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Needing to be Needed on The Good Wife or Why “End” is Disappointing

9 May

Alicia didn’t become a lumberjack and nor did she end up with someone other than the mother, but The Good Wife’s finale sure did burn everything to the ground in a way that was incredibly disappointing. I am sitting here staring at my screen wondering what on earth I just watched and why coming full circle means leaving Alicia with nothing. And no you can’t throw in Ghost Will to appease all those other very bad Diane related decisions because it doesn’t work like that and “End” has left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Ultimately if Alicia Florrick needs to be needed what does it mean that she ends up alone?The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia and DianeLet’s start with THE thing that really spun the whole finale on its head and that is Alicia’s decision to zealously represent her client with no regard for her partnership at work. A couple of weeks ago Alicia watched Diane and Kurt looking all happy and asked them what their secret to good coupledom is; at the time I mentioned that Alicia pretty much screamed RELATIONSHIP GOALS  at them. While I am in no way suggesting that getting Lucca to ask about an affair was through jealousy, I do think she went in hard on Peter needing her when a couple of scenes before she was whatevering the whole thing.

There was no looking for another option and while Alicia and Diane were screaming at each other it appeared that Lucca was trying to suggest there was another way; one that didn’t get a follow up and instead Alicia asked Lucca to ask Kurt about a possible affair. We never get to hear the answer because when Diane gets up and leaves the courtroom showing her public disgust and humiliation at this question, we also leave the courtroom too. Considering this evidence is then thrown out I think it is safe to say that Kurt said yes this affair (oh, Kurt) and I don’t get why the torpedoing of Diane’s marriage was the necessary course of action for this finale.

One thing I did get was this idea that Alicia can’t be happy at this place of work which holds so many memories particularly as she refers to this office as having gotten sad and it probably is time for Alicia to move on; but did she have to go out in such a self-destructive and alienating fashion? And while Alicia and Diane are far from the martini drinking besties I wish they were, there is a strong level of respect and going for the jugular like this seems too selfish even by Alicia’s standards this season.

What she has done is dished out a version of her story to Diane all in the name of getting Peter’s plea deal down to probation when he was willing to do two years last week. Some of this is about protecting Grace and her path to college as somehow she was meant to be leaving for Berkeley in the midst of all of this; convenient timing and all that. Grace has deferred for a year and now she doesn’t have to worry about years of visiting her dad in prison. The Good Wife 7.22 Roosevelt hotelIt looks like Lockhart, [insert name here] and Associates is going to need new letterhead paper and signage as that slap suggests Diane is dunzo with Alicia. This puts Alicia in the Peter position mirroring the pilot opening sequence and is that what we are meant to take away from The Education of Alicia Florrick? Everyone is corrupt and will stoop to the lowest level to be left with nothing? We don’t know if Alicia will divorce Peter or if she will go for Eli’s political plan* or if there will be a positive response to her running for office again. God knows I am happy I never have to watch another campaign storyline again.

*I did enjoy seeing The Roosevelt Hotel popping up in the above scene as I got to play New York, not Chicago bingo and because I have stayed there on a couple of occasions. 

The number of loose ends is longer than my quest to find out exactly where Robyn went. Even the things I liked about this final season were given a short shrift with Lucca continuing her role of relationship coach and getting used by Alicia to stick it to Diane. Guess someone else is probably out of a job now.

Random aside alert – if there were to be a spinoff can I suggest a college set series with Cary as a guest lecturer at various institutes where he ends up helping solve cases. Maybe the hoodie can make a return.The Good Wife 7.22 AliciaOne big aspect of “End” is the conversations with dead people aka here is what you could have won. This is the Alicia Florrick version of the exceptional episode “The Giving Tree,” but this not two seasons ago when The Good Wife was creatively on fire and it ends up being wish fulfillment of the worst kind. Don’t get me wrong as I loved seeing Will Gardner on my screen again and the chemistry between Josh Charles and Julianna Margulies crackles as much as it did before; however all this did was underscore where this show has gone wrong over the last two seasons.

Ghost Will (or really Alicia’s imagined version of Will) appears when Alicia is pondering who she would like to see when she gets home from work offering a glass of wine to her. First Jason, then Peter and sadly no surprise appearance from the other one that got away with Finn Polmar. It surprises her when there is magical option number three and as with other Alicia memory pops or in this case fantasy pops she remarks on how stupid it is before leaning into the fantasy and Will. It is a little fan servicy, but I have to admit as someone who was sailing on the Will/Alicia ship this was an all the feelings moment as soon as I realized the Josh Charles returning for the finale rumors were true. Yes I even got teary because that’s what this pairing does.

