30 September, 2013

The Good Wife: "Everything is Ending" Like a Westside Story Brawl

Season 5, Episode 1 | Original Air Date: Sunday, September 30, 2013

They say good things come to those who wait.  Well, I've been waiting patiently since the end of April for this season premiere and I didn't show up to be disappointed.  Luckily, I wasn't.  Mostly.  There was that whole, ‘we’re off the merry-go-round’ commentary and, yes, the kids still appear to be around… so it wasn't everything I had hoped, but I’m willing to put in more time to see where this goes.

Was it The Good Wife’s strongest premiere?  In my opinion, no.  But was it entertaining?  Yes.  Did it set the stage for what’s sure to be an exciting first quarter?  Absolutely.  And did it make me want more?  You bet.

To kick off this season, I’m going to look straight at the heart of the matter – the five things that are changing the face of The Good Wife.  As always, please feel free to sound off in the comments below!

1)      Rolling in the Deep

As Adele says, “We could have had it all…” but at Lockhart Gardner I’m not sure that’s the case with anyone.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  David Lee might have it all, what with his smarmy antics, his Bluetooth and his bowl of candy.  Everyone else is left with a piece of a pie that always seems a day or two away from expiration.  I mean, look at Monica from litigation, wheeling around as a robot in an attempt to telecommute.  Alicia is there opening doors, carrying in Monica’s stick stand and peeling off the paper happy faces someone stuck to her screen.  The more things change at Lockhart Gardner, the more they stay the same... like a clown car driving in the narrow lane of crazy at the intersection of total destruction and prosperity.  Still, I love this firm.

However, with the upheaval of Lockhart/Gardner is now a rolling simmer, breaking the surface like a sauce that hasn’t been stirred quite enough, and Alicia has been put in an awkward position that I don’t think her other fourth year colleagues are mature enough to understand.  Alicia is coming into this new partnership with more experience – and not just in age – but in life.  She is the Governor’s wife.  She has raised a family.  She is an equity partner at Lockhart Gardner.  The other associates just want their bonuses… and maybe a nice bottle of Scotch.  For Alicia, leaving the firm that gave her a chance at a second career – leaving Will and Diane… and Will… did I mention Will? – means more than almost any other choice in her life and a rumble in a parking garage – like a Westside story Jets/Sharks showdown – isn’t going to change that fact.  With David Lee on the prowl (and now signed to a full-time acting gig on The Good Wife, I might add), things are going get worse before they get better, and Alicia is going to be the one left in the crossfire.  People will be disappointed in Cary.  But it will be nothing compared to how they feel about Alicia.

2)      The case of the Cary’s

There are few things I enjoy more on The Good Wife than Cary and Alicia sharing a drink and talking.  Cary is sort of like the new Kalinda.  He’s also sort of like Will in this new firm marriage.  Basically, Cary is the new everything and I can’t get enough.  Apparently he’s also the *first* Cary, as a random fourth year, also named Carey, has surfaced.  I’m not entirely sure why they felt the need to confuse the Cary/Carey situation (which is made slightly more complicated in my life as my name is also Kari… yet I rarely write in third person – a decision that is saving us all at this point) – but they did.  Speculation on this dramatic device is welcome.  

3)      My What a Big Office You Have…

Peter is finally out of his campaign bus and back in an office.  I can’t say I’m disappointed in this upgrade of surroundings as all the bus shenanigans were making my eyes bleed.  As someone firmly on the ‘Florrick for Governor, Gardner for Life’ bandwagon, I’m glad to see he’s in cushy quarters, reviewing important documents on a comfy couch and getting caught up in all kinds of things that are bound to explode/turn ugly/ruin his marriage again in what can only be assumed will be a few short episodes.  Did I mention her name is Marilyn?  Eli is already concerned, Peter has already admitted she’s “too pretty” and now Marilyn has been bumped from the ethics commission over to the transit department.  Eli is painting it as an upgrade, but let’s face it – buses aren't as fancy as ethics.  Not even campaign buses.

