31 March, 2013

The Good Wife: "The Wheels of Justice" - Season Four’s Piece de Resistance

Season 4, Episode 19 | Original Air Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013

How can I put into words how much I loved “The Wheels of Justice?”  One simple phrase: Best episode of the season.  I know not every episode can be my favourite (right?), but if I have to pick one on the season, this would be it.  As I sit typing this week, I find myself at a loss for words… and also freaking out.  It's like season three's "Feeding the Rat" all over again. Not only am I going to struggle to fall asleep tonight, I foresee a very restless summer coming my way, as this week we were given the incredible news The Good Wife is back for season five.  The best part?  Like a fine glass of wine, these episodes keep getting better with age.   

The only way I can think to organize my thoughts and provide thoughtful commentary this week, is to pull out all the reasons this is the episode to which all others should be measured.  Feel free to pop by the comments section at the bottom of this piece and let me know how you feel about “The Wheels of Justice.”

The Curtain Rises
Reason #1 this episode had me jumping for joy: An amazing opening sequence

Opening scene: Alicia’s new office is revealed and so is her decorating budget of $10,000 (which makes me wonder, what would Clarke Hayden say?  How can the firm afford this?  Where is David Lee with his calculator?).  Cary’s new office is similarly shown off, but he’s forced to build a couch out of three folding chairs.  Poor Cary.  The upside is that Diane has given him a golden carrot – the thought a partner might be leaving in the next six months and that if he does what he can to make the firm succeed, he’ll be picking out a nice leather swivel chair before long. 

Meanwhile, Diane is hiring Kalinda to investigate a partner at the firm: her.  Being up for Supreme Court Justice means Diane needs to know what kinds of things have the potential to be dug up from her past. 

In other news, it’s Colin Sweeney time – pretty much the best time ever, if you ask me – and that means he has done something terrible.  Allegedly.  Okay, he’s guilty 98% of the time, but in this case, he really seems innocent.  Also, his creepy factor has increased exponentially since the last time we saw him, as he’s now sporting a goatee and comparing Alicia to Mary Poppins.  In any case, Alicia is going up against Laura (which is making Sweeney strangely jealous) and through a weird quirk of fate, Cary realizes why the State’s Attorney’s office won’t settle on this case.  Sweeney is one strike away from life in prison based on his two other offences. 

Pieces of a Puzzle
Reason #2 this episode was epic: Everyone had a role… especially Cary 

Like pieces of a puzzle, the beauty of The Good Wife is how well the cast fits together, especially when given the opportunity.  Cary and Robyn have a new-found synergy; Cary and Alicia continue to be each other’s better half when it comes to work; Laura, Alicia and Will are muddling their way through a bizarre work/love triangle; Kalinda is out investigating for Diane; and somehow, for the first time in a long time, everyone is working together.  Even the sinister (and, let’s face it, eerie) Sweeney is in on things, by using his knowledge of Will’s relationship with Laura to fuel the fire in the courtroom.  At no point in this episode did I think, ‘I wish I’d seen more of <insert here>'.  Everyone had a perfect role AND we didn't have to look at the inside of the campaign bus.  

Love and Marriage
Reason #3 this episode blew my mind: Diane, Kurt and things I didn't see coming

The only way to prove Sweeney's innocence, given a trial prep of less than 24 hours?  Bring in the world’s best ballistics expert, Kurt McVeigh. 

Ahhhhh, Kurt.  We haven’t seen this handsome face since “Gloves Come Off” in season three, and let’s just say: he’s been missed!  The political banter, the way he can calculate a bullet’s trajectory and the way he gets thrown off by the mere sight of Diane – he’s the best of all worlds when it comes to being a love interest.  Not only that, Diane’s lack of after-hours prospects this season has been more than a little disheartening, especially because last year she was juggling both Kurt and Jack.  This year has been like the Atacama Desert: nothing but dry.

Now, I’ll admit my list of things I didn't see coming is a little shorter this year than last.  Kurt coming into back into town?  Not shocking.  Watching he and Diane fall back into old habits without any need of small talk?  I’m all over it.  Tackling the Sweeney case by day and sharing drinks by night?  I’m blissfully accepting.  Having Diane propose to Kurt, having him respond “I’m not rejecting it… I just need time to think” and then having Diane cut him off at the door after saying, “I’m worried we’ll always be waiting?”  What?!  I’m not sure what just happened, but I think Diane might be getting married in six months.  Of course, who can be sure?  The scene cut and I was left with my hands over my face shrieking an inaudible “whhhhhhhat?!?!?’ The only thing I’m sure about is the fact I can’t get the lyrics of “Marry You” out of my head.
It’s a beautiful night, 
We’re looking for something dumb to do, 
Hey baby, 
I think I want to marry you.
Before moving on, can we stop and talk about this development for a minute?  Can you even imagine how different season five would be if Diane got married and became a Supreme Court Judge?  What an incredible thing to think about for the next few months.  Of course, I’ll be staying tuned to any tidbit of casting news possible: let’s hope for more Gary Cole!

