30 April, 2012

"The Dream Team"

Episode Title: The Dream Team – Season Three's Brilliant Finale
Season 3, Episode 22 | Original Air Date: April 29, 2012

When a finale includes sledge hammers, elevators, fruit platters, menacing phone calls, tequila shots and 9mm ammunition, there’s really nothing more an audience could ask for.  In fact, this is the benchmark to which I’m going to hold all finales from now on.  There’s really only one word to describe The Good Wife’s season three capstone: Brilliant. 

In My Opinion – Episode Commentary
I hardly know where to start when it comes to this episode.  “The Dream Team” was everything of which dreams are made.  Now, I’ll admit, bittersweet finales are the crux of my television weakness.  I countdown, I plan and I’m ever-thankful for commercials that give me something to ponder while I prepare for the big event.  Then, when finale night comes, I’m exhilarated at the prospect of an epic episode while simultaneously cursing the four-month hiatus that inevitably follows.  While I’m sad The Good Wife’s third season has come to an end (with one fewer episode than last year), I’m thrilled it went out on a high note with the promise of a fourth season that could be their best yet.   

Side note: I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  I just couldn’t control myself!

The Art of Being Flexible
Kalinda.  Alicia. Side-by-side.  So much joy.

Everything about the opening scene of this episode made me want to scream and cry for sheer and utter joy.  If I had a confetti cannon, I would have set it off during this sequence.  Alicia and Kalinda are one of the show’s most important synergies.  If I didn’t think Will and Alicia belonged together, I would dare say Kalinda and Alicia would be the show’s best couple.  In a way, I think they are… and that’s why this was the moment we'd  all been waiting for.  While sipping tequila, Kalinda confessed to Alicia: “I’m not gay.  You asked whether I was gay…”
Alicia: “Yes, two years ago.” 
Kalinda: “I know.  I wanted to answer.  I’m not gay, I’m… flexible.” 
Alicia: “Okay… flexible.  Good.”
Squee!  I have no words, except to say: It’s a new day.

Bedside Bamboo
Eli. Jackie. Gunshots and a synagogue.

As it turns out, Jackie is still recovering from her stroke in the hospital.  As someone who is usually pristinely put together, seeing Jackie in such a vulnerable position, especially without her headband or pearls on which to rely, is a little sad.  Enter Eli with a bunch of bamboo.  He doesn’t seem at all worried about sending Jackie into cardiac arrest and gets quickly down to business.  He’s tired of hearing about real estate and this ridiculous Florrick homestead.  He warns Jackie that if she wants to see Peter win the election, she needs to apologize to Alicia and make this whole house debacle go away.  Before long, Jackie starts talk about religion and dying; Eli gets uncomfortable and has to leave.   This is the type of thing I love about Eli – he brought a gift, had a meltdown and left in under three minutes.  He’s meddling in all the right ways, unlike his thwarted plot to overthrow Diane.  Busy “campaign Eli” is better than “I lost my dairy account to a bunch of fruit fanatics Eli” any day. 

In Any Other World…
Will. Alicia.  An elevator.  Again.  At last. 

Will: "That was weird." 
Alicia: "What?  With Peter today?  (Pause) Yes it was." 
Will: "Do you think it was a mistake?" 
Alicia: "No." 
Will: "Goodnight, Alicia." 
Alicia: "Night, Will." 
No regrets, Team Gardner, no regrets.  This scene was delightful.  I love the way Will and Alicia talk to each other with such calm, cool and honest tones and express sincerity with every carefully chosen word.  They both know that circumstance is what’s keeping them apart and they translate that into an intense respect for each other.  Now, sure, I’ll confess: I was pulling for Will to reach out and touch Alicia’s hand in this scene, but there’s always next year and for that I’m grateful.   Thank you to The Good Wife writers for giving Team Gardner fans another elevator scene to watch for months to come.

Taking Care of Business
The IRS. A sledge hammer. $21,000 and a husband.

