29 April, 2013

The Good Wife: "What's in the Box?" - Top Four Scenes and their Impact on Season Five

Season 4, Episode 22 | Original Air Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013
It seems like yesterday when Zach was driving down the interstate with Alicia relaxing in the backseat; Kalinda was sitting at her front door with a gun tucked in her white arm chair and Will was getting ready to come off of suspension.  Remember those days?  Things were so… so… up in the air.  Somehow 21 episodes have passed since then and now we’re back to living with what’s sure to be an unbearable hiatus.  Oh yes, and things are more uncertain than ever.  I love how the more things change the more they say the same.

The best part, in my opinion, is that “What’s in the Box” delivered on everything it promised to, including rendering me speechless on more than four occasions.  A few weeks ago, a friend coined the hashtag, #TeamPaperBag and I was quick to jump aboard that ship.  Hyperventilating aside (because we all know that happened), “What’s in the Box” was the perfect set-up to what I’m already anticipating will be an electric season five.  Now, if only we didn’t have to wait until September.  Oy vey.  What am I supposed to do until then? 

Fortunately, that’s a problem for another day.  Let’s dive into “What’s in the Box” by looking at this episode's four best scenes and how they’ll impact season five.

Warning: Spoilers/predictions/excitement ahead.  If you haven’t watched “What’s in the Box” yet, you need to – and on repeat.  A minimum of three times is recommended. 

This week I’m not going to do a full recap.  Why?  Because I’m assuming everyone has seen the episode.  If you haven’t, see above warning.  There are dozens of great recaps out there, so if you need a play-by-play, check out my April 29 news feed for some suggestions.

For this year’s finale, I decided to make things memorable by watching it over in London, UK.  Okay, that wasn’t planned, per se, but it happened and now I’ll always have that ‘where were you when’ moment to look back on fondly.  It’s like how people remember where they were when world events happened - like Will and Kate's royal wedding (Disney World) or the Toronto Blue Jays winning the World Series (at home, in front of the television).  Of course, I would have been happy with ‘couch’ being my answer, but instead I have ‘hotel room in London.’  Not a $7,800 hotel room, mind you (oh season two finale, how I still love you), but I’ll take it.

When it comes to the best and most memorable moments/scenes from “What’s in the Box,” I struggle not to write, ‘everything,’ though don’t think I’m not tempted.  It’s for this reason I waited hours before writing this, as my initial discussion would have read: “I’m sorry what?  Wait. No. Really?! No. Yes. What? Where?! That did not just… what the?” See, we all win with me taking a breather.

Top Four Scenes (in no particular order… at least that I’m willing to admit to)

1)   The Car: Need I say more?  Who am I kidding?  Yes I do!

Alicia + Will + Car = pure magic!  Lately, we’ve watched Alicia struggle with her feelings for Will, and now, in the calm of a late, misty night, she brings everything back up.  Her feelings, she admits, she can’t escape, but she doesn't know what to do.  The logical answer is to kiss.  And they do.  From my little corner of the world, fireworks are flying and I’m over the moon.  After the world’s most adorable forehead touch, Alicia asks, “what do we do?”  Before Will can answer, Diane knocks on the hood of his car.  Thankfully, Will’s windshield is fogged up to the max (like the car Rose and Jack found themselves canoodling in aboard Titanic) and Diane seems to have missed everything.  While I’ll confess I was looking forward to her fist of furry and a rage-filled speech, there’s something nice about knowing everything doesn't have to be a complete mess for these two each step of the way.  Before they exit the car the following, what I hope will eventually be monumental, remarks were made:

Will: “When this night is over, we talk.” 
Alicia: “We can’t...” 
Will: “To hell with bad timing. We talk.”

To some, this conversation might not mean much, but I feel as though I could get my Ph.D in “Gardner/Florrick Communication.”  I’ve studied these two for four long years.  I've earned it. The key here, from my perspective, is Will taking the lead.  Back in season one, Alicia told Will she needed a plan.  Unfortunately, through it all, that’s the one thing he’s never delivered.  While I’m not dismissing Alicia’s sometimes spazztic decision-making when it comes to Will, she gave him the Lincoln Logs and he has yet to build the cabin. 

Here’s to season five – a season with some good timing and maybe, just maybe, some new developments to inspire Will to conceive a plan.  Come on Team Gardner, we’ve got this!

2)  A Backroom Payoff: Saying goodbye to Jackie’s better half?

