Throwing in the Towel on The Good Wife

28 Mar

All the pieces are moving into place as we enter the final stretch of this final Good Wife season and “Unmanned” shifts things further forward with some big declarations of the quitting variety. Over at the firm yet another reshuffle is in the works and the enthusiasm with which Cary is fighting it mirrors how tired this particularly plot point is and it is one the writers acknowledge in his conversation with Alicia. The staring at the ceiling is another good indicator of how tiresome this game of musical firms has become. In fact the word ‘tired’ is in frequent use this week from Cary’s demeanor and general feelings to Alicia’s reaction to her visit from Peter at the end of the episode; she is too tired to fight him on this whole divorce thing.

Oh yes about that and it was pretty wonderful to hear Alicia utter those four magical words as she continues to give none of the fucks this season. Peter has cockblocked her one too many times and now she isn’t going to stand for this charade they call a marriage, but Peter being Peter is in political and legal trouble so he needs a favor. That favor being quite a big one as he is willing to grant Alicia’s divorce wish with a caveat; it will take place after the whole indictment business is over. If anyone gets a whiff of Alicia’s plan then it will look like she is leaving him because he is guilty and as with where The Good Wife started he needs her standing by his side.The Good Wife 7.18 AliciaWe don’t get to see Alicia’s answer this week and in the past I would have automatically assumed it would be a yes. While I am still inclined to believe that Alicia is likely to stand by Peter (for the sake of the kids), there is part of me that thinks she will heed Ruth’s recent advice; if Peter goes down then he might end up taking her down with him and she has worked hard to get to where she is now. The Florrick name has opened many doors and in fact this name is part of Diane’s argument as to why Alicia should become a named partner. That name might become poison, but a divorce might protect Alicia from the fallout.

Not that this is why she has finally got to this point and it isn’t about Peter interrupting her very happy sex schedule either; she’s just tired of this shit that comes with being married to Peter even though they haven’t lived together in years and as with Cary’s decision she just can’t be bothered any more. For Cary he can just walk away and think about his options, it is slightly more complicated in Alicia’s case because of this very real indictment that isn’t just going to go away. Excellent use of a black trench with Alicia making her entrance and feelings very clear when she walked in unannounced into Peter’s office. It has been a good week for this classic garment.

Last week I discussed how The Good Wife is not going to end with Alicia in love; that isn’t what this show is about and if it was well that all ended when Will died. In fact Peter scoffs at what he believes are Alicia’s romantic notions delivering the low blow of “This must be true love. Again.” That knife twist doesn’t get the response he was probably expecting as Alicia tells him “This is me not caring” and I love it when Alicia is in this kind of mood. Love has nothing to do with what has been going on with Jason. Instead this is Alicia having fun for the first time in 20 years with a man that she doesn’t have deeper ties to. It isn’t like Will with their bad timing and complicated work/life setup and it isn’t a Peter repeat having to perform the role of ‘the good wife.’ Currently there are no strings other than the really amazing sex they are having right now.

Striking the work/life balance comes into focus with the return of Anna Camp as former Lockhart/Gardner junior associate Caitlin. Caitlin left back in season 3 to start a family and she has just returned to practicing the law, coming up against Diane and Alicia in court this week. Way back when Alicia advised her not to make the same mistakes she did by focusing on family instead of work and she tells Alicia “I guess you were right. I never should’ve left.” Caitlin is now separated from her husband (who she mentions is in Las Vegas with a telling nod) and she is raising her daughter alone, but Alicia disagrees with this sentiment now. And I’m wondering if this is just a one off appearance from Camp or whether Caitlin will be asked to join the new yet to be re-titled firm.

One costuming aspect to note with Caitlin is that she has taken style cues from both Diane and Alicia.The Good Wife 7.17 CaitlinThe Good Wife 7.18 CaitlinBoth black and white and the floral is distinctly Diane. The first one is more Alicia and reminds me a little of one of my ultimate fave Alicia costumes.

One person whose style is very much her own is Lucca and this week’s Lucca outfit delight comes courtesy of this RED Valentino cherry print number.The Good Wife 7.18 LuccaExcellent clothing aside, Lucca is in the less than fun position of being caught in the middle between what is going on at the top of the firm and she gets to hear David Lee emphatically declare “I outrank Alicia” when he tasks her with a huge (and probably pointless) assignment. Cush Jumbo works wonders with the tiny amount that she has been given in this latter half of the season, but would it be too much to ask for her to get a something more to do than being Alicia’s sounding board?

David Lee’s plan evolves this week from challenging Diane’s all lady power structure to welcoming it with a twist; he now wants to rinse the firm for everything they have and leave it in pieces. Cary has had enough of this power play structure and with four episodes to go he quits the firm. This season has not been good to Cary what with his battle with Howard and whatever the hell else he has been up to and it is unclear what these final few episodes have in store for him. One thing is Peter’s indictment as he has been subpoenaed – most likely because of his time working for him – and he warns Alicia this is “not good.”The Good Wife 7.18 CarySomeone else who is feeling the heat with this case is Eli who has been put in the ultimate catch-22 situation; either he helps bring Peter down or Marissa will be forced to testify against Eli regarding that little bit of warning a judge about a bribery sting operation. Awkward. Eli enlists Diane as his lawyer and she works her magic for now, but this is not going away. The case against Peter was why Eli originally came on board the Florrick train and it is fitting in a way that this is how the series is playing out for Eli.

The question is who will stand by Peter; Alicia, Eli, anyone?

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