19 March, 2012

"Gloves Come Off"

Episode Title: Gloves Come Off 
Season 3, Episode 18 | Original Air Date: March 18, 2012

What happens when Will’s ex-girlfriend, a case about hockey, two warm beers, an Australian, a ballistics expert, a job offer and Louis Canning collide?   Sheer bliss, that’s what.  After this episode, I’ve come to an important conclusion: The Good Wife should come with a warning: “Likely to render speechless.”  Thank goodness they've been renewed for a fourth season!

This week, I’m going to skip the full episode rundown and try something different – character updates – followed up with a special feature: The Top Five Things We’ve Missed about Kalinda and Alicia.

In My Opinion – Episode Commentary

At the beginning of “Gloves Come Off” I would have been the first to say the return of Tammy (Elizabeth Reaser) was going to be the best part of the show.  Expecting the unexpected is a must when it comes to The Good Wife though, and while I sit here shaking my head at my own naivetĂ©, I do so only because the wizards of commercial production crafted a “Tammy spectacle” worthy of my pre-episode adoration.  As my closest Good Wife friends can attest, I was losing my mind at the prospect of a showdown (more about my friends later), but where were the gloves really coming off?  The boardroom, the courtroom, the elevator bank… basically everywhere.  Spoiler alert: Tammy didn’t punch Alicia… and Alicia didn’t have Kalinda take a baseball bat to Tammy’s car.  If looks could kill though, these two would be casualties of the same war.

It’s Tammy Time

Tammy.  Will’s ex-girlfriend, best known for not wanting
Will to fall in love with her… which was exactly what happened.

When we last saw Tammy, she was heading to London for a dream job involving writing and the Olympics.  The truth be known, “Gloves Come Off” marks the first time we’ve ever seen Tammy actually working.  We’ve seen her run, dance, eat cake, roll around on the floor with Will and get frustrated when he would answer calls from Alicia, but it’s nice to see she has a viable career.  For some reason (and I can’t explain why), I actually really like her character.  She’s a little whimsical but she’s also kind.  Sure, I’m crazy for Alicia’s “three-pointer this and three pointer that” impression of her (and if Owen had been hanging around, I’m sure we would have heard it again), but Tammy brings with her a level of ease and sincerity.  Also, in this episode, she brought with her a dynamite wardrobe.  London may have been rainy, but at least the shopping was good.

This week, Tammy was back in Chicago to report on the Lockhart Gardner hockey case – could the firm really be taking on major league hockey?  Well sure, why not?  If they can tackle Lemond Bishop’s viable business, surely they can handle profession sports.  Enter Tammy with her tape recorder.  Interview one: Will.  It was as cordial as could be expected – like the singing of the national anthem in a gold medal hockey game.  Was there tension?  Sure,  but they could shake hands and be at peace with the results.  Interview two: Alicia. This went about as well as a shoot-out in game five of the Stanley Cup playoffs (okay, I’m done with hockey analogies – I do better with baseball… or wild animals).  What was great about this scene was that Tammy didn’t ask Alicia if she had slept with Will, she told her, as though she already knew… which of course, she did because of Will’s behaviour.  I had an early prediction that Alicia would play it cool, giving Tammy her patented “you’re out of control face.”  The only time Alicia has talked about her relationship with Will was when she was forced to at the grand jury.  Of course she wasn’t going to talk to Tammy, because she didn’t have to: The stare said it all.

Cary: The Extreme Packer

Cary.  While attempting to work his way to the top at the State’s
Attorney’s Office, he promptly found himself working his way down.

Last week we saw Cary confess to Peter that he’d had a sexual relationship with Dana Lodge and this week we saw the results.  Cary is back working out of a closet.  Gone are his etched glass doors and fancy wall art.  It appears as though Cary’s back where he started.  At least he has a job though, right?  He could be out with Will, playing bridge in the afternoon and sipping tea while gossiping about David Lee’s shocking lack of ability to match a shirt and tie.  With Alicia stopping by, she took note of his new digs.  Asking if he was alright, Cary had to confess he wasn’t sure.  The upside?  With the amount he moves, Cary must have packing down to a science.  If ever a show “Extreme Packing” was created, Cary would be a shoo-in to be their poster boy.  The downside?  Who knows where he’s going to end up next.

Diane’s World: Three’s a Party

Diane: The powerhouse, the matriarch, the ruler of
all that’s good.  Not only has she proven she can succeed in
a man’s world, she can run it, all while wearing
four-inch heels and juggling multiple dates.  Take notes, ladies.

