05 March, 2012

"After the Fall"

Episode Title: After the Fall
Season 3, Episode 16 | Original Air Date: March 4, 2012

Some of my favourite moments from The Good Wife happen when the characters make me laugh, clap and cover my face while shrieking.  I give extra points when they do all three, especially when they do so simultaneously.  Welcome to the wonderful world of meeting Will’s sisters, Aubrey and Sara.  Did I clap?  Oh sure.  Did I proclaim my love of this new story line development?  I think probably six times in less than an hour.  Did I cover my face?  Well, yes… didn’t you?  Sure, Will is suspended for six months, but if that means we get to see him kicking back, writing the next great American legal novel, playing guitar and sipping a mid-day beer while clad in boot cut jeans and an unbuttoned button-up shirt as one of his many clothing layers, I’m game.  Who said this was going to be a bad thing?

Let me cut to the chase.  I would love to dedicate this entire post to Will, his sisters and his apartment (which, by the way, is completely amazing.  Did we know Will had so much interior design style sense?)… but I won’t, because that wouldn’t be fair to the other outstanding developments in “After the Fall.” 

In My Opinion – Episode Commentary
Will is gone, which means everyone wants a piece of what he left behind: his office, his clients, his place on the stationery.  No one mentioned it, but I’m pretty sure someone wants that beloved baseball he throws around when he’s working late and trying to get to the bottom of a case.  While Diane is working to balance the management re-org, she’s also fending off a group of hungry and ambitious equity partners:  Julius, David and Eli.  It seems to me there’s a metaphor about wildebeest, lions and a waterhole hiding somewhere within this story arc, but I’m not going there.  Oh wait.  In any case, as it turns out, with Will gone, everyone wants the same things from Diane but for different reasons.  Let’s break it down: 

Julius Cain
Julius is after the brand.  He wants name recognition because he thinks Will’s character is so tarnished the firm will suffer.  In point of fact, we learn that none of Will’s clients jumped ship because of the suspension, but Julius needs an angle and this seems like his best shot at getting on the stationery.   As head of litigation, Julius certainly has a prestigious place in the firm and while Diane knows he’s less of a loose cannon than, say, David Lee, he’s no Will Gardner.  When we look at the facts, it seems Julius is most concerned about his reputation: If the firm looks bad, he looks bad.  Getting rid of Will’s name equals getting rid of the dirty laundry.

David Lee
David is after named partnership, but only until Will returns and only because he doesn’t want anyone else to have it.  Let’s face it: David only gets along with a handful of people at the firm and it’s not because he can’t be friendly, it’s simply because doesn’t like to and he thinks it’s a waste of time.  That is, until he needs or wants something.  With Will’s recent departure David is after anything that will keep other people off of the stationery.  He doesn’t want the role of named partner – that would mean dealing with messy things like salaries and middle management – but he needs the role, just to ensure no one else gets ahead.  I do have more than a few reservations about his alleged commitment to getting all of the benefits of named partnership and then giving them back when Will returns.  David is sly and his word is more than a little unreliable… in my opinion.

Eli Gold
Eli is after a full-time job and heightened status.  With Peter’s campaign more uncertain than ever, Eli is looking for something bigger on which to hang his hat.  Or, at least I think that’s what he’s after.  In some ways, I think Eli just wants to get all of the equity partners together to vote on things (For example: Who should fill the vacuum Will has left behind?  Who gets his parking spot? Should the office invest in flavoured coffee?).  Now Eli has a few allies in the office (note: Julius) he thinks he can overthrow Diane whenever the going gets tough.  I tend to think Diane has a greater band of followers than Eli could possibly have, but with everything in a state of flux, the forecast for Lockhart and Associates is uncertain.

Meanwhile, over at the State’s Attorney’s Office, Peter is getting schooled by Eli on how to make friends and influence people (a lesson, strangely, he learned from Diane who he is now trying to throw under the bus).  It seems the friends Peter had during his campaign are disappointed in his lack of commitment to giving them jobs when he took office.  Feeling pressure to secure the keynote address at the Democratic Convention, Peter succumbs to his former ways and hires on an old friend.  Unfortunately, the task falls to Cary to tell hardworking Geneva Pine that she’s being moved around the department.  This was a particularly interesting turn of events, as now Cary now sees the darker, more sinister side of Peter.  When Cary asked Peter about his decision, Peter retorted by saying, “No, I don’t want any consultation, I just want you to do it.”  I can’t help but think that Cary is feeling just as Alicia did in her marriage.  Some very interesting parallels are being written and I have a feeling Cary will come to the same breaking point as Alicia before too long.