And it didn’t just end in the kitchen and Alicia’s venture into old files led to a conversation about the law, college and life. It is very cute and there’s no denying how much I enjoyed seeing Alicia flirting with Will, but it also feels like a bit of an emotional cheat. A distraction of sorts and also a way to try and explain Alicia’s thought process without really explaining anything; “It was romantic because it didn’t happen.” The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia and WillAlicia’s asks “What do I do now?” and this is when Ghost Will tells her to go after Jason as her Peter fever is done with and this is what she does at the press conference the following day. Unfortunately she is chasing a guy who isn’t there and this is when the corridor of slapping gets another hit.

Alicia is left showing those emotions she has been stealing away from and faking in hilarious ways and this crumbling is followed by wiping tears and giving fierce face because Alicia is forever a master at putting on this mask. Or she can give you a demure smile if you want.The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia demureIn the immediate aftermath of watching this finale I am angry and disappointed; for how things went for Diane and that ultimately Alicia burned it all down for a man she is leaving anyway. It makes no sense and I am all for ambiguity, but this ending feels like it is trying to be too clever for its own good and I can see why they put out the ‘not everyone will be happy‘ signals before this even aired. Alicia going all in on getting what she wants after years of sacrifices for Peter is something I am here for, but this version where she blows up everything for Peter is far from satisfying and right now all I want to do is bask in the glory of season 5.

The conflict between Alicia looking out for her interests versus her ‘good wife’ mantle is something season 7 has been striving for and sadly it hasn’t always hit the mark. Part of this I think is due to the decision about whether this was the final season coming in late, which left this season unfocused for large periods of time and it has generally been ticking along. Spending the last 3 episodes covering Peter’s trial has felt like a rush job and really much more time on this rather than his presidential run would have made this storyline/season a lot more cohesive (once again I wonder if this was related to the late announcement). Instead what we are left with is cramming so much ‘goodbye’ plot into such a short space of time giving very little time for character reflection.

The astute comment by Jason about why Alicia has stuck with Peter followed by Ghost Will commenting on how little self-awareness Alicia has also speaks to some of the issues; we still don’t really have a grip on exactly who Alicia is after seven years and this ending certainly doesn’t help out in answering these questions.

One last thought and what feels like my Good Wife mantra, but where is Robyn?

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Entering Mrs Florrick Mode on The Good Wife

2 May

Peter’s trial relates to his actions when he was State’s Attorney for the second time and we join proceedings right at the heart of the battle in the penultimate episode of The Good Wife. His first run at this job ended in corruption charges and jail time, which was later overthrown and yet his image has been forever tainted. Tainted because not only had he maybe cheated in his position of political power, but he had broken his vows to his wife.

While his original conviction was quashed, the fact that he slept with prostitutes and stepped out on Alicia remains and this is always going to be the foundation of any mistrust from the public and the crux of any argument between Alicia and Peter. Yes he has said sorry on multiple occasions and there are only so many emotional floggings one person can take and yet it is always there; no matter how many times Alicia stands by his side.The Good Wife 7.21 Alicia and PeterWhen Alicia preps Peter for taking the stand she goes in hard because she knows that is Peter does in fact testify then he needs to be prepared to have all their personal issues used to paint him in a negative light. There is also an element of turning the knife and getting all this shit off her chest; Peter objects to this blurred line between lawyers and husband and wife, but as Alicia points out she is not the one on trial. Which is why when he spits Will’s name out with such venom in retaliation to her jabs that it feels like a gut punch. Alicia takes it and it is also interesting to note that he only refers to Jason as “your investigator.” This reduces him to her employee and makes her relationship here sound tawdry and by using Will’s full name he knows it will hurt the most.

Despite these traded barbs this is a surprisingly civil if not emotionally charged interaction. For starters Peter gets to the heart of his defense; he micro managed to stop any bad convictions so families would not have to go through what the Florricks did. This leads into Peter’s actual performance on the stand and he does well. He mentions his flaws and sells himself to a jury who prior to this had been giving off negative vibes toward both Peter and Alicia. Who knows if they are buying the hand holding between the couple, but Peter sells himself very well in his speechifying moment. And his performance has an impact as the original deal offer of eight years has been reduced to two.The Good Wife 7.21 Eli, Alicia and PeterThe deal is contemplated over wine and Peter makes a huge confession; he’s not a wine guy and scotch is his preferred choice. The horror! But he declines the scotch and says wine has grown on him. I have a confession too and that is I have never really been a Peter Florrick fan. This comes as no surprise I’m guessing and yet when he was on the stand and in this kitchen scene I really feel for the dude. Part of this is performance related and Chris Noth sure is charming as hell and the other part is the history between these two characters.