Taking a page out of Will’s “how to have a disastrous year” handbook, Kalinda is well on her way to ending up a casualty of her own past.  The IRS has agreed to a compromise on Kalinda’s tax file which is the good news… about the only good news (well, minus the shared tequila shots, of course!).  While going through K’s files, Alicia spotted some checks that hadn’t been cashed.  As her lawyer, Alicia thought she’d follow up to see if K’s past employers would re-issue payment (it would help with the IRS bills, after all).  The problem?  The checks hadn’t been cashed for a reason.  Take, for example, a check for $21,000 from F & E Construction based out of Toronto, Canada.   Let’s face it: F & E Construction is a front for some kind of shady operation.  The mystery construction man (who, by the way, sounds like he should be lurking in a back alley while carrying a mysterious duffle bag and eating a man-meat sandwich instead of operating heavy machinery and building luxury homes) tracked Alicia down at work and at her house.  This is a going to be a problem.

So, what’s this duffle bag-toting man’s deal?  He’s none other than Kalinda’s husband.

No.  What?! <insert confetti cannon>. Gasp!

Kalinda had nothing left to do but take matters into her own hands.  Of course, this meant proceeding to the hardware store to buy a sledge hammer.  Heading in her apartment (I know this is a serious story line, but I can stop for a moment and say how excited I was to finally see inside her home?  It’s so… so… white.  It was, quite frankly, just as awesome as the rest of Kalinda.  Sorry, back to business), Kalinda pulled down a mirror, lifted the sledge hammer and went straight through the drywall.  A few solid hits and a hole emerged that was just big enough for Kalinda to pull scads of money, guns and ammunition.  Getting out of town was the first thought that crossed her mind, but upon finding out Alicia could be in danger, Kalinda grabbed a chair and began a sit-in at her front door.  Knock, knock, knock…

As my father has astutely pointed out: “Whoever is on the other side of that door is going to end up with lead poisoning.”  Agreed.  Kalinda isn’t going to go down without a fight.  What’s next?  I have a theory.  It involves Kalinda, her husband, the alleged fire she set to her home, her faked death, her change of identity and the construction check.  Stay tuned in May for my special feature: “Kalinda Sharma: A Biography.”

A Surprise Party
Two is a party, three is a crowd… six is a hot mess of television gold

Arguably the best scene of the show: Will in the elevator with Peter… when the doors opened, Alicia was there to greet them both.  Enter Eli who was awkward because, well, he knows these three have some tension.  Before long, Cary gets added to the mix because it’s not only fun to see him with his banker’s box (because he has to work at a table instead of in an office), it’s amusing to see him deal with his ex-boss, Peter, and the secrets he knows about Will and Alicia.  The fuel to the fire?  The next elevator arrived and it was Kalinda.  Surprise! 

Gold.  Pure gold.  This scene sent my heart aflutter.   

The Dream Team
Patti Nyholm and Louis Canning are back.  They are calling themselves “The Dream Team” and anyone who knows anything about these two knows that title isn’t a euphemism for anything – it’s a reality.  Individually, these two are formidable opponents.  Together, they are like stealthy legal ninjas, always one step ahead with a plan that seeks to undermine their opposition.  When Nyholm high-kicks, Canning takes someone out at the knees.  When Canning pulls his sword, Nyholm launches a surprise attack from the back with a blindfold in one hand and a baby in the other.   It seems that Canning and Nyholm are sick of fighting class-action suits against Lockhart Gardner, so they’ve joined forces to sue for $50 million dollars, for fraud and malicious prosecution.  While Diane makes a fair point, “If your company doesn’t like being sued, stop making products that kill and maim people,” it only goes so far when the phrase “judicial bribery” gets bandied about again.  Sometimes I feel as though Diane must want to throw herself down the 28th floor elevator shaft, but, ever the professional, she grins and bears it.  Time for depositions… generally transcribed and only slightly embellished.

