02 January, 2012

The Good Wife: Best of 2011

The Good Wife – The Best of 2011
Season 3, December/January Hiatus | Post Date: January 2, 2012

Looking back over the last year, fans of The Good Wife have been treated to drama, romance, comedy and everything in between.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve found myself clapping, shrieking, gasping and/or hiding during the last half season two and first half of season three.  Good Wife Sunday has become the day I look forward to most each week.  Needless to say, I’m a big fan.  Correction – huge fan.  Amendment - gigantic fan. 

With the season three hiatus over in less than a week (six days, but who's counting?), it only seems fitting to commemorate the past 12 months and the New Year with a “Best of 2011” list.  Enjoy!

Best Storylines 
Bond Getting Ousted – First it was Stern, Lockhart and Gardner.  Then it was Lockart Gardner.  Next up: Lockhart, Gardner and Bond.  When Derek Bond came on the scene he instantly gave off a strange vibe and he began pitting Diane and Will against each other.  When it came to light he had tracing software installed on certain employee’s computers (Alicia included), the battle lines were drawn.  In season two’s “Great Firewall,” equity partners were pulled and the votes were cast: Bond messed with one too many people and crossed a few too many lines.  Diane and Will might not have a perfect marriage, but they’re certainly better without Bond.  Lockhart Gardner, take two.

Welcome to Lockhart Gardner, Eli Gold – Bringing Eli into the Lockhart Gardner fold at the end of season two meant the personal/professional/legal/political web was going to end up more tangled than a string of Christmas lights.  The facts are these: Eli had business connections but things have quickly started going south, which has meant Eli has needed to befriend other people in the firm, besides Alicia.  As fate would have it, Eli needs the firm now more than the firm needs him.  With that, Eli is now forced to make nice with key partners like Will (a relationship that is somewhat counterintuitive, considering Eli technically still works for Peter).  The more Eli is around, the more he becomes a big part of what makes this show tick.  Time for a flow chart, just to keep things straight:

Will and Alicia, Take One – Love them or hate them, Team Gardner finally had their moment in the sun and I, for one, couldn’t be happier.  This relationship was years in the making (flash back to season one’s “Heart” with their first on screen kiss) and let’s be honest, things were good while they lasted.  Team Gardner was sneaky at being smitten and sultry while being sexy.  I loved every juicy moment of their relationship and I continue to be more than a little heartbroken things are over.  Still, I’m grateful for all of the memorable moments Will and Alicia “together” brought to the screen.  Flashback to these classics: “Mom, pick up the phone, Mom pick up the phone,” Will meeting Zack for the first time, Alicia: “Well, I can dress up” and Will’s confrontation of Peter on the steps of the court.  Now, I’ll sit, eagerly awaiting the next chapter of this storyline, even if it takes a few more years, because no one makes an elevator look as good at Alicia Florrick and Will Gardner.

Best Scenes – Those seconds and minutes we want to watch on repeat
A New Side of Kalinda Sharma –  Let’s face it: Kalinda can take a bat to someone’s car (knees or ribs), let loose and sip a nightcap while admitting nothing interesting happened that day.  She appears effortlessly emotionless and can get virtually anything she wants by a)flirting and b)knowing how to work a leather jacket, tight skirt and tall leather boots and c)keeping her eyes and ears open at all times.  Alicia, in some ways is quite similar.  She’s all business, ever stoic and able to maintain her composure even in the most challenging of circumstances.  All of that went out the window when Alicia confronted Kalinda about sleeping with Peter after Andrew Wiley dropped the name ‘Leela,’ into conversation.  We knew Alicia and Kalinda’s relationship would never be the same.  Enter one of my favourite cinematic devises: the melt down.  Alicia, shaking, wanted to scream at the top of her lungs, while Kalinda, for the first time, entered the elevator and had a breakdown.  This scene was epic for the character and monumental for the show.  Will these two ever toast with a shot of tequila again?  They say time heals all wounds, and in this case, I hope that’s true.  In the meantime, I’m secretly wishing Kalinda gets called into the Wendy Scott-Carr vs. Peter Florrick grand jury debacle so we can finally find out what went down when K was Leela from Toronto and Peter was someone who could get away with… everything.

What if we were to suddenly have good timing?  Two years in the making, the will-they/won’t-they tension of Alicia and Will finally came to a head in “Closing Arguments” the season finale of season two last May.  I probably watched the now infamous elevator scene (okay, and also the tequila scene and the I’ll take the hotel room for $7,800 scene) at least 25 times… and that’s likely a staggering under-exaggeration.  Mika’s “Any Other World” song is at the top of my playlist now and if ever I need a healthy dose of Team Gardner, this is the scene to which I turn. 

