26 November, 2012

The Good Wife: "A Defense of Marriage" and Giraffes

Episode Title: "A Defense of Marriage”
Season 4, Episode 9 | Original Air Date: Sunday, November 25, 2012

A life-sized giraffe, five bottles of wine, two mothers, one brother, one Cuban (caregiver, not cigar) and a giant turkey (and I don’t mean Peter… but yes, I sort of do).  It’s just another Florrick family Thanksgiving!

I’ve been waiting for a family gathering like this since season one, so to say I was excited is an understatement.  What I’m most grateful for?  This episode lived up to my very high expectations and in some regards, exceeded them.  Whenever The Good Wife throws family into the mix (flashback to Will’s amazing sisters and the always entertaining Owen), everything gets better and at least 85% more embarrassing.  It’s the perfect equation and a most delicious mid-season treat.

This week, I’m taking a festive spin on things: Thanksgiving at the Florricks = A multi-course meal.  Let’s dig in!

A Chocolate Appetizer
David Lee + Veronica Lloyd (aka, Alicia’s Mom, aka Stockard Channing) = Pure intrigue covered in a candy-coated shell.  Why is Veronica talking to David?  Well, she’s being accused of having an affair with Henry, an oil man from Alaska, by the son of Malcolm (who had the soul of a vagabond), who is now dead.  Clear. As. Mud.  Off the top, it’s easy to see where Alicia gets her messy life genes from. 

Flash forward.

As Veronica tried to quasi-seduce the sly and oddly captivated (and dare I say interested?) David Lee, we learned a few important things: 1) She likes M&Ms (of which David always seems to have an ample supply) 2) She likes Jewish men (further elaboration not required) and 3) She has yet to find someone to satisfy her (Veronica: “They either bore me or die.” David: “I could see us becoming best friends.  Here, have more chocolate.”  Okay, that last part didn’t really happen, but David sat there and laughed in a way that both scared and intrigued me, so I’m convinced this is what he was thinking). 

What’s interesting is Alicia’s Mom is a complete mystery to us, except we know she’s had many husbands and Alicia will do almost anything to not be like her.  As far as I can tell, the only thing these two have in common (aside from both liking Owen) is affection for red wine.  Veronica is whimsical in ways Alicia isn’t; She is spontaneous and little irresponsible and we’ve been painted a picture where we can imagine her sneaking out under the cover of darkness for her next big adventure.  While I’m moderately hoping she slips away with David Lee as her rebound fling (stop for a second and picture it – funny, right?), it’s the unease she’s brought to Alicia’s life that drives a deeper understanding of the foundation on which this show is built.

Everything Veronica is, Alicia is not.  That’s our basic understanding.  However, when talk of Will surfaced, something interesting happened.  Alicia got emotional.  Of course, as an avid Team Gardner fan, I did, too.  Alicia’s relationship with Will was the closest she’s ever been to acting like her Mom though, and that, without question, is a scary place to be.   “The older you get, the more you realize there’s only one thing: Happiness” said Veronica.  And it’s true.  Alicia knows it.  Unfortunately, her dedication to Peter continues despite the fact Will has her heart. 

My greatest frustration with Alicia is that whenever there’s a burst of emotion in her life – no matter what that seems to be – she winds up having sex with Peter in a bathroom.  Okay, it’s not always a bathroom, but there is precedent for that statement.  Tonight, I wish she had simply taken her Mom’s gift of Vagina: A New Biography (which is apparently, “very powerful”) and stayed cooped up in her room, using Will’s ‘most eligible bachelor’ magazine spread as a bookmark.   

A Handful of Nuts
A large group of random characters thrown together in the offices of Lockhart Gardner? Talk about being thankful - I love these scenes!  The Good Wife writers know a thing or two about creating awkward gatherings and they continue to do so with extraordinary success.  As if the chat between Will and Owen wasn’t blowing my mind enough, they had to throw in Veronica.  I *may* have screamed a little and exclaimed something about Will meeting the parents.  When David Lee entered the picture and the conversation took a turn towards Alicia as an eight-year-old swimmer, my evening was made.  And then it got better.  Alicia surfaced.   Seriously.  I was jumping on my couch.  The only thing that topped this scene was Veronica talking to Will about her new must-read book, Vagina, and having her get a few details on his love life (which resulted in two jazz hands and a shriek from me – he’s not seeing anyone… and Alicia overhear it!). 