Three’s a Crowd
Reason #4 this episode made me scream with delight: The Team Gardner bus is back on the road

Somehow, I’ve waited until point number four before mentioning the fact some seriously amazing Team Gardner things are beginning to brew.  How did that happen?  I’m beginning to show major restraint! 

Lucky for me, the writers are ending the season by baiting me with the promise of things to come (and don’t worry – I've already sent the thank you tweet expressing my gratitude). With Laura and Will in dating mode for the last seven days, Will is already having to confess his new-found girlfriend to Diane, who seems fairly pleased he’s pursuing someone besides Alicia.  Laura, however, seems hesitant to move things forward until she can talk to Alicia… again.  Outside the courtroom hosting the Sweeney case, and before they go head-to-head, Laura stops Alicia and asks, “Do you have a relationship with Will.”  Looking around, Alicia answers ‘no,’ but that she did, a long time ago, so there’s nothing to worry about.  If Laura’s looking for a blessing, she’s got it.  My question?  Why would Laura think these two have anything going on?  The only time she’s seen them together was the night of the Shamrock Dinner when Alicia was in for questioning.  Sure they laughed behind closed doors, but there was nothing else. 

Flash forward.  Alicia’s in bed, sipping a glass of red wine (which is one thing I love about her character) when she gets the urge to call Will.  This, of course, on the heels of her last night’s sleep when she was dreaming about she and Will and then imagining Laura in her place.  While I was waiting for her to pick up the 'Chicago’s Most Eligible Bachelor’ photo spread (which, let's be honest, we all know she still has), she opted to pick up the phone and dial Will’s number.  Of course, he answers.  It’s Alicia.  He always answers for Alicia (and I always cheer!).  Under the guise of a ‘work question,’ she starts fumbling through some words before hearing Laura in the background.   Time to hang up and forget anything ever happened.  While we know she won’t forget, and neither will we, it looks as though that could be the end of things, at least for the night. 

Meanwhile, as Will hangs up the phone, Laura asks if it was Alicia on the other end.  He says yes and then moves in for a kiss.  Immediately, Laura backs away.  Say what?  No one backs away from a Will Gardner kiss!  Claiming honesty, Laura confesses someone she dated while in the military is back in her life… and then she hastily makes her exit.  The scene ends with Will staring out his office window while sipping scotch and Alicia sitting in bed, staring into space, sipping wine.  

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe for a second that Laura has another suitor waiting at her door – I think she can smell the Team Gardner vibe a mile away and doesn't want to get in the way.  Strangely, I feel as though my master plan involving Laura might actually be coming together, albeit more quickly than I had anticipated.  She values Alicia as a friend and respects Will as a stealthy courtroom opponent – Laura is a seriously upstanding character and one which, no matter what happens in her dating life, I hope stays around well into season five.  She might just be my favourite long-term addition to the cast.

Other Highlights:
  • Judge Politi yelling about not being phased by a courtroom of raised voices.  He may not be the quirkiest judge on the bench, but I think he’s quickly becoming one of my favourites.  Also, he has no known history of playing basketball on Wednesday nights, so he’s probably safe for episodes to come.
  • Diane being set up as secret writer of Vampire Diaries fan fiction.  What can I say?  My face was as shocked as Diane’s.  Also, it got me thinking.  If ever I become a lawyer, and later a judge, will this blog come back to haunt me?  Hmmmm…
  • Colin Sweeney re: Will telling him he has a relationship with Laura: “Yes I sign off – as long as I get details.”  Ewwwww.  I now need to shower.  And so does Will.
  • Robyn jogging back to the office, drunk, after a night out with Greg, the associate stolen from under Lockhart Gardner's noses.  What can I say?  This girls cracks me up.

What’s Next?
In two weeks, we can look forward to the new episode: “Sex, Dolls and Videotape.”  It sounds like something in which Colin Sweeney could likely be involved, but as it turns out, there’s an anonymous hacker and guest start Jason Biggs.  Also, the campaign for Governor is down to the wire and we’ve been promised election results before the season is through.  Most importantly, at some point between now and the end of the season, Dallas Roberts is back as Alicia's brother Owen, and we have this little exchange to salivate over:
Peter: “She’s my wife.” 
Will: “Then punch me.”

Pa chow! We're in for a dramatic race to the finale... and I can't wait, can you?

24 March, 2013

The Good Wife: "Death of a Client" - Five Gasp-Worthy Moments

Season 4, Episode 18 | Original Air Date: Sunday, March 24, 2013

This week, there’s no time for small talk.  “Death of a Client” was the much anticipated party episode with more twists than a Sherlock mystery.  I laughed, I cried, I covered my face and let out audible bursts of elation… and then of rage.  Oh, and I decided my new morning alarm should be Grace’s ‘Mom pick up the phone ringtone,’ as I would surely bolt out of bed each morning with gusto never before seen in an attempt to silence the enemy.