It has been awhile since we saw Jackie’s caregiver/lover/special friend, Cristian, and I can safely say I’ve missed him.  While I’m not entirely sure what his relationship with Jackie is, that’s part of why I enjoy him.  Really, I like him more than I ever liked Jordan, and I saw him much less.  He’s mysterious but charming and has an air of whimsy I can’t help but appreciate.  The best part?  He’s not going anywhere.  

Sure, Eli gave him a personal cheque from Peter for $25,000 to get lost, but what Jackie wants, Jackie gets and Cristian isn’t going anywhere.  He just happened to get a nice bonus.  After shaking hands with Peter and announcing that he’s staying, I had a feeling of impending doom for our new Governor.  Is Cristian really bad news?  Is he working his way into the Florrick family for more than just the benefit of Jackie (because, let’s face it…)?  I would love to see more Cristian in season five - on a cruise ship, as a life guard, or locking death stares with Peter and Eli.  I feel as though Cristian could be the genie in the bottle I've been looking for when it comes to Jackie and Peter – is it possible he could bring them both down?  I don’t know… yet… but I’m willing to strategize throughout the summer.

3)  What’s better than a ballot box? A septic tank truck, that’s what. 

Oh Jim Moody, campaign cronie and devious political navigator.  He has skills, I’ll credit him that, but when it comes to flying under the radar, he needs a little training from Kalinda.  Starting the episode, he plans to send a rogue septic tank truck into a neighbourhood high on Kresteva to deter them from heading to the polls.  I mean, he has a point – only the most dedicated voter would preserver through the smell of raw sewage to cast a ballot.  Oh, and New Yorkers.  Having been one, I can say, ‘that’s a day in the life.’  Bring on the septic tank!

The Florrick campaign had issues bigger than poop to deal with however, not the least of which included a tampered-with box of ballots.  Our favourite 18-year old spotted the issue-laden box while getting his first taste of democracy and quickly documented it on his phone.  Before long, it was off to an emergency trip to court with the entire Lockhart Gardner team in tow.  Remembering I’m not here to do a recap, all I’ll say is this: the ballots were in, they were out and they were in again.  Oh, and Patti Nyholm was representing Kresteva because apparently drug manufacturers like Republicans.  Jordan resurfaced to be annoying and was quickly caught in a lie (because no one messes with Eli Gold and Zach Florrick – no one!).  The case was solid and I thoroughly enjoyed how it tied to the foundation for the episode: the election. 

The thing is, everyone has a vested interest in Peter becoming, or not becoming, Governor.   By now we all know he won (and if you didn’t, now you’re caught up), but the story doesn’t end there.  Will Diane be given the opportunity to become a Supreme Court Judge?  Are her ties with Will still too strong?  Who will be the next State’s Attorney?  Could it be the esteemed Wendy Scott Carr (can you even IMAGINE?) or someone new altogether?

Perhaps most intriguingly is the fact Will was given video footage showing Jim being the one behind the fraudulent ballots.  Will had the chance to seal Peter’s fate… but he didn’t.  Why?  Will Peter now owe him something?  The fact is, the ballots – the actual numbers – don’t matter.  It’s the fact a campaign worker was willing to rig the election.  That Eli Gold was behind it and the Peter Florrick would allow it to happen.  Will has the chance to be the whistle blower on Peter’s ethical compass.  Like Kalinda’s husband, this footage could be gone forever, but then again, maybe not.  If you were Will, would have thrown Peter under his own campaign bus, or would you have done what was best for your client for the meantime?  Either way, I see this as leverage.  For what I don’t know, but that’s not important now.  I’m a fan of a stacked back pocket.

4)  Florrick, Agos and Associates, coming fall 2013

If there’s one scene in four years that has made my head explode, it would be this one: Alicia dialing the phone from the bathroom and asking the person on the other end if they still want to talk.  The answer, we learn, is yes, and Alicia heads to her apartment to meet her caller.  At this point, I was losing my mind.  Sadly, there’s an actual picture of this – my head in my hands, gasping and covering my face while peeking through my eyes.  My written reaction? “I’m shaking! She escaped! The campaign… Please tell me he shows up!”  Once again, it’s a good thing I’ve taken a few hours to process.

