15 October, 2013

The Good Wife: “A Precious Commodity” - The Beauty of Betrayal

Season 5, Episode 3 | Original Air Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013

“A Precious Commodity” made me want to put my heels together and click with glee – this is the rhythm I had hoped season five would have.  In fact, episodes like this remind me why I love The Good Wife so much.  Eli is busy manipulating, Peter is trying to be good, Alicia is sticking to her guns, Grace is doing everything she can to frustrate me (oh, and be pretty), Will is rallying the partners and Diane is making payout demands and looking fabulous in the process.  It’s pure Good Wife bliss!

Let’s Get Packing
Our worst suspicions – that Diane threw Will under the bus in her Mandy Post interview (not that David Lee secretly has a fashion consultant who purposely finds him the worst ties possible) – has come true.  We don’t know exactly what the article says, but it involves Will, the missing $45,000 and some sundry details about Lockhart Gardner.  While I give Diane credit for coming clean with Will when she really didn’t have to, I will confess to being disappointed that she sold him out at all, especially after all the time she put into defending him.  That’s politics though. It’s the thrill of the chase and the thought that opportunities like becoming a Supreme Court justice don’t come around every day.  And the truth is, they don’t. 

Wasn’t it Diane who told Alicia last season to walk through the doors that are opened for you, even if the circumstances aren't ideal?  Indeed it was – in “The Seven Day Rule” – where we learned Diane made partner because Stern was accused of sexual harassment.  While Diane isn’t sitting around pouting about the latest turn of events (rather, she’s looking statelier than ever while keeping her fingers crossed the judgeship will pan out), she is quickly losing the friends and colleagues who have helped build her career.  She’s nothing if not stoic though, and why not?  If she becomes a judge, those at Lockhart Gardner won’t want to have mistreated her.  Despite the whole “betrayal” situation, things for Diane stand a reasonable chance of working out.

Meanwhile, with Diane getting ousted by the partners, Will is now making a pitch to bump Alicia into a named partner role.  With her recent ‘wife of the Governor’ status upgrade, he thinks people will be suitably impressed and not question the fact she’s a fourth year. 

But let’s think about that for a second…

A fourth year… a fourth year.  No, there’s absolutely no flaw with this plan.  I’m sure David Lee will be happy to have Alicia on the letterhead while he sits around makes the firm a kazillion potentially money-laundered dollars.  Or not.  Still, it’s an interesting proposition, though not one that should really even be entertained for fans of Team Gardner… or good business. That said, we are apparently supposed to have forgotten entirely that the car kiss of last season ever happened and ‘good business’ isn’t really a thing Lockhart Gardner has hung its hat on in the past, so I’ll happily comply with the allure they are creating.  At least until next week.

Two Firms, One Font
While Alicia is juggling how to be fair and impartial in the great oust of 2013 – aka, the upheaval of Diane – she’s also balancing her new ‘staff’ of fourth years who have taken to drinking diet Coke, Red Bull and beer during team meetings in her well-furnished living room.  This new firm is something Alicia seems ready for – Cary, too – but I’m mildly concerned about the rest of those on board, aren’t you?  Maybe it’s because of the handful of people coming with them we only know Robyn, or maybe it’s because they are trying to push Alicia to betray her ties to the equity partnership at Lockhart Gardner in one breath and decide on business card fonts in another.  I can’t help but feel as though Florrick Agos needs to find some more senior talent before things turn into a playground rumble. 

The truth is, Alicia is torn between two firms, and despite knowing the toxicity of Lockhart Gardner is only going to increase with time, the doors being opened for her there are seriously impressive.  Named partnership at an established firm as a fourth year?  Why didn’t I become a lawyer?  This career progression seems like no big deal.

I Feel Pretty
The ‘Grace is suddenly hot’ storyline continues this episode and I can’t help but wonder where all of this is going.  Apparently Grace just wants to be pretty (which makes me want to start singing ‘I feel pretty’ and therefore completely forget why we’re talking about Grace in the first place.  Oh, right – family drama.  We love it).  Grace growing up means Eli is growing grey and Alicia is growing increasingly more territorial over her young.  It’s mildly entertaining to watch the reactions of those around but at the same time I’m having flashback visions of Grace getting napped by Internet Jesus and wondering if she’s going to run off with her new youth pastor only to have Kalinda or Robyn find her making out behind a dumpster.  All I know is they are setting us up for trouble.  And by ‘us’ I mean Grace.  And by Grace I mean the entire fate of the show, because in the end, doesn’t everything seem to tie back to this junior Florrick?

Too Pretty vs. The State
As it turns out, Eli and Peter have decided to restructure the Ethics Commission and bring Marilyn back from the Transit Authority.  In the case of ‘too pretty vs. the state,’ too pretty has won handily.  Peter can’t look unfairly biased one way or another (especially when it comes to lovely blondes who are sure to cause him political misfortune down the road).  Eli is playing his cards close to the chest while Peter is busy trying to keep his eyes at, well, eye-level.  To be fair, it’s an unenviable position.  It’s a shame that’s where my sympathy for Peter begins and ends.

