Escalation is one strategy used to achieve results on The Good Wife and for several of the characters in this seventh season this has been a key tactic. Eli continues his schemes against Ruth with varying results and over at Lockhart, Agos they are dealing with a disagreement which is impacting relationships with clients. For Alicia and Lucca, their first case officially working together – Lucca answered yes to Alicia’s martini laced question – involves varying extremes of upping the stakes as they go from pursuing a debt collecting agency to a for-profit school.
The Alicia/Lucca partnership is in the fun early stages and they are still figuring things out such as how much they charge an hour. You would think that would be one of the first things to address, but getting cases is the priority. Grace points out the importance of money and while they have not given an explanation as to why she is not at school (when is she meant to graduate?), she is proving useful by reminding her mother that they have bills to pay. The particulars of this case constantly evolve throughout the episode and The Good Wife continues its fun hot streak. Spending a week away from the frantic atmosphere of bond court is much needed, particularly when arbitration is held in such a chilled out setting. The fact that even in season 7 they are finding new ways to present cases is an achievement, even more when all three plot points are threaded together in a cohesive and not too coinkydink fashion.
And speaking of fashion; Lucca continues her reign as the new Good Wife style queen from the teal number with striped cuffs above to injecting a little bit of leather in arbitration.
Leather will always be synonymous with Kalinda, but that hasn’t stopped costume designer Daniel Lawson from using it this season with faux Kalinda investigator sharing this style penchant with her predecessor to Diane’s amazing matching leather skirt and jacket combo. Lucca is all about mixing prints and textures and this is no exception. It also looks like Alicia has been raiding Diane’s wardrobe with this patterned jacket choice.
There is also this fantastic kaleidoscope floral dress and as with their working practices Lucca’s style is far bolder than Alicia’s. Lucca is the one that wants to take things to the next level when they get sued and this is a good thing as sometimes Alicia is in danger of playing it safe. It could cause conflict at a later date, but for now they are a very match for each other and a successful partnership is not about having the same style or opinions on everything. They do have their simpatico moments with shared emphatic objections and there is a fair amount of reading the situation in a similar way.
Lucca isn’t the only one working out in Alicia’s current work situation and Jeffrey Dean Morgan continues to light up the screen with so much grufty sexual magnetism I almost inclined to say “Finn who?” I say almost because I am not going to forget that missed opportunity for a long time. Jason is all kinds of wonderful this week and proves his very low hourly rate just by sitting there wearing glasses. He also tracks down the scam artist and gets Maggie’s money back while also preventing someone else from falling foul of this scheme. All while smoldering and being super casual. There is a darkness to his persuasive tactics, but Alicia has always been a fan of the bad boy.
The episode ends with another unanswered question posed by Alicia and never has “what do you drink?” sounded so much like an invitation in as it does here. Also this dress works so much better without the jacket.
One of their tactics against this for-profit school is to introduce a debt strike and it was Eli and his magically raised plotting eyebrow that suggested this move. Eli has a week of ups and downs with his current employment situation going from outright glee at the media coverage of Peter’s position on unions to despair at Peter’s positive poll numbers. Marissa returns this week (much to my delight) and she is concerned about her father’s spiraling. Eli’s motivations aren’t exactly covert and she knows he is trying to get back at Peter; to counter she has found him an amazing job opportunity to get him out of this mess. All Marissa needs is some cereal and for Alicia to make it look like she is firing him.
Alicia does her part and is very convincing when she dismisses him pointing out that she knows he is using her. This doesn’t have the desired effect and when Eli later tells her he isn’t going anywhere she doesn’t fight him because she knows there is no changing his mind. The debt strike tactic pits Alicia against Peter’s current union position and Ruth is furious at him for how much this is messing with her campaign. At the moment this Ruth versus Eli story is going gangbusters, but there is a danger that it could become quite repetitive and I am proceeding with caution.
The link between all three plots this week is the food service union boss, Ronnie Erickson and this is where the Cary/Howard battle hits breaking point. Howard has informed Erickson of Cary’s temporary home last year and causes major embarrassment for Cary when it becomes clear that they think he is some kind of criminal. Diane has had enough and to stop a lawsuit (because Howard is in a protected class) she hosts a mediation to air grievances and work through them. This has varying results and it turns out that their jokes about Howard’s age have set the tone for other employees. Howard shows the types of products which have been left in his office such as adult diapers and a bib; this is work place bullying and it puts Howard in an entirely sympathetic position. Yes jokes are made about everyone, but they shouldn’t breed this kind of degrading behavior.
Cary does raise the question of whether Howard planted those products himself and while we can’t be a hundred percent certain of their veracity, I am inclined to believe that Howard is telling the truth on this occasion as he appears to be genuinely hurt. This results in sensitivity training giving us this wonderful moment, which Howard definitely milks for sympathy.
There is a lot of legal chicken this week and not a whole lot of backing down. Eli is still intent on his current mission, but the Lockhart, Agos dispute looks like it might be sorted (for now). Alicia and Lucca have proved themselves to be a formidable team and I am looking forward to seeing who they will take on next.