As for what happened in “Death of a Client?”  How about everything?  Okay, that’s a little vague, I know, but this episode was all over the map.  However, there was one uniting factor: The number of gasp-worthy moments.  I counted five – but then again, I like to spend my Sunday night’s on the edge of my seat… and with a paper bag close at hand.

Death of a Client: Five Gasp-Worthy Moments

Clap on, clap off… the clapper
Will and Alicia.  Love them or hate them (wait, who am I kidding?  No one can hate these two!), they have undeniable chemistry. Whether they’re sharing an elevator, a beer or a late lunch with some peeled grapes for dessert, it’s impossible not see what these two have.  With flashbacks to a time when we were all a little happier – me especially, as I was riding a Team Gardner high – Alicia couldn’t help but think back and daydream about those secret moments when they were hidden from life’s complexities. 

Enter Will in a tux, James Bond-style, coming to Alicia’s aid because, let’s face it, that’s what he loves doing.  Maybe not more than Kalinda, but I’d be willing to watch these two duke it out over who loves Alicia more.   But I digress  - K will be in the picture before long anyways.

So there’s Will, at the police station meeting with Alicia (who’s floor-length two-toned ruby gown is really classing up the joint), and once again, they find themselves alone together.  This ‘let’s not be in the same room’ thing has gone off the rails about 12 times in the last three episodes.  Horray!  In any case, after seeing Will dressed to the nines, Alicia can’t help but share exactly what she’s thinking: “You really look good.”  And he does.  We all know it… not just because it’s nearly impossible to look bad in a tux, but because there’s something so sincere about why he came to the police station and how sad his eyes look when Alicia says things like, “We were good together, weren’t we?” 

As I’ve learned, screaming answers back at my TV to questions like this are futile; however, it doesn't stop me from doing it at least once an episode.  In “Death of a Client” this was my moment.  “Yes! You were good together! I have the Team Gardner mug to prove it!” Spoiler alert: My yelling didn’t help… and neither did my beloved mug.  Alicia and Will are trapped in an invisible (well, sort of) circle where they can’t escape their feelings for each other.  We’ve been here before: That moment when Alicia says something along the lines of, “This has to end” and Will comes back with “Can you just decide that?” and Alicia says she “can,” she “has to,” even though everyone knows that’s impossible.  This isn’t the clapper – you can’t control your feelings like a late night infomercial light.  Somehow in this place though, it makes sense.

Okay, I’m just saying that.  It doesn’t make sense.  I’m officially hating this episode… even though I’m loving it.  Damn it.  I need the clapper.  STAT!

Just when I think my heart couldn't be broken any further for the evening, I hear the noise that has haunted my dreams since “Parenting Made Easy.”  'Mom, pick up the phone.'  Are you kidding me?  This did not just happen.  Grace’s heinous ringtone has reared its exhaustingly ugly head back into the centre of Alicia and Will’s relationship.  Didn’t Alicia delete this from her phone last season?  Now I’m sad because Will’s eyes look devastated, Alicia is saying things she doesn’t mean and somehow, the world’s most annoying ringtone still exists.  This is like a Shakespearean tragedy… but worse.

Side note: I’m loving Amanda Peet as Laura Hellinger… and while I’ll forever ship/love/dream about/champion Will and Alicia, I get that we need a slight diversion… at least for awhile.  A dating arch for Will and Laura seems inevitable at this point, so I’m going to ride the wave, at least until the beginning of season five.  My ultimate hope is that Laura and Will’s relationship will bring Will and Alicia back together.  This means I need Laura and because I like her, it’s a win-win for everyone, right?

There’s the Grab
Kalinda, having bailed on a date with a lovely massage therapist, is off investigating to keep Alicia and her brood safe.  Knowing Alicia could be in danger, Cary jumps on board to help K as she rushes from the Shamrock dinner to get back to the mean streets of Chicago.  Before she can leave, Cary says, “be careful” and then reaches up and takes Kalinda’s hand.  It’s a gesture that’s riddled in friendship and romance and drenched in a delicious query dating back to whether or not they went home together after sharing drinks at the bar a few weeks ago. 

Oh Grandma
Typically I would whip this phrase out for Jackie, but this week, Grandma Veronica is in town and let’s just say: she’s crazy.   I mean sure, she’s entertaining, but she took the Florrick kids to a bar on St. Patrick’s Day and told them stories of Alicia’s past that were heavily weighing on the side of inappropriate.  I’m all for drama, but having Grace call Alicia (*the* call, by the way, that interrupted the Team Gardner talk) to ask if she was a “mistake” was awkward and terrible.  Also, the guy barfing next to Veronica at the bar during this exchange was disgusting.  All of that said, I commend Grace on her ability to see beyond her own sphere and be able to understand that Alicia had a life before the kids and that if things had been different, she may not have ended up with Peter. 