First up: Kalinda
Canning: Have you ever misrepresented your occupation in order to interview a witness?  
Kalinda: Can you be more specific?  
Canning:  You know, like when you came to my house and my wife offered you hummus?  You said you were a reporter.  Things like that. 
Cary:  Why does this matter?  She’s a little from column A, a little from column B.  She is, ummm... flexible.
Canning: Because it’s illegal… and she didn’t even try the hummus or the fresh pita which I made that morning.  So, Kalinda, is this how you get your information – do you lie about who you are? 
Kalinda: Can you repeat the question?
Okay, so this wasn't the exact dialogue that accompanied the scene, but you get the point. Kalinda gave Canning an epic run-around.  It's what she does best and it's one of the many reasons we love her.

Next on the chopping block: Will

This season, Will has become a pro at answering probing questions having to do with judges, basketball and grand juries.  I’m rather certain he also knows who serves the best early-bird breakfast in Chicago, but the only one asking him that is Howard.  Flash to the questioning:

Nyholm: You’re Kalinda’s boss, correct? 
Will: Could you control Kalinda?  I doubt it.  Kalinda doesn’t really have a boss per say... 
Nyholm: Okay.  Well did you tell her to investigate on the Veriscene case? 
Will: Define “investigate.”  
Nyholm:  Seriously?  Why must you waste my time.  Oh look – my baby is at the window.  Hi Bugaboo.  My apologies, you know, I’m now a mother of two. 
Diane: Define “wasting time.”  This conversation seems to be going swimmingly. 
Nyholm: Okay, well think about this: I’m not the one with a balloon payment on his office. 
Will and Diane: (hrm) 
Nyholm: Oops, was that the elephant in the room?  
Will and Diane: (hrm take two) 
Nyholm: Fine.  Will, did you hook up judges and bookies at Wednesday night hoops? 
Diane:  You can’t ask him that – this has to do with a sealed transcript that we hope to the high heavens you never get your hands on. 
Nyholm: Oh sure, but Will can still answer. 
Will: Can you repeat the question? 
Nyhom: Oh great, you’ve been taking lessons from Kalinda.  Fine.  Get Alicia Florrick in here.  I’ll play with my baby while I wait.

Alicia Florrick, reporting for duty

Alicia must be thinking this can’t be worse than the last time I was deposed… right?  Fingers crossed, Alicia.  Fingers crossed.

Nyholm: Do you know Judge Wynter (not to be confused with Judge Winter… which is, by the way, confusing). 
Alicia: No. 
Nyholm: So you didn’t chat with him about your case, under the cover of darkness, in a closed room? 
Alicia: No. 
Nyholm:  Did Peter? 
Alicia: Not that I know of, but he does like dark room conversations.  Sure, he knows Judge Wynter, but I wouldn’t say they were friends. 
Nyholm: Did you know Peter met with Judge Wynter three times before the verdict on your case came down? 
Alicia: No.  Really.  How many times can I say no?  Also, don’t you watch CNN?  I’m rarely the first person to find out about these back-room deals when they happen.  
Nyholm:  How don’t you know this?  You’re frustrating me.  Get Peter Florrick in here.

Peter Florrick: Off to the executioners

Canning: You met with Judge Wynter three times in the last week, right? 
Peter: Yes. 
Nyholm: Is that a lot for you? 
Peter: Yah. 
Nyholm: But you hadn’t met with him before.  In fact, you’d only met him at lunch once, right? 
Peter:  That sounds about right.  He’s nice though – I like him.  He reminds me a bit of Judge Winter. 
Nyholm:  Did the subject of your wife’s lawsuit ever come up? 
Peter: No. 
Nyholm:  Really?  Because your wife had a suit in front of him at the same time and the subject never came up? 
Peter: Right. 
Canning: So what about this grand jury about Will Gardner?  What happened there?  Why did you axe Wendy Scott-Carr and let those judges off? 
Peter: Wendy had to go – you should have seen how she handled things.  I validated her parking though, so don’t make me look like the bad guy here.  The whole thing was a bit showy and probably a bad decision in the first place, but, you know how these things go. 
Canning: Didn’t you ask Judge Wynter to decide this verdict for you wife as a quid pro quo for dropping this investigation? 
Peter: No. 
Nyholm: But isn’t that a fair conclusion? 
Peter: No. 
Nyholm: And how is that? 
Peter: Because my wife and I are separated. 
<Pa chow!> 
Nyholm and Canning: We didn’t see that coming. 
Peter: I know – I’m sneaky like that.  Also, I’m trying out a new policy.  It’s called “honesty.”  So far, so good.  In fact, if you want to know why I was meeting with Wynter, it’s because he’s going to be a campaign supporter.

