The Good Wife (2009–2016)
7.3/10
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2 user

Dark Money 

Trailer
1:29 | Trailer
The firm takes on a TV producer who made an episode based on the Colin Sweeney murder case, Alicia and Prady compete for a wealthy donor's campaign money, and Lemond Bishop makes Kalinda drive his son home from school.

Director:

Jim McKay

Writers:

Robert King (created by), Michelle King (created by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Julianna Margulies ... Alicia Florrick
Matt Czuchry ... Cary Agos
Archie Panjabi ... Kalinda Sharma
Makenzie Vega ... Grace Florrick
Christine Baranski ... Diane Lockhart
David Hyde Pierce ... Frank Prady
Dylan Baker ... Colin Sweeney / Jerome Morris
Laura Benanti ... Renata Ellard
Mike Colter ... Lemond Bishop
Julie White ... Selma Krause
Sarah Steele ... Marissa Gold
David Fonteno ... Judge Robert Parks
David Krumholtz ... Josh Mariner
Bill English ... Greg Tierney
Andrew Dolan ... Detective Rick Crowell
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Storyline

When Colin Sweeney accuses a television producer of basing an unflattering character and show on his life, Diane and Cary must prove that they are capable of handling his case as Alicia focuses on the race for State's Attorney. Also, Alicia competes against Frank Prady for a major campaign donation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Cumming (Eli Gold) & Elise Rooker (Crystal Redmayne) also worked together on episode 1.12, Instinct: Live (2018), of Instinct (2018), as Dr. Dylan Reinhart & Jessie respectively. See more »

Connections

References The West Wing (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Bach's Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Lacks Its Usual Velocity, But Still Worthy
8 March 2015 | by RyanCShowersSee all my reviews

"The Good Wife", like it did with "Dark Money," often takes quieter turns here and there to develop its characters and themes. As the Kings said at the end of season five, "We can't kill Josh Charles off every year."

"Dark Money" is the last of the three big season six premieres. "The Line" was episode 1, which began season six in the fall; "Hail Mary" was the first episode of 2015, and the first back from the holiday hiatus. Compared to both of those quite shocking, anxiety-filled episodes, "Dark Money" feels slow and uneventful. Many of the people who watch and love "The Good Wife" on a regular basis in my real life told me they felt "Dark Money" was "slow." I get it, because, yes, the episode did not race at the show's usual velocity, but I feel as if the Kings wanted to ease us slowly back into their world, the season story lines and the characters at the heart of the show.

Despite flattering reviews from critics and conscious television viewers praising "Dark Money," many found fault with the structure of the episode. The two-episode Winter event in January fractured the family unit of "The Good Wife." An altercation between Alicia, Diane and Cary over Alicia's abandonment of the firm to run for office put a strain on their relationship/partnership/friendship. Kalinda risked her freedom in order for Cary to have his, and now she is indebted to Lemond Bishop and has potential criminal charges for fabricating evidence looming over her head. The characters are deeply entangled in individual personal and professional struggles. As much as I cherish the bonds between the characters when they are working in concert with one another, the structure of "Dark Money" felt natural and appropriate; Alicia, Cary/Diane and Kalinda each get third of the episode.

The unequivocal pro of "Dark Money" is the marvelous acting on display and not just from the usual MVPs, but from the guest stars. This single tape could be submitted by four actors in the drama guest actor category at the Emmys this summer. The three-time Good Wife Emmy nominee Dylan Baker, David Hyde Pierce, Ed Asner and Mike Colter are all exceptional in this episode.

Kalina's portion of "Dark Money" begins to build on the groundwork for her exit established in "Hail Mary." Driving Dylan home from school, if it continues, could be an suspenseful plot. It already proved valuable tonight with the mysterious black SUV following her to Bishop's house, and her fighting off a bully in Dylan's defense. What was more interesting to me was the vulnerability Bishop showed by confiding in Kalinda, revealing his Achilles heel. I sense Bishop, though surly and fearsome, secretly loathes himself and wants Dylan to be a a more noble man than he is. Could we call this the most original character turns of events of the series? No, but Mike Colter's interpretation of Bishop's inner-workings made it novel, not trite.

Dylan Baker returns as Colin Sweeney in "Dark Money," and while Mr. Sweeney usually energizes fans, the part of the episode that's receiving the most criticism is Cary and Diane defending Sweeney in court. Personally, I enjoyed the case and the range of acting Baker was able to portray. This may be his best chance to win the Drama Guest Actor Emmy; he gregariously gets to run the acting spectrum from theatrically playful, using accents and different hairstyles and feigning remorse over his dead wife. Though suitable and adequate for the most part in "Dark Money", the Colin Sweeney subplot needs to hit the refresh button if he returns in the future.

The best part of the episode, like just about all episodes of "The Good Wife," is, as Robert and Michelle King describe it, "the education of Alicia Florrick." Challenged by her husbands infidelities with Ramona and her atheism already this season, "Dark Money" explores the lines Alicia will blur to gain financial support for her campaign. Ed Asner makes his first Good Wife appearance as an old-school millionaire democrat. This is the type of character "The Good Wife" has never made completely visible before. Even Republican and conservative characters have never appeared this bigoted, sexist and homophobic.

David Hyde Pierce left a dramatic, mournful mark on me with his work in "Dark Money." Prady does not have as much screen time here as he did in "Message Discipline" or "The Debate," but Hyde makes every moment of this sensitive situation worth something. His last scene with Julianna Margulies is his most effective moment as Prady thus far. Robert King tweeted out during the show that he was afraid the scene was underwritten before it was shot, but Pierce filled in the silences with so much emotional subtext, and I cannot agree more.

I love the moral ambiguity the Kings wrap Alicia in, because she never appears as the Walter White anti-hero. "The Good Wife" keeps Alicia's decisions and internal trials realistic and grounded, not like the evil steroids "Breaking Bad" injected into Walter White's moral code. It's not about dragon-like transformations, it's the day-to-day morally grey decisions that one makes in order to be pragmatic. And as we saw in the final scene of "Dark Money," the decisions she makes do weigh on her, the evolution of who she was when she first met Colin Sweeney to who she is now does weigh on her, and that's what makes Alicia the most compelling character on television.

Grade: B+


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