Mike Kresteva: Sociopath, master manipulator, drunk.  Even though this is the first time we’ve seen Mike “live” this season, his ability to infuriate is admiringly remarkable.  The one thing I didn’t see coming?  Even though Mike claims not to drink and only orders club sodas or waters while in the vicinity of those he’s wary of, he still managed to fall down, drunk, in the bathroom at the Shamrock Dinner.  Even if someone – say… Peter Florrick – had punch him out, I’m not going to be the one to blow the whistle.  No, not a chance.  Because if there’s one person on this show who needs a quick dose of reality, it’s Mike Kresetva.  While he’s off dabbing his wounds, I’m thrilled to share in the simple of pleasure of watching Alicia and Eli bond over a scene that was, in one word, epic.

Diane Lockhart: Supreme Court Justice?
There’s something intriguing about the new relationship we’re seeing form between Peter and Diane.  I’m not sure if it grew from Eli working at the firm, or from Peter having seen Diane’s work through the years, but it’s interesting to watch.  Diane helping Peter with the campaign was a turn of events I didn't anticipate.  While I don’t support Alicia and Peter as a couple, I *do* support Peter in the race for Governor.  What could be better for the campaign then to have Diane ‘I can’t help but vote democrat’ Lockhart on his side?  Nothing.  She’s smart, stealthy and does a killer impression of Maddie Hayward.  There’s no losing here.

That’s why it’s interesting Peter wants Diane appointed to the role of Supreme Court Justice.  This would mean leaving Lockhart Gardner (could they be called Gardner and Associates?) and being on the other side of the fence.  This is not the first time Diane has been offered such a carrot, but this one doesn't involve Victoria Adler (a definite plus!).  The downside?  If something happens to Peter (which it inevitably will), she’s going to be tied to him in what could turn out to be an I Owe You type of situation.  With just a few hours to decide, what way will she go?  Season four is quickly slipping away and I have a feeling some changes could be blowing through Chicago…

What’s Next?
Colin Sweeney returns!  And he has a goatee!  Somehow, his new facial hair is making him creepier than ever.  Well, it does until he pulls out the quote, “Alicia Florrick… you feed my Mary Poppins obsession” and then follows it up with a purring sound.  Ewww.  But also, yay!  He’s so sketchy I can’t help but be intrigued by his every move.  We can also look forward to a decision from Diane on whether or not she’s leaving the practice for her next big gig.  Here's to next Sunday and "The Wheels of Justice."  

18 March, 2013

The Good Wife: "Invitation to an Inquest" - the Top 5 Moments

Season 4, Episode 17 | Original Air Date: Sunday, March 17, 2013

It’s the plight of every fan of The Good Wife: To buy into those magical previews given to us at the end of each episode.  They are impossible not to watch and even more impossible not to get sucked into… at least for me.  While I thoroughly enjoyed “Invitation to an Inquest” (including the plentiful moments of Team Gardner merriment), I couldn’t help but get frustrated by the fact the Chicago Shamrock Dinner was yet another week away.  I’ve been baiting friends and co-workers with the must-watch morsel of Peter punching Mike and yet again, we must wait another seven days.  Well played, preview ninjas, well played.  It’s like I’m Jordan and Eli just threw me under the ‘getting too involved in the family business’ bus.  And while that’s better than being under the campaign bus (or, quite frankly, in the campaign bus), knowing I have to wait another week for the white-tie shenanigans is almost unbearable.  Thankfully, next week we’re headed to the party and for that, I can’t wait.

Courtesy of CBS
Until then, we’re left to look at what went down in “Invitation to an Inquest” and because I’m all about counting down right now, I’m going to focus on the five best moments of the episode.  Join the conversation below and sound off with your favourite scenes and moments.

The Black Ice Bandits
I never thought I would like Kalinda matched up with another investor.  She has her limited pockets of friendships and is happy to chase down witnesses without a sidekick.  I kind of like her in solitude – or maybe it’s just that Blake left a bad taste in my mouth.  Either way, Robyn’s changing that, and fast.  These two Cagney and Lacey-style investigators (not sure which one Kalinda would be, but I’m guessing Tyne Daly) have a strangely similar thought process that seems to be working, not just for them, but for the firm.  In the case of the mysterious skid marks due to black ice, these Nancy Drew’s never once divided in their theories. They are both brilliant.  The only difference?  Kalinda’s not giving up any of her trade secrets to our new favourite spy-in-training.