Other Notables

If you like it then you Better put a Ring on it:
Has anyone else noticed the size of Alicia’s rings this season?  Once again, where did Peter get money for that size of diamond?  Eli – pull the accounting on this!  I think we’ve got ourselves a Gerald Kozko situation on our hands.  It’s like the tennis bracelet debacle of 2009 all over again.

Best Lines of the Episode:
David Lee: “Ah – here’s our quorum.  Did you travel by bicycle?” 

Will to Diane: “We work together until it’s not fun or profitable anymore.  Are you having fun?”

Worst Line of the Episode:

Peter: “I love you.”  Alicia: “I love you, too.”  Me: “What. Just. Happened?”

Up Next: "Outside the Bubble" 
Elsbeth Tasioni returns to represent Lockhart Gardner, which can only mean one thing: Magic! Also returning: Diane's (maybe?) finance, Kurt McVeigh.  Oh, this is going to be good.

07 October, 2013

The Good Wife: The Bit Bucket and a Thousand Sugar-Covered Webs

Season 5, Episode 2 | Original Air Date: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Between Grandma Veronica, Chumhum, the brief appearance of Patrick Edelstein and the surprise resurgence of a conniving Becca and a crying Nessa, “The Bit Bucket” spent the entire episode overflowing with story lines built atop a sticky web of personal/professional connections. 

If I’m being perfectly candid, I’ll confess this episode left me thinking I need to take more notes – and build more flowcharts.  Am I alone here?  Did everyone else get everything that was happening?  We had Chumhum looking to sue the government who, as it turned out, is tapping the phones of Alicia and Diane, only to find out that some terrorist group is calling the Florrick house 12 times a day.  The terrorist group is none other than Nessa, who is actually just upset that Becca is back and stealing gavels, which makes it seem like Zack is cheating (are they even still together?), which of course he isn't – it’s the world’s most annoying sister, Grace, who is getting makeup tips from Eli’s 21 year old arch nemesis.  Unfortunately, this means Peter is now being looked at for connections to terrorism and the government is more in the loop than Kalinda… which just seems wrong.   Confused?  This was strangely the least complex plot web of the entire episode.

So, what did we learn?  Grace is undermining the government, Chumhum and the state of Illinois without even knowing it.  Of all the things I didn't see coming over the last five seasons, this doesn't make the list – it’s just the cherry on top.

“The Bit Bucket:” Highlights, Lowlights and David Lee

1) The Slow Drip: I’m not one to side with David on much (especially his horrible choice of ties), however, there’s no denying his shrewd instincts when it comes to people and the firm.  “The absence of bad news is not good news” he says to Diane, who seems somewhat oblivious of the soldier ants slowly moving the grains of sand from her kingdom.  While Diane is worried about her seat on the Supreme Court, she’s missing what David is catching – and that’s a mutiny.  It’s a slow drip that she’s not seeing between her meetings with Mandy Post, but it’s there.  If only Julius were around.  He and David would fight about the lack of fourth year texts and life would be grand.

2) Welcome to your Closet: The highlight of the episode for me?  Watching Cary take Alicia to a closet filled with boxes and brooms and saying it was her new office.  Having followed Cary through some seriously unappealing work spaces, this was especially fun to watch.  The best part?  He thought so, too.  If ever I’m having a sad day, I think I’ll put this scene on repeat.

3) Pour a Little Sugar on Me: It’s not a full David Lee experience without his square dish of M&Ms and candy scattered across the boardroom.  My questions: 1) Who eats candy off a boardroom table?  2) What does Veronica see in David?  I mean, really – who knows where that candy dish has been.  3)  This line: Veronica: “You’re a carnivore.  You’re a jungle cat.” Me: “Ewww.”

4) The Golden Gavel: Two things about these scenes: 1) Peter has a ‘gift room?’  This seems like the best and funniest place on earth, especially with Eli lurking around and trying to sleuth items put into storage.  It’s like finding out relatives are coming over and having to go into the basement to track down Great Aunt Judy’s crystal ashtray to put on display, even though you don’t smoke and it actually makes no sense you would have this out anyways.  What I’ve learned here: meetings at the Governor’s office and family gatherings aren’t all that different. 2) Becca is back!  Now that “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23” is over, Becca is back as the “B” of Illinois, which is fun and surprising development.  She’s just as evil as before which means we’ll get to see Eli upping his game.  I guess that’s what comes with being Chief of Staff.  Sometimes you have to play in the mud… and sometimes that means paying a price for your golden gavel.

5) If Jesus Says So: The only thing better than having Grandma Veronica come to visit is seeing Uncle Owen.  This week, Grandma V was in fine form as she took Grace shopping and came home uttering the words, “Jesus has no problem with Grace looking her best.”  Even Zack is concerned – but that probably has a bit to do with last week’s findings that Grace has made the list of hot politician’s daughters.  This year, I sense, is going to be a family disaster.  The best part?  We haven’t even seen Owen or Jackie (or Jackie’s caregiver/lover, Cristian!) yet.  Once these three resurface, anything could happen.

