21 October, 2012

The Good Wife: "Don't Haze Me, Bro" and all that Swishiness

Episode Title: "Don't Haze Me, Bro"
Season 4, Episode 4 | Original Air Date: Sunday, October 21, 2012

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”… but most of all, it was the age of drama.

And that’s the best age of all. 

Goodbye 27th floor, hello shared office space.  Goodbye clean slate, hello scandal.  Goodbye everything we've ever known, hello season 4.  With all of this messy drama, I’m pulling apart this week’s episode to look at ‘Don’t Haze Me, Bro’ as a turning-point for season four of The Good Wife.  Also, I've got some big questions, like: 1) Who is leaking to the press? And 2) Has Cary really been working in the lunchroom for the last two months?  Feel free to dig in with me by sounding off in the comments below.

His and Hers Offices

Diane is mad.  And apparently she eats Wheaties.  Both of these things are unusual and not just because I never pegged Diane for a cereal eater.  After going to review what’s left of the 27th floor, Diane is more determined than ever to get Lockhart Gardner back on top.  It’s going to be a challenge, but I admire her for dreaming big.  First the firm will return to its former office space glory and then they’ll expand.  New York?  You bet.  The world?  Clearly the next stop.  The only one getting in the way?  That pesky Clarke Hayden. 

While Hayden seems to have a legitimate care and concern for Lockhart Gardner, Diane can’t help but think he’s undermining the firm’s success.  Yes, they need to hire an accountant who can actually, well, account, and sure they need to cut back on expenses – fresh flowers just don't grow on trees.  Well, they do, but they don't put themselves in vases, so that's the point – but when it comes to sharing office space, that’s where Diane draws the line.  One would think Diane would embrace the chance to share an office with Will.  Oh wait, that’s me. 

For fans of The Good Wife, I think it’s easy to see validation in having Hayden on staff.  He’s the voice of reason in an otherwise unreasonable world.  “At some point you’ll realize I’m trying to save you from yourself,” notes Hayden.  He’s more invested in the firm’s sustainability than the fair-weather David Lee, yet because he’s new to the scene, everyone loathes his suggestions.

Everyone but Cary Agos.

With the 27th floor demolished, the seating arrangements at Lockhart Gardner are in a state of flux.  Hayden has a plan (and by the looks of it, a lot of agile workers willing move large mahogany furniture) to condense three floors to two.  It’s at this point we find out the beloved golden boy, Cary Agos, hasn't had a desk, filing cabinet, office chair or paperweight in two months.  Seriously?  Where has he been working?  The lunchroom?  Eli’s closet?  Will’s bathroom?  Does this man even have business cards?

Noting the injustice of seating, Hayden approaches Alicia to ask how she feels about Cary.  The review she gives is glowing and before long, Cary has moved into Alicia’s space.  Already it’s loud and full of madness, but this is a partnership that just might work.  Also, this could finally be the push needed to get Cary a bigger role on The Good Wife (something that has been missing). 

Now, I've said it before and I’ll say it again: These two are destined to start their own firm.  Sharing offices?  Step 1.  Welcome to the hallowed halls of Florrick Agos.  It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  I hear the 27th floor is available for rent…

Pass the Gin and Titonic

There’s nothing worse than a bad date.  You know what I’m talking about: That moment when you look at your watch, secretly hoping the crab cake appetizer you just ate was tainted with listeria and that you’ll have an excuse to exit stage right because of near-death food poisoning?  Watching Alicia’s drink date with Maddie was like that… but maybe worse.  No amount of gin could cover how awkward things got when Alicia brought up Peter’s campaign and his supposed fidelity.  Why didn't she stick with her gut instinct and leave it to Maddie to bring up politics?  Why did she feel the need to justify her marriage to Peter?  Why did she have to kiss him in the last episode?  Whhhhhhy?

I’ll be the first to admit I have some not-so pent-up angst about Peter, but Alicia unwittingly sabotaging a budding friendship with Maddie because of Peter was so disheartening. I hope these two get a second round at the local watering hole - this is a relationship Alicia needs.

The Return of Jackie Florrick

A cold wind was blowing today and I couldn't help but think, Jackie Florrick is near. Like the cat who came back the very next day, Jackie continues to surface just when you've resigned to the fact she’ll have to be treacherous from a hospital bed.  This week, her pearls were clasped, her hair was pinned and her lipstick had a perfect lustre.  The only thing missing? The Jackie we’ve come to know.  Since her stroke she has been struggling with her senses and her confused reality.  It’s true, she’s always lived in a bit of a delusional world, where Peter walked on water, but it’s always been about what she wanted to believe, not what her mind was convincing her into.  Now she’s seeing bugs crawling across her speeches and doing the backstroke in her wine.  She’s tearing up over Alicia’s loyalty and zoning out while composing simple sentences. 

This is not the Jackie Florrick we've come to know and love to hate. 

This development is going to take The Good Wife into an entirely new world – a place where the lines between lies and truth are blurred, where darkness eludes light and where reality is superseded by imagination.  On second thought, maybe Jackie’s new-found issues are a direct reflection of Peter’s campaign.  Either way, it’s going to be a sad road for Jackie, but it’s sure to be interesting for Peter, Alicia, Eli and the viewers.

