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?'