6) I’ve Got Your Back:  Eli is backing Peter who is backing Diane who is backing Will.  It’s a strange yet comfortable place for everyone, as individually, each of these characters have connections with each other.  Though, when push comes to shove, I’m not sure they would if the roles were at all reversed.  For now though, everything is bliss as Peter tries to get Diane elected to the Supreme Court.  Well, bliss for everyone but the Chief Justice, who it now seems Peter has something on… and maybe for Diane who has avoided selling Will out for the last year, until maybe now.  Okay, so it’s not bliss for anyone, except maybe Will who doesn’t seem to know anything is happening with Diane, the missing gavel, the firm or Alicia.  I sense a rude awakening coming and the only good that can come of that is the hope Will’s sisters will once again surface.

Favourite Guest Star:

There’s no question for me this week: Dreama Walker as Becca.  She’s just so manipulative and sly – kind of like a young Colin Sweeney.  She’s one of those characters you love to hate and that’s what makes her so compelling to watch.  Of course, the fact she could be the undoing of Eli’s sanity is always an entertaining plus.

What did you think of, “The Bit Bucket?”  What were your highlight and lowlight moments?  Sound off in the comments below!

Up Next: "A Precious Commodity"

30 September, 2013

The Good Wife: "Everything is Ending" Like a Westside Story Brawl

Season 5, Episode 1 | Original Air Date: Sunday, September 30, 2013

They say good things come to those who wait.  Well, I've been waiting patiently since the end of April for this season premiere and I didn't show up to be disappointed.  Luckily, I wasn't.  Mostly.  There was that whole, ‘we’re off the merry-go-round’ commentary and, yes, the kids still appear to be around… so it wasn't everything I had hoped, but I’m willing to put in more time to see where this goes.

Was it The Good Wife’s strongest premiere?  In my opinion, no.  But was it entertaining?  Yes.  Did it set the stage for what’s sure to be an exciting first quarter?  Absolutely.  And did it make me want more?  You bet.

To kick off this season, I’m going to look straight at the heart of the matter – the five things that are changing the face of The Good Wife.  As always, please feel free to sound off in the comments below!

1)      Rolling in the Deep

As Adele says, “We could have had it all…” but at Lockhart Gardner I’m not sure that’s the case with anyone.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  David Lee might have it all, what with his smarmy antics, his Bluetooth and his bowl of candy.  Everyone else is left with a piece of a pie that always seems a day or two away from expiration.  I mean, look at Monica from litigation, wheeling around as a robot in an attempt to telecommute.  Alicia is there opening doors, carrying in Monica’s stick stand and peeling off the paper happy faces someone stuck to her screen.  The more things change at Lockhart Gardner, the more they stay the same... like a clown car driving in the narrow lane of crazy at the intersection of total destruction and prosperity.  Still, I love this firm.

However, with the upheaval of Lockhart/Gardner is now a rolling simmer, breaking the surface like a sauce that hasn’t been stirred quite enough, and Alicia has been put in an awkward position that I don’t think her other fourth year colleagues are mature enough to understand.  Alicia is coming into this new partnership with more experience – and not just in age – but in life.  She is the Governor’s wife.  She has raised a family.  She is an equity partner at Lockhart Gardner.  The other associates just want their bonuses… and maybe a nice bottle of Scotch.  For Alicia, leaving the firm that gave her a chance at a second career – leaving Will and Diane… and Will… did I mention Will? – means more than almost any other choice in her life and a rumble in a parking garage – like a Westside story Jets/Sharks showdown – isn’t going to change that fact.  With David Lee on the prowl (and now signed to a full-time acting gig on The Good Wife, I might add), things are going get worse before they get better, and Alicia is going to be the one left in the crossfire.  People will be disappointed in Cary.  But it will be nothing compared to how they feel about Alicia.

2)      The case of the Cary’s

There are few things I enjoy more on The Good Wife than Cary and Alicia sharing a drink and talking.  Cary is sort of like the new Kalinda.  He’s also sort of like Will in this new firm marriage.  Basically, Cary is the new everything and I can’t get enough.  Apparently he’s also the *first* Cary, as a random fourth year, also named Carey, has surfaced.  I’m not entirely sure why they felt the need to confuse the Cary/Carey situation (which is made slightly more complicated in my life as my name is also Kari… yet I rarely write in third person – a decision that is saving us all at this point) – but they did.  Speculation on this dramatic device is welcome.  

3)      My What a Big Office You Have…

Peter is finally out of his campaign bus and back in an office.  I can’t say I’m disappointed in this upgrade of surroundings as all the bus shenanigans were making my eyes bleed.  As someone firmly on the ‘Florrick for Governor, Gardner for Life’ bandwagon, I’m glad to see he’s in cushy quarters, reviewing important documents on a comfy couch and getting caught up in all kinds of things that are bound to explode/turn ugly/ruin his marriage again in what can only be assumed will be a few short episodes.  Did I mention her name is Marilyn?  Eli is already concerned, Peter has already admitted she’s “too pretty” and now Marilyn has been bumped from the ethics commission over to the transit department.  Eli is painting it as an upgrade, but let’s face it – buses aren't as fancy as ethics.  Not even campaign buses.