4)      Calling the new Chief of Staff

Now that Peter is Governor, he’s looking to fill out his administration with the best-of-the-best.  It’s likely to involve a little back scratching here and there, but now he’s in, things should mostly be on the up-and-up.  Oh sure there is that little thing called ‘ballot tampering’ and yes, Will Gardner has some evidence in his back pocket that might surface at some point this season… and then there’s Marilyn, whose looks could be compared strongly to those of Amber Madison… but aside from these small annoyances, the Florrick camp has everything going for it.  The only thing that could make things better?  Adding Eli to the payroll as Chief of Staff.  If Obama has McDonough, why shouldn't Florrick have Gold?  Eli’s smart, well-versed in the family Florrick and can spot a scandal a mile away.  He’s the perfect fit.  Also, he’s better when he’s not at Lockhart Gardner stirring up trouble, throwing tantrums with David Lee and drinking the firm’s espresso. 

The idea of Eli as Peter’s Chief of Staff is something I hadn’t considered but I think it’s a fabulous development.  It’s either that or hiring Geneva Pine.  I wouldn't be against that either.  She’s super sassy and it’s a move that would definitely help all the speculation around Peter’s racial bias.  Also, she rocks a suit/pony tail combo better than anyone.  I’m not saying that’s a reason to hire her, I’m just saying I think she can probably get ready at the drop of a hat, which in a crisis can be handy.  Perhaps some office Olympics, “Geneva vs. Eli” is in order.  I’d watch that, wouldn't you?

5)      Round and Round

I’ll be honest.  I was more than a little disappointed with the Team Gardner situation in this premiere.  When last we saw these two, they were having an epic moment in Will’s car.  For those of you who need a reminder, it looked something like this:

Now, it’s like the car never happened, the kiss never happened and Will never said, “to hell with bad timing – we talk.”  It’s like I made it all up.  Which I didn't.  I swear.  Things seem more off the rails than ever before, especially now Will has thrown out this ‘we were on a merry-go-round and now we’re not’ crap.  Remind me why we aren't on the merry-go-round anymore?  Weren't  we just there… like last night?  I’m confused.

Sadly, I think things are going to get worse for these two before they get better.  With the impending firm implosion, Will is set to lose his cool with Alicia.  That said, in “Red Team, Blue Team,” that worked to the Team Gardner advantage, so maybe all bets are off.  Until I know more, I’ll happily sip tea from my Team Gardner mug and hope that Alicia leaving the firm will give her the distance she needs to make this “Will thing” happen.  Come on Kings – you can do it!

Quote of the Episode
Alicia: “Everything is ending…”

Cary: “…Beginning, too.”

Ahhhh.  Every time I read this quote I feel inspired and warmed (unlike how I felt when this whole 'Grace is suddenly on the 10 Hottest Politician's Daughters list' story surfaced) – like Christmas shopping while sipping something drizzled in cinnamon syrup.  The best part?  It’s appropriate to the premiere and my life.  Within the next four weeks the firm of Florrick, Agos and Associates will begin to take shape, Lockhart Gardner won’t ever be the same… and I’m going to have a baby.   On The Good Wife, everything seems like a new beginning – and it’s always Cary who likes to remind us that change can be good.  Personally, I agree, and not just because I’m about to grow the Team Gardner fan base by one (yes, the baby knows it has to pick a side – and that side is Gardner).  With that, I’m going to do my best to keep this blog as timely as possible. I might not always be able to post within 24 hours of the episode, but I’m going to try!

Favourite Guest Star

Without question, Jeffery Tambor as Judge Klugar.  It may have been because I wanted him to say, "There's always money in the banana stand," but either way, he was a solid judge that didn't tip the scales on being overly dramatic or whimsical.  We had Moni-bot for that dose of humor.

Here’s to season five – where, I have a feeling, anything goes!
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