17 February, 2013

The Good Wife: "Red Team Blue Team" – The Elephant is Back

Season 4, Episode 14 | Original Air Date: Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some fascinating things happened in The Good Wife this week – and I’ll get to all of them – but not before I celebrate a little first.


Because Team Gardner FINALLY got a reunion kiss!  I've been waiting for this moment for 24 episodes.  But who’s counting?  Oh wait.  Me. It was like “Heart” and “A New Day” rolled into a delicious passion-infused package… and it was amazing.  Like ‘pass me a paper bag I’m losing my mind’ amazing. 

But before I get into my dream scene, I must first back-up, because this story’s too good not to share.

Money in the Bank
It was a chilly day in February.  Actually, no.  It wasn't.  Well, maybe it was, but who are we to know?  All we’re given at the beginning of this episode is a laundry list of clients who seem to be paying their bills to Lockhart Gardner… in gold bars.  Chum Hum?  That was a win.  Cha-ching.  Sweeney?  He and his turkey baster secretly (or not) love Alicia, so they’re paying their invoices.  Bishop?  Sure, his legit businesses are money pits, but the illegal dealings are handsomely paying the bills.  What this means?  Lockhart Gardner is out of debt.  Not only that, they've got $113 million in the bank.

I'm sorry.  What?  When did this happen?  I feel like I missed six months.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know the Chum Hum win was big and that Sweeney and Bishop are high-rollers (and both deliciously diabolical and definitely on my ‘must-see again before the end of season four list’) but seriously.  How could they get this far out of debt in one episode?  Yes, we had a three week hiatus, and I’m willing to be somewhat lenient on their timelines, but being debt-free after having an entire season built on the drama of the firm’s survival is this side of crazy town.  Now, I love The Good Wife writers – I think they do an incredible job – but I can’t help but wonder why they ended this arc so abruptly.  Was it because things weren’t going to be fun without Clarke lurking over Cary’s shoulder?  Or was it because everyone is a little sick of Lockhart Gardner being unable to manage any of their finances?  Either way, nothing prepared me for David Lee unofficially assuming the role of resident accountant.  I imagine him sitting at his desk calculating profits by moving M&Ms from one column to another.  He’s dastardly… and evil… and I’m not sure why he hasn't been overthrown.

In any case, all the equity partners are high-fiving and talking about all the champagne they’re going to drink when the beloved lover of early-bird specials, Howard Lyman, stands up and mentions all of the offers of equity partnership they threw out in an act of desperation.  Diane, in an attempt to be loyal to those she used only days (months? Who knows, I’m confused) earlier, says the offers should be honored.  Will agrees – no takesies backsies.  No one else cares though; Time to go crush some dreams.

Challenge Accepted
Who better to break bad news than David Lee?  All signs point to this being his favourite time of day – the time when he shatters people’s realities and then offers them chocolate like it makes up for anything he’s ever said.  Heading into Alicia’s office, we knew he was going to drop the bomb: Alicia’s offer for equity partnership has been delayed a year.  Why?  Well, why not?  The firm needs some “time.”  Great.  He didn't even bring his germ-covered candy dish to this meeting.

Now I’m mad.  This was the worst decision the equity partners could have made, proving the firm has zero loyalty to anyone.   While I found myself yelling at my TV, “this is garbage!” I realized this is the game of The Good Wife.  It’s all about how far the characters can be pushed until they fight back.

With Cary, Alicia and the other fourth years all out of luck, there was nothing left to do but hold a mutiny meeting in Alicia’s living room.  With Grace and Zach eavesdropping like two pesky flies, the five associates decide to band together and take all of the firm’s high net-worth clients out for lunch.  It’s all about business development, seeing if the clients are happy and stirring the pot.  Genius!

Florrick Agos and Associates
Before Alicia could hand Cary a Tupperware filled with tomorrow’s lunch (which, by the way, I LOVED that she packed him leftovers!), Cary suggested the one thing I've been thinking for years: They go into business together.  If they pooled their equity partnership funds, they would have money for a start-up firm.  They could almost surely secure some of the Lockhart Gardner’s top clients and in a flash they’d be the eighth biggest firm in Chicago. Pa chow!  Cary Agos, I didn't think I could like you any more… but I was wrong.  

Meanwhile, back at the office, Cary and Alicia are teamed up against Diane and Will for a mock trail surrounding the death of a girl who drank “Thief,” a hyper-caffeinated energy drink.  With the mandate to ‘give it your all’ and ‘come at us hard,’ Alicia and Cary put all of their energy into winning.  Of course, this meant hiring Kalinda for $400/hour and channeling the rage from the partnership deferral into the courtroom.  The result?  A resounding win for Florrick and Agos, but not before an epic encounter between Alicia and Will…

Good Timing
Will, hot off the heels of having his ego handed to him on a silver platter in court, headed to the office for some late-night business.  Or Scotch.  Either way, he got off the elevator (my favourite set) in a flurry and headed down to Alicia’s office. 