4)      Calling the new Chief of Staff

Now that Peter is Governor, he’s looking to fill out his administration with the best-of-the-best.  It’s likely to involve a little back scratching here and there, but now he’s in, things should mostly be on the up-and-up.  Oh sure there is that little thing called ‘ballot tampering’ and yes, Will Gardner has some evidence in his back pocket that might surface at some point this season… and then there’s Marilyn, whose looks could be compared strongly to those of Amber Madison… but aside from these small annoyances, the Florrick camp has everything going for it.  The only thing that could make things better?  Adding Eli to the payroll as Chief of Staff.  If Obama has McDonough, why shouldn't Florrick have Gold?  Eli’s smart, well-versed in the family Florrick and can spot a scandal a mile away.  He’s the perfect fit.  Also, he’s better when he’s not at Lockhart Gardner stirring up trouble, throwing tantrums with David Lee and drinking the firm’s espresso. 

The idea of Eli as Peter’s Chief of Staff is something I hadn’t considered but I think it’s a fabulous development.  It’s either that or hiring Geneva Pine.  I wouldn't be against that either.  She’s super sassy and it’s a move that would definitely help all the speculation around Peter’s racial bias.  Also, she rocks a suit/pony tail combo better than anyone.  I’m not saying that’s a reason to hire her, I’m just saying I think she can probably get ready at the drop of a hat, which in a crisis can be handy.  Perhaps some office Olympics, “Geneva vs. Eli” is in order.  I’d watch that, wouldn't you?

5)      Round and Round

I’ll be honest.  I was more than a little disappointed with the Team Gardner situation in this premiere.  When last we saw these two, they were having an epic moment in Will’s car.  For those of you who need a reminder, it looked something like this:

Now, it’s like the car never happened, the kiss never happened and Will never said, “to hell with bad timing – we talk.”  It’s like I made it all up.  Which I didn't.  I swear.  Things seem more off the rails than ever before, especially now Will has thrown out this ‘we were on a merry-go-round and now we’re not’ crap.  Remind me why we aren't on the merry-go-round anymore?  Weren't  we just there… like last night?  I’m confused.

Sadly, I think things are going to get worse for these two before they get better.  With the impending firm implosion, Will is set to lose his cool with Alicia.  That said, in “Red Team, Blue Team,” that worked to the Team Gardner advantage, so maybe all bets are off.  Until I know more, I’ll happily sip tea from my Team Gardner mug and hope that Alicia leaving the firm will give her the distance she needs to make this “Will thing” happen.  Come on Kings – you can do it!

Quote of the Episode
Alicia: “Everything is ending…”

Cary: “…Beginning, too.”

Ahhhh.  Every time I read this quote I feel inspired and warmed (unlike how I felt when this whole 'Grace is suddenly on the 10 Hottest Politician's Daughters list' story surfaced) – like Christmas shopping while sipping something drizzled in cinnamon syrup.  The best part?  It’s appropriate to the premiere and my life.  Within the next four weeks the firm of Florrick, Agos and Associates will begin to take shape, Lockhart Gardner won’t ever be the same… and I’m going to have a baby.   On The Good Wife, everything seems like a new beginning – and it’s always Cary who likes to remind us that change can be good.  Personally, I agree, and not just because I’m about to grow the Team Gardner fan base by one (yes, the baby knows it has to pick a side – and that side is Gardner).  With that, I’m going to do my best to keep this blog as timely as possible. I might not always be able to post within 24 hours of the episode, but I’m going to try!

Favourite Guest Star

Without question, Jeffery Tambor as Judge Klugar.  It may have been because I wanted him to say, "There's always money in the banana stand," but either way, he was a solid judge that didn't tip the scales on being overly dramatic or whimsical.  We had Moni-bot for that dose of humor.

Here’s to season five – where, I have a feeling, anything goes!

29 April, 2013

The Good Wife: "What's in the Box?" - Top Four Scenes and their Impact on Season Five

Season 4, Episode 22 | Original Air Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013
It seems like yesterday when Zach was driving down the interstate with Alicia relaxing in the backseat; Kalinda was sitting at her front door with a gun tucked in her white arm chair and Will was getting ready to come off of suspension.  Remember those days?  Things were so… so… up in the air.  Somehow 21 episodes have passed since then and now we’re back to living with what’s sure to be an unbearable hiatus.  Oh yes, and things are more uncertain than ever.  I love how the more things change the more they say the same.

The best part, in my opinion, is that “What’s in the Box” delivered on everything it promised to, including rendering me speechless on more than four occasions.  A few weeks ago, a friend coined the hashtag, #TeamPaperBag and I was quick to jump aboard that ship.  Hyperventilating aside (because we all know that happened), “What’s in the Box” was the perfect set-up to what I’m already anticipating will be an electric season five.  Now, if only we didn’t have to wait until September.  Oy vey.  What am I supposed to do until then? 