Oh for the Love of Sisters
Will is lucky to have some incredible women in his life and after this week, I can’t help but think he’s so good with the opposite sex because of how he grew up: With two sisters surrounding him with love, while simultaneously being at his throat and nipping at his heels, Will’s suave nature is something that was likely born out of survival more than anything else.  Enter Aubrey, Will’s younger sister who heard about his situation and arrived from who knows where, with a suitcase in her hand and a guitar on her back, to spend some quality time in Will’s impeccably stylish apartment. Before long, Alicia phoned Will to catch up on a case and from the background, Aubrey quickly called Will out on using his “sweet voice” with the woman on the other end of the phone.  It’s official.  Aubrey is Will’s version of Alicia's Owen.  At this point, I had to exclaim, “Of course it’s his sweet voice, he’s talking to Alicia.  Team Gardner!”  *Sigh*

Before long, the next bombshell in Will’s personal life exploded: Sweet, good natured Aubrey called in backup with Will’s other sister, Sara.  Together they are a whirlwind of hilarity and embarrassment… especially when Kalinda came over and they mistook her for Will’s girlfriend (thinking she was the one he was using his “sweet voice” on earlier).  Riffling through yearbooks and the internet to track down Will’s past girlfriends, they also reorganized his kitchen and tried convincing him that in five years he won’t be so cute anymore, so he better settle down and get serious.

The insanity of Will’s sisters push him out the door (but only because Kalinda couldn’t have them arrested as Will had hoped) and so he headed to the place he’s most comfortable: the office.  Diane welcomed him with open arms while Eli and Julius lurked outside watching the reunion…

Farm Girls from Michigan
Oh yes, let’s not forget this is a legal drama, so there was a case this week (though it was probably the least important part of the entire show).  Nancy Crozier was back in full force, using her I’m so innocent because I’m just a farm girl from Michigan moves until Alicia “out blonded” her and put the similarly faux-innocent, Caitlin, in as a true testament to her astute reading of Judge Serena.  The case had to do with a documentary film maker (played by The Ice Truck Killer from Dexter) who was being accused of romanticizing suicide and encouraging people to pitch themselves off local bridges.  Lockhart and Associates set out to prove that while cameras were set up on the bridge, capturing suicides had to do with bringing awareness to a bigger issue and didn’t have anything to do with turning his film into the next Titanic.  Alicia did the smartest thing she could: she put Caitlin in against Nancy in order to the play to the judge: yes, it was a battle of the blondes.  Fortunately for Alicia, the plan worked beautifully and Caitlin excelled at playing fresh and na├»ve… unfortunately it backfired in some ways as Diane then gave Caitlin a promotion and told Alicia she had to share her assistant.  Sure, Alicia earned points for being a good mentor, but with Caitlin moving up the ranks, Alicia senses trouble.  I have a feeling she’s longing for the days when she was up against Cary Agos (and in many ways, with what’s happening at the State’s Attorney’s Office, I have a feeling he wishes he was simply up against Alicia, too).

Quotes of the Week:
Kalinda: "Will, when I leave, you aren’t going to curl up in a little ball and cry, are you?”

Aubrey: "Who's that? You've got your sweet voice on." 
Will: "Ssshhhh. I do not." 
Aubrey: "Yes you do."

Will: "Okay, I'm going to go over here and... talk to myself." 
Sara: "Wait. What about a girlfriend? Why aren't you seeing someone?" 
Aubrey: "He is! The woman on the phone."  
Sara: "Who's she?" 
Aubrey: "Some lawyer. Makes him upset when we talk about it."  
Sara: "Does it Will?  Who is she?" 
Will: "How long are you two staying?" 
Sara: "Where's your year book?  There was some girls in high school, remember?" 
Aubrey: "No. He likes younger women."

David Lee: “I don’t hate people… I hate some people.”

Eli: “We can out vote you.” 
Diane: “We?”
Eli: “Me and my fostered relationships.” 
Diane: “So you’re no longer the last kid picked for the mutiny. Congratulations.”

Diane: “You lasted a full week. I’m impressed.” 
Will: “Could have lasted longer. You have my sisters to thank for that.” 
Diane: “I’ll send flowers.”

