Emmy episode analysis: Will Michael J. Fox finally win for ‘The Good Wife’?

michael j fox the good wife red zone louis canning entertainment 13579086 story

After three previous losses for playing quirky lawyer Louis Canning on “The Good Wife,” will Michael J. Fox finally win with his fourth bid? His episode submission for this year’s Best Drama Guest Actor race is “Red Zone,” an episode where Fox gets to play up the emotion of his character’s worsening illness. Will this land him a bookend to his 2009 trophy for a dramatic turn on “Rescue Me”?

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SYNOPSIS: Louis Canning arrives late to the courtroom in his wheelchair due to his kidney failure. He’s representing a university that dismissed rape charges haphazardly and his sparring partner is once again Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies). Louis appears to be winning the case, until Alicia decides to turn the tables and present a class action lawsuit against the college on behalf of its dozens of rape victims.

In their next meeting, Louis reveals that the accused student has been expelled because he had drugs in his dorm room. That means there’d be no reason to continue the original lawsuit since the rape victim’s only motive was to get him removed from college. At the end of the case, Louis tells Alicia that if he dies of his kidney failure, he’d like her to visit his wife. Alicia says she will, though she’s not sure whether he’s telling the truth or playing her.

Can this five-time Emmy champ win his first trophy for this recurring role for “Red Zone”? Let’s consider the pros and cons:


Fox is an Emmy darling, winning Comedy Actor four times — “Family Ties” (1986, 1987, 1988), “Spin City” (2000) — as well this category for “Rescue Me” (2009).

Quirky Louis Canning would feel right at home in a law series by David E. Kelley, a TV writer/producer whose shows have won no less than 38 acting Emmys. Voters usually eat up this kind of role.

Someone from “The Good Wife” cast has won an Emmy every season, including: Archie Panjabi for Best Drama Supporting Actress (2010), Margulies for Best Drama Actress (2011), Martha Plimpton (2012) and Carrie Preston (2013) for Best Drama Guest Actress, and Margulies again last year. Might Fox continue this unique tradition?


With three losses so far for this role, it’s clear voters like the Louis Canning character — they just don’t love him.

Fox doesn’t appear until almost the halfway point of the episode, which might cause voters to wonder if they’re even watching the correct submission.

After he finally appears, Fox doesn’t get any sort of grandstanding speech or memorable impact scene, though Louis’ final scene with Alicia is quite emotional when he asks her to visit his wife after he dies.

Emmys 2015: Complete List of Episode Submissions

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