Last season of The Good Wife ended on a rather sour note both for viewers and Alicia Florrick alike as she had to step down from her newly elected position as a result of fraud charges and we had to endure a farewell scene tainted with behind the scenes rumors and green screen phoniness. Season 6 was a huge step down from the triumphant and exhilarating year that came before it and the election plot was a disappointment on the whole; subsequently anticipation levels for this new season are far lower than this time last year. The Good Wife likes to reset itself each season through campaigns and shifting power dynamics with various degrees of success and “Bond” is no different.
Alicia is once again placed at the bottom of the lawyer ladder and this first episode back is really encouraging in how they are not just playing with Alicia’s journey, but with some of the supporting characters too. I should emphasize the ‘some’ of that sentiment as there are still the same issues when it comes to incorporating all of the supporting characters with the Lockhart Agos crew getting a much shorter shrift of things. But let’s focus on the positives first as “Bond” allows Alicia to grow as well as understand her role in the wider picture.
After the SA controversy she can’t get a job except she can, but the one person offering her a position is someone she considers to be ‘the devil.’ Louis Canning has always been after Alicia to join his firm and the more she resists, the more he comes after her. Alicia is fed up of answering to someone and this was part of the reason why she originally left Lockhart/Gardner (#neverforget) to start her own firm with Cary. In the political and legal sphere there is always someone to answer to and what Alicia has been figuring out from the pilot to now is the different degrees of compromise. Public perception plays a big role and she has gone from the victim of one story to potential victim in another – depending on how much people believe the ‘she was duped by her advisers’ angle. Regardless there is an element of naivety and Alicia has to rebuild her image or rehabilitate depending on what role she is playing.
It is all about working those angles so while Alicia is still refusing Canning’s main offer of coming to work for him she is not against taking work from him. In this latter scenario there is the air of independence even if she ultimately knows there is someone pulling the strings, but there always is no matter how much Alicia wants to believe she is answering to no one.
The same can be said for Peter’s campaign and as soon as Alicia gives the word Eli steps into campaign gear, but he ends up approaching the person who will get his job. That person is Ruth Eastman; played by Margo Martindale and I am thrilled she has joined the ever growing list of amazing Good Wife guest stars, especially as her arc is as Eli’s antagonist. Ruth doesn’t quite know what she is going up against with Alicia and this is one scenario where Alicia is comfortable in controlling the level of access she will give. Eli knows this and after a period of wallowing while watching bad Nazi zombie movies he gets a makeover and reveals his dastardly plan to use Alicia to impact Peter’s campaign.
Eli’s wallowing and subsequent rejuvenation in picture form:
So is Eli really going to fuck over Alicia to politically point score? This is where things get complicated as Eli really does care for Alicia even if he can’t quite define what their relationship is; however I also think he feels so betrayed by Peter that he is willing to fuck her over in a way that won’t hurt her, but will impact Peter. Eli knows the whole inner workings of the Florrick marriage and so I think he thinks Alicia won’t object to this plan. He also knows she will be mad as hell if she finds out she is a pawn in his revenge plan. And she will find out.
Alicia is currently a one woman law firm working from home with Grace as her assistant. That is one way to cut down on costs. In an attempt to supplement her finances Alicia is working in bond court or at least attempting to as the judge keeps freezing her out because he thinks she is going to waste his time and Marie Antoinette all over the place. Luckily for Alicia she gets a helping hand from fellow bond lawyer Lucca Quinn who after a couple of gossipy quips sees the value and resilience that makes Alicia Florrick the character to route for. Ladies helping ladies is my sweet spot and so when Alicia stands in for Quinn at bond court, Quinn does her a solid by doing the same in Alicia’s probate hearing. Luckily for Alicia, Quinn is pretty quick thinking and knows her shit. Is this the new lady friendship this show needs?
All signs point to yes and yet I am wary of whether this will be the case as we have been burned in the past. And the show is definitely trolling the audience with this moment.
Quinn is a likable presence even if they threw in the random bit of off screen dancing fury at the end and she also has a fun sense of pattern clashing style which differs greatly from Alicia’s own more conservative court room attire. I am of course a sucker for a polka dot, but it is Cush Jumbo’s energy as Quinn that I am drawn to. It all sounds so sad and yet Alicia really does need a friend with no ulterior motives.
A couple of relationships took a beating last season including the manufactured argument between Alicia and her partners Diane and Cary. The former is still strained; the latter didn’t make an appearance as Cary is languishing between the olds he has to spend time with and the younger associates who he longs to be cool with. Oh, Cary. I hope they can find a better storyline for you. Meanwhile Diane wore one of the most Diane jackets and it is fabulous.
A lot has changed on The Good Wife but a lot has also stayed the same; the Diane/Alicia relationship is a difficult one as there is always something that comes between them. All I want is more martini drinking time and planning to take on the world together. Maybe one day, first they have to work through their feelings of work betrayal with standoffish and awkward conversations.
In Diane style news she also wore this fabulous Proenza Schouler stripe jacket (also worn by Olivia Pope) which she made her own by adding a brooch. This is a good tip for personalizing any item of clothing.
Red is Alicia’s power color and it has been used in season openers in the past to signify a bold change (see post Will hookup in season 3 *sob*). After failing spectacularly at bond court in a safe black suit, Alicia steps up her game by wearing her signature shade. While this doesn’t win her any favors from the judge, she does make a friend in Quinn. The red jacket can work in many ways.
Overall “Bond” is a good start to the new season and while it doesn’t wash away the memories of all the missteps last year it seems poised to take Alicia on an interesting path in what might be the final season (nothing has been confirmed as of yet but there are strong hints this is the case). Alicia is in a similar position job wise as when we first met her – at the bottom – but she has seven years more experience in the legal and political arenas. I am excited to see how she navigates these worlds while trying to stay as independent as she can from all the external influences and if such a thing is possible on The Good Wife.