Will: You got a problem, you bring it to me, you don’t take it to court. 
Alicia: What? I’m a lawyer.  You asked us! 
Will: We asked you to take this seriously. 
Alicia: I am taking this seriously! 
Will: You’re losing us a client. 
Alicia: That’s not my fault! 
Will: It damn well is your fault. 
Alicia: Well then take us off of it! Fire us! Get rid of us! 
Will: Oh, is that what you want, huh? That’s what these meetings with clients – is that what this is about?! 
Alicia: Oh my god. Listen to yourself Will. You are not the injured party here. 
Will: Oh what, and you are? 
Alicia: I AM. YES!

Will looked at Alicia looking at him and he couldn't help but kiss her, because a) it’s the best decision he will have made all day b) he loves her c) he feels bad about the equity partner schmaz-fest and d) it’s been 24 freaking episodes and Team Gardner fans deserve a little love, too!

Oh yes, and is if Will leaning in wasn't good enough, Alicia 100% kissed him back.  Take that “Mom pick up the phone” ringtone.  Take that.

That Awkward Moment When...
So, Alicia ran out of her office and somehow made it home without grabbing her purse or keys.  Meh – the details aren’t important here because we should all still be reeling from the gloriousness of that kiss and the face we’re (I’m) still hyperventilating… and also that we've (I've) watched that scene six (or more) times already.  Let’s flash forward.  The verdict in the mock case was unanimous:  “Thief” didn't have a leg to stand on and was off to settle for $12 million.  That left Will and Alicia with some time to talk.  

Alicia: What are we going to do?
Will: I don't know.  It was a weak [but amazing] moment.

Their official verdict?  They shouldn't be alone in the same room together and Alicia is sorry… for basically everything in life.  Will, with his sad, but understanding eyes, knowingly agreed that this was just another example of bad timing. 

While we aren't left with a proclamation of love, we have been given a renewed sense of hope.  The elephant is back in the room and that’s all we need.

Congratulations, Alicia Florrick
The next day, David strolled into Alicia’s office with a new offer: Of the five fourth-year associates, she was the one they were picking to take the single new equity partner spot.  Alicia accepted.  Cary congratulated her and said it was the right move.  Alicia, now strong allies with Cary (and not just because he has her Tupperware) made the bold move of saying now they can get what they want – she can work to sway the other partners.  Could Alicia be working to further her own interests with Cary while taking Lockhart Gardner along for the ride?  It’s what they've done with her… and I for one am definitely open to her playing the game. 

Elsbeth and Eli, Sitting in a Tree
In other news, Elsbeth and Eli are busy fighting with the FBI over wire taps, dirty calls and cutting a few political deals.  New on the scene is Josh Perrotti (the ever-handsome Kyle MacLachlan), whose character is strangely matched by Elsbeth’s whimsical brilliance.  In the minefield of bizarre, these two dance around like nimble woodland creatures in search of the next song to sing or petticoat to fluff.  It’s an intoxicating match-up as they both one-up each other’s last move.  Even the offer of biscotti won’t sway Elsbeth, which was good news for Eli as he strapped on a wire and pretended to lure Jordan into a trap.  Instead, Eli ended up at David LaGuardia’s office (Remember him? The accordion-playing agent who raided Eli’s office after they met in a diner and shared a bottle of hot sauce?).  The result: A confession that Josh had forged documents to get Eli’s phone tapped… which means the taps they have are inadmissible.  Poor Josh.  All he wanted was a dinner date, but instead, he was Tascionied. 

Predictions to Ponder
While we have another hiatus for the Academy Awards, March is looking to be fully stacked with four new episodes.  Of course, this means there’s plenty of opportunity to ponder and predict how this season is going to play out.  Here are a few things that have crossed my mind:

1) The window of romance for Will and Alicia has once again been opened.  Word on the street is we’re going to get some flashbacks to their relationship from season three, which is sure to please any Team Gardner fan.  I am, however, doubly intrigued by Will’s comment about not being allowed to end up alone in the same room.  Prediction: A case will throw these two together in an unexpected way.  I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but with chemistry like this, Team Gardner could be back in business.

2) David Lee was all about dropping names in “Red Team Blue Team” which always provides a meaningful nudge to the audience as a way of saying, ‘don’t forget!’… as if we could ever erase the image of Sweeney’s smarmy smile from our minds.  I've read that both he and Bishop will make the rounds in the last half of season four – I can’t even imagine what Sweeney will have done… and as for Bishop, here’s hoping they spring from prison.

3) Alicia and Cary will continue to grow as friends and colleagues (working late nights on the floor, exchanging addresses… it’s almost like Cary is Alicia’s second Kalinda, no?) and her loyalty will now secretly defer to him rather than Diane and Will. 

Now, over to you! What did you think of “Red Team Blue Team?”  Do you think Alicia was right to accept the offer of equity partnership?  What do you think of the Team Gardner reunion? 

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