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
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.
- 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!