Fortunately, that’s a problem for another day.  Let’s dive into “What’s in the Box” by looking at this episode's four best scenes and how they’ll impact season five.

Warning: Spoilers/predictions/excitement ahead.  If you haven’t watched “What’s in the Box” yet, you need to – and on repeat.  A minimum of three times is recommended. 

This week I’m not going to do a full recap.  Why?  Because I’m assuming everyone has seen the episode.  If you haven’t, see above warning.  There are dozens of great recaps out there, so if you need a play-by-play, check out my April 29 news feed for some suggestions.

For this year’s finale, I decided to make things memorable by watching it over in London, UK.  Okay, that wasn’t planned, per se, but it happened and now I’ll always have that ‘where were you when’ moment to look back on fondly.  It’s like how people remember where they were when world events happened - like Will and Kate's royal wedding (Disney World) or the Toronto Blue Jays winning the World Series (at home, in front of the television).  Of course, I would have been happy with ‘couch’ being my answer, but instead I have ‘hotel room in London.’  Not a $7,800 hotel room, mind you (oh season two finale, how I still love you), but I’ll take it.

When it comes to the best and most memorable moments/scenes from “What’s in the Box,” I struggle not to write, ‘everything,’ though don’t think I’m not tempted.  It’s for this reason I waited hours before writing this, as my initial discussion would have read: “I’m sorry what?  Wait. No. Really?! No. Yes. What? Where?! That did not just… what the?” See, we all win with me taking a breather.

Top Four Scenes (in no particular order… at least that I’m willing to admit to)

1)   The Car: Need I say more?  Who am I kidding?  Yes I do!

Alicia + Will + Car = pure magic!  Lately, we’ve watched Alicia struggle with her feelings for Will, and now, in the calm of a late, misty night, she brings everything back up.  Her feelings, she admits, she can’t escape, but she doesn't know what to do.  The logical answer is to kiss.  And they do.  From my little corner of the world, fireworks are flying and I’m over the moon.  After the world’s most adorable forehead touch, Alicia asks, “what do we do?”  Before Will can answer, Diane knocks on the hood of his car.  Thankfully, Will’s windshield is fogged up to the max (like the car Rose and Jack found themselves canoodling in aboard Titanic) and Diane seems to have missed everything.  While I’ll confess I was looking forward to her fist of furry and a rage-filled speech, there’s something nice about knowing everything doesn't have to be a complete mess for these two each step of the way.  Before they exit the car the following, what I hope will eventually be monumental, remarks were made:

Will: “When this night is over, we talk.” 
Alicia: “We can’t...” 
Will: “To hell with bad timing. We talk.”

To some, this conversation might not mean much, but I feel as though I could get my Ph.D in “Gardner/Florrick Communication.”  I’ve studied these two for four long years.  I've earned it. The key here, from my perspective, is Will taking the lead.  Back in season one, Alicia told Will she needed a plan.  Unfortunately, through it all, that’s the one thing he’s never delivered.  While I’m not dismissing Alicia’s sometimes spazztic decision-making when it comes to Will, she gave him the Lincoln Logs and he has yet to build the cabin. 

Here’s to season five – a season with some good timing and maybe, just maybe, some new developments to inspire Will to conceive a plan.  Come on Team Gardner, we’ve got this!

2)  A Backroom Payoff: Saying goodbye to Jackie’s better half?

It has been awhile since we saw Jackie’s caregiver/lover/special friend, Cristian, and I can safely say I’ve missed him.  While I’m not entirely sure what his relationship with Jackie is, that’s part of why I enjoy him.  Really, I like him more than I ever liked Jordan, and I saw him much less.  He’s mysterious but charming and has an air of whimsy I can’t help but appreciate.  The best part?  He’s not going anywhere.  

Sure, Eli gave him a personal cheque from Peter for $25,000 to get lost, but what Jackie wants, Jackie gets and Cristian isn’t going anywhere.  He just happened to get a nice bonus.  After shaking hands with Peter and announcing that he’s staying, I had a feeling of impending doom for our new Governor.  Is Cristian really bad news?  Is he working his way into the Florrick family for more than just the benefit of Jackie (because, let’s face it…)?  I would love to see more Cristian in season five - on a cruise ship, as a life guard, or locking death stares with Peter and Eli.  I feel as though Cristian could be the genie in the bottle I've been looking for when it comes to Jackie and Peter – is it possible he could bring them both down?  I don’t know… yet… but I’m willing to strategize throughout the summer.

3)  What’s better than a ballot box? A septic tank truck, that’s what. 

Oh Jim Moody, campaign cronie and devious political navigator.  He has skills, I’ll credit him that, but when it comes to flying under the radar, he needs a little training from Kalinda.  Starting the episode, he plans to send a rogue septic tank truck into a neighbourhood high on Kresteva to deter them from heading to the polls.  I mean, he has a point – only the most dedicated voter would preserver through the smell of raw sewage to cast a ballot.  Oh, and New Yorkers.  Having been one, I can say, ‘that’s a day in the life.’  Bring on the septic tank!