Even the stealthy legal ninjas didn’t see that coming.  Unfortunately for Peter, the marital split is now in public record, but that seems like a problem to hand over to Eli another day.

All signs pointed to a win for Lockhart Gardner until The Dream Team dropped the bomb: This whole lawsuit was a sham to get them distracted from their prized client, Patric Edelstein.  In the words of Will: “Oops.”  Indeed.

What’s Next?
It’s hiatus time, which means we’re left to imagine who is on the other side of Kalinda’s door, whether or not Alicia will join Peter and the kids for pizza and if Cary will be carting around his office supplies in a banker’s box forever. We have an estimated 23 weeks until we get any answers we’re looking for, but I have plenty of original content planned for Lockhart Gardner: An Inside Look at The Good Wife throughout the summer.  Stay tuned and please sound off in the comments below.  Happy hiatus, friends and fans!

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24 April, 2012

"The Penalty Box"

Episode Title: The Penalty Box
Season 3, Episode 21 | Original Air Date: April 22, 2012

Marking The Good Wife’s 21st episode of season three, The Penalty Box was anything but deserving of a time-out.  If an episode makes me scream, I’m compelled to give it an instant A.  Scream twice? A+.  Scream three times and it’s getting a chapter in my memoires.  Where did I land this week?  With the deliciously sinister Lemond Bishop back in his stunning tie/shirt/pocket square combinations and Kalinda getting a seat next to Alicia at the bar, you can bet I couldn’t sit still or stay quiet.  Please, someone remind me for season four that I need to put a Good Wife survival kit together for each and every episode.  You just never know when you’re going to need it, or when you’re going to be forced to say, I didn’t see that coming.  Oy vey.  If only this was the first time…

As I’m posting a little later than usual, I’m going to forego the episode review (check out the Latest Briefs for a few of my favorite recaps… and especially this one if you’re looking for a laugh), but I just can’t help but weigh on the best of "Pants on Fire."  With just one week until the finale, I have nothing left to say but hold on tight, this is going to be good!

In My Opinion – The Best of "The Penalty Box"

One Man and his “Dry Cleaning” Business

Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter) has finally returned, like a well-dressed phoenix from the ashes.  His name is mentioned with relative frequency but he has avoided the offices of Lockhart Gardner since season two’s “Ham Sandwich.”  I guess the crystal meth business keeps him pretty busy (and by crystal meth I mean his legitimate “dry cleaning” businesses).  Who knows how he dealt with the loss of his wife who he had murdered, but he doesn’t look any worse for the wear. 

Let’s cut to the chase: Lemond Bishop is a handsome man.  Okay, that’s probably the least important part about his character, but it’s true.  If my drycleaner looked like Bishop I would be investing in a lot more delicate fabrics.  Just saying.  Now, as attractive as Bishop is, he is equally dangerous.  Typically this doesn’t involve Lockhart Gardner in a personal way, but for some reason FBI agent Lana Delaney tracked him down and dropped Kalinda’s name.  Did Bishop write her bad checks?  No, of course not.  He has people for those kinds of things, but even if that was the case, it’s simply untrue.  He has money (hello… drug lord, I mean, ummm, dry cleaning lord).  The problem is, Bishop doesn’t like the FBI.  They don’t wear fine washables and they really don’t run in the same crowd.  Now Kalinda is on the lam from both the FBI and Bishop, which is basically a worst case scenario.  Even Alicia knows things are bad and has warned Kalinda: “Your FBI friend is going to get you killed.”  Ummm, ya.  K needs a friend (or two) more than ever and it’s nice to see Alicia looking out for her with Bishop lurking in the wings.

