympathy, so she cuddles up and whispers at him to calm him down, resulting in the best -- and truest -- exchange of the episode.

Alicia: "What's his anagram?"
Timothy: "Jams Her Tush."
Alicia: Loves it.
Timothy: "There is this in-bred deference I have to greater rank."
Alicia: "Yeah, I know. Me too."

In the Death Zone, above a certain point, your perceptions can change. In a survival game like mountaineering -- like Alicia's life -- all you can trust is your own perceptions, your own compass. Once that goes?

Alicia: "I'm trying very hard to change."
Timothy: "Yeah? I'm not well-disposed to change."
Alicia: "No, me neither."

He smiles, but he can hear it in her voice. It's a sort of laughing darkness, a kind of Kalinda sound; he knows he can trust her, now. The law of the Death Zone is that you keep moving, whatever it takes; but there is a higher law than that.

One of the things I like best about defense law that seems hard to grasp sometimes -- even for some writers, apparently, given Alicia's come-and-go understanding of it -- is that you're not even choosing to be the Bad Guy: You're playing a part in a process designed to find the best truth. Defense law is about asking, asking, asking, chipping away at the question until the truth remains. Defense lawyers aren't scum, they're brave.

But in the middle of that trudge toward absolute logic there's a stop off at Dark Knight, the feeling that you don't mind being the Bad Guy because you can't carry the weight, like a defense attorney can, of looking like scum. It's one of the things Eli and Kalinda have in common: They don't care if you think they're assholes. Cold motherfuckers, but doing what they think is best.

And then just behind that, a third layer, where the question is about the law of the Death Zone, the cold and high-up equations that say, "If I stop to carry you, we'll both die." And while it's a nice metaphor, you don't really run into Death Zones that often in real life. And when you do, you're often high enough up that you can't trust your perceptions anymore.


Mandy Cox is an A&R rep, exactly the kind of insufferable person who climbs Everest. ("Everest. My mountain," she sighs obnoxiously, earning Alicia's enmity.) For some reason she is wearing spectacles. She was achieving her dream at the same time Cardiff was climbing with his team; in fact, he shared a Sherpa with her when hers got hurt.

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The Good Wife




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