These flash gatherings are turning into some of the best scenes on The Good Wife.  You never know when they’re going to happen, but you can always guarantee they’re going to be great.

The Horn of Plenty
Speaking of people being thrown together in awkward and embarrassing situations…. Thanksgiving at the Florricks was more like a jungle-inspired war zone (with the bathroom being an unfortunate bomb shelter).   Jackie brought Cristian, her Cuban caregiver (and dare I suspect, ummm, something more?),  Cristian brought a drink to poor over ice, Veronica brought a giant giraffe for Grace and a skateboard for Zach, Owen brought wine: three bottles of white and two bottles of red (which should have held this group until appetizers were served) and Peter brought liquor and his A-game.  Grace didn't bring her new boyfriend, but I’m sure that was just an oversight. 

Watching Jackie and Veronica throw banter back and forth was as entertaining as any tennis match I’ve ever seen.  Three points for Jackie who blamed her stroke on the fact she had to help with the kids without Veronica’s help, and three points for Veronica who said Jackie should know a thing or two about paying for companionship by the hour.  Pa chow!  The piece de resistance?  Peter’s conversation with Cristian:

Cristian : “She’s a funny lady… we laugh… She has extended my hours”
Peter: “Really?  Is that necessary?”
Cristian: “No.”

Soooo… that just happened.   

On the one hand I’m glad Jackie has found someone to help balance things (I’m pretty sure Cristian wouldn’t have approved of Jackie riffling through Alicia’s lingerie last season), but on the other hand I wonder if he’s working his way into her life for ulterior motives.  I could just be questioning his actions because I clearly missed the boat on the whole ‘Maddie’s a lesbian and out to take Peter out at the knees’ thing, so on this story line, I’m trying to be proactive.

A Side of Frozen Peas, Please
Stop the presses: Cary Agos is alive.  ALIVE! Whew!  I thought about this all week, and while I’ll admit to being a little disappointed when we didn’t get any follow-up on how Cary got home that night, the absence of commentary on the matter has led me to believe he crawled to his car and put some frozen peas on his rib cage when he got home.  Using the guise of a ‘basketball injury’ to explain his bruised face (something I’m pretty sure Will was skeptical of, because, let’s face it: he knows what a parking lot brawl injury looks like), everyone bought into the lie. 

Everyone but Nick.  Awful, deceitful, sleazy, Nick. 

Cary, boldly, headed to see Nick on the job and pulled out all the stops when explaining his connection to the State’s Attorney’s Office.  As it turns out, Cary has spent a lot of his time (now that he has a desk, an office and some pens) investigating Nick and the world of tow truck businesses.  He has found out about broken-handed Bill and his drug (heroin to be exact) smuggling ways and, is if it were possible, Nick hates Cary more than before.  Where does this leave us?  Well, there’s still no sign of Nick departing and Kalinda doesn’t appear to suspect anything suspicious about Cary’s injuries.  Urgh.  Getting rid of Nick seems like trying to rid your house of a pesky rabies-infested racoon that has nested in your attic.  I’m beginning to think it might end up being Cary who drives Nick out of town – one tip of the drug smuggling accusations into the ear of Peter Florrick could prove to be a very interesting turn of events.  And I won’t object.  No one arranges to have Cary beaten up and gets away with it. No one.

All that Cherry Pie Crust
There was a case of the week – of that I can be certain – but with all of the family drama it was hard to keep track.  Owen was in the courtroom one minute, talking to Will another and before long he was greeting Alicia at her door with a monstrous stuffed giraffe lurking like his partner in crime.  Bebe Neuworth was back as Judge Claudia Friend (a surprisingly normal character in contrast to others on the bench) and Brian Delaney reprised his role of “Bucky” for a second episode.  In my opinion, despite the relevant commentary on the defense of marriage, the question of attorney ethics was the most relevant outcome of this case.  Can you sacrifice a client for a cause?   We’ve seen this theme a number of times, most frequently when it comes to healthcare cases, however, this week, it became about one lawyer on a mission to fight for the memory of his brother who died of AIDS, at the expense of his client. 