Bishop giving Kalinda a death threat in front of Alicia…  I didn’t see that coming #1.

Three Men in an Elevator

Judge Cuesta and Lemond Bishop standing side-by-side.  That’s right.  One of the city’s top judges standing next to the city’s top drug lords.  Too bad they didn’t even notice each other, or the fact that Eli Gold joined the party with Peter Florrick on the other end of the call.  The piece de resistance?  Eli was talking about Cary.  Well sure, why not?  Let’s throw another sucker into this mess.  It was a brilliantly executed scene and one more reason I love The Good Wife. 

Side note: I’m not sure what makes the King’s so intrigued by elevators – maybe because it’s a confined space and anything can happen, maybe it's because each time the doors open something fresh is on the other side, or maybe it's because they just love to shoot in tight quarters.  Whatever it is, I’m on board.  I want to ride the elevator at Lockhart Gardner for hours on end.  I realize that’s a strange statement, but after three years of on-the-elevator, off-the-elevator, I can’t help it.

Bishop, Cuesta and Gold, all sharing an elevator with the State’s Attorney on the other end of a call?  I didn’t see that coming #2.

Zipped Pants and other Baggage

Last week new lawyer and recovering drug addict, Callie, entered the scene and Will’s heart.  This week, she was back, but this time, Diane was interviewing her for a job at Lockhart Gardner.  Somehow Will missed this memo (oh, right, he isn’t actually “working” so he’s probably not allowed to get memos) and then had to come clean to Diane by owning up the fact he’s dating Callie.  Wait.  What?  He’s DATING Callie?  He couldn’t define his relationship with Tammy for months and he had a love affair with Alicia, but after sharing a greasy baked good he has decided Callie was the one he wants to DATE?  How many times I can I say DATE like it’s the most outrageous statement in the world?  I don’t know.  But, really.  Really?

I’m not surprised Will has finally found an Alicia rebound and if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t entirely detest Callie, though I wish I did.  As a character she has potential.  Also, she has an interesting collection of books (see image below).  I’m just not certain Will is ready to be jumping into a full-fledged relationship with her.  Sure, he has confessed he has some baggage and she has expressed interest in learning more about it… but will she be so interested when Will’s skeletons creep out of his rustically handsome closet?  Only time will tell. 

As for me, Will saying he was DATING Callie?  I didn’t see that coming #3.

Callie, Will and her book collection, including "Strange Piece of Paradise -
Return to theAmerican West to Investigate my Attempted Murder - And
Solve the Riddle of Myself.
You know... some light reading.

You’re Fired!

We all know things at the State’s Attorney’s office are complicated and murky.  Cary has done well to move his way up (and down) the ladder while working for the State, but with Alicia’s endorsement, he was able to get an interview back at Lockhart Gardner.  It’s just too bad Eli spotted him in with Diane, Will and Howard, because for whatever reason he felt the need to tell Peter.  No one likes a tattle tale, Eli. 

Flash to Peter taking things very personally upon finding out Cary was snooping on the other side of the lawn to see if the grass was greener.  The result?  One month severance and a look of disappointment.  Peter seems like a tough but fair boss, but firing Cary?  That was a little harsh, even for Peter.  He seemed so fond of his mini-protégé...

Cary being fired before going back to Lockhart Gardner?  I didn’t see that coming #4.

Side note:  Is it just me or does it seem like Eli is outstaying his welcome at the firm?  He gets a new project once every few weeks and when he’s not busy he’s meddling in everyone else’s business and trying to stir trouble with the equity partners.  Look out, Eli, because when Will gets back, I have a feeling your days are numbered. 