The Midwest Bar Association Mixer – Taking the cake for one of the most awkward and yet entertaining scenes to date, the encounter between Will, Peter and Celeste at the Midwest Bar Association mixer in Season Three’s “Feeding the Rat” is memorable for being so good and so bad all at the same time.
Celeste: So, Alicia Florrick, huh? Well, she works with Will, she’s married to you.  It must be quite an arrangement.  Discuss. 
Peter: (Pausing) It is quite an arrangement, yes. 
Celeste: Any awkward moments? 
Peter: You mean besides this one?
Everything about this scene was pure magic, and sure, while I’ll admit to loving a good Team Gardner/Team Florrick show down, the whole episode was made even better by Will’s “I love you” slip to Alicia just minutes after this uncomfortable exchange.  Instant replay, take 15.

Characters we Most Love to Hate
Jackie Florrick – Also the winner of “the worst mother-in-law in the world” award, Jackie Florrick is the character we love to hate.  I don’t think I’m alone in saying that whenever she comes on screen I want to see her turn right back around.  Quite frankly, every time she mentions how much she knows about what goes on in the Florrick apartment re: the kids, I want to take her plate of lemon muffins and throw them out the door.  That’s the beauty of Mary Beth Peil and her great acting – she makes Jackie Florrick the conniving conservative who can, admittedly, pull off pearls and a headband better than anyone else and simultaneously manipulate everyone in her life all while clad in cashmere.

Wendy Scott-Carr – She may have lost the battle to become the State’s Attorney in season two, but that doesn’t mean she has lost the race altogether.  In fact, now that we’ve hit the mid-point of season three we see her lurking in the shadows: She’s out for blood and she’s willing to use anything and anyone she can to get back at Peter Florrick.  Dressed to kill and with the attitude to match, Wendy Scott-Carr is proving to be one of The Good Wife’s most formidable villains.

Best Guest Stars       
Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni – It’s true: she has glitter decals on her computer, she runs around Chicago with a Vera Bradley quilted laptop bag, she thinks cupcakes are too pretty to eat and she can’t use a speaker phone.  Scatterbrained and brilliant, Elsbeth Tascioni never fails to impress when she crosses paths with anyone on The Good Wife. If she’s met a case she can’t win, we haven’t seen it.  In “Executive Order 13224” she was able to get Alicia out of a tight spot, something Will Gardner is hoping for when the grand jury comes calling.  Every scene she’s in is gold, always making my highlight reel. Whew – look at all this paper!

Dallas Roberts as Owen CavanaughWhenever Owen shows up we know good things are going to happen.  He’s full of pizazz, humor and personality and he isn’t afraid to probe Alicia to spill personal details about her life.  Owen truly is the brother everyone wishes they had and whether they are on a road trip from Oregon to Chicago or sipping wine on Alicia’s couch, Owen proves time and time again he’s got Alicia’s back no matter what… and even Will can’t say that because of his loyalty to the firm.  Also, let’s not forget, one of his favourite pastimes is getting under Jackie’s skin, a trait which endures him to the audience even more.    

Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning – He’s cunning, he’s bright and he wants Alicia at his firm.  For all of 2011, Louis Canning has been vying for Alicia to come to his side of the fence in lieu of the Lockhart Garnder rat race.  Sure, he may steal things from Alicia’s briefcase and, yes, he uses his condition to woo any jury he can, but somehow we still buy into the fact Canning might just be the next best thing. 

Gary Cole as Kurt McVeigh – Sure, we only saw Kurt McVeigh once in 2011, but he deserves an honorable mention nonetheless.  As Diane’s only love interest since the show started, McVeigh, the squeaky clean ballistics expert, has been the only character who could throw Diane even a little off her game.  Inviting her to go away with him, McVeigh was turned down and with that, exited stage right.  They have left the door open for his return at some point in the future, and I think I speak for the masses when I say he would be a welcomed back with open arms. 

Best New Cast Addition of Season Three
Romany Malco – The revolving door of guest stars on The Good Wife continues to impress and that’s certainly true with Romany Malco on the scene as Justin, the newest addition to the offices of Lockhart Gardner.  As the head of legal aid, Malco’s character is smart, quick, adaptable and friendly.  He breathes new life into the firm and is whole heartedly committed to truth and justice.  Bringing Justin in-house was Diane’s best decision of season three… well, next to her wardrobe selections.

Here’s to another great year of The Good Wife!  Thank you for all of the support of lockhartgardner.blogspot.com over the last few months – it’s so appreciated.  Happy New Year, friends and fans!

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  1. Birgit (bvfacebook@live.de)January 3, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    Happy New Year!

    I am back from vacation and finally had a chance to read through "The Cutting Room Floor" and "Best of 2011". Detailed comments will follow soon - first I have to order seasons 1 and 2 at Amazon. Your Best of 2011 made me wonder why I don´t have the complete seasons accessible at all times :-)

  2. Thanks for the note, Birgit - Happy New Year to you, too!

    I look forward to your detailed comments about my last two posts! Also, this coming Sunday marks the first new episode of 2012, so there will be plenty to discuss(four new episodes in a row!) in the coming weeks.

    Good luck with your Amazon ordering :)

  3. Wonderful recap of the best moments of the year. "shrieking, gasping and/or hiding" indeed!

  4. Update this website!!! Great stuff, I want more!

    1. This was just one article... the site is updated with each episode, if not more often than that. Happy browsing :)


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