Up Next: “Battle of the Proxies”

Laura is back and Will’s up against her in the courtroom defending someone who appears to be 50 shades of guilty.  Somehow this leads to drinks.  I’m a little weary of where all of this is going (and while friends have pointed out these two could end up closer than I would like), I hope this relationship stays platonic.  Alicia’s life is messy.  With Kalinda having slept with Peter and Maddie now running for Governor, Alicia only has one friend who has more than two degrees of separation from other people in her life, and that’s Laura.  On this one, I’d like to see her catch a break.

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18 November, 2012

The Good Wife: "Here Comes the Judge"

A Battle of the Suits
Season 4, Episode 8 | Original air date: November 18, 2012

“I don’t want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution” said no Florrick child ever.  Until now.  Zach has decided to use the name ‘Jay’ and work undercover on Peter’s campaign in IT, while Grace has fallen for a bad boy at school whose ex-girlfriend recently committed suicide.  You know, regular kid stuff.  Alicia truly deserves a medal – these kids are a hot mess.  Granted, not more of a mess than usual, but I’m sure it’s coming.  To be fair, however, they entertained me this week, so I’ll cut them both a little slack… but only because Thanksgiving at the Florrick’s is coming up next and I’m already excited!

In “Here Comes the Judge” we found ourselves in the midst of a number of sensitive situations – Judge Creary showing bias against Will, Cary trying to manage Nick’s tow truck dealings and Eli juggling Peter’s roller coaster results.  It was a true battle of the suits this week - let’s get straight to the highlights.

Cary Agos in Calvin Klein
I have to go here first because I’m still reeling from the fact that when last we saw the beloved Cary Agos, he was left for dead in a rain-soaked parking lot.  I can only imagine what he will look like come next week (by the nature of the attack, I’m guessing a number of fractured ribs and a lot of bruises, if not some internal bleeding).  Of course, the heinous and dastardly Nick was behind it and all because he has a jealous streak longer than the Nile.  I had hoped The Good Wife’s preview ninjas had deceived us just a little last week and that the attack wasn't going to be what it seemed, but when Nick is in the picture, all bets are off.

While I’m more than a little upset about Cary getting pulled into Nick’s dirty dealings (especially because he has been nothing but kind and professional to this leather-clad scum bag), I’m glad Cary is playing a bigger role each week on The Good Wife.  Also, this attack is going to provoke a lot of interesting questions and scenes going forward.  Here’s where I’m going with this:

  • Who is going to find Cary in the parking lot?  Will he be able to make it to his car to call for help?  If so, who will he call? 
  • What is this “random act of violence” going to do to the firm?  A ‘buddy system’ for walking to your car at night?  (This could be a win for Team Gardner.  Just saying.)
  • How will Kalinda react when she finds out what happened to Cary?
  • Will Cary remember what happened?  Will he recall the comment about his suit?
  • Will Kalinda suspect Nick?  (Please say yes!  Like the break-in happening at Lana’s apartment, this parking lot accosting has Nick’s name written all over it)
  • Will Alicia put the pieces together and affirm her fears of Nick being dangerous?
  • How will this change Alicia and Cary’s relationship?  (Stronger than ever, I hope!)
  • Might Will start to cut Cary a break now that he has been through greater life struggles?  Getting beat up in the parking lot of your law firm shows a serious level of commitment to one’s job.
  • Is anyone else thinking about these things or am I the only one?  

Of course, while I’m not sure how I’m going to sleep tonight with all of these questions running through my head, I’m left only to wonder if this might just be the push Kalinda needs to make Nick a distant memory.  How she will get rid of him is anyone’s guess.  Of course, I have theories (some of which involve Lemond Bishop, some of which involve the FBI and some of which involve her burning her apartment to the ground), but it’s all purely speculative.  For now, I’m worried about Cary and perhaps a little thankful he wasn't wearing his Brioni suit on the night of attack.

