20 February, 2012

"Live from Damascus"

Episode Title: Live from Damascus aka The Last at Bat
Season 3, Episode 15 | Original Air Date: February 19, 2012

With baseball references being bandied about like homeruns at an All-Star game, The Good Wife was back in full swing with episode 15, “Live from Damascus.”  Sure we had to wait three weeks for this episode, but in the end, sometimes it takes a while to get to the much touted seventh-inning stretch.  The result?  A bitter sweet episode that had me exclaiming, “Why can’t they just hug it out?” and “Wow, Will has the best female friends… ever.”

In My Opinion – Episode Commentary
Picking up right where we left off, Audra Mae’s "Here I Go Again" played gleefully in the background as Peter dismissed Wendy Scott-Carr from his office (take a hint WSC – your parking has been validated), while across the city, Will and Diane twirled in the hallways of Lockhart Gardner.  To be perfectly candid, I always know it’s going to be a great hour of television when I’m clapping in the first 36 seconds.  Oh how I clapped.  Unfortunately all of that was cut short when Will got word Lionel Deerfield had called and left an important message.  Side note: If you don’t remember Lionel, he was one of the lawyers Will considered hiring before he met Elsbeth.  Also, he’s played by Edward Herrmann, aka, Richard Gilmore.  Much like when you hear the names “Andrew Wiley,” “Dana Lodge” and in some cases, “Peter Florrick,” when Lionel Deerfield enters the picture, it’s rarely about anything good.   

The really bad news?  Not only did Lionel call, he showed up the party.  Fortunately, so did Alicia. More about that later.

With an ever-expanding guest list, it only seemed fitting to add another couple of hitters into the batter’s box: Enter Viola Walsh (Rita Wilson) and Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey) in, as Will playfully noted, “in his patented hoodie.”  The collision of Walsh and Gross could only mean one thing: the imminent appearance of Patric Edelstien (Jack Carpenter), The Good Wife’s very own Mark Zuckerberg.  If anyone else was having flashbacks to season two’s episodes “Net Worth” and “Great Firewall” you weren’t alone.  I couldn’t help but think, haven’t we been here before?  Here we have all of the same players in “the same but different” situation.

With Kalinda video chatting with her friend, Samir, in Syria (a situation, by the way, that made me think, yet again, if ever I’m lost or kidnapped, I want this woman on my side… she knows people everywhere!), we were given an inside view of the Lockhart Gardner class action suit.  You see, they are going up against Gross for knowingly selling software to the Syrian government that was ultimately used to capture and kill prisoners.  Flash to court, where we found one my favourite judges in the Cook County system: Judge Abernathy.  He’s quirky, smart and if you know him well enough (as we’ve come to), he’s also a bit calculated. This week, he was caught in the Occupy Wall Street protests, which found him on the bench battling the aftereffects of a run-in with pepper spray.   For Lockhart Gardner, Abernathy’s support of the 99% become critical to their case, a fact that eventually help them hit the class action out of the park.

I’ll be honest in admitting the case this week didn't thoroughly inspire me, but perhaps that’s because I was more than a little preoccupied with wrapping my mind around the fact the grand jury, the party and the final preparations for the big Damascus case all happened, apparently, on the same day.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Diane had the opportunity to wear that stunning eggplant blazer a few more hours and that Alicia did manage to make it to the office to see the festivities, but still.  While the timeline was, admittedly, a little far-fetched, it was all forgiven when Will bounded, with boyish vigor, into a dimly lit office to chat with Alicia.  As they looked at each other and expressed their relief over the dropped indictment charges, the palpable feeling reverberating through the room said, give this man a hug already! And yet… just like Will, we were left hanging with ball four… walking to first.  Still, their friendship is stronger than ever, and for fans of Team Gardner, a little goes a long way.

Three Strikes, You’re Out
They say the first cut is the deepest, but for Will Gardner, it looks as though it’s about the seventh or eighth cut that’s tearing into the heart of the matter.  When Lionel came to talk to Will, it was to give him the heads up that The Attorney Compliance and Disciplinary Board was pursing his disbarment.  Honestly, this man could not be having a worse year.  Hearing the news, Diane set out to talk to Lionel herself, an altruistic act, we would later learn, where she told Lionel that Will was actually the one who pushed to elevate the importance of pro-bono in the firm.  Of course, we know that’s not true, but that’s hardly important.  The facts are these: Diane was willing to do everything she could to ensure Will’s legal future.  This adds to a long line of women in Will’s life who are willing to bend over backwards for him – Whether it’s Alicia, Kalinda or Diane, Will has some of the best female friends ever.