Gardner and Florrick: Friends On
Team Gardner is on the mend!  I’m shouting it from the rooftops and planning an official reunion for season seven.  Okay, maybe five.  Optimism for a love-connection reconciliation aside, this move towards friendship has been a long time coming… and that’s just this season.  Step 1: Yell at each other and then, in a fit of passion, kiss.  Step 2: Chat awkwardly in an elevator.  Step 3) Avoid each other, even though you have the same cold.  Step 4) Get put on the same legal case.  Step 5) Work late hours, until no one is left in the office except the two of you.  Step 6) Decide to be friends, because you miss it, and if we’re really being honest, you were both pretty good at it and you could both use a friend.   Step 7) Team Gardner friendship activated!

Will and Alicia have been through a lot over the last year and a half, and if there’s one thing I’m missing, it’s their friendship.  Okay, sure, I want them to be more than friends.  But they can’t get back there if they’re scared to be in the same vicinity.  Now they have to answer the age-old question: If you can’t be together, can you at least be friends?  In the case of Team Gardner, I certainly hope so.  It’s the only way we’re going to get tequila shots at hotel bars ever again. 

Courtesy of CBS
Eli throwing Jordan under the bus
What would be Jordan’s ultimate undoing?  At first, I thought it might be the fact his storyline is bizarrely non-existent, but then I realized it would more likely be some kind of campaign flub.  What I didn’t see coming was that it would involve our dear, sweet Neesa.  Remember her?  She surfaces every six or so months just to remind us that a) Zach has a girlfriend and b) he likes to “study.”  Unfortunately for Jordan, his sleuthing over Neesa’s Twitter feed led him to a picture he thought could be damaging to the campaign.  His next stop?  Sitting young Florrick down for ‘the talk.’  Neesa, he says, is bad news.  Or her Dad might be.  Or a guy her Dad knows might be.  No matter the case, Jordan paints a picture where Neesa is basically a terrorist and Zach is left with one option: to break up. 

At the end of the day, Zach’s sad, Neesa’s upset, Grace is spilling the beans (insert look of shock), Alicia’s furious and Eli is doing a happy dance in the corner… and so am I.  The icing on the ‘Jordan’s been ousted’ cake, however, is the fact he “ didn't even see it coming.”  Really Jordan?  Really? 

Cary Agos: Your Father is the Absolute Worst
There’s Diane and Will, praising Cary for securing a new $5 million account and perhaps thinking twice about the fact they took him off the partnership track… at least for this year.  As Cary moves to his office to take a quick account of what just happened, he sees his father (who, later in the show, is wearing a mustard-coloured jacket I swear was Will’s from last season’s “Gloves Come Off”).  Even though this is just his second appearance, I’ve come to detest Mr. Agos.  It’s a wonder Cary turned out to be nearly as amazing as he did, because this man is a disaster.  He belittles, he degrades and worst of all, I’m not sure he knows he’s doing it.  There’s nothing like a little divine retribution, as when Cary pulled the case out of the fire to win back the client his father was working to lose.  But it’s of only moderate consolation.  His father has a Mike Krestiva-like quality about him and until Cary can break out from under the thumb of everyone around him, his father will forever be insulting Cary’s every ability.

The Look of a Princess
I hate to admit it, but Grace said it best: “Wow Mom, you look like a princess.”  And she did.  Alicia, in a flowing red strapless gown with her hair swept up from her face, looked completely stunning – even if she got her whole ensemble for 60 per cent off.  I can’t wait until this dress makes its way to the Chicago Shamrock Dinner.  All eyes will be on her… including those of Will Gardner, her new bestie, and master of the campaign bus, Peter Florrick.  Game on in a red dress?  I think so.

What's Next?
FINALLY.  And I really mean, finally.  It's the episode we've all been waiting for (I know it's not just me) - the Chicago Shamrock Dinner.  White-ties, red dresses, wine, punches and a few bouts of verbal sparring.  Let's not forget that Grandma Veronica is coming back to town.  Here's hoping this next episode is as delicious as the preview has led us to believe!  

10 March, 2013

The Good Wife: Runnin' with the Devil - A Theme of Betrayal

Season 4, Episode 16 | Original Air Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013

Betrayal.  It comes in many forms.  Sometimes it’s a lie you tell yourself while other times it’s an action that’s thrust upon you.  No matter what, betrayal makes you question those things you’ve always known – like who you are and how far you’ll go – and sometimes it makes you question those things of which you’re just not sure – like employment or friendships. 

In ‘Runnin’ with the Devil,’ betrayal is the main ingredient in a juicy tale that starts in a partnership meeting and ends in a courtroom.   This week, I'm looking at how trust and disloyalty perform an intricate dance together and how they're beginning to play a larger role on The Good Wife.  Don't forget to stop by the Q&A at the bottom of this article to share your thoughts on this week's developments!

“Be brave, lone voice in the wilderness”
Oh David Lee.  Less than three minutes into the show and I've already got a quote I love to hate.  If there’s one thing I can say about David, it’s not that I like him – no – it’s that I can’t get enough of his smarmy quips.    