Will Gardner – The Suit is Off
Guess who’s back?  Giada.  Remember her?  The independently wealthy student who was arguing the Hansel and Gretel witch debacle in moot court?  The one who made Will recuse himself?  If none of this rings a bell, know this:  It was Giada’s wine Will was drinking from a coffee mug when he called Alicia in the season one finale.   Ahhhh yes.  Giada.  Talk about characters I never thought I’d see again! 

To make a long story short, Giada seemed to be friendly with the very biased Judge Creary and Will just happened to need her to testify on a rather scandalous bar conversation.  The obvious next step was for Will to seduce her… or her him… I’m not really sure in what order things happened, but before long underwear was on briefing documents and they were sharing spoonfuls of ice cream.  Of course, Giada didn’t give in when Will asked for her help (she’s always been a bit of a tough customer), but in true Lockhart Gardner fashion, none of that ended up mattering.
To be honest, all of this Giada business left me with one question: What happened to Callie?  Sure, she didn't buy him $180 glasses of wine, but that’s not necessarily Will’s style anyways.  Callie was more like Tammy –with not quite as snappy of wardrobe.  In any case, whether it’s Giada, Callie or Tammy, no one is Alicia.  And for that I’m grateful. 

Kalinda – Buttoned Down
Drinks with Will twice in one episode?  It must have been my lucky week!  Next to K drinking with Alicia, her shooting tequila with Will is one of my favourite things.  These two have such an interesting friendship.  It’s based on a solemn respect and admiration for one another and while they both have secrets, they don’t judge each other for the decisions they’ve made.  A drink with these two is a bit like Christmas morning.   With each sip a new treasure is revealed.  Sometimes it comes in the form of satire while other times it is pure honesty.  That’s what we were treated to this week when Kalinda popped the question: do you ever get jealous?   This wasn’t like past conversations (read: “You need a dog. Kalinda and pooch, out investigating”) because Will could sense Kalinda has been experiencing a significant life event.  He may never find out Nick is Kalinda’s husband, but somehow that seems okay.  Maybe it will come out, maybe it won’t, but the trust these two have in the realm of the very unspecific is remarkable.

Eli Gold – All Suits on Deck
Social media numbers are up and the IT volunteers are to blame… errrr… reward.  Hired!  But wait, the one responsible for all of this good work is a guy named Jay… errrr… Zack Florrick.  Wait.  What?  Zach is working undercover to help out his Dad’s campaign?  Finally, something good!  Okay, it’s not as impressive as when Zach was using his iPod to record videos of his front door, but this is, without question, the best thing he’s done in three years.  Eli might just have an ally in young Florrick, if only they can convince Alicia to sign-off on this volunteer project.  Considering Grace has befriended her school’s resident bad boy, Alicia has bigger things to worry about.  Zach – welcome to the team.   

Next Up:  “A Defense of Marriage” aka Thanksgiving at the Florricks

I have been waiting for a holiday episode of The Good Wife for the last 76 episodes.  If you do the math, yes, that means I've been waiting since season one episode one.   Literally.  My level of excitement is hitting a high equal to that of the anticipation leading up to “Another Ham Sandwich.”  For fans of this blog, you know this is big.  I mean business.

I love the fireworks that inevitably go off when everyone comes together (especially when Owen is around!) and I can’t get enough of the prospect of having Alicia’s mother join the drama.  In “A Defense of Marriage” David Lee becomes counsel for Alicia’s Mom’s latest divorce, while Peter is lectured with a ‘let her go’ speech.  Oy vey, this is going to be good.

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12 November, 2012

The Good Wife: "Anatomy of a Joke" aka Cary Agos Goes to Washington

Cary Agos Goes to Washington While Peter Florrick Avoids Brazil
Season 4, Episode 7 | Original air date: November 11, 2012

Every so often, we’re treated to an episode of The Good Wife that is not only deliciously intriguing, its humorous undertones echo long after the final credits roll.  Any episode starting with “I smiled at my lawyer because he’s cute” is destined to be a winner in my books.  Throw in conveniently timed car horns to cover up ‘indecent’ language and the question of Brazil-shaped birth marks, and you've got a recipe for success.  “Anatomy of a Joke” = straight A’s from this fan.