If ever there was a doubt Diane was the brilliant mind behind most things at Lockhart Gardner, this episode proved it: She can defend Will, frighten Equity Partners into silence (which reminds me, what was Eli’s problem this episode?) and tread fine ethical lines like a master tightrope walker.  The best part?  She has recently found herself with two love interests.  Of course, she deserves some fun – she works harder than anyone. 

The scene:  After having been stood up because of “complications” by Jack (Bryan Brown) the process server, she called on the gone but not forgotten ballistics expert, Kurt (Gary Cole).  While arranging schedules and trying to manage call-waiting has already proven to be a bit of a challenge, Diane appears up for whatever comes her way.  In this case, that means dinner out with Jack on Friday and fishing with Kurt (yes, fishing) on Saturday.  I can’t even imagine what Diane would look like while fishing (what would she wear? How would she style her hair?) and though I know we won’t get to see her teetering in a boat, on a lake, batting at mosquitoes, we’re left to dream.   Are you picturing it now?  See – isn’t it fun?

Julius, Eli and David: The Boardroom Brawl

Everyone’s fighting.  Enough said.

Will Gardner, Consultant at Large

Will. Working his way through probation by kicking 
back in his office, Will is busy wearing jeans and 

blazers while “consulting” on cases.  Personally, I 

think he’s mainly concerned about guarding his office supplies.

This week, the developments surrounding Will were negligible.  He was around, he looked good kicking it casual, he conferred on the hockey case and he lurked in the courtroom to keep his toes wet.  At one point he attended a meeting with Alicia, and while I couldn’t help but hope they drove to said meeting together and shared a drink at the end of things, that was simply left as an unknown.  Pure wishful thinking on my part?  Probably.  I just can’t help but envision a world with Team Gardner – it’s a blight that follows me always.

Canning, Meyers and Florrick? 

Alicia. Trying to figure out a way to balance work
 and future mortgage payments, Alicia has found 
herself between a rock and a hard place, a.k.a. Diane and Louis Canning.

Last week Alicia asked Diane for a raise.  This week, Diane took it to the Equity Partners and was met with a variety of reactions.  Meanwhile, Alicia took the opportunity to see what Canning (Michael J. Fox) was willing to put on the table to secure her very astute legal mind.  We don’t know the specifics, but the offer was good enough for Alicia to put her career with Lockhart Gardner on the line.  Watching Alicia give Diane an ultimatum over salary was almost like being punched in the stomach.  It reminded me of Will and Alicia’s break-up – nothing about it felt right.  Lockhart Gardner gave Alicia a chance when other firms didn’t and now she has threatened them with leaving?  Although you could tell Alicia didn’t want to put Diane in a difficult spot, she still did.  It’s Alicia 2.0, remember?  Even Canning felt ripped off by the deal.

In the end, Diane approved the bonus, securing Alicia’s future at the firm, but at what cost?  Will this negotiation have changed their relationship going forward?

Two Cold Beers and a Box of Tissues

Kalinda. She's been busy trying to repair her relationship with 
Alicia while simultaneously tracking down her "unsubstantiated" 
income.  As usual, things are complicated.

Let's cut to the chase.  Kalinda was busy this episode – she was lurking around corners, following men in trench coats, making phone calls and secretly posting videos of hockey fights online – you know, the usual.  This week, none of these things really mattered (okay, Lockhart Gardner won the case, so they mattered a little), but that’s not the real story.  Kalinda finally took a big step towards repairing her relationship with Alicia.  She offered her a late night beer.  (Say what?!?!?  Did that just happen?!  Why did the commercial wizards not show this juicy morsel?  Where’s my paper bag?! ).

Going into Alicia’s office, Kalinda was hesitant, but for all of her trepidation, Alicia’s uncertainty surrounding K’s advance was palpable.  Of course, Alicia couldn’t accept the beer and while Kalinda was upset, she understood.

Flash forward.

After having had the face-off with Tammy (one more hockey reference, just for good measure), the show-down with Diane over salary and the on-paper number crunching over her finances, Alicia looked through the glass walls of her office and saw a friend… her old best friend.  Slowly, she approached Kalinda and proclaimed, “I’d like to try to make it work.”  Wait… what?  Did the dream of all Kalinda and Alicia fans just become a reality? Oh. Yes. It. Did. #LosingMyMind. 

A Pre-Countdown Note

I recently met another super fan of The Good Wife – the brilliant writer of The Oncoming Hope.  In a quote I must paraphrase, because its cleverness deserves repeating, she matches my irrational love of all things Gardner with an irrational love of all things Kalinda.  Together, we are a hot mess of excitement for The Good Wife, and alongside two other cohorts (M and E, you know who you are), we’ve turned into a dynamic group who support each other’s fandom quirks.   This top five list is for all of you – my dear friends of The Good Wife, with whom I would share a drink any time, circa Alicia and Kalinda season one, two... and now, maybe three.

