Voicemails and elevators are two pretty mundane things, but on The Good Wife they are an important part of the emotional fabric. Elevators have been home to overflowing feelings on both ends of the spectrum from guttural sobs to kisses that have been a long time coming; after seven seasons we know how important this location can be. But it isn’t an elevator encounter which delivers the gut punch this week as it is the turn of voicemails in the Alicia Florrick devastation bingo. If she didn’t already have a drink on the go I would suggest she grab one after Eli’s soul unburdening.
The last time this show dealt with voicemails it was after Will’s death and the one he left Alicia just before he was shot and killed. The one which was so vague that it plagued Alicia with thoughts of what he was calling to talk to her about; was he still angry at her? Or was it going to be a declaration of love? It could have been something and nothing, but she was left with no answers and a choice in her interpretation. Alicia ends that “The Last Call” in a cold embrace with Peter picturing the best case scenario with Will declaring his love in what is essentially another version of the voicemail Eli deleted six years ago. The voicemail that Eli tells Alicia about at the end of “KSR.”
Eli’s been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster this year; losing his job, falling in love and trying to do right by Alicia. Okay out of those three things I have a hard time with the Courtney Paige relationship because there is very little heat between the actors and they come across as friends far more than lovers.
Now the Alicia thing is another story and while I think Eli deeply cares about Alicia I don’t believe he has been thinking about that deleted voicemail for the last six years. Maybe when Will died he thought about it especially as the phone call from Kalinda mirrors the original situation, but he is far too detached for it to be eating away at him. Although really that is Eli doubling down on the spin to try and gain favor from Alicia. And if she was looking at me in the same way she was looking at Eli I would be scrambling too.
What does this whole thing mean other than opening up the Will wound? Alicia already knew he had left a voicemail way back when (although Will never told her about the contents of the second voicemail), but Eli’s retroactive about turn is more about her relationship with Eli than the path not traveled. Is she meant to dwell on the idea that she could have left Peter long ago? Or is she instead meant to consider how fucked up it is that her personal life has been so open to outside influence? Eli says he wants her to be happy, but we just saw him rooting through her office looking for whatever Jason had left her. Which turned out to be a book relating to her case and nothing sexy as Eli probably thought it would be. A box of mini tacos perhaps.
Eli’s voicemail confession comes after he has had his own heartbreak and I will freely admit that the mere mention of Will’s ‘what could have been’ is enough to have me reaching for the tissues. But as with much of this season I’m not sure what the overall point is and Eli’s conflict is certainly interesting and yet it doesn’t necessarily feel earned. I get that he’s finally seeing there is a world beyond politics, but his ‘love affair’ has lacked any kind of spark especially in comparison to the killer scenes between Alan Cumming and Julianna Margulies.
Another arc which has suddenly come to a head is the oldies vs. youngsters at Lockhart, Agos and Lee. Cary has been straddling the generations and not really winning either camp over and now all the mini-Carys have mutinied. Once again this is an interesting resolution to a storyline which has been meandering all season. Although points must first be awarded to the return of Cary’s hoodie and Matt Czuchry’s excellent confused face.
Look he even brought donuts! And the opening of this episode with the 8 iPhones lined up and an empty office is totally Twilight Zone-esque. Now I want to see The Good Wife pull a Felicity.
Ticking clocks and schemes are two things I love to see on this show and so maybe it has all been a bit directionless for Cary this year, but goddamn did I enjoy seeing him get one over on those smug douchebags. Even more so when Diane looked as proud as she did. Plus there was high fiving.
In fun things that Lucca Quinn wore this week we have a series of different prints.
We also found out over drinks that Lucca avoids disappointment by not expecting anything from anyone and while we still don’t know that much about her on a deeper level, between this scene and how good she is in court my Lucca Quinn crush is still strong.
Control and Alicia’s sense of taking charge is something I have discussed a lot this season and this Eli confession is going to deeply impact their relationship. Alicia has always been aware of a certain aspect of meddling from Eli in her personal life, but this opens up a huge old wound and I’m not sure how Eli is going to regain her trust after this bombshell. It’s not just about the what could have been with Will; instead it is about the overall commitment to Peter’s political career that Alicia has made. Hopefully this will add focus when we return in the new year as while these episodes are enjoyable there needs to be something more. Especially if this turns out to be the final season.