I’m not going to lie.  This week, I found myself clapping and maybe squeeing* just a little bit.  Or a lot.  There are only a couple of witnesses, so I’ll leave my reactions up to your imagination, but let’s just say, I was seriously entertained.  This week, I’m taking a look at all the things that made my love of The Good Wife grow. 

Road Rage and Football Angst
As “Anatomy of a Joke” opened, we found ourselves watching a late night program – Jimmy Fallon style – with a doe-eyed comedian, Therese Dodd (Christina Ricci) chatting about breast health.  Before we knew it, her blouse was off while the footage was paused and we were quickly transported into the courtroom where a battle between the esteemed Burl Preston brewed against the stealthy pair, Alicia and Will. The best part of this scene came in the details though.  This is what makes The Good Wife so smart.  One of Alicia’s arguments hinged on the fact the network the late show was being shown on, had readjusted time slots to accommodate football.  If ever a real life situation were to echo in a show, this would be it. East coast viewers of The Good Wife know the one thorn in the show’s side, is its placement in proximity to Sunday night football.  It was coy commentary on their situation and, I feel, served as a statement to the fans and maybe also CBS.  Thank you, The Good Wife Writers – we know you’re frustrated, too.

But I digress. 

The second best part of this scene came in the form of the road rage-filled Chicago drivers whose horns kept interrupting the courtroom drama in a most strategic fashion.  Instead of having words bleeped out, horns sounded as a court clerk worked tirelessly to close the window.  While entertaining and, let’s face it, pretty funny, these honks kept the show ‘network friendly.’  This seems like an on-going battle for The Good Wife as it continues to be compared to cable dramas, where swearing and graphic language doesn't seem to have any governing rules. 

The more I think about it, the more I realize this opening sequence was almost its own commentary on the state of The Good Wife at home on CBS.   I’m not the only one who saw those parallels, right? 

Mr. Agos Goes to Washington
Don’t get me wrong: I like Will Gardner.  Okay, maybe more than like, but I’m not completely blinded by his interoffice biases.  When the opportunity to travel to Washington DC surfaced, Will was the first to say Alicia could handle the case (awww, Will!), while Diane was the first to advocate for Cary to help (go Diane!).  Alicia and Cary are the epitome of a dynamic duo, so I was sitting there couch cheering for them to go together.   While it seems Will is still holding a grudge against Cary for the whole grand jury debacle, Diane’s voice of reason might slowly be having an impact on Will’s decision-making.  We’ll have to watch that going forward, but for “Anatomy of a Joke,” I’m sure glad Cary and Alicia were tag-teaming things.  And no, not just because Therese was wearing the scent, 'accommodation' while planting a gigantic kiss on Cary, but I mean, sure, I’ll take it.  And so, apparently, will he.

Drinks with Friends
My favourite scene of this episode, and perhaps favourite scene of the season so far (yes, I liked it THAT much), was Alicia and Cary sharing a drink in his hotel room.  After watching Cary’s interaction with his cold-blooded father, Alicia ventured the room next door to talk to the one person who knows more of her secrets than anyone else on the show.  Cary knows about her affair with Will, and yet when he found out, he was almost apologetic about having been privy to that kind of detail surrounding Alicia’s life.  He holds no judgement and is really just doing his best to be a great lawyer. 

And he is.

The conversation and interaction between these two was almost poetic.  They are comfortable with each other in a way that a lot of people on The Good Wife aren't.  Maybe it’s because of their history, but I think it has a lot to do with the level of respect they have for each other.  They don’t need to poster anymore - they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they are better because of it.  These two have one of my favourite friendships on television and it’s something of which I can’t get enough.  This scene has quickly moved to the top of my re-play reel. 

