15 October, 2013

The Good Wife: “A Precious Commodity” - The Beauty of Betrayal

Season 5, Episode 3 | Original Air Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013

“A Precious Commodity” made me want to put my heels together and click with glee – this is the rhythm I had hoped season five would have.  In fact, episodes like this remind me why I love The Good Wife so much.  Eli is busy manipulating, Peter is trying to be good, Alicia is sticking to her guns, Grace is doing everything she can to frustrate me (oh, and be pretty), Will is rallying the partners and Diane is making payout demands and looking fabulous in the process.  It’s pure Good Wife bliss!

Let’s Get Packing
Our worst suspicions – that Diane threw Will under the bus in her Mandy Post interview (not that David Lee secretly has a fashion consultant who purposely finds him the worst ties possible) – has come true.  We don’t know exactly what the article says, but it involves Will, the missing $45,000 and some sundry details about Lockhart Gardner.  While I give Diane credit for coming clean with Will when she really didn’t have to, I will confess to being disappointed that she sold him out at all, especially after all the time she put into defending him.  That’s politics though. It’s the thrill of the chase and the thought that opportunities like becoming a Supreme Court justice don’t come around every day.  And the truth is, they don’t. 

Wasn’t it Diane who told Alicia last season to walk through the doors that are opened for you, even if the circumstances aren't ideal?  Indeed it was – in “The Seven Day Rule” – where we learned Diane made partner because Stern was accused of sexual harassment.  While Diane isn’t sitting around pouting about the latest turn of events (rather, she’s looking statelier than ever while keeping her fingers crossed the judgeship will pan out), she is quickly losing the friends and colleagues who have helped build her career.  She’s nothing if not stoic though, and why not?  If she becomes a judge, those at Lockhart Gardner won’t want to have mistreated her.  Despite the whole “betrayal” situation, things for Diane stand a reasonable chance of working out.

Meanwhile, with Diane getting ousted by the partners, Will is now making a pitch to bump Alicia into a named partner role.  With her recent ‘wife of the Governor’ status upgrade, he thinks people will be suitably impressed and not question the fact she’s a fourth year. 

But let’s think about that for a second…

A fourth year… a fourth year.  No, there’s absolutely no flaw with this plan.  I’m sure David Lee will be happy to have Alicia on the letterhead while he sits around makes the firm a kazillion potentially money-laundered dollars.  Or not.  Still, it’s an interesting proposition, though not one that should really even be entertained for fans of Team Gardner… or good business. That said, we are apparently supposed to have forgotten entirely that the car kiss of last season ever happened and ‘good business’ isn’t really a thing Lockhart Gardner has hung its hat on in the past, so I’ll happily comply with the allure they are creating.  At least until next week.

Two Firms, One Font
While Alicia is juggling how to be fair and impartial in the great oust of 2013 – aka, the upheaval of Diane – she’s also balancing her new ‘staff’ of fourth years who have taken to drinking diet Coke, Red Bull and beer during team meetings in her well-furnished living room.  This new firm is something Alicia seems ready for – Cary, too – but I’m mildly concerned about the rest of those on board, aren’t you?  Maybe it’s because of the handful of people coming with them we only know Robyn, or maybe it’s because they are trying to push Alicia to betray her ties to the equity partnership at Lockhart Gardner in one breath and decide on business card fonts in another.  I can’t help but feel as though Florrick Agos needs to find some more senior talent before things turn into a playground rumble. 

The truth is, Alicia is torn between two firms, and despite knowing the toxicity of Lockhart Gardner is only going to increase with time, the doors being opened for her there are seriously impressive.  Named partnership at an established firm as a fourth year?  Why didn’t I become a lawyer?  This career progression seems like no big deal.

I Feel Pretty
The ‘Grace is suddenly hot’ storyline continues this episode and I can’t help but wonder where all of this is going.  Apparently Grace just wants to be pretty (which makes me want to start singing ‘I feel pretty’ and therefore completely forget why we’re talking about Grace in the first place.  Oh, right – family drama.  We love it).  Grace growing up means Eli is growing grey and Alicia is growing increasingly more territorial over her young.  It’s mildly entertaining to watch the reactions of those around but at the same time I’m having flashback visions of Grace getting napped by Internet Jesus and wondering if she’s going to run off with her new youth pastor only to have Kalinda or Robyn find her making out behind a dumpster.  All I know is they are setting us up for trouble.  And by ‘us’ I mean Grace.  And by Grace I mean the entire fate of the show, because in the end, doesn’t everything seem to tie back to this junior Florrick?

Too Pretty vs. The State
As it turns out, Eli and Peter have decided to restructure the Ethics Commission and bring Marilyn back from the Transit Authority.  In the case of ‘too pretty vs. the state,’ too pretty has won handily.  Peter can’t look unfairly biased one way or another (especially when it comes to lovely blondes who are sure to cause him political misfortune down the road).  Eli is playing his cards close to the chest while Peter is busy trying to keep his eyes at, well, eye-level.  To be fair, it’s an unenviable position.  It’s a shame that’s where my sympathy for Peter begins and ends.

Other Notables

If you like it then you Better put a Ring on it:
Has anyone else noticed the size of Alicia’s rings this season?  Once again, where did Peter get money for that size of diamond?  Eli – pull the accounting on this!  I think we’ve got ourselves a Gerald Kozko situation on our hands.  It’s like the tennis bracelet debacle of 2009 all over again.

Best Lines of the Episode:
David Lee: “Ah – here’s our quorum.  Did you travel by bicycle?” 

Will to Diane: “We work together until it’s not fun or profitable anymore.  Are you having fun?”