Jason talks about how Alicia is in full Mrs Florrick mode and I would agree she is; however this is a very different Mrs Florrick than the one we met in the pilot episode. That Mrs Florrick was a lot more passive and now Alicia is very much the driving force behind everything strategy related. She doesn’t care that Peter could have been sleeping with Geneva Pine and she will fake cry to prove it. I don’t think I have loved Alicia more than I did in this scene. So self-deprecating, so not giving any of the fucks.The Good Wife 7.21 fake cryingPeter potentially taking the deal and therefore going to jail does concern her and she thinks he should wait for the jury. There is no good answer and Peter has decided to go with the deal as he can do his time, write a book when he gets out and start over once again. He worries he will be forgotten, but Alicia assures him this won’t be the case and this plays into the very thing Jason told Lucca would happen; if Peter is convicted she won’t divorce him. I’m not sure if this necessarily lines up completely, but if Peter does go to jail she will definitely feel a sense of wife duty to be there and if that is the case then she will be preoccupied. Jason’s anxiety about their relationship and how deep he has fallen means he can’t investigate stuff pertaining to this case for Alicia anymore, which fair enough.

Once again Lucca takes on the role of relationship coach calling Jason out for his shit, which he then denies of course because he is a brooding guy and loves to play it cool. For now Alicia is very much focused on Peter, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a brief moment for elevator chats (note not elevator smooches).The Good Wife 7.21 Alicia and JasonSpeaking the truth is a repeated theme this week and whether it can be separated from personal entanglements. When Cary’s name gets brought up he takes the stand and he claims he is not there purely out of resentment to the Florricks. He is also pissed when Alicia accuses him of doing this simply as a way to get back at her; for all the time they have worked together it is like she doesn’t know him at all.

This isn’t the only misjudgment and Diane fucks up royally when she asks Kurt to oversell his preliminary findings as it is not something he is comfortable doing and it also backfires when it is suggested that he has oversold his evidence. Kurt is an honorable guy and this compromises who he is. Diane knows she has made a mistake and later on we see her climbing into bed with him tearfully begging his forgiveness; Diane is not a crier or a beggar which shows just how much she messed up here.The Good Wife 7.21 Peter and Diane

The Good Wife 7.21 Diane LockhartDiane is in full fierce mode at the trial and back in the office as she goes all Will Gardner on her expansion plans. It is good to see Christine Baranski getting to showcase all sides of Diane Lockhart in this late stage of The Good Wife and see the hole in the ceiling as a chance to break through another kind. Even if David Lee is wanting to cause chaos with discrimination lawsuit threats. This gives us plenty of Diane facial reaction delights and this is also a very good week in the brooch, statement necklace and blazer stakes (including one which looks like a wicker basket). Walls are being broken and ceilings smashed in more ways than one.

In things The Good Wife loves the elevator got a good amount of action (not that kind of action) and a highlight was Alicia and Diane’s facial expressions at the state of their newly broken down offices.The Good Wife 7.21 Alicia and DianeWe end in a place of uncertainty; Peter has decided to take the deal and it doesn’t matter as the jury are back. His fate is now in their hands. This is not Peter’s story though and it is the resolution to Alicia’s journey that matters to me. What I don’t want is for Peter or Jason to provide the axis from which she spins and the Education of Alicia Florrick should not lead back to a dude. Sure she can find happiness with Jason, but this is not what the end of this show should rest on and I nervously look forward to whatever resolution the Kings have created for us and Alicia.