The Florrick campaign had issues bigger than poop to deal with however, not the least of which included a tampered-with box of ballots.  Our favourite 18-year old spotted the issue-laden box while getting his first taste of democracy and quickly documented it on his phone.  Before long, it was off to an emergency trip to court with the entire Lockhart Gardner team in tow.  Remembering I’m not here to do a recap, all I’ll say is this: the ballots were in, they were out and they were in again.  Oh, and Patti Nyholm was representing Kresteva because apparently drug manufacturers like Republicans.  Jordan resurfaced to be annoying and was quickly caught in a lie (because no one messes with Eli Gold and Zach Florrick – no one!).  The case was solid and I thoroughly enjoyed how it tied to the foundation for the episode: the election. 

The thing is, everyone has a vested interest in Peter becoming, or not becoming, Governor.   By now we all know he won (and if you didn’t, now you’re caught up), but the story doesn’t end there.  Will Diane be given the opportunity to become a Supreme Court Judge?  Are her ties with Will still too strong?  Who will be the next State’s Attorney?  Could it be the esteemed Wendy Scott Carr (can you even IMAGINE?) or someone new altogether?

Perhaps most intriguingly is the fact Will was given video footage showing Jim being the one behind the fraudulent ballots.  Will had the chance to seal Peter’s fate… but he didn’t.  Why?  Will Peter now owe him something?  The fact is, the ballots – the actual numbers – don’t matter.  It’s the fact a campaign worker was willing to rig the election.  That Eli Gold was behind it and the Peter Florrick would allow it to happen.  Will has the chance to be the whistle blower on Peter’s ethical compass.  Like Kalinda’s husband, this footage could be gone forever, but then again, maybe not.  If you were Will, would have thrown Peter under his own campaign bus, or would you have done what was best for your client for the meantime?  Either way, I see this as leverage.  For what I don’t know, but that’s not important now.  I’m a fan of a stacked back pocket.

4)  Florrick, Agos and Associates, coming fall 2013

If there’s one scene in four years that has made my head explode, it would be this one: Alicia dialing the phone from the bathroom and asking the person on the other end if they still want to talk.  The answer, we learn, is yes, and Alicia heads to her apartment to meet her caller.  At this point, I was losing my mind.  Sadly, there’s an actual picture of this – my head in my hands, gasping and covering my face while peeking through my eyes.  My written reaction? “I’m shaking! She escaped! The campaign… Please tell me he shows up!”  Once again, it’s a good thing I’ve taken a few hours to process.

Of course, I was wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ that she had called Will, but in hindsight I can see the flaw in my plan – we were already gifted with a perfect Team Gardner treat and another would be like Santa coming twice in one night. I mustn’t be so scene-greedy in the future.  No, this was, dare I suggest, an even more perfect moment.  Cary was at the door and all Alicia had to say was “I’m in.”  The firm of Florrick, Agos and Associates is no longer a dream – a dream I’ve thought about for years – it’s a reality that will be born in season five. My question? What made her finally decide to make the move?  Was it not wanting to be *just* the 'first lady of Chicago?'  Was it about opening or closing (bah!) the door on Will or was it about something else altogether?

What will this mean?  First of all, Alicia has to leave the firm and so does Cary.  That’s going to be a disaster – but, let’s face it, completely amazing.  David Lee is going to lose his mind.  I hope he’s in a costume when it happens – that would be the icing on the cake.  Diane might not care that much if she’s gone, but I anticipate Will might have something to say about things.  That said, Alicia leaving the firm eases some of the complications surrounding Will, specifically when it comes to him being her boss/colleague.  Once he gets over things though, good timing might stand a chance for once.  These two have a history of getting heated in the courtroom (flashback: Red Team, BlueTeam) and part of me thinks that might translate into other rooms, too.  Blast!  I just made a promise not to be greedy.  But… right?!

Second, it means Colin Sweeney is going to be the firm's landlord.  Oh yes, that just happened.  He'll follow Alicia to the ends of the earth and if that means cutting Cary a deal on rent for free legal services for two years, then, why not?  I mean, it's creepy.  But that's what's both delicious and disgusting about Sweeney.  I love how torn he makes me feel.  Still, at the end of the day, I can't help but be excited we'll get more of him in season five.  Who knows what kind of shenanigans will be brewing!

The End... For Now

And so, that’s that.  We’re out for another season, and what a ride it has been.  Thank you to everyone who has joined me on the adventure this year – I’ve enjoyed every minute.  To new friends and old, I appreciate your support and readership.  Each of you has truly made my season four magic.  As for me, I plan to keep writing and speculating on The Good Wife throughout the summer, so stay tuned and, as always, please sound off with your comments.  Your passion for the show fuels my passion for the show and I have to say, I think we've got a great thing going on here.  Dare I say, 'good timing?'