Worst Line of the Episode:

Peter: “I love you.”  Alicia: “I love you, too.”  Me: “What. Just. Happened?”

Up Next: "Outside the Bubble" 
Elsbeth Tasioni returns to represent Lockhart Gardner, which can only mean one thing: Magic! Also returning: Diane's (maybe?) finance, Kurt McVeigh.  Oh, this is going to be good.

07 October, 2013

The Good Wife: The Bit Bucket and a Thousand Sugar-Covered Webs

Season 5, Episode 2 | Original Air Date: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Between Grandma Veronica, Chumhum, the brief appearance of Patrick Edelstein and the surprise resurgence of a conniving Becca and a crying Nessa, “The Bit Bucket” spent the entire episode overflowing with story lines built atop a sticky web of personal/professional connections. 

If I’m being perfectly candid, I’ll confess this episode left me thinking I need to take more notes – and build more flowcharts.  Am I alone here?  Did everyone else get everything that was happening?  We had Chumhum looking to sue the government who, as it turned out, is tapping the phones of Alicia and Diane, only to find out that some terrorist group is calling the Florrick house 12 times a day.  The terrorist group is none other than Nessa, who is actually just upset that Becca is back and stealing gavels, which makes it seem like Zack is cheating (are they even still together?), which of course he isn't – it’s the world’s most annoying sister, Grace, who is getting makeup tips from Eli’s 21 year old arch nemesis.  Unfortunately, this means Peter is now being looked at for connections to terrorism and the government is more in the loop than Kalinda… which just seems wrong.   Confused?  This was strangely the least complex plot web of the entire episode.

So, what did we learn?  Grace is undermining the government, Chumhum and the state of Illinois without even knowing it.  Of all the things I didn't see coming over the last five seasons, this doesn't make the list – it’s just the cherry on top.

“The Bit Bucket:” Highlights, Lowlights and David Lee

1) The Slow Drip: I’m not one to side with David on much (especially his horrible choice of ties), however, there’s no denying his shrewd instincts when it comes to people and the firm.  “The absence of bad news is not good news” he says to Diane, who seems somewhat oblivious of the soldier ants slowly moving the grains of sand from her kingdom.  While Diane is worried about her seat on the Supreme Court, she’s missing what David is catching – and that’s a mutiny.  It’s a slow drip that she’s not seeing between her meetings with Mandy Post, but it’s there.  If only Julius were around.  He and David would fight about the lack of fourth year texts and life would be grand.

2) Welcome to your Closet: The highlight of the episode for me?  Watching Cary take Alicia to a closet filled with boxes and brooms and saying it was her new office.  Having followed Cary through some seriously unappealing work spaces, this was especially fun to watch.  The best part?  He thought so, too.  If ever I’m having a sad day, I think I’ll put this scene on repeat.

3) Pour a Little Sugar on Me: It’s not a full David Lee experience without his square dish of M&Ms and candy scattered across the boardroom.  My questions: 1) Who eats candy off a boardroom table?  2) What does Veronica see in David?  I mean, really – who knows where that candy dish has been.  3)  This line: Veronica: “You’re a carnivore.  You’re a jungle cat.” Me: “Ewww.”

4) The Golden Gavel: Two things about these scenes: 1) Peter has a ‘gift room?’  This seems like the best and funniest place on earth, especially with Eli lurking around and trying to sleuth items put into storage.  It’s like finding out relatives are coming over and having to go into the basement to track down Great Aunt Judy’s crystal ashtray to put on display, even though you don’t smoke and it actually makes no sense you would have this out anyways.  What I’ve learned here: meetings at the Governor’s office and family gatherings aren’t all that different. 2) Becca is back!  Now that “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23” is over, Becca is back as the “B” of Illinois, which is fun and surprising development.  She’s just as evil as before which means we’ll get to see Eli upping his game.  I guess that’s what comes with being Chief of Staff.  Sometimes you have to play in the mud… and sometimes that means paying a price for your golden gavel.

5) If Jesus Says So: The only thing better than having Grandma Veronica come to visit is seeing Uncle Owen.  This week, Grandma V was in fine form as she took Grace shopping and came home uttering the words, “Jesus has no problem with Grace looking her best.”  Even Zack is concerned – but that probably has a bit to do with last week’s findings that Grace has made the list of hot politician’s daughters.  This year, I sense, is going to be a family disaster.  The best part?  We haven’t even seen Owen or Jackie (or Jackie’s caregiver/lover, Cristian!) yet.  Once these three resurface, anything could happen.

6) I’ve Got Your Back:  Eli is backing Peter who is backing Diane who is backing Will.  It’s a strange yet comfortable place for everyone, as individually, each of these characters have connections with each other.  Though, when push comes to shove, I’m not sure they would if the roles were at all reversed.  For now though, everything is bliss as Peter tries to get Diane elected to the Supreme Court.  Well, bliss for everyone but the Chief Justice, who it now seems Peter has something on… and maybe for Diane who has avoided selling Will out for the last year, until maybe now.  Okay, so it’s not bliss for anyone, except maybe Will who doesn’t seem to know anything is happening with Diane, the missing gavel, the firm or Alicia.  I sense a rude awakening coming and the only good that can come of that is the hope Will’s sisters will once again surface.

Favourite Guest Star:

There’s no question for me this week: Dreama Walker as Becca.  She’s just so manipulative and sly – kind of like a young Colin Sweeney.  She’s one of those characters you love to hate and that’s what makes her so compelling to watch.  Of course, the fact she could be the undoing of Eli’s sanity is always an entertaining plus.

What did you think of, “The Bit Bucket?”  What were your highlight and lowlight moments?  Sound off in the comments below!

Up Next: "A Precious Commodity"

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