And the Best Scene of the Night Goes to…

Eli Gold and his epic meltdown while on the phone to Jim Moody (who we haven’t seen in a while, but it’s sure nice to know he’s back on the campaign trail!).

When discussing Jackie and her Peter has always has many women around-inspired speech: “Beat her off with a 2x4 if you have to!” 

Oh Eli Gold, welcome back.

Who is Leaking to the Press?

It’s the straw poll party.  American flags are flying, people are eating sausages cut into coins skewered on those little plastic-ended toothpicks and voters are hip-hip-hooraying all things Peter Florrick.  Well, all people but Eli.  Why?  Because he just got a call from ‘Jimmy V,’ a blogger with PoorAnarchy.com and the news isn't good.  Let’s face it though: Eli’s phone rarely brings good news (Jackie botched a speech, Peter slept with an intern, the Kung Pow Palace is all out of ginger beef – you know, the result is always the same).  In any case, Jimmy V says he is going to run with a story that a magazine he knows, is sitting on an article of Peter’s new scandal.  It’s going to press in one hour.  Click. Say what?!

My first question:  Who leaked this story?  I have three lines of thought here: 1) Kalinda.  It's a unlikely yet fascinating theory to ponder.  She is out to protect Alicia and she's pro-team Gardner.  Could she be working for Eli and clearing scandals on one side the fence while slipping information to a local blogger on the other?  2) Maggie.  She's in a mood that Eli rained on her Peter parade and this is one way all her work would still pay off.  3) Miss Star - the campaign worker accusing Peter of the hotel visit.  She's mad about Kalinda accusing her of lying and she knows people are looking into her story.  She could have easily spilled the beans on the article.

My second question: Why does Eli answer his phone when ‘unknown caller’ surfaces?  Okay, sure, it’s his business to be responsive, but the way the camera menacingly panned down to the call display, we could all tell it was going to be bad news. 

Other Notables

  • The case of the week: Chicago PolyTech vs. Lockhart Gardner.  In a case about hazing and bullying, this week’s in-court drama was another stunning example of art imitating life.  Judge Brochard was just the right amount of quirky while looking shockingly similar to Jimmy Kimmel.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who noticed?
  • The use of ‘swishiness.’  Chummy the Gopher (squirrel?) last week, “swishy” this week – The Good Wife never ceases to entertain and educate.  I’m sure the people over at Merriam-Webster are busy crafting a new entry as I type: The act of not being gay while being feminine, or being gay while not appearing as such = swishy.
  • Kalinda is busy working for Eli who is, as we all know, is busy working for Peter.  It’s deliciously awkward without Eli even knowing it.  This is story line is like a slow-ticking time bomb.  Ka-boom!

Up Next: "Waiting for the Knock"

"When you protect the devil, prepare for hell."  Consider me intrigued. 

One of my favourite characters is about to return: Lemond Bishop is back and things seem dodgier than ever.  Next week we're taken to Bishop's house, a place we've never seen but are about to become intimately acquainted with (and, which looks strikingly similar to Highland Park, no?).  Bishop's son is the single most important person in his life, so watching how his illegitimate business might interfere with his master plan is just the kind of inspired drama I've been looking for.  Also, let's not forget when last we saw Bishop he was threatening Kalinda to get the FBI off his back.  Could K be able to use Bishop as a pawn in her game to oust Nick from her life?  Let the countdown to "Waiting for the Knock" to begin!

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  1. Hi

    I am first to comment here this week ! I think the leak was most likely Maggie but it could be Ms Star too. Unlikely to be Kalinda as she probably too busy with so much on her hands !

    Its a delight to see Jackie back. As much as I dislike Jackie in the past, I kind of feel sorry for her this week and how Eli is treating an older person. You are right though, Eli is back!

    I always wonder how the firm could be in such financial dire straits especially since they seem to keep winning cases. I know they probably did not show the cases they lost and also their lavish expenses but still...

    I cannot wait for next week as I am also a big fan of Lemond (the actor plays him well too) just like most of the guest star on TGW !

    I am still waiting for Julius and hope they do bring back Michael J Fox !

    1. Sorry for the slow reply this week... but thank you for being the first to write in!

      I'm really torn on who could have leaked the article - I hope it's someone unexpected. Perhaps Kresteva is behind it? That would be an interesting twist!

      As for Jackie, I'm glad to see her back, too. Well, admittedly she drives me crazy, but that's part of the fun. I love to hate her because she's deliciously diabolical, even though she doesn't always know it.

      The firm's finances are a complete mystery to me as well. They have a very high success rate (hello Will's grand jury based on supposed bribery), so they must be grossly overspending on ridiculous things. I mean, so far this year we've seen them win almost everything, to the tune of $6 million +. That's a lot of bottled water or floral arrangements.

      Next up: Lemond Bishop. Oh, I can't wait!

