16 April, 2012

"Pants on Fire"

Episode Title: Pants on Fire (aka, A Ficus, a Fiend and Three Florricks: Let the Games Begin)
Season 3, Episode 20 | Original Air Date: April 15, 2012

In the carefully calculated cocktail that is The Good Wife, this week’s, “Pants on Fire” added one part ficus, two parts fiend, two parts feud and one part friend to create something deliciously telling.  The result?  Jackie had a stroke, Mike announced his desire to be Governor, Kalinda solved a case involving bike clips for pants and friendship bracelets, and Eli broke things off with his ex-wife Vanessa to focus on Peter who, with Alicia by his side, is also running for Governor.  Oh yes, and Will ate a doughnut… and maybe got his pre-Alicia groove back with an old lawyer friend, Cassie. 

Whew!  Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to focus on some character updates, because, with just two episodes left, each show is beginning to matter more than the last, especially when it comes to things getting personal.  I’ll confess: Much like how Alicia is feeling with regards to Mike, I’m feeling with regards to the impending finale of The Good Wife: I have a sneaking suspicion we’re being set up.   

In my Opinion: Character Updates

Cary Agos – One man in a cubicle 

If there’s one thing Cary has learned from working with and against Kalinda for the past three years, it’s how to conduct timely and astute research.  He’s getting so clever in fact, he’s leaving Kalinda sticky note messages when he’s one step ahead.  He’s smart, he’s shrewd and as of this week, we know he can keep a ficus alive.  Basically Cary is the whole package, or was until his demotion.  Now, is it just me, or does Cary’s office space look different (sometimes better, sometimes worse) every time we see it?  I mean, sure, he has a plant and some comics, but after watching him fiddle with his pen, I’m left to wonder if he has even been given a workable writing implement.  Soon we’ll be seeing him having to sharpen a pencil with a pocket knife borrowed from Kalinda.  Clearly Peter took Cary’s advice and gave him anything but preferential treatment upon finding out about the Agos/Lodge affair on the State’s time (but, let’s not forget, not on the State’s couch).

Now, unless you’ve missed every article, commercial and interview pertaining to The Good Wife for the past month, you know that Cary will soon find his way back to Lockhart Gardner (okay, the next episode).  I’m not sure how all of this will play out, but I for one, can’t wait.  I just hope he gets to bring his ficus.

Will Gardner – Job: 0  Love life: 0  Future author prospect: 0 

Oh Will.  He’s still suspended and has written a book that apparently stinks.  I’m not sure why he hasn’t thought to ask Diane to co-author something (she IS brilliant), but it’s probably because she’s juggling a) cases b) administration duties c) two very datable men and d) the ever-looming question: Is there any point to having new glass etched with “Lockhart Lyman” or is that a line item on the budget that can be moved over into Eli’s pending request for an espresso machine? 

Enter Callie, an old friend of Will’s who apparently owes him a date from three years ago.  The thing is, Callie is a recovering drug addict, so she’s been through this whole “not allowed to practice” business and decides she’ll take Will to an AA-style meeting for disbarred lawyers.  I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to hear the words, “Hi. My name is Will. I had a gambling problem.  10 years ago I took money from a client to pay a bad debt and returned it as soon as I could.  Unfortunately, I’m in love with the State’s Attorney’s wife, and, well, one thing led to another and I ended up in front of a grand jury… and now, here I am, eating doughnuts when I should be throwing my prized baseball in the air and being brilliant.”  Now, because this didn’t happen, we are left with the mental image of Callie feeding Will a delicious piece of deep-fried dough after having watched her hand Will her apartment address.  Callie’s no Tammy and she’s certainly no Alicia, but despite her upsetting sense of style, I’m sure she’ll be interesting to watch.  Okay, who am I kidding?  I detest her already.  I’m just trying to keep things cordial…

Peter Florrick – Let the race begin!