The Top Five Things We've Missed about Kalinda and Alicia

Sidelong Glances – Oh how we've missed the looks between them – whether they are walking down the street, catching each other’s eye across the office or solving a case while sitting on Alicia’s bed – their non-verbal communication speaks volumes.  Despite the fact they are so different, they are drawn together by a sameness (and no, I don’t think that’s Peter).  We've seen glimpses into a new lease on friendship in season three, but so far, it has been largely one-sided: Kalinda retrieving Grace from internet Jesus, Kalinda peppering the grand jury file enough to keep Dana from accusing Alicia of forgery – you know, Kalinda being Kalinda.  This was the first time since season two that we’ve seen Alicia offer Kalinda much of anything (well, minus when Alicia bailed Kalinda out of jail – that was very friendly).  Sidelong glances, welcome home.

Best Friends at a Bar – Tequila, beer, wine… these ladies know how to celebrate with an after-hours beverage and it has typically been one of the best parts of their relationship.  Kalinda usually gets Alicia to admit something personal, Alicia usually concludes that Kalinda is as mysterious as ever, but somehow it works.  With their new friendship brewing, Alicia has put in a caveat that Kalinda has to be honest, upfront and spill on details more often.   For the audience, this is great news.  For Kalinda… I’m not so sure.  Her lips said she could accept that offer, but her face screamed “Wait, what?!”  Kalinda’s closet is stacked to the rafters with leather jackets, short skirts and a mountain of secrets.  Pass the tequila; this is going to be good.

Revealed Details – Whenever Alicia and Kalinda get together during downtime, details of their lives are always revealed.  It’s like when Owen comes to town and gets Alicia to dish on what’s happening in her life… only with Kalinda, it happens much more frequently.  Or, at least, it did.  Season four prediction?  Things are going to get very personal.  Now, if only they would hug.
Team Gardner Bandwagon – Admittedly, one of my favourite things about Kalinda is how she’s secretly a Team Gardner supporter.  Will and Alicia are two of Kalinda’s best friends (Are? Were? Tomato, tomatoe) and she wants to see them both happy.  Of course, this makes me love Kalinda even more, as if that was even possible. 

WWKD? – When making an important life decision, it’s essential to ask yourself: What Would Kalinda Do (WWKD)?  Shouldn’t all of us be using Kalinda as our inspiration?  Okay, okay, she’s made some bad decisions… but she’s loyal to a fault if you’re part of her inner circle, she’ll do anything she can to either protect you or make things right.  With Alicia and Kalinda back together, I have a feeling we’re going to get a deeper insight into her soul (and her past)… and even more opportunities to ask ourselves, WWKD?  Side note: Why isn’t there merchandise with this phrase written all over it?  I need a mug, STAT!

Quotes of the Week:
Will: “Who leaked it?” 
Diane: “Could be any of them.” 
Will: “It’s a good thing they don’t like each other, or I’d be dead.”

Diane: "Was it Louis Canning who gave you a chance after 13 years away from the law?" 
Alicia: “This is his offer.  If I stay at the firm, it has to be more.” 
Diane: “You’ll give me until the end of the week." 
Alicia: “No.  I can’t.” 
Diane: “Yep. Everybody changes. End of the week, Alicia, or you can clean out your desk right now.”

David: “We must have missed the memo. We’re now Stalin and Associates.”

Alicia “… I’d like to try to make it work.  It’s just that everything, it has to be on the table.  I can’t be the only one being forthcoming. I can’t be the only one being honest. Can you do that?” 
Kalinda: “Yah.” 
Alicia: “Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

What's Next?

Matthew Perry arrives next week as a new lawyer, Mike Kresteva, for episode 19, "Blue Ribbon Panel."  It seems that a group has been called together to investigate a police shooting but Alicia and Mike don't really see eye-to-eye.  Also, if there's one thing I've learned, it's that when a commercial focuses solely on a case, it usually means there's some good personal story lines brewing in the background.  Perhaps we'll get a full-fledged attempt at friendship for Kalinda and Alicia?  With March quickly coming to a close, we're left to hope!

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  1. Tequila shots all around! Thanks for the lovely shout out, and for the great review :)

  2. i just want to know, where is alicia jacket from in opening courtroom scene?

    1. I'm not certain, but I'll see if I can find out!


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