Let’s Make a Deal
Laura (Amanda Peet, aka, the Captain Alicia defended in “The Art of War”) needed a job and Peter needed Alicia to say he doesn't have a Brazil-shaped birthmark on his penis.  Well, it seems like a fair trade to me.  With life being a little like Let’s Make a Deal, these two struck an agreement: Alicia would talk to the press (while keeping her laughter under control) and Peter would hire Laura to take over the job Cary had last season.  The good news is, Laura and Alicia seem like they could be great new friends and with Laura at the SA’s office, we’re bound to see a lot more of her, in the courtroom and, if we’re lucky, over a glass of wine after-hours.

Am I a little uncertain about Peter working so closely with a stunning brunette who has befriended Alicia?  Yes.  But there’s precedent.  Even Geneva Pine is suspicious, but then again, I don’t think she’s Peter’s biggest fan.  Also, based on what we saw of Geneva last year, she might have a torch out for Peter when it comes to racial bias.  While I don’t believe any of Peter’s actions are racially motivated, he has made some decisions that could lead someone like Pine down the path of heightened inquiry.  This could get interesting.

Scene in a Car
Kalinda and Jim out investigating together?  I didn't see that coming.  I’m not sure whether Jim was trying to be friendly or flirty, but either way, watching these two lurk with a camera in K’s SUV was worth the price of admission.  Side note:  Did anyone else notice Kalinda’s hair in a curled ponytail?  While this is a small detail, it definitely signals some kind of transformation for her.  We’ve never seen her in curls, let alone with her hair not pristinely pinned.  I’m adding this observation to my radar list, right next to Alicia’s new wrist watch.

Okay, but back to the investigation for a second.  Am I the only person who totally missed that Maddie would turn out to be a conniving politician and also a lesbian?  Somehow I missed all of the warning signs for this entire story line.  Sure, I could see her running against Peter.  But planting the story about “Brazil?”  Befriending Indira Star?  Maddie Hayward, while a great new character, seems also to be a bit of a disaster.  Alongside Mike Krestiva, Peter Florrick is in for one long campaign season. 

Next Up:  Here Comes the Judge:

In episode eight, Will and Alicia take to the courtroom against Laura, and this time with a client everyone believes is guilty.  Also, the moment we've all been waiting for (or not): Grace gets a boyfriend.  I have no idea how I’m going to react to this story when it finally surfaces on my screen, but I have to say I’m moderately intrigued.  Let’s be honest though, I’m outrageously excited for episode nine: Thanksgiving at the Florricks.  Alicia’s Mom (played by Stockard Channing) will be in town and enjoying the holidays with Owen (yay!), Jackie, Peter and the kids.  I hope Eli’s invited and maybe Cary, too!

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*Squee = "A noise primarily made by an over-excited fangirl, however it has spread rapidly and is now widely spread among the web community." (Urban Dictionary, 2012)

10 November, 2012

The Good Wife: Eli Gold on the Campaign Trail

Reasons why we're glad Eli Gold is back on the Campaign Trail
Original post date: November 10, 2012

I’ll confess: I spent most of season three pining for Eli Gold. 

There, I said it.

It wasn't in some doodling our names in hearts kind of way, but in something else altogether.  I missed the fresh, vibrant, sometimes conniving, always hilarious, sit-on-Alicia’s-couch Eli we had come to know and love.  I missed campaign Eli.

In honor of my one-year Lockhart Gardner blogiversary (22 episodes and a total of 36 posts – thank you to everyone who has joined me on this adventure!), I have decided to celebrate with an ode to our favourite political strategist and PR mastermind.  Enjoy!

Reasons why we’re glad Eli Gold is back on the Campaign Trail

1) He’s busy again – Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) is at rallies and fundraisers, strategizing on the campaign bus and squeezing into Alicia’s over-crowded office.  Gone are the days of longing for an espresso machine and wondering where his jellyfish paperweight had mysteriously migrated (first guess: David Lee’s office).  He's back to booking public appearances and crafting carefully scripted sound bytes 'a woman's right to choose.'  He's like the Mark Penn of The Good Wife and when he's busy, he's brilliant.  

