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.


  1. Hi Pink,

    Great post! as usual I share your sentiments exactly. Has anyone else thought about the number of significant moments and conversations which take place in elevators in this show?
    More importantly however, have you seen the promo for the next episode? It ends with Alicia asking Will, 'We were good together, weren't we?' which of course made me extremely happy, and by the way she is again beautifully dressed in red. However, on the second viewing I caught a devastating shot of Will leaning in to kiss Laura. I'm not looking forward to seeing that, but there's no doubt the next four episodes are set to be very interesting.

    1. Whenever I see an elevator on The Good Wife I squeal with joy because I know whatever happens inside is going to be fantastic. The best part? I've never been disappointed with this theory!

      The preview for next week is exceptional! Also, everyone is so dressed up, I can't help but wonder what event they are supporting? Something legal? Something political? Does Will bring Laura as his date? Are Will and Alicia at the same table again (flashback to the last formal dinner when Tammy ate Peter's cake and Will got punched in the face outside by the fountain). I'm completely thrilled for the next four episodes - I think we're in for some serious drama!

  2. Ok I'll say it....Im not liking the new Alicia and I especially didn't like her in this episode. I know this is a story about her growth but there used to be a pleasant quality to her that made her enjoyable to watch. It seems that that is gone.

    I LOVE the idea of Will and Alicia but with her new attitude I found myself really enjoying the scenes with Will and Laura. There is a mutual attraction there and I think that will be good for Will.

    Alicia as a boss...I don't like it at all. Its not a good look for her.

    Alicia and Peter on the campaign bus... I don't like it and I found myself feeling bad for Peter because it seems that she is just using him too.

    The scene at the end with Peter and Eli....LOVED it! it was very sweet :)

    1. I'll agree - Alicia as the boss isn't my favourite role for her either. I love her relationship with Cary and I'd hate to see it damaged over all of this Equity Partnership business. She's in a difficult spot though, don't you think?

      As for Alicia and Will - I love their dynamic and their chemistry. They just play so well off of each other. I like Peter as a politician, just not as a partner for Alicia. That said, he's been great this season and I think he's justifiably confused by Alicia's actions. I like that she's more assertive, but I'm not sure how well it's translating into other areas of her life.

      Oh Eli Gold. I'm glad he's back in business and hot on the campaign trail again. It's really what he's best at and I can't wait to see how he spices things up as the race for Governor kicks into high gear.

      Thanks for writing in, GMB!

  3. I am so glad the show is back and we get to have 5 back to back...well 4 now!I must admit I am surprised by Jackie's move and I even clapped for her.First time ever I liked Jackie!

    Now I cannot wait for next week, the trailer looks so good!

    1. The trailer does look great... especially Peter in a tux punching someone (Mike Kresteva?!) in a bathroom. I can't wait!

  4. It was inevitably for Will to fall for someone else than Alicia. Lauren has same qualities as Alicia and that may be decisive factor for Will. We will see Alicia's reaction when she is faced with real possibility of losing Will for good. Sorry if I've made mistakes in my post, English is not my first language.


    1. Thanks for writing in, Lola!

      I'm glad that Will is finding a love interest who has the opportunity to like him back just as much as he likes her. I don't think it will last (and not just because I love Team Gardner so much), but because they've built Will to be a character that doesn't commit... at least to anyone but Alicia. No one has ever lived up to her and I'm not sure anyone ever will. That said, I like Laura a lot, and I wouldn't mind getting to know her better. I'm not sure how Laura and Will together will impact Alicia's relationship with Laura... but it can't be more complicated that Alicia's relationship with Maddie... can it?

    2. I agree, I think this storyline between Will and Laura will serve to reveal whether Alicia is really moving forward with Peter, or, as we all suspect, Peter has really only been a substitute for Will. The big question is whether she will speak up and express her inability to deal with him being with someone else, or as characters tend to do alot in this show, suffer in silence.

  5. Hey Pink! Great post, I loved especially your comments on the campaign bus. They're the only good thing about its existence. Let's hope that with the election at the end of the season, it goes away to Springfield with Peter inside.
    As for Jordan, I agree with everything you've said about him. He's supposed to be this PR wunderkind, but doesn't see the best strategy for Peter. Of course, Eli has known the Florrick campaing for a long time, but he was the best from the start. Oh, I love your theory that Jordan was sent by WSC and I really hope it will turn out to be true (fingers crossed).

    I loved the shared cold! It was a subtle reminder to us viewers and them of what had happened, not that either needed it. That opening scene was awkwardly funny, something I adore in TGW. For a brief moment, after the bus scene, I thought Peter was coming down with it, too LOL.
    Last episode Will didn't follow her into the elevator, but this week we got our elevator scene. Again I asked myself if Alicia looked disappointed that Will didn't want to pursue it, but then she was showed agreeing to a date with Peter. I'm confused.

    I like Will and Laura. For as long as Alicia keeps going back to that damn bus.

    1. Oh that bus... it's going to be the death of me! That said, I appreciate that you enjoy my musings about it :)

      I'm thrilled we got an elevator scene this week. I think Alicia is disappointed that Will is so adamant that they can't pursue things - he's the one repeating it, where she's the one asking, 'what should we do?' There chemistry is undeniable and she knows it. I can't help but think back to season one, when Alicia was with Will at the office and then went home and slept with Peter in the spare room. It's like she channels her passion for Will into her relationship with Peter. It's truly a complicated situation! That said, she only shared a cold with one person this season... so I'm going to hang onto that for awhile.

      As for Jordan - do you think he's gone for good now that Eli's back? I'm a little confused as to whether Elsbeth won everything or if he's still in trouble. Eli is still considering himself to be damaged goods, but I don't know if that means he's still not out of the woods? Thoughts?

    2. I don't know how long Jordan will be around, but this week he's definitely still there (and being yelled at by Alicia). I hope whatever he'll do that was over the line gets him fired.
      I don't think Eli's out of the woods, yet, but Peter doesn't care.

      I'm really excited about the next episode! The gala and then Alicia saying "We were good together, weren't we?"! Can't wait

    3. Yes I agree, it seems to me that there has been a slight reversal in the dynamics between Will and Alicia of late. Where in the past Will was always the one looking for a way to make things happen between them 'We always have options' these days it seems he is more adamant that they not pursue it and Alicia seems to be more open to the possibility

  6. What I've been wondering this season - Is Alicia interested in Will? past the sex, the passion, the physical attraction, does she like him as more than a friend? I used to think so but I'm not sure anymore. When looking back on last season when they were sleeping together I wonder what it was really about for her.

    Any thoughts?

  7. Great post as usual. Haha.

    Elsbeth, as you said, was amazing and amusing as usual and of course the highlight of show but also loved Kyle Maclachlan/Josh Perotti... every scene with him was very entertaining... especially the restaurant scene and the scene in state civil court. This Eli storyline was superb.

    They finally squeezed in some intriguing politics this season, especially that political debate where Peter kicked ass. I really hope he wins Governorship. That last scene with Eli about a hint on a presidential campaign made me grin... finishing this show with Peter becoming president is something huge for TGW. I hope the writers find a way to make this work and maybe upgrade the politics of the show to something like the House of Cards.

    Anyway, four episodes in a row coming. And Matthew Perry/Kresteva is gonna return! Am excited!


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