The Battle Between Truth and Power on The Good Wife

25 Apr

Funeral flowers and a buttload (an official measurement) of wine is all that is needed to get a Good Wife celebration going and there are a lot of moving parts this week what with divorces, engagements and Peter’s looming trial. Reasons to talk stack up and Alicia is in demand while she tries to play happy host for Howard and Jackie’s ketubah, hence all the wine. There are Jason problems, kid problems, parent problems and of course Peter problems. Although the latter isn’t so much about the end of their marriage, but more about the allegations against him. The Good Wife 7.20 Alicia and PeterAlicia at the moment doesn’t have any work concerns and all of that is going rather smoothly because David Lee understands brands (and will be getting the same amount of money regardless of not having his name in their fancy new title). What they probably need to do is cool it on the reshuffling; this should be the final one because otherwise the brand means nothing. It is fun seeing Diane so giddy at this new name now they have a letterhead and everything.The Good Wife 7.20 Lockhart FlorrickNow for the various messy dealings Alicia had this week, which were plentiful. First up Jason and “Party” employed a Good Wife narrative technique favorite; starting the episode on the question/statement where the last one ended. Alicia tells Jason that the thing she wants is him and in return Jason gives her a very random gift that causes Alicia to question everything about their relationship. He thinks it would be bad if she is getting a divorce because of him and I believe her when she says she isn’t and this is about taking a moment rather than blaming things like bad timing (*sob*).

The timing is bad and their very important conversation is interrupted by a hollering Grace – I don’t understand why she doesn’t just come inside, but then I guess that would kill the comedy/drama – who is having flower issues. They leave it in this weird place with Jason giving Alicia a deed to some land on Mars and it is a bizarre gift which he makes even worse by badly explaining his thought process. The Good wife 7.20 GraceMeanwhile Jason is also much in demand with Eli as he still has him investigating the investigation into Peter, despite Peter’s disapproval and the potential awkwardness here. What Jason does is show they have a strong case against him as his involvement on the Richard Locke case was unusual and it can be spun to make it look like he was overbearing with regard to evidence. Peter has a good explanation for all of the suspicious behavior and says he was so involved because he feared this case would be their OJ (hot topic reference alert). The lab technician does have a history of sloppy mistakes and even though Jason’s services are no longer required after Eli confronts him about whether his feelings for Alicia are interfering, he returns to the crime lab and lets the technician know he is onto her and whoever is trying to set Peter up.

The battle between truth and power is something Matan – always happy to see you! – talks about over drinks with Cary; in this case they are the truth and Peter is the power, but there could be someone else pulling the strings with Peter as the fall guy. Who is this mystery force trying to bring Peter down? The ghost of Will? Colin Sweeney (I just want to see Dylan Baker on this show one last time)? An old political opponent? A random someone we have never met? Robyn? Okay I just want to know where she is.

Regardless, everyone is lawyering up and Cary has gone with Louis Canning as his representation and now Canning wants to start a “coalition of the innocent.” Canning starts with Eli and does this via Diane (his lawyer). This is a non-starter as is his conversation with Alicia; he tries to sway her by pointing out that somehow she might be culpable in all this. Nice try, Canning. Alicia might be divorcing Peter, but she is still loyal.The Good Wife 7.20 Diane and KurtOne person I am concerned for is Kurt and what part he is going to play in this as it sounds like he was the last person who had the piece of evidence that went missing. It is also notable that Kurt’s name is not mentioned later when Eli talks to Jason about Peter’s explanation for everything. We spend a lot of time seeing how happy Diane is and Alicia pretty much shouts #RealtionshipGoals at them; this gives me a feeling that something bad is going to happen at this late juncture and goddammit if Kurt gets dragged into this mess.

Kurt also gets hero points for how he dealt with Hannah – Zach’s fiance – bailing through the need for more booze. Ah yes, Zach and his big engagement/dropping out of college/moving to France news. Alicia’s reaction is laughter which she tries unsuccessfully to cover with fake tears. She finds it hilarious that Zach wants to become a writer – “what would you write” – and equally hilarious that he wants to move to France. Hannah is kinda the worst and therefore perfect for Zach who has always had this streak of self-righteousness. I’m sorry Grace for all the times I thought that Zach was the better Florrick child and he is clearly who Alicia was talking about when she said she wasn’t sure if she likes her kids.

They talk it out and Alicia is fine with Zach going through with his plans and this is very much the Alicia who gives none of the fucks that we have seen a lot of this season. The kids find out about the divorce plan because Veronica has been drinking a lot of wine (much like everyone else at this party) and she wants to provoke Jackie forgetting that Grace is sitting right next to her. And to think moments before they were enjoying an episode of everyone’s fave prestige cable drama “Darkness at Noon.”The Good Wife 7.20 Grace, Owen and VeronicaThere are a lot of goodbyes this week with Jackie telling Alicia she never has to see her again, although I think she is forgetting the small matter of Peter’s trial and this seems like a place they will cross paths. Plus other family events involving her grandchildren. Jackie gives as good as she gets by telling Alicia that they are more alike than she can imagine and the look on Alicia’s face is pure horror. This also feels like the last time we will see Veronica and Owen; Veronica is very happy Alicia is going with the hunk and all she wants is for her daughter to be happy. Marissa also goes in hard on the hug front and what a delightful bunch of recurring guest stars this show has. The bench is deep.