Image courtesy of RoomInTheCastle on Tumblr
2) He’s weaving things tighter than a basket-maker – So far in season four, Eli has woven a tight web of enemies and allies, with a very hazy middle ground separating the two.  The foggy zone between friend and foe is becoming palpable, especially to Peter who is watching Eli tread a fine line when it comes to favours.  With Kalinda investigating and Will calling the media, Peter is quickly being put in a position of owing a lot of people in Alicia’s close circle.  In Chicago, where the mentality hinges on ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,’ Eli is setting Peter up to make good on some pretty major ‘I owe yous.’  And the last person he wants to owe is Will Gardner.

3) We get to see him making faces like this:

Image courtesy of RoomInTheCastle on Tumblr
And this...

4) He’s strategizing in all the right ways – Finally Eli is back to using his smarts for political domination rather than office domination.  His brief stint of trying to overthrow Will and send Diane to a soup kitchen was not only unsuccessful, it was completely flawed (especially considering he was busy flipping coins with Julius in the back room).  Now, Eli’s back doing what he does best: using his political acumen to manage campaign debauchery and win Peter the Governorship. 

5) He’s in full-fledged ‘scandal management mode’ – I imagine having Peter as a client would like having Bill Clinton circa 1998 as a client.  You would always be wondering who was hiding under his desk or what past indiscretion might surface at an inopportune time.  While the media continues to be Eli’s greatest challenge, watching him throw reporter’s under the wheels of other reporter’s is oh so sweet and oh so Eli. 

6) He gets to hangout in Alicia’s office again – What can I say?  I love this man chilling out on Alicia’s couch  or occupying a random office chair.  In season one, it’s like he was an expectant mother nesting in there.  This year, he’s practically bunking with Cary, despite having his own space.  Oh, wait.  Now 15 associates are camping out in his office and leaving coffee-stained fingerprints on his polished pens.   I’m sure Clarke Hayden can arrange a third desk in the office of Florrick and Agos, right?

7) He is forced to deal with Jackie’s shenanigans – I know we haven’t seen the contract Eli has with the Florrick campaign, but I’m pretty sure if we did, we would find a robust paragraph outlining the hefty bonus paid at the end of it all if Eli can manage not to kill the family matriarch.  So far we’ve already seen him suggest using a 2 x 4 to get Jackie to stop talking, so it’s anybody’s guess if he can survive the rest of the season with her.   Eli’s saving grace might just be in the form of the Cuban Mambo dancer.  Hmmm.  didn't see that coming – but Jackie’s new caregiver might just be the Florrick campaign’s ace in the hole.

8) He’s a master at turning the tables on those who try to cross him – Exhibit A: Becca.  Remember her?  Zach’s troublesome first girlfriend was pure evil in a delicate strand of pearls. After tweeting insider details about the Florrick’s life and weaseling her way into campaign headquarters, Eli had enough.  The result? A high school scandal worth of the year book: Becca’s abortion.  Dun, dun, duuuuun!  Exhibit B: Mandy Post.  With all of this Indira Star (a stripper name if ever I heard one) business floating around, Eli had no choice but to head to the media opposition in Peggy Byrne and spill the beans on Mandy’s past.  The result?  One more person on unemployment.  Eli’s treachery is so sweet, it’s downright Machiavellian.

9) He is doesn't care about making friends – There are few people in life Eli truly likes.  Alicia, Peter and Natalie Flores (the nanny/day trader I kind of wished would come back…) are the three best examples I can think of.  I guess that comes with the territory of politics and PR. You keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  Unfortunately in his line of work, he has more enemies than friends. Team work isn't necessarily his strong suit, as was made abundantly clear in season three when he couldn't find an office ally to save his life.  Now he’s back where he’s most comfortable: pretending to like people.  That’s not to say Eli is entirely without friends, that’s just to say we have yet to see them.

 –   9) He has an actual story line again - Eli is back.  It’s that simple.  The level of in-fighting at the firm has decreased by a solid 94% since Eli started working out of the bus with Peter.  As if that weren't enough, the Eli we've come to love and hate (read: the great “I love you” message interception of season two) is at the top of his game and stealthier than ever.  He’s superbly entertaining and he’s full of unexpected drama.  I just hope he gets invited to the Florrick’s Thanksgiving feast, because it’s time to celebrate.  

Image courtesy of RoomInTheCastle on Tumblr
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