Of course, I was wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ that she had called Will, but in hindsight I can see the flaw in my plan – we were already gifted with a perfect Team Gardner treat and another would be like Santa coming twice in one night. I mustn’t be so scene-greedy in the future.  No, this was, dare I suggest, an even more perfect moment.  Cary was at the door and all Alicia had to say was “I’m in.”  The firm of Florrick, Agos and Associates is no longer a dream – a dream I’ve thought about for years – it’s a reality that will be born in season five. My question? What made her finally decide to make the move?  Was it not wanting to be *just* the 'first lady of Chicago?'  Was it about opening or closing (bah!) the door on Will or was it about something else altogether?

What will this mean?  First of all, Alicia has to leave the firm and so does Cary.  That’s going to be a disaster – but, let’s face it, completely amazing.  David Lee is going to lose his mind.  I hope he’s in a costume when it happens – that would be the icing on the cake.  Diane might not care that much if she’s gone, but I anticipate Will might have something to say about things.  That said, Alicia leaving the firm eases some of the complications surrounding Will, specifically when it comes to him being her boss/colleague.  Once he gets over things though, good timing might stand a chance for once.  These two have a history of getting heated in the courtroom (flashback: Red Team, BlueTeam) and part of me thinks that might translate into other rooms, too.  Blast!  I just made a promise not to be greedy.  But… right?!

Second, it means Colin Sweeney is going to be the firm's landlord.  Oh yes, that just happened.  He'll follow Alicia to the ends of the earth and if that means cutting Cary a deal on rent for free legal services for two years, then, why not?  I mean, it's creepy.  But that's what's both delicious and disgusting about Sweeney.  I love how torn he makes me feel.  Still, at the end of the day, I can't help but be excited we'll get more of him in season five.  Who knows what kind of shenanigans will be brewing!

The End... For Now

And so, that’s that.  We’re out for another season, and what a ride it has been.  Thank you to everyone who has joined me on the adventure this year – I’ve enjoyed every minute.  To new friends and old, I appreciate your support and readership.  Each of you has truly made my season four magic.  As for me, I plan to keep writing and speculating on The Good Wife throughout the summer, so stay tuned and, as always, please sound off with your comments.  Your passion for the show fuels my passion for the show and I have to say, I think we've got a great thing going on here.  Dare I say, 'good timing?'



  1. I'm glad you took a breather to gather your thoughts LOL but I have been checking and anticipating your post. You could have done a post on the best lines from the episode too! So many great quotes. I think my favorite was the exchange between Will and Peter ... "You handled this poorly." "That's possible."

    I had chills when she was in the car with Will. That kiss!! If Will was in my life I'd never get anything done ... Besides Will! LOL!!!

    1. Move Over !! Me too !!

  2. If I had to pick, I think I'd select two favourite lines:

    1) Diane - "This stunt went out with Perry Mason."
    Judge Abernathy - "And yet, I enjoy it every time."
    I've been waiting for a good Perry Mason reference for years. Having Diane say it was pure perfection.

    2) Colin Sweeney - "Are we keeping things from our betters?" Ewwww...and yes. We are. Thanks for pointing it out, Colin.

    As for Will being in your life, I can't blame you. Especially casual 'my sleeves are rolled up and I'm roaming the halls with my baseball' Will. Those two have some serious chemistry. I hope they don't let it fizzle for season five!

    Thanks for writing in - as always, it's appreciated and enjoyed!

  3. I love your enthusiasm. Already told you, but I need to say it again.
    Me, I'm thorn.

    Leaving L&G, why not. Could lead to some great moments. But I need to be reassured for that.
    First, L&G needs to stay L&G. Will & Diane are so great together. And Will doesn't deserve to loose Diane, Alicia and Cary.
    Second, so we have Alicia leaving L&G, and choosing Peter. Hummm, I mean, of course turning to Carry is about running away from Will, but it's very different than renewing her vows with Peter (hope she won't do that).
    Third, I don't want less of Diane, Will & Kalinda.

    Then, maybe I might be ready to watch season 5. Oh and they need to pick up where they left (not 3 month after)

  4. Hey Pink!

    The finale was grand! The final scene was a shocker. I really thought it was Will and assumed it would be like the previous Season 2 finale, "Boring!" I thought. But no, it was something different. She's leaving maybe to distance herself from Will. Not sure if that's advantageous but what I do know is that Lockhart Gardner in Season 5 will fall. Big time.

    Florrick’s campaign team actually cheating? Totally unexpected. And really? Eli was behind it? Wow. This will seriously haunt the governorship... and Will will really use it as leverage somehow in the future...