To the Dark Side

Here’s to Cary Agos, coming back to Lockhart Gardner, aka, the dark side.  Alicia seemed thrilled at Cary’s return and they had an unexpected heart-to-heart that was broken up by a call from Peter to Cary. Whhhhat?  Didn’t Peter just fire Cary?  I’m confused.  Luckily, this was quickly forgotten upon Cary’s quippy remark to Alicia before answering the phone: “I’m here cheating with you.”  Alicia’s expression said I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I feel like I’ve got a friend in you so I’m going to make a funny face and go along with it.  I bought it, and I think everyone else did, too.  Then, as if anything else in this entire episode mattered, Kalinda entered the bar.  After thinking things over for a minute, Alicia turned and offered the seat next to her.  Bliss.

Ending this scene just before Alicia and Kalinda shared their first drink in over a year? I didn’t see that coming #5.  My surprise was duly noted by everyone around me as well as my neighbours.  I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: The Good Wife should come with a warning.  

What’s Next?

The finale!  It’s a bittersweet time of year for all fans of The Good Wife, but we’ve got nothing left to do but count the days until “The Dream Team.”   Alicia and Kalinda will finally share that elusive drink we’ve all been waiting for and Will and Peter end up in the same elevator which can only mean one thing: fireworks (though surely less steamy than what happened in last year’s final elevator scene).  Speaking of which, rumor has it that Team Gardner fans will get something to cheer about before the season ends.  Of course, this means I'm not going to sleep until Sunday.  Meanwhile, Patti Nyholm and Louis Canning are both back and tag-teaming a Lockhart Gardner take-down.  These two are formidable opponents on their own, so together could prove to be one of the biggest challenges Lockhart Gardner has ever had to face.

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19 April, 2012

Why Cary Agos Belongs Back at Lockhart Gardner

Just in time for the finale, Cary is set to return to Lockhart Gardner
Season 3| Post Date: April 19, 2012

News of Cary Ago’s imminent return to Lockhart Gardner is swirling in the air like the sweet smell of cookies on a summer afternoon.  I, for one, couldn’t be more excited, as Cary is one of The Good Wife’s many treasures.  He’s always up to something interesting, whether trying to keep one step ahead of Kalinda, undermining the opposition or finally understanding the kind of power Peter wields.  Moving back to Lockhart Gardner also means more air time for this character, something fans have been wanting since he moved to the State’s Attorney’s Office.  Did I mention he’s not terrible to look at, either?  Yes, that too.  With much love and admiration, I say: Cary Agos, welcome home.

10 Reasons Cary Belongs Back at Lockhart Gardner
(Number one is my favourite... but how could I stop there?)

10) He has grown up – Cary’s first job out of college was with Lockhart Gardner.  His ego complimented his eagerness to tackle any project and, when he played his hand right, he came out ahead of Alicia.  He was a junior associate on fire, until the economic situation (and Alicia’s political acumen) forced him out of Lockhart Gardner and onto other opportunities.  Glen Childs found Cary at a bar and Peter kept him on after the election.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Having been gone for two years, Cary has grown into a mature, shrewd and up-standing lawyer.  Now is his time to shine.

9) He has seen some things – The situation at the State’s Attorney’s Office is, as Cary has stated, “getting murkier by the day.”  There’s no mistaking who runs the show in Cook County – it’s Peter Florrick.  Of course, that’s the way it should be, but with Peter hiring friends, firing ASAs and making decisions that could be reflecting racial bias, there’s no telling how far up (or down) the totem pole Cary will land.  One day he has a monogrammed door, the next day he’s lurking in a cubicle, using old newspaper as a note pad.