As Alicia goes against the grain in her first partnership meeting (she doesn't mind having the firm look like a Burmese tent city… and neither does Diane), she stands alone in her resolve to not hire a second investigator.  Alicia’s in a difficult position because she’s friends-on with Kalinda again and the last time the firm brought in a second investigator, glass repair shops were operating on full cylinders to keep up with K’s bat-wielding ways.

Still, no one seems to care and as Alicia stands alone in the forested wilderness known as covert friendship, she gets herself tasked to the hiring committee. 

Flash forward.  K finds out new investigators are being interviewed and she’s anything but pleased.  Even Will, who has had Kalinda’s back since season one, seems particularly emotionless about the new team that’s being formed.  Maybe it’s time for these two to go for drinks and for K to punch Will in the leg again, because that’s the one thing he seems to be missing: tough love.

With a parade of ex-cops running around the 28th floor, the ‘Investigator Hiring Squad’ went with an unexpected choice: Robyn Burdine (Jess Weixler) a former treasury enforcement agent, turned babysitter.  She’s a quirky dynamo who seems just a bit out of her element when it comes to working in a law firm.  Strangely though, this just might work.  She’s Kalinda’s 360 degree opposite, but it could make them a formidable team.  Everyone needs a sidekick… and if Batman could make it work, so too can Kalinda.  I hope.

The Defense of Lemond Bishop
Finally!  Lemond Bishop is back – albeit in shackles – to fight for his innocence.   When last we saw Bishop, in ‘Waiting for the Knock,’ he was being carted away under with the charge of murder hanging over his head.  As Chicago’s biggest drug lord, it never really made sense to me as to why he could be charged with killing one of his employees and leave her for dead in a trunk – not because he wouldn’t want to, but because he has people for that kind of thing. I mean, right?  For Chicago PD I don’t think it mattered though.  It was like catching Al Capone on tax evasion.

The more I think about it, the more I feel they've crafted Bishop into a modern day Capone.  Sure, he doesn't wear a fedora or smoke cigars, but he deals in cash, is a master at creating plausible deniability and no one will testify against him… at least for long.  This is especially the case when we start looking at Bishop’s second attorney on retainer: Charles Lester (aka Blair Waldorf’s step-father Cyrus Rose, aka Wallace Shawn).   

Travelling around with Alicia and talking to witnesses, we find Lester jumping into conversation with seemingly simple questions.  To a guy at the gym: What are the hours here and are you interested in body mass?  To a man at a bowling alley: How old are your little girls?  Alone, these questions seem innocent, but the result is always the same: a recanting of testimony.  Charles Lester, as it turns out, reminds me a bit of Louis Canning, only unlike our plaid-loving attorney nemesis, Lester has an almost sweet demeanor.  It’s like he doesn't realize Bishop is the master puppeteer and using him to threaten witnesses, but at the same time, we know he’s aware of what he’s doing – he’s been at it for the last 10 years.  Lester isn't afraid to betray his oath as a lawyer: who says threatening witnesses is wrong?  

Oh. Right. Everyone.

Of course, then there’s Alicia, who assumed the role of innocent bystander with ease because, well, who saw this coming?  This guy looks like a kind old man who eats prunes for breakfast and writes thank you notes to the kids down the street who shovel his snow.  He doesn’t look like Lemond’s confidant and co-conspirator.  That’s why I was especially worried for Judy Bishop, Lemond’s sister, when she decided to testify against her brother.  A) Seriously?  Who testifies against their drug lord brother who had their wife offed? And B) See A.  When Lester said “you know what you need to do,” I thought Judy was a goner, but maybe for Bishop blood really is the tie that binds.  He won’t betray Judy, because Judy won’t betray his son, Dylan.  It’s the circle of life, even when you’re a kingpin. 

The Case of the Restaurateur
Cary: The man who has been passed up and looked over, is plotting his next moves, one of which is in a play to start his one firm, the other of which is to finally hook up with Kalinda.  While the latter continues to be a bust, Cary’s aspiration to reach for something better is both inspiring and promising.  Just think: Cary could branch out and start Agos and Associates… and soon.  For those of you waiting for Cary’s big break, I’m hoping this is it.  While my personal preference would be for Cary and Alicia to team up, that’s not in the cards, at least for now.  In fact, last week I read an article with Robert and Michelle King that said the last half of the season would be characterized by a Lockhart Gardner civil war.  Could Cary be at the crux of the mutiny?  Who would he recruit over to his new firm?  Could this finally be Cary’s chance?

Well, it might be if Kalinda has anything to say about it.  Having been out investigating with local restaurateur and cheese-lover, Seth DeLucca, Kalinda found out Cary had been talking to him about a higher level of personalized service.  With Robyn in the mix and Kalinda more uncertain about her job at Lockhart Gardner than ever, she’s let Cary know she’s up on his plan but that he needs to keep his nose clean.  She’s can’t lie forever.  Wait.  It’s Kalinda.  Yes she can.  But betray his trust?  No way.