    Now that you mentioned it, I'm now concerned of Christian's mysteriousness... It may really have an essential effect on the next season regarding Peter. But thinking ahead, seeing Peter's success and since we're already at season 5, it would be awesome if the writers will end the show with something huge, something like a presidential election. Hahaha.

    Loved Judge Abernathy. Mayor Bloomberg's appearance was nice and Patti Nyholm's return was awesome and entertaining. We need more of her.

    Anyway, enjoy London, and I'll see you at fall in the season premiere, or at anytime you post within the hiatus. Cheers indeed!

  5. Hi Pink

    I have been missing from the comments section in the last few weeks but I had been reading your reviews faithfully every week. This week,I had to drop in to say goodbye for now. After all special guest stars like myself and Colin Sweeney too have to appear in the finale :-)

    There were ups and downs but generally I loved the direction the show is going. I loved the growth of almost all the main cast. I cannot wait for season 5.

    Peter is going to governor (we all know that), Diane will be a judge ( I hope) and the best move is Alicia and Cary at their new shop! I mentioned a few weeks ago, it will take brave writers to make that move and I am really glad the writers took the bold step. Now I look forward to the episode next season where we have Alicia and Will on opposite sides and Diane as the Judge. Well, maybe there will be conflict of interest, I can only hoped.

    Does this means Alicia is actually making a move to get away from Will. I think 1 of the main reason she is doing that is so she does not have to Will all the time and face the temptation daily. Is that bad news for Team Gardner? Anyway they will still get to meet in court often enough.

    As a tribute to season 4 and since the show has the best guest stars in all TV series, I am going to list my favorites for season 4. It will be list according to my own personal favorites.

    1) Michael J Fox - Louis Canning
    2) Carrie Preston - Elsbeth Tascioni
    3) Matthew Perry - Mike Kresteva
    4) Mike Colter - Lemond Bishop
    5) Parker Posey - Vanessa Gold
    5) Dylan Baker - Colin Sweeney
    6) Amanda Peet - Laura Hellinger
    7) Mamie_Gummer- Nancy Crozier (I like her so much in TGW,I went to watch Emily Owens but could not watch beyond the 1st episode)
    8) Nathan Lane - Clarke Hayden
    9) Martha Plimpton - Patti Nyholm
    10) Gary Cole - Kurt McVeigh
    11) Anna Camp - Caitlin D'arcy:
    12) Anika Noni Rose - Wendy Scott-Carr

    For the supporting cast, my favorite this season are
    1) Zach Grenier as David Lee (Love to Hate)
    2) Jess Weixler as Robyn Burdine (seems naive and cute yet very good at her job)
    3) Jill Flint as Lana Delaney (I doubt she will be back but I prefer Kalinda to be with her than Nick)

    Really hope to see them come back in season 5

    1) Michael J Fox - Louis Canning
    2) Carrie Preston - Elsbeth Tascioni
    3) Mike Colter - Lemond Bishop
    4) Parker Posey - Vanessa Gold ( I doubt it will happen)
    5) Mamie_Gummer- Nancy Crozier (I like her so much in TGW,I went to watch Emily Owens but could not watch beyond the 1st episode)

    So till the next series start, it has been really fun to share this journey with all the fans and readers of this blog !

  6. Hi Pink!

    I just found out your blog next week, and very happy I did! Thanks for your great recaps :)

    As all we were, I was really hoping to see Will at the door (Team Gardner since season 1) , but as you said, it would be so season 2 and like double Christmas, I know they'll never give us all we want. I was really disappointed when I saw Cary, and heard the "I'm in", but I have been thinking (nearly obsessed) about it and now I like this choice better, that's why we like this show this much, always surprising and complicated. Things are never easy.

    I think it is important that Alicia always told that it's not love with him, but now we feel that it is. At least we know it is strong as enough to make her run away and him to fight for it. Alicia to throw away everything for a men (even Will) didn't make any sense for me at all (Job, Kids and the name now she will use a lot for clients), so I can understand that she needs to run away. But I don't think that this is the end, this is the beginning we needed. Fresh and much more complicated. If TGW Writers wanted to write Willicia off, they could (and they did until Blue Team/Red Team) this season, but they know how audience love their chemistry. They brought back our couple for a reason, not to close everything. And running away, can't close it. Delay maybe.

