The Good Wife, Unethical Shortcomings and Simply Being a Lawyer

5 Jan

The Good Wife sure knows how to start the year with a flurry of emotions and it looked like Cary’s future would involve swapping pocket squares and suits for a jumpsuit. Before watching “Hail Mary” I was pretty sure I wanted The Good Wife to see this story through; not because I want to see Cary in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (far from it), but it felt like a bold story choice and I had concerns the easy less interesting route would be another case of Kalinda finding a magical piece of evidence in the eleventh hour. Instead it has created an entirely different tangled mess for Kalinda and one which will probably play a big part in Archie Panjabi’s well publicized exit arc.

Cary’s predicament allows for self-reflection and his future is this big blurry mess of nothing; what do you do when the one thing you were sure of is taken away?

The Good Wife 6.11 Hail MaryAlicia is prepping for her imminent debate with Prady meaning she is once again absent from the majority of the Cary race against the clock – episodes which involve a tight time deadline like this are always a favorite of mine – but she is more involved than she has previously been much to Eli’s annoyance. Alicia still remains out of the loop and because everything is taking place over the phone (like every call with Kalinda since season 4) she does unknowingly slip up when she mentions to Cary that all hope is not lost.

Corruption is a shared theme between these two storylines as Alicia’s debate focuses on the unethical shortcomings of the current and past SA office. Yep, Alicia isn’t holding back on Peter’s shortcomings. Kalinda meanwhile is pulling every move she can to try and save Cary from going to jail including tampering and changing evidence to make it look like an email had been read, when in fact it had been sent to a spam folder and deleted without ever being seen. It’s not like Kalinda hasn’t ever broken the law or gone to extremes but there is something about this move which has me very worried for where she is heading.

Bishop’s kitchen shouldn’t be terrifying but it has been the center of many heated conversations and Kalinda pushed him too far in the last episode; just look at how small and nervous she looks in this location. Kalinda has a couple of pressing concerns as not only is she in Bishop’s favor debt and awaiting a phone call all episode to say what said favor is, but she has now hacked a police officer’s email account to exonerate Cary. And she didn’t need to do either. Well, maybe the Bishop favor for finding Cary a jail friend isn’t needed, but that phone call is the catalyst for realizing there was an import/export error in the first place so that one can stand. It is the other part that really wasn’t necessary.

The Good Wife 6.11 kalindaKalinda is usually the evidence finding unicorn of The Good Wife and instead the honor of this prize this week goes to the other Carey as he infers from the transcript there is someone else who was part of the Trey Wagner interrogation. This evidence comes late and Diane has already delivered the other Hail Mary of email fakeness and the look on Kalinda’s face when she realizes she is too late is full on gut punch. Now is the time to praise the face parts acting of all involved with Judge Cuesta overturning Cary’s charges and setting him free as Matt Czuchry once again delivers face crumple perfection along with Christine Baranski. Destroyed all over again and for my worries that Cary would get off due to a technicality I can’t be mad when it delivers performances like this. Plus this isn’t a simple case of evidence equals acquittal as Kalinda’s conflicted reaction all too clearly shows (amazing face parts acting from Archie Panjabi here too).

Teary relief is what happens in the courtroom; when Alicia finds out a rare broad smile is etched all over her face and she lets out an unbridled “WOOH” at what she thinks is an empty parking garage. Turns out Johnny is there and she takes her joy one step further by planting a smooch on his mouth. How much we are meant to read into this moment is unclear as the earlier close up and whispered encouragement definitely cranked up the sexual tension, but it also feels like a spur of the moment emotional release and Johnny just happened to be standing there. No, Alicia is not the kind of person to just randomly kiss anyone and I wonder if Finn had been there whether if she had done the same the power strut that followed would have taken place. I am inclined to believe that it would have been far more than a brief on the lips kiss if it had been the case especially as their debate prep sparring was fully charged in a playful flirty manner even with the mudslinging. They really appeared to be relishing this back and forth until Peter showed up and cockblocked the whole thing, because of course he did. One thing is clear; as chief Alicia/Peter shipper Eli is going to be super pissed at Johnny if he finds out about this parking garage interaction.

Ah yes Peter, and Alicia gets to work her full controlled anger on him as she takes him to task making it clear that she isn’t going to be portrayed as an extension of his current or past administration; Alicia is very much her own woman. It is never not boring to watch Alicia go at Peter like this and I kinda wish she was debating her husband instead of Prady next week. Going into the why of this decision to go for State’s Attorney and Alicia strips it down to the basics mirroring the reason why she likes the law; it is all about control and she believes that she can put the job before self-interests. Of course she doesn’t mention the real more base levels as to why she is running – Gloria Steinem encouragement and Castro’s goading – and this idea of simply being a lawyer when stacked up against all the political machinations that come with this job could be a pipe dream.

Mirroring Alicia’s “simply a lawyer” notion from another angle is Cary as he ponders what his life will look like after all of this; all he has ever wanted to be is a lawyer and now he can’t figure anything out. I think we are meant to wonder if Cary is going to take Bishop’s Spain offer but Bill, his prison consultant (The Wire’s Domenick Lombardozzi) has already pointed out the obvious regarding how terrible Cary would be as an outlaw. Even if that is a very healthy looking bank account.

The ethical line is constantly shifting on The Good Wife particularly when the stakes are huge and there is no way this isn’t going to come back to haunt Kalinda in one way or another, which could also impact Cary in a devastating manner.

Bonus style time and I couldn’t end this first Good Wife post of 2015 without mentioning the red coat Alicia wore in her parking garage smooch and stomp of glory:

The Good Wife 6.11 DVF coatThis coat looks familiar and that’s because it is from the same coat family as one of my ultimate costume pieces; the Diane von Furstenberg Cosima coat from Orphan Black. Alicia’s has a different collar design and is the ‘Mikhaila.’ It is not surprising to see Alicia wearing this color when she pulls this defiant move.


5 Responses to “The Good Wife, Unethical Shortcomings and Simply Being a Lawyer”


  1. Divided Attention on The Good Wife | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 13, 2015

    […] partners are unhappy with her absence and the main focus has been on Cary’s trial. Now Cary has been exonerated it is back to business as usual for the firm, but Alicia is still running for State’s […]

  2. Feeling Bad on The Good Wife | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 2, 2015

    […] whether to protect herself or the child in question and it is unnerving to see her so unnerved; Bishop’s kitchen continues to be a hotbed of terrifying tension. If only Marissa Gold could be a bodywoman to […]

  3. Seeing into the Mind of Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife – “I Just Had a Thought” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 9, 2015

    […] lets her guard down and does not what she thinks she should do, but what she wants to do such as the car park kiss a few episodes ago. Generally she sticks to the ‘good girl’ Saint Alicia brand that has […]

  4. Repeating the Cycle on The Good Wife | TV Ate My Wardrobe - April 13, 2015

    […] is a sense of déjà vu in the goings on at the firm thanks to Kalinda’s tampering with evidence in Cary’s case and now they are back in a similar position with Diane facing jail time unless […]

  5. Paranoia Runs Wild on The Good Wife | TV Ate My Wardrobe - February 22, 2016

    […] like the same office where she had a very chaste moment with Finn Polmar. I know there was some John shenanigans as well last season, but eh there was nowhere near the heat as with either of these other potential […]

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