Marissa mentions they could all die tomorrow and Eli’s stress levels suggest he would be number one on his list. Due to a dog related issue Mike Tascioni has dropped out and now they need a new lawyer for Peter. It is a shame they don’t know any. Considering this Instagram behind the scenes photo I think I have an idea who they might choose (speculation/spoilers).The Good Wife 7.20 Alicia and LuccaBringing it back to Jason and after all the awkwardness and random gifts they talk it out on the street. This is a very public location and being this cavalier with where they smooch might have consequences. They figure out where they stand and Jason explains his itchy feet when it comes to staying in one place. It is resolved with a hint of still not quite hitting a solution. For now they are fine and if Jason could stop using Lucca as his relationship go-between then that would be swell; she deserves much more than being their relationship adviser and sadly this is what she has been reduced to at the moment.

One costuming note and Alicia brings it again in red and this ensures she stands out in every single scene she features in and she pulls all the focus; she is very much in demand from all angles and in this outfit she is not hard to spot. It is such a signature look for Alicia particularly at big events and I am glad they are keeping with this costuming theme right to the end.The Good Wife 7.20 wineAnd the end is nigh, so make like Alicia and get prepared.

Going Back to the Beginning on The Good Wife

18 Apr

Now this feels like the final season of The Good Wife as everything is starting to come together, loose ends are getting tided up and everything old is new again with Peter facing jail. Peter remarks that they are back at the start as the odds are stacked against him and prison looms once again. After a season of bumbling along with yet another failed election storyline and another possible firm switch-up it now seems like where we are meant to be; it is really refreshing and I am excited to see what the final three episodes will bring.

Peter’s grand jury has been ticking away in the background ever since his failed presidential bid and that comes to a head this week with his arrest. Instead of playing it nice Mr Schuester (sorry I can’t seem to think of him as anything else) goes for the humiliating perp walk option after finding out that Eli was using stall tactics.The Good Wife 7.19 Peter and AliciaWhat he didn’t bank on was Alicia’s quick thinking as she quickly grabs a coat to cover the cuffs and a tie to make him look more presentable to the waiting media outside – side note how did Alicia not notice any of this media circus when she arrived home a few minutes before this went down? – and she is playing the role of the good wife all over again.

This includes walking out with him and not only standing by his side, but offering words of support at this press conference. There is no standing silently behind him; corruption charges without the prostitute allegations are a lot easier to swallow and Alicia is not the same woman she was back then. As Cary observes to Jason “people change” and The Good Wife is all about the Education of Alicia Florrick; she knows all about optics and the media now. One thing that takes Alicia by surprise is just how bad this is for Peter and she seems genuinely taken back that the plea deal is for 3 years jail time. For all they have been through and how much she now wants a divorce, Alicia does still care about him deeply and this quiet scene in his office between just the two of them emphasizes this point. The press are also sympathetic toward plight and the term ‘witch hunt’ (two words, not one) is used by both Alicia and the press.

Alicia does still want a divorce and while it is all in place, she will also wait until all this legal strife is over. She does make the big step of telling Jason about it and this makes things awkward between them for most of the episode. Jason asks Alicia what she wants and she deflects at first; mentioning how her husband slept with prostitutes (7 years ago) and that she wants everything. Jason is not only calm (a thing Mike Tascioni likes in an investigator), but he also wants to keep things simple, but life in Alicia’s orbit is complicated. It also just occurred to me how much Jason would get on with Kurt McVeigh and now all I want is too see a double date with Alicia, Diane and their significant others.

The episode ends with Alicia laying it all there; she wants Jason. Like Alicia, my feelings about this are complicated because on one hand I really like this pairing and on the other I kinda want the series to end with an “I choose me” declaration. Maybe it is because of deep rooted Will feelings (and my heart is not ready for this rumored appearance) that I don’t want to see her ending the series in a couple, but maybe for Alicia to be finally free of the Peter bond choosing herself could be ending up with someone else. I am still working my way through this prospect and this is definitely very much a ‘wait and see’ how this all turns out before I finally figure out my feelings on the matter.