Will he run?  Won’t he run?  Will he run?  Won’t he run?  Eli surely spent more than a few days plucking petals off daisies in a “he loves me, he loves me not” fashion, only to find that, yes, Peter has decided to run.  Maybe it’s because Alicia has said she’ll support him, maybe it’s because Mike threatened him and, as we all know, no one threatens Peter and gets away with it, or maybe it’s because being Governor is what Jackie has always wanted for Peter, and now she’s had a stroke, he feels somewhat obligated?  Either way, Peter’s hot on the campaign trail.  My prediction?  Eli's going to have his hands full because I think this campaign is going to turn quickly towards Peter's alleged racial biases.  Just saying.

Jackie Florrick – Knows when to hold 'em, knows when to fold 'em

The cat’s out of the bag on this one: Jackie has had a stroke.  For all of the Jackie fans out there, don’t worry, I’m pretty sure this woman has at least nine lives.  At the opening of the episode we found ourselves back with Alicia and Jackie at the hair salon… and while I was disappointed their discussion didn’t get a little more heated, Alicia did promise to dig into Jackie’s background and find something to use against her.  Good thing Kalinda and Alicia are back on the friendship track!  Not worried, Jackie got her hair set and styled and went about her week.  Eventually ending up at the State’s Attorney’s Office, Peter tore a strip out of his mother while saying, “I need you to butt out … Do not buy that house.  Do you understand me?”  Pa chow!  No one buys Peter’s old house and leaves him standing on the doorstep looking in.  Okay, no one but Alicia. 

Jackie’s eyes welled and the next thing we know she’s calling Alicia from a flip phone from a hospital bed.  Before finding out she’s had a stroke, we learn Jackie got the down payment money for the house from Zach and Grace’s trust.  I can’t help but wonder if David Lee had something to do with this… but I digress.  When Alicia arrived on the scene, Jackie smugly whispered “I forgive you” in Alicia’s ear.  Confused?  Me too.  Also, I’m not entirely sure Jackie’s not faking the stroke entirely…

Mike Kresteva – Anything can be true if you believe it...

Speaking of frustrating people in Alicia’s life, Mike was back in full force, with more tricks up his sleeve than an aspiring magician.  He’s a sociopath and has an assistant named Ginger.  Really, he's kind of unbelievable.  Upon announcing his desire to run for Governor, he simultaneously threw Alicia under the bus, twisting the truth about the Blue Ribbon Panel and a cover-up from the side of the State’s Attorney.  I’m not sure whether to love or hate this character, so I’m willing to put him on my “love to hate list.”  Alicia, however, is adding him directly to her bucket list of people she must outsmart and with due haste. 

Alicia Florrick – Her story, his scandal... take two?

One step forward, eight steps back?  For whatever reason, Alicia has decided she wants to support Peter in his quest to become Governor.  Why?  I have no idea.  Maybe because for the moment she hates Mike more than she detests Peter’s indiscretions … or maybe it’s because for most of season three Peter has been painted with a palette-cleansing brush.  I’m not nearly as forgiving, but I also wouldn't have considered going back to Highland Park.  For all of the traits I admire in Alicia, my stomach dropped when I saw her standing next to Peter on the podium at the news conference.  The one thing I know: this won’t be a repeat of season one – Alicia is standing by, but this time she has a plan.  

Quotes of the Week:

Alicia: "I thought you said you liked the, what did you call it? Clarity." 
Cary: "Well, let's just say it's getting murkier by the day." 
Alicia: ... "You don't seem happy here, Cary." 
Cary: "Really?  Here in my cubical?  I've got my Family Circus cartoons and my ficus.  What more could I want?"

Mike (to Alicia): "I know a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on..."

What's next?
The preview for episode 21, "The Penalty Box" has rendered me nearly incapacitated... and I wish I was kidding. Cary returns to the folds of Lockhart Gardner (Lockhart Lyman?), Alicia and Kalinda share a drink at a bar (FINALLY!) and Diane is forced to say to Will, "Could you please leave your pants zipped?"  Oh yes, that just happened.    

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