CBS's The Good Wife is having a stellar season. While their arcs play out more slowly than many other shows', they do it with such talent and intensity that anyone who tries the same method may likely be put to shame. The show still does some case-of-the-week stories, but much of the concentration is on larger, unfolding arcs.
Last week, the series tackled religion, teenage rebellion, introduced Natalie (America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), who will be doing several episodes), and brought back guest star great Gary Cole as Kurt McVeigh. A memorable effort. This week's episode, "Great Firewall," which will be the last for a few weeks, was also an excellent example of the show's best qualities. It provided a capper to one major plot, while developing a few others.
At first glance, it appears that the case Lockhart / Gardner and Bond are trying is a stand alone story. They represent a dissident suing an Internet company for giving his IP address over to the Chinese government, resulting in his arrest and torture. Ken Leung (of Lost fame) shows wonderful range in the part of the dissident. Then Alicia (Julianna Margulies) discovers that her bosses really take the case at the behest of Edelstein (Jack Carpenter), a Mark Zuckerberg-inspired type who wants to move his own business into China and hopes that the case will hurt or force out his competition. While things are often not spelled out on this series, it appears that Edelstein gets his wish.
For Alicia, things suddenly get more complicated. She is invested in the case because of the human rights abuse, and is turned off upon learning there are other motivations. Will (Josh Charles) points out to her that this is often the way things work. It's a gripping tale as Alicia goes on with the case, but begins to have doubts about what she's doing. It's also the way the world is. I am a little surprised this hasn't been a major plot point before, but applaud the show for the grace with which it was handled.