Diane’s valiant efforts didn’t go unrecognized and Will was offered six months probation, an opportunity  he took because the alternative could see him never practicing law again.  What does all of this mean?  Firstly, another law firm name change.  That’s four name variations in the last three years, for those of you keeping track.  Those companies holding the contracts for stationary printing or office glass etching must make a killing doing business with this firm.  The new name?  Lockhart & Associates.  Secondly, it means Will cannot enter the offices unless it’s related to a case.  Thirdly, it seems as though we’ll be getting to see a different side of Will Gardner.   We know his sisters come to town in the next episode, “After the Fall” and their minds are set on finding Will a suitable love interest.  Also, we learn that Will can play the guitar.  What else will we find out over the next six months?  If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to expect the unexpected, but I’ll confess to having a purse full of predictions standing by…

Eli, Vanessa and Stacie, oh my!
Meanwhile, things are kicking into high gear in the campaign for State Senate.  Eli is losing his mind about Stacie working with his ex-wife, Vanessa, so much so, he barely seemed to care that Kalinda hung up on him for more important matters.  Stacie, on the other hand, is playing Eli like a pawn in an intricate and passionate game of chess.  Vanessa, one would think, seems caught in the middle, but in fact, Eli is the one who can’t get enough of this proverbial sandwich.  The truth is, Eli still cares about Vanessa and he truly wants the best for her.  Does this mean Stacie is the right choice?  In Eli’s mind, no… but that isn’t stopping him from getting involved in the campaign.  Over the coming months we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Eli, Vanessa and Stacie.  Where it will lead, I don’t know, but it makes me wonder… what other projects does Eli have on his docket?

Bits and Bites: A Few More Things to Mention
  • With Will kicked out of the game for six months, Alicia has been called in to handle a very sensitive case: the tax files of one Kalinda Sharma.  We have no idea what’s inside said file, but it has been touted as “sensitive.”  It stands to reason Kalinda has some baggage (and, let’s face it, she doesn't really seem like someone who rushes out to H & R Block to file her return each year), so, what could be contained inside?  Despite being a third-year associate, Alicia is quickly becoming more linked-in than almost anyone else in the firm. 
  • Over at the State’s Attorney’s Office, Cary was tasked with a bit his own “restructuring.”  I saw this one coming from a mile away, but it became official: Dana hitched her wagon to the wrong star in Wendy Scott-Carr and now she’s back to square one.  The game of Snakes and Ladders is a slippery one, isn’t it Dana?

  • I would probably be remiss if I didn't at least mention Johnathon Groff's guest-starring role in this episode.  He was solely involved in the case surrounding the use of software to used to kill captured prisoners, as his sister was one of the alleged victims.  Full props to Groff for being able to cry on cue - I thought he did a stand-up job, if only the case had been slightly more alluring.

Quotes of the Week:
Neil: “So, this is where creativity goes to die?” 
Alicia: “Oh no, that’s the next floor.” 
Neil: “Is that supposed to be funny?" 
Alicia: “It is.” 
Neil: “Well I didn’t think it was funny” 
Alicia: “It must have been my delivery…”

Viola: “We seem to be catching you in the middle of a party” 
Will: “Casual Wednesdays.”

Diane to Will: “You’re trying to hit a home run with your last at bat. I’d love nothing more than to be proven wrong.”

Eli to Vanessa: “First lesson about being an elected official?  When you get what you want, shut up!”

What’s next?
For what seems like the fourth time this season, it’s a new day over on The Good Wife.  We get to see Will begin his six-month hiatus from law with a visit from his sisters.  Meanwhile, Julius isn’t waiting two minutes before the dust settles to see if he can get his name on the new stationary.  How does Lockhart Cain sound?  While I’m not sure Diane will be so receptive, it does bring up a few interesting questions.  (Where will the firm be in six months?  Is it possible Will and Diane could split up and have opposing firms?  Just think: Diane could bring back Cary; Will could have Alicia and Kalinda…).  Before any of that happens though, we have to deal with the matter at hand, and in two weeks, that seems to involve Caitlin.  Kalinda smells trouble and warns Alicia that this peppy first-year might be more of a piranha than anything else.

Upcoming Schedule
We’re on another two-week break *sigh,* but according to imdb.com, March is fully stocked with new episodes!  Stay tuned March 4, 11, 18 and 25.

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