What’s next?
Things are heating up next week, and I, for one, can’t wait.  Colin Sweeney returns (which must make Alicia want to lose her mind) and he is being accused of fathering a former employee’s child.  It’s a case of sexual misconduct and it could impact Sweeney’s plans to secure control of his company once more.  As a simple observation, I have to say that Colin Sweeney gets more time in the courtroom than most lawyers do.  He can’t stay out of trouble.  It’s a good thing there is a rule about Double Jeopardy, otherwise Sweeney would have a case to set up a Murphy bed in the janitor’s closet for a quick commute every morning.  Bebe Neuwirth also guest stars as a new judge.

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  1. YES! March Madness has finally started!

    This is just perfect - being finished with work, then watching TGW and directly after that checking your blog and finding the latest post there :-). I´ll send YOU flowers for your perfect timing!

    This weeks episode was definitely worth the wait! Some interesting dynamics showing up... Eli and Julius up against Diane, Alicia putting off her divorce or at least David as her attorney (I am not yet interested in David´s part in the power game though), Alicia obviously not liking the turn in Caitlin´s career and so on :-)
    March is gonna be a very interesting month!

    Thanks for rounding off my "Good Wife Monday" again and sorry for not commenting on your last blog entries... I was so busy, but I enjoyed them soooo much, as always!

  2. Thanks for your note, Birgit!

    This episode was certainly interesting from the standpoint of advancing some of the core story lines. I'm definitely not a fan of Caitlin (and when she sat down at the end of the trial and told Alicia that Nancy was scrambling, I loved Alicia's, "yes, I know... that was the plan and I put this plan together" look. I foresee Caitlin turning into Celeste in 15 years. She will know everyone's secrets because she will have been part of their indiscretions. It's going to prove to be a very interesting rivalry. The only thing that I would love to see thrown into the mix? If Diane invited Alicia on as an equity partner. Can you imagine?!

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  4. Alicia being invited on as equity partner? I haven´t thought of that before, but yes - I am definitely in on that!

    First of all Colin Sweeney will be back, let´s see how that turns out ;-)

    PS: Have you been watching "Private Practice" lately? Anika Noni Rose is guest starring there. A totally different character than WSC and from my POV doing an amazing job!

    1. Alicia being invited on as an equity partner is, of course, just a long-shot (and pure joyful speculation), but I think it would be a very interesting move for not only Diane, but the firm. It is rumored that Alicia will be re-examining her finances later in the season, so that would suggest that she's going to be making some changes in her professional life. I think the last part of this season is going to be AMAZING! This also reminds me... did you hear the news about Gary Cole coming back to The Good Wife later this month? As if they ever doubted my love for this show, they go and blow it through the roof for me.

      Thanks for the heads up on Private Practice - I actually don't watch, but perhaps I'll tune in so I can see ANR in a different capacity. I think she's an excellent actress and I do hope she surfaces in Cook County again... maybe when Peter's campaign is heating up (because, let's not forget, Peter was who she was *really* after... not Will).

    2. Of course it´s a long shot but a very interesting chain of thought!

      No, I haven´t heard that Gary Cole is coming back. But now that I know I am so looking forward to it as Kurt is one of my favorite guest stars on TGW.

      Where do you get all these rumors and news? Fascinating!

      My pleasure. Let me know what you think once you had a chance to see ANR in PP.

    3. All of the possible angles the writers could take are certainly fun to think about - I can only imagine where they'll go!

      Re: Gary Cole. He'll be returning in the same episode with Jack - the one who was doing all of that serving in "Alienation of Affection." It's time for a love triangle featuring Diane - oh what fun that will be!

      Re: News and spoilers: I update my news page on a daily basis - I find out about stories through searches, news feeds, friends who find things, Twitter and general sleuthing. I try to distill things down to the most relevant news (ie, I won't put up 52 articles saying Matthew Perry is joining the cast - I'll pick one or two that go into more detail and leave it at that) so it's basically acting as a clearing house on all things having to do with The Good Wife. In point of fact, my news section is the most popular feature on my blog, so it seems a lot of people are finding it to be a useful way of keeping up with things at Lockhart... and Associates (?!). :)

    4. Jack and Kurt at once? Wow, that´s gonna be more than fun!

      Thanks for pointing out your news section... although I check your blog regularly obviously I haven´t spend as much time there as it deserves. This will definitely change!


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