What did you think of “Runnin’ with the Devil?”  Was Alicia’s law school rival, Liz Lawrence, right to ask Alicia when she sold her soul to the devil?  Are you excited at the prospect of Cary going rouge and starting his own firm?

What’s Next?
What’s better than formal wear and fisticuffs?  The answer?  Nothing.  In “Invitation to an Inquest” my two favourite things come together in an episode that’s promising to feature the demise of Jordan, the reappearance of Mike Kresteva and a fistfight.  Did I mention Alicia in a floor-length red gown, Will putting the moves on Laura and Alicia and Will having not one, but two, heart-to-hearts.  Oh for the love of Sunday.  I can’t wait.

03 March, 2013

The Good Wife: Going for the Gold and the Great Debate

Season 4, Episode 15 | Original Air Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013

What’s better than one cold?  Two.  Especially when they’re shared.

Now, I’ll admit this isn’t usually a motto I live by.  Colds are annoying, but in the case of The Good Wife, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, carrying a sign and writing a jingle: Bring on the spreadable germs!

So, there they were, my two favourite star-crossed lawyers, Will and Alicia, sneezing and coughing up a storm while standing in Diane’s office.  Alicia looked at Will looking at Alicia, both from the corners of their eyes, hoping Diane wouldn't notice they had come down with the same pesky bug.  “You two need to say away from me” is all she could say, while backing away from them both.   Lucky for Diane, she’s probably safe as she hasn't made out with her inter-office colleagues… ever.  Well, maybe not ever.  We’re still not sure what happened between she and Stern, but that’s a story for another time.  So, as Diane was sliding out of her office, trying not to breathe, I was sitting there exclaiming: “They gave each other that cold – Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!’  Seriously.  When the world gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  The joy of watching people sneeze in unison is the best I've got in my campaign for Team Gardner.  It’s not much, but I’ll take it.

Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to jump into the rest of the show (because, believe it or not, the sneezequence only lasted one minute and sixteen seconds… ish).   This week I’m going to skip the play-by-play recap and go straight to the highs and lows of “Going for the Gold.”  Feel free to jump in on the comments below and share your thoughts!

Going for the Gold – The Highs

A Working Lunch

Where else can I start accept with Elsbeth Tascioni?  She continues to amaze and amuse – she’s nothing short of extraordinary.  While her back and forth with Josh in ‘musical co-conspirators’ was inspiring (more about that later), it was her clumsy escape from the Indian lunch that made me love her even more.  

After sliding away from Josh, a giant cup of mango juice, his compliments about her ‘pillow-ie lips’ and a basket of naan, Elsbeth popped over to Alicia’s office to ask for help.  This gave way to one of the best quotes of the episode:  “You want me to play act a lawyer in your sham defamation suit?”  Why yes, yes she does.  And, of course, Alicia agreed.

The Elephant in the Elevator

Meanwhile, Alicia and Will have a pact to avoid being in the same place alone together.  Of course, a rule like that is meant to be broken (hopefully multiple times).  While I sense a great bit of foreshadowing with that pronouncement, this week, these two found themselves on the same elevator, alone, behind sliding doors.  Will, standing behind Alicia and looking awkward, calmly asked about the state of Alicia’s cold and then reiterated the kiss was a moment of weakness and that they aren't going to act on it… again.  It was a moment of honesty that I love seeing between these two.  So often we note these characters as pillars of strength around each other and in life, but together they are vulnerable and think about things in different ways.  While I sincerely hope we get to see them have a more evolved relationship going forward, I’m thankful for these moments of honest but awkward interplay.  It’s real.  It’s life.  And yes, it’s complicated.

Who Doesn't Love a Co-Conspirator?

I know I do.  Especially when there are multiples from which to choose.  What’s great about watching Elsbeth and Josh is that they have so many similarities they can predict each will be outdone by the other, they just don’t know when, where or how.   This week, Elsbeth was determined to beat Josh at his own game and that meant doing battle in two courts.  The same issues were at play: the idea that Eli bought votes for a discount of his services.  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.  That quickly turned into a defamation case when an article hit the press about this controversy thanks to Eli’s old pal, Frank Landau.  Enter the co-conspirators as dreamt up by Josh:  Hugh Saxon, CEO of Greengate Retirement Centre; Diane Lockhart (because she initialed a receipt) and, my favourite, Jackie Florrick. 

I’m not going to go into details here (it’s better to watch the drama unfold… and see how the quote “She’s easily confused… like a blind donkey” comes into play), but what’s terrific about this scene is watching how Jackie knows how to play Eli (and the system) like a finely tuned piano.  She can’t throw Eli under the bus because she knows that will hurt Peter’s chances of winning the election.  Suddenly Jackie Florrick has to side with he who has been her arch nemesis for months… and it’s wonderful.