8) Now he can date anyone he wants in the SA’s Office – Dana Lodge is gone (though by no fault of Cary’s… she was the one who happily hopped aboard the Wendy Scott-Carr bandwagon and was subsequently trampled by it when it went off course) and Geneva Pine wants his head on a platter after her forced “relocation” imposed by Cary but ordered by Peter.  For now, that clears off anyone Cary *might* want to date at the SA’s Office, or at least anyone we’ve met.  Cary’s probably safest chatting up Matan Brody anyways.

7) He knows secrets… and those things are best kept in-house – Let’s not forget: Cary is the only person, aside from Alicia who knows a) That Kalinda slept with Peter and b) That Alicia and Will had a relationship.  Other people have half the story, some people have only speculation.  Cary has it all. 

6) He is like a Joni Mitchell song – Cary has “seen the world from both sides now” and he knows the pros and cons of each side of the fence.  When you think about it, in some ways, he’s the “new Kalinda” when it comes to the inner workings of the SA’s office.  Okay, no one can ever BE Kalinda, but he can try.  Also, people don’t suspect him of treachery as they do Kalinda, so it could work out in Lockhart Gardner’s favor to have him well connected.

5) He knows how Peter operates – Like Alicia, Cary now understands how Peter operates.  Having worked with Peter for a stretch of time, Cary will be able to better predict decisions and anticipate how outcomes are going to impact Peter’s campaign to become Governor.  Also, Cary now “gets” Alicia – he has been manipulated by Peter, knows how it feels and understands Alicia’s motives more than ever before.  This inside track will give him something to chat with Alicia about over late-night beers.

4) He knows Lockhart Gardner isn't really the dark side – Let’s not forget, Cary had to report to the purveyor of all things sinister, Wendy Scott-Carr.  The thing is, WSC is likely to return during the upcoming election (remember, Will wasn’t the one she was really after, even though, looking back, that remains confusing) – this means that no matter what, Cary will always be on the wrong side of WSC’s fence.  Sometimes you just can’t find greener grass… and sometimes you realize it’s the patch on which you’re standing.  

3) He is used to moving – Box in, box out, what’s one more trip?  I’ve never seen someone have to pack and unpack more than Cary Agos.  Transferring over to Lockhart Gardner hopefully means a more permanent office space… and they might even splurge to move his ficus.  I hope while they’re at it they give him a company mug.

2) He works better with Kalinda than against her – When Cary arrested Kalinda, I’ll confess that was a low-point for their relationship, but it was something he had to do.  I mean, against Kalinda, Cary is virtually powerless.  She takes things from his desk, sweet talks him into slipping him information and on occasion, he even offers things up (flashback to Cary tipping Kalinda off about her own grand jury investigation as well as all things “Blake”).  Sure, these two always tread a fine romantic line and now they’re becoming colleagues again, that could be tricky.  All things considered though, Kalinda has seen what an inappropriate ringtone can do to a relationship, so if she wants it to work, she’ll be discreet.

1) He could be part of the next legal “it” couple – Just think: Alicia and Cary could be the next Diane and Will.  Pa chow!  Stop the presses.  Yes, I just went there.  Of course, it’s too early to speculate, but I’ve thought a lot about this and it makes perfect sense.  How? 1) Alicia and Cary understand each other in a way no other two people on this show do 2) They are developing a strong friendship based on mutual respect and understanding 3) They aren’t attracted to each other (and so could happily dance in the hallways of their own law firm after hours) 4) Breaking off from Lockhart Gardner will be an inevitability – I mean, the rumor around the firm starting to sink takes hold in the last episode of this season… who’s to say if (or when) the ship will go down?  It's never to early to plan ahead.  Also, because I’m a die-hard Team Gardner fan, this would mean Alicia and Will could finally go on a date that doesn’t involve lurking in hotel bars, and 5) Cary has shown strong management potential – he is good in difficult situations and with Alicia’s keen political savvy and increasing network of business associates, the firm of Florrick and Agos is looking better by the day.

Now, over to you.  Are you excited to see Cary come back to the firm?  Sound off in the comments below.

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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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