  2. Hi,

    I think the leaker is Maddie, as the relationship of Alicia and billionaire doesn't ring true to me. Alicia did ostensibly tell her all the information that was relayed to Eli on the phone. She is up to something, and wonder if she has an axe to grind.

    The thing with the cockroaches - delusional parasitosis - not fun for Jackie, and pitch black humour for the TGW team.

    Miss team Gardner like mad, and I think that something has been lost in the series without some semblance of frisson...but I'm biased

    Feel bad for the fellow that plays Cary...he's been relegated to a yoda type figure. The character and the actor is worth more than that.

    At least the Nick thing didn't feature, and looking forward to the drug lord

    1. I feel as though Maddie isn't the one behind the article, but only because for some reason, I trust her. There's something she genuinely likes about Alicia and now that she's invested in Peter's campaign, it doesn't make sense she put her investment in jeopardy.

      Team Gardner. Sigh. I miss them like mad, too! They are playing with our emotions this season, to be sure. Alicia and Will's relationship has evolved considerably from season one and now it's more complicated than ever. I take heart in knowing they still have genuine feelings for each other, but because of circumstance they can't act on things right now. Maybe one day they will presented with an opportunity to love each other (or, let's face it, I'd even take a good dream about each other!), but I think that's something for another season. The one thing we can count on is that they're going to keep a small flame burning between these two - their chemistry is too electric to keep unplugged.

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  4. I thought this was the weakest episode of S4, much like a filler. To bring back a delusional Jackie! I'm already tired of Peter's campaign and if he slept with that silly young girl. WHO CARES. Alicia and Peter have been separated over a year, if NOT her he screwed somebody...he was not a monk for over a year.

    The case was pretty interesting, after I got past Patty Nyhlom bosses hair distraction...old man got a weave or sumtin...DAMN (not a good look on him). He filp-flopped on his arguments to many times. Let me get this straight, even the thought of someone being gay or your perception of their swishiness and you get into a fight with them can be consider a hate crime. Was that HIS argument and the Jimmy Kimmel (I agree) looking judge let that go! GEEZ...what has the law come to.

    Glad to see Diane get a victory, she kicked butt this episode.


    I miss my Will and Alicia interactions, are they NOT EVEN friends anymore?

    To be the lead actress on a show, Alicia is all over the place. She is just way out of sorts, it seems she is trying to BE ALL THINGS to all the people in her life. She really needs a sounding board or for Owen to come to town because, I don't have a clue as to what she is thinking!

    She was right when she told Maddie "she's not that interesting". I really wonder what Maddie's angle to befriend her. Funny but TRUTHFUL line about "rich folk getting free stuff that they can pay for 100 times over"!

    My love for Willicia has made me not care much for the show anymore...and this saddens me. It use to be my favorite show!

    As always, THANK YOU for your delightful recap.
    Pam in Dallas

    1. Thanks for your note, Pam!

      And now, to respond:

      1) Peter is no monk - a truer statement has never been written. Even if Star is lying (which I think has been proven she is), than it's someone else. Peter is no saint and I think it's just a matter of time before anther indiscretion bubbles to the surface.

      2) Willicia - My love of the show isn't solely dependent on them, but I certainly prefer it when they're teamed up (at the office or off the clock). I continue to hold out hope for them - I'm one loyal fan of Team Gardner! Hold tight - I have a feeling the writers aren't going to leave fans of Will and Alicia completely hanging for season four. Their connection is undeniable.

      3) The prosecutor's hair was OUTRAGEOUS! I think I gasped when he first appeared on screen. Ha!

      4) Diane = brilliant this episode. There is no doubt she is an incredible lawyer and a formidable opponent. The only weakness she has is being able to balance the books!

      5) It's interesting you see Alicia as a boring person - I find her to be rather fascinating. I think she's a very complex character who is trying to make the best of the things she can't control and the most of the things she can. I mean, sure, I would have drinks with her, but I also think I would be her friend - but not because of Peter, her political connections, but because she's smart and funny, she has extreme loyalty to friends and family, she's able to forgive but not forget, she's strong and passionate, she's a team player and she can hold her own when it comes to sipping Scotch or shooting tequila. There's a lot to admire and a lot of layers we haven't even begun to explore. I, for one, can't wait to see her intertwined in new friendships.

      Thanks again for writing in and for reading my blog! I appreciate the support and hearing your great perspective on all things related to The Good Wife.

  5. Looks like Kalinda;s story line would be killed off ! It seems the creators are actually listening to fans feedback. How many shows does that? Anyway its a good interview with the Kings! http://www.tvguide.com/News/Good-Wife-Kings-Kalinda-Nick-1055105.aspx

    1. Thanks for this article! I'm so glad to see they are listening to the viewers. Their ability to adapt to viewer reaction speaks to the pride they take in The Good Wife and how they want to be able to be resilient, even when things don't go quite as planned.

      Meanwhile, did you hear Michael J Fox, Dallas Roberts and Anika Noni Rose are all coming back? I adore Owen and Wendy Scott-Carr is deliciously evil. As for Louis Canning, what can I say? He's a wonderfully shady dealer. I can't wait to see all of them!


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