The Great Debate

Let’s face it: Peter’s great in the hot seat.  I can’t imagine the press throwing a question at him that he couldn’t answer.  With Maddie facing off and waving the race equality card in Peter’s face, there was nothing left to do but school her on the ways of televised debate.  With help from Eli, Maddie could barely speak in coherent sentences.  It was bliss… or better yet, gold.

The best part?  Eli’s back in business.  The second best part?  Unlike the Alicia of old, who simply stood by Peter, Alicia 2.0 is giving him advice and helping him win.  Perhaps her career in politics isn't so far off after all.

Side note: Does anyone else love this picture of Maddie with Peter lurking in the background as much as I do?  

Going for the Gold – The Lows

My What a Pretty Label You Have

Lockhart Gardner is after the State’s Attorney’s civil business… again.  Will was sent in to bat and hit a fly ball caught by Geneva Pine for the out.  It was a disaster, made worse only by Laura probing Will with questions about Lemond Bishop and Chinese Walls – Lockhart Gardner’s two favourite subjects.  In the end, Will couldn't save the day, but not for lack of trying.  Geneva Pine just really hates drug dealers.  Really, who can blame her?  Sure she’s probably getting her suits dry cleaned at one of his legit businesses, but that’s beside the point.

Meanwhile, Will took Laura’s questioning very personally and came at her with the kind of verbal aggression he saves for Alicia on a late night at the office. If he didn't have that cold, he might have kissed her.  Instead, he tried to make up for his rage by purchasing an expensive bottle of wine and using his ‘come hither’ Tammy voice to woo her back to his side.  I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I know I don’t like it.  And not just because I don’t like Will’s ‘I’m trying to pick you up voice,’ which by the way, I don’t (and, for the record, which he has never used on Alicia), but because I strangely think Laura could do better.  I’m a huge fan of Will, but Laura doesn't deserve to be yelled at over ridiculous things.  She’d do better catching the eye of one Mr. Agos who might just have some extra time on his hands if the partners have anything to say about it…

Trimming Hours

Alicia’s the new boss in town… and I’m not sure I like it.  Correction.  Alicia’s the new boss in town… and I don’t like it.  She’s suddenly having to cut hours of the people she was an equal to only one episode ago.  People are willing to turn on her in a dime and throw out nicknames like ‘Saint Alicia’ like it's going out of style, which, by the way, it is.  Alicia’s name to the associates is quickly becoming mud.  Of course, Alicia likes Cary and doesn't want to drag him down, so in order to cut hours, she trimmed her own schedule.  Endearing to the associates?  Yes.  To Diane?  No.  Alicia’s between a rock and a hard place and Diane is laying the smack down on Alicia not acting like a peasant. 

Being on the outside and looking in isn't a place I see Alicia thriving.  She does, however, seem to take Diane’s suggestions to heart, whether she likes it or not.  Isn't that the saying though?  “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”  Alicia’s there to play the game so the game doesn't play her.  I just hope she doesn't lose all of her friends and allies along the way.

I’ll take, “Jordan – I’m almost out of a job – Karahalios for $100 Alex”

Jordan: Eli’s replacement and supposed campaign dynamo.  What am I missing?  This man doesn't seem to know a thing about working with Peter or winning a debate, let alone an election.  While I understand different strategies work for different situations, it seems as though Jordan doesn't have his head in Peter Florrick game.  I’d love if they threw us a curve ball and revealed he’s a plant of Wendy Scott-Carr’s… but that’s unlikely.  Delicious.  But unlikely.

In saying that, I’ll be honest: I’m kind of rooting for Peter.  Even as a devout Team Gardner fan, I feel okay about admitting this because as a politician, I think Peter is a reasonable candidate, especially given the others on the ballot.  Also, if he’s elected as Governor, maybe he’ll finally stop preaching about his time in prison.   Oh, and he’ll move away.  Even with those last two points aside, I still feel as though he’s the right person for the job.  Thank goodness Peter still has Eli on speed dial and that Alicia has the smarts to encourage him to use it.

That Damn Campaign Bus

Things I won’t miss about election season: 1) The campaign bus.  2) The campaign bus.  3) The – wait for it – campaign bus.  I don’t mind when this vehicle is parked on a lot and Peter is out shaking hands and kissing babies in front of it while Eli is crunching numbers in the passenger’s seat.  I can get behind all of that.  It’s when the bus turns into the sex wagon that it drives me crazy.  Alicia can’t keep her cloths on when she’s in that blasted bus and now Peter’s all, “do you want to have dinner tonight… like a date?”  Ahhhhhh!   This thing has fancy TV’s, comfortable recliners and apparently magic powers, because no one can say ‘no’ while aboard the Florrick bus of love. 

The sharing of colds I can get behind… it’s the sharing of buses I can’t support.

What’s Next?

Cary puts the moves on Kalinda, Peter gets into a fist fight, Alicia’s Mom resurfaces and Mike Kresteva returns.  These next four weeks are going to be excruciatingly exciting.
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