    After all, Will is going to be very mad and it will be very fun to watch him and Alicia's moments. But as darling darling Josh Charles said, this will complicate the relationship but also will take the "I'm your boss" complication away. Also Margulies said that she would like to explore what draws them to each other, I believe we will get a crazy season 5 for them, and will like all of it. We at least deserve to see them as a real couple after all these years :)

    I really like the Florrick, Agos & Associates idea. We needed to see Alicia to take a bold step, she did. I hope that she won't renew her vows right away and see that Peter didn't change at all. Also really don't want Diane to leave Will, they are the perfect couple. This poll thing will be a great story I believe. Although I don't want Will to go after Peter (because I don't want him to become Peter) I'm sure this will explode. Kalinda maybe.

    I couldn't care less about the Christian issue though, we'll see how it goes. Hope it will help Alicia to see real Peter.

    In season 5, hope to see more (not counting Alicia & Will, that's obvious):

    1) Will & Peter (so good to see how they hate each other and while being polite)
    2) Will & Diane
    3) Anyone's first reaction to Elsbeth Tascioni!
    4) Nancy Crozier & Alicia
    5) Eli Gold & Alicia
    6) Will & Patti

    I'm really excited about season 5! Too bad now we need to wait for nearly 5 months but it'll be worth the wait I guess! I'll be reading your blog from now on, keep it comin'.

  7. I've been reading your blog throughout this season and I just have to say that I've loved it! I come here every week after the episode to see what you have to say, and I love your opinions on the show. It makes it so much more exciting!
    As for this episode, I was SO hoping it would be Will, but it was Cary. Which is also good, I think - Alicia joining the new firm will definitely set things in motion in terms of plot and conflict for the upcoming season. I desperately want Alicia to end up with Will, but I understand that if they want a real relationship, and not just sneaking around, they need a plan, as Alicia has stated before. I think Will is becoming more ready to give that to her. Both of them have been with other people and yet keep coming back to each other - that's surely a sign.
    I think Team Gardner will triumph in the end - we just need to give it time so that it's perfect and when it does happen, it's right for them both. I have faith!

  8. Hi Pink,
    Thankyou so much for all of your blogs this season, I read them religiously and always love to read everyone else's opinions and thoughts.
    To restate what has already been said by many, my heart fell when we saw Cary instead of Will at the door but I think it is a positive and bold decision on the part of the writers and which will totally change how the show looks and keep it fresh and dynamic.
    Speaking of dynamics, I can't wait to see how Cary and Alicia work together as named partners, the new Will and Diane, I predict there will be conflict as they differ in their visions about the firm, but I think this will build a stronger relationship.
    A new firm opens the doors for a whole lot of new characters as well, or maybe they'll recruit one of our much loved guest stars, Elsbeth Tascioni please!
    It'll also be great to learn more about Robyn and see Kalinda and Robyn battle it out on opposite sides. Robyn's also got to have a love interest, Cary, Robyn and Kalinda love triangle anyone?
    I also can't wait to see the scene where Will finds out that Alicia and the other fourth years are leaving. I'm sure he will consider it a great betrayal and I can't wait for some heated exchanges between Will and Alicia and tensions which will be manifest when they cross paths in the courtroom!
    I would also like to get a better understanding of what draws them to eachother, on an intellectual and emotional level rather than just the physical. In order that the Willicia storyline doesn't become stale I think we need to see a little more depth.
    I agree with those who are hoping that Diane won't leave, and after the fourth years jump ship, I think she'll decide to stay, support Will and stand up for him. I'd hate to see the end of that partnership.
    I also can't wait to see Diane marry Kurt, but I'm loathe to see Peter and Alicia renew their vows..ugh.
    I don't know what I'm going to do with myself for the next five months! Maybe I should get back to my real life law studies....but reality's not quite as glamourous. So excited to share the next chapter with you all!

  9. Hi Pink,

    I was just wondering...what if... Alicia and Will already talked "when that night was over", but we didn`t see it? We didn`t see an actual conversation, and the call she made to Cary was AFTER the conversation with Will.

    Oooo, I do hope the two of them did talk!

    By the way, great post - as always,

    Anya from Croatia

  10. For those who want some Kalinda fix before the start of the new season of TGW, you can watch THE FALL. She is playing Paula Reed Smith, a pathologist who is assigned to the investigation. The series which has 5 episodes also starred Gillian Anderson.


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