22 April, 2013

The Good Wife: “A More Perfect Union” – Mixing Business with Pleasure

Season 4, Episode 21 | Original Air Date: Sunday, April 21, 2013

It’s election season.   Grandma Veronica is in town and has brought stuffed puppets with her.  Zach is 18.  Peter has a ring.  Alicia’s partnership paychecks are clearly rolling in and making their way straight to her closet.  Lockhart Gardner admin staff is on the verge of striking.  Grace is saying crazy words like ‘porn.’ Owen is giving out favours in the form of campaign analytics. Charlie Rose interviews Alicia.  Kalinda fights for a raise (again) and Cary continues to recruit for his new firm. 

Now that you’re all caught up, I’m calling it quits for a more official recap.  Why?  Because there are so many other things to discuss!  Take, for example, the intrigue behind David Lee’s obsession with Veronica or how (and why) the campaign bus has become the ‘it’ spot for dinner.  If only someone had a nice car we could kick back and dine in.  I know, I know, I’m such a dreamer…

Of course, then there’s the big question: When does the idea of ‘it’s not personal, it’s business’ go from an excuse to something more?  All of our main characters like to dip their toes into the watery unknown where the line between personal and business is blurred.  Diane is marrying Kurt (I mean, right? I think that’s still happening), Will and Alicia are… well, whatever Will and Alicia are, and Peter is drawing closer ties to Diane, Owen and yes, even Alicia.  What’s business and what’s personal?  Or is business, personal, just by its very nature?   

For as long as we both shall live – Peter Florrick              
It’s a vow with which most people are familiar.  Okay, not everyone.  People have their issues and their reasons for making the choices they do.  Peter is a good example of vows gone wrong (which is different than Girls Gone Wild, but not by much).  I’ll confess that season four Peter is a pretty decent guy.  Punching Krestiva upped his overall merit; however, that wasn’t enough to get me to join Camp Florrick.  Sure, I think he would be the best Governor (I have the campaign signs and coffee mug to prove it #FlorrickForGovernor), but that doesn’t mean I’m on the Florrick for Husband bandwagon.  

That's why when Peter popped the ‘will you renew our vows with me in Hawaii?’ question over a campaign bus dinner of pizza and wine, I was strangely intrigued – half because I wanted to hear her answer and half because I wanted to see someone storm off that blasted bus.  The resulting conversation after the popped question was, I have to admit, one of my favourite parts of this episode:

Alicia: “I don’t know.  Because things are good right now, but that doesn't mean they’ll stay that way.” 
Peter: “ Doesn't mean they won’t.” 
Alicia: “No – they never do.”

When I first listened to this, I thought, “oh Peter, you are *so* destined to screw this up,” but then I realized Alicia’s rationale might not have to do with Peter at all.  If Alicia goes through with the vow renewal, she wouldn’t be following her heart, which means an inevitable crumbling of this relationship.  She could be the one to bring down the house of cards.  Alicia Florrick – it’s time to get off the campaign bus.

Then, of course, there’s the whole idea behind a vow renewal.  We all saw how well that went for Jon and Kate (Plus Eight) – didn't they renew their vows in Hawaii and then have the biggest divorce on the planet?  I didn't watch, but I’m pretty sure there’s a life lesson there… and it’s not that Hawaii is a bad place for vacation – it’s that it’s cursed for vow renewals.  Hmmm… on second thought, maybe this isn’t such a bad idea.  I’m seeing this plan unraveling already.

Before I digress further, here are my two main concerns (minus the whole Hawaii thing):

1) I’m feeling uncertain as to whether Peter is trying to secure last minute votes by being able to announce that he’s recommitting to family… or not.  I’m hoping that’s not the case… but this is business.  Wait.  This is personal.  Wait.  What is this?

2) Alicia is having some seriously competing feelings when it comes to which side of the fence she’s on.  One day it’s Florrick the next it’s Gardner.  While I’m sitting comfortably on the greener side of the fence – Team Gardner – Alicia can’t separate what happens at work with her personal feelings.  She’s a mess.  Which makes Will a mess.  And both of these things make me a mess.  Even David Lee’s a mess, but that doesn't have to do with Will and Alicia, but rather Veronica who he is potential canoodling with in his corner office.  Ewww.  That’s all if have to say about that.

Before that mental picture gets painted to vividly, let me change the subject:

When it comes to the ring, I’m not the one you should be asking about specifics – not because I don’t like jewels, but because I spent that entire scene with my head in my hands like an inconsolable fool.  For those of you on Team Florrick, I understand the appeal of a vow renewal – I mean, they are, well, married (insert sigh).  This development would mean the family is back on track.  

Technically, it shouldn't fundamentally change things.  That fact is, it will though.  As Veronica so astutely pointed out during her dead-pan chat with Will:

“You have a window, but it’s closing.  That schmuck of a husband of hers wants to renew their vows and I know my daughter – if she does that, you’re never going to pry her away from him. So you've got to move now.”

And breathe.  That just happened.  I think my heart stopped. 

This scene was for the record books.  The awkward beauty of this interaction paired with Will’s thoughtful and deep stare was telling before words were even spoken.  The final moment of silence said, 'I understand' -  and it's what every Team Gardner fan has been thinking since season one’s “Heart.”  “Make a move she can’t refuse.”  It’s not only catchy, it’s accurate.  You've got this Will Gardner.  Maybe.   It might involve tequila and two plane tickets, but I know there’s a plan out there that could work… I just don’t know what it is yet.

Side note: Am I the only one loving that Will is now on a first-name basis with Veronica?  Sometimes it’s the little things in life that lead to happiness.  This is one-such example.

A love since Georgetown – Will Gardner
Damn you, unrequited love.  I’m sure that’s what Alicia is thinking, too.  While her romantic shuddering subsided this week (thank goodness – that was bizarre), it was replaced with something entirely different: rage and disappointment.  When it comes to Alicia at work, she tries to take the high road.  I’m not saying Will doesn't  but he seems to be focused on it less often.  This week, with the administrative staff of Lockhart Gardner up in arms over salaries and benefits, Will and Diane had some tough decisions to make.  In the end, they gave the admin ringleaders new titles and salary bumps, as a show of good will.  Well, sort of.  It was a borderline payoff to keep the others at bay, but that’s part of the game.  Who doesn't know of someone who has been paid off every now and again?  Okay, me, but that’s not the point.  They did what they had to do.  It’s business.

But, not for Alicia.  Upon hearing of the decision, Alicia looked at Will with disappointment, while I looked at them both with frustration.  Once again, I discovered that yelling at my TV is completely pointless. 

So, she looked at him; he looked at her; they never made eye contact, but they knew they'd failed each other in some way (and me in all kinds of ways).  Alicia’s problem here is that she can’t separate the business decision from her personal feelings.  Will let her down with the admin vote, so she immediately jumped to the conclusion that all of the feelings she’s been having – all of that shaking nonsense – was a blip on the radar and that yes, Peter is the most stand-up chap of her suitor pool, so she will, indeed renew her vows with him.  Say what?  This is a bloody disaster.  The worst part is, it doesn't even make sense.  Her saying “I don’t know” to Peter was logical.  This... this is absurd.

With the words, “I’ve loved you since Georgetown” running through my head I can’t help but be heartbroken for the third time this season.  Why can’t things go right for Team Gardner ever?  Like ever.  Now I’m quoting Taylor Swift.  Oy vey.

Kalinda, Cary and the Raise
Cary is off to the races.  His firm is coming together and he’s slowly picking off recruiting the best of Lockhart Gardner.  Alicia is thinking about Cary’s proposal and now Kalinda is contemplating her next big move.  Of course, if there’s one thing Kalinda likes more than Alicia, it’s money, so she’s out to get the best deal between these two competing firms.  Game on.

While Will seems as sick of these ‘I need more money’ conversations as I am, he’s willing to play along – at least for the short term.  Part of me really wishes I could see Kalinda’s pay stub, because I can’t imagine they’d be underpaying her by that much, especially given the value she adds to the firm.  Not only that, Alicia has a $10,000 office decorating bonus – how can Kalinda be missing out on important things like health care?  There goes my aspiring career to be a PI – it sounds like a rough life, even if I can run in stilettos (which, by the way, I can). 

When it comes to keeping business and personal relationships separate, I’m not sure where Cary is going to fall on the spectrum.  Sure, he likes Kalinda, but he’s out there starting a new firm and he knows she’s the best.  He doesn't want to go up against her again… but she’s not lured by any kind of loyalty to anyone.  For Kalinda, business is business.

Other highlights:
  • Peter “I don’t want to get caught with my pants down, if you know what I mean.” Oh yes, Peter, we know what you mean.
  • Owen helping Peter with his campaign analytics – I didn't see that coming.  Also, was Owen turning a Peter corner this week, or was it some reverse psychology in action?  I love Owen, but I also love that he lures Alicia into the areas I most want her to be…
  • Veronica – Always so crazy, always so entertaining, always left wanting more. 
  • Alicia giving David Lee the stink eye when he started talking about her Mom.  I’ll take ‘Priceless’ for $500 Alex.
  • Nancy Crozier at the top of her game, always willing to tell Alicia how much of a Mom she is.   Somehow her 'I'm just an innocent girl from Michigan' routine is still working, but her legal acumen is definitely increasing.  Might Cary find a good legal partner in Crozier down the road?    

What’s Next?  Spoiler Alert!

Well, this to start:

“What’s in the Box” marks the final episode of the season and it looks like we’re in for a real treat.  It’s election night, there’s voter tampering, Alicia may or may not get a little tipsy and something steamy happens with her in Will’s car.  Who needs a campaign bus when you’ve got a back seat?  Oh yes, and Peter wants to punch Will.  So there’s that.  Let the season finale drama begin!

Side note: How many times do you think I can watch this preview this week?  Hint: More than 15. 

Side note part II: Next week’s blog might be a little delayed, as I’ll be writing from the UK.  Happy season finale!
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