Ultimate Peter/Alicia shipper Eli is shocked to hear the divorce news and Peter is surprised Alicia hadn’t already told him. Alicia is keeping this one very close to her chest.The Good Wife 7.19 Diane and KurtOne couple who did make an appearance were Diane and Kurt, much to my joy. Kurt wants to talk and his demeanor suggests it is something bad. Diane assumes the same and her reaction to finding out that he wants to sell his business so they can spend more time together is both hilarious and super sweet. I love these two together and I am also so happy to see Diane getting something to do beyond being Dipple’s lackey and contemplating what to do with the firm. There are some wrinkles in the sale of the business namely in the form of guest star Megan Hilty as Holly Westfall. Holly ‘mean girls’ Diane so hard with her “I like your necklace. I have one just like it, but smaller.” Don’t you be coming for Diane’s statement jewelry, Holly. The Good Wife 7.19 DianeAnd for my favorite reaction shot from “Landing.”The Good Wife 7.19 Diane and David LeeOther plots revisited include the NSA listening into all of Alicia’s calls and the return of Zach Woods as ex-NSA employee Jeff Dillinger (this is a particularly guest star heavy week even by The Good Wife’s standards) as he ends up in a whole legal situation in Canada while attempting to come back to the United States for his mother’s funeral. This not only ties into several seasons’ worth of story, but also reflects back on a recent episode that saw Alicia on a top secret panel, which resulted in Captain Hicks getting fired for something he didn’t actually do. It also gives one of Alicia’s NSA fans the chance to meet her IRL and Tyler’s reaction to seeing her in person plus the questions he asks her is a delight.

In the end after a lot of back and forth arguments, warrants, recorded conversations and threats of numerous espionage related charges, Jeff gets asylum in Canada as he is an asset to their version of the NSA. It is fun seeing Alicia using the knowledge of them listening in to her conversations to get leverage.

Significant costume moment this week includes Alicia in her power color of red; maybe to give her that confidence boost in telling Jason her big divorce news. It also comes in handy later on when facing the cameras with Peter when he is initially arrested.
The Good Wife 7.19 AliciaLater on when appearing at the press conference Alicia picks a more somber tone, which makes sense considering the gravity of the situation.The Good Wife 7.19 press conferenceAnd in excellent Lucca Quinn outfits I need to track down; this floral and white collar dream number.The Good Wife 7.19 LuccaAs we edge closer to the final episode the stakes have been raised and I am genuinely unsure of how Peter will fare as right now it seems like he is destined to end the show where he started it; prosecuted and on his way to prison. Hopefully The Good Wife will keep this level of energy up and end the series on a high.

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?

Cockiness and Confidence on The Good Wife

21 Mar

As The Good Wife edges closer to the end each moment holds stronger weight than it would if this was just the final run of episodes in a regular season and everyone is maybe a little too cocky right now; this house of cards is about to take a tumble before the last hurrah. Take the grand jury investigation of Peter and it is going far too well thanks to the leverage Eli’s eavesdropping spot has given them with preparing strategy. They did have the upper hand, but Lloyd Garber getting called back to give more testimony was not something they foresaw and while Alicia crushed her subpoenaed appearance there is still more to come.

There is a thread of cockiness that runs throughout this week and I love it when Alicia is this confident when opposite people like Mr Schue in the grand jury courtroom or the admissions woman from Grace’s school who is accusing Grace of plagiarism via an imperfect piece of software (having been wrongly accused of plagiarism I know exactly how helpless Grace initially felt and I didn’t even have an Alicia to prove my case – thankfully I successfully did this all by myself). The Good Wife 7.17 Lucca and AliciaOne area where Alicia isn’t so certain is Jason especially after seeing him with another woman; this is somewhere she has been before and while this is no Peter situation it sends her through a mini tailspin. This is why it is good she has someone like Lucca to call upon for chats and tequila because Lucca is pretty forthright in her opinions and what she should do; i.e. talk to Jason because that is the only way she is going to stop spiraling. Alicia does point out that in the past there would have been tears over something like this and this relationship evolution might be down to less investment in this relationship or the scar tissue/cynicism that has filled in the gap of those previously hurt feelings.

More likely it is a combination of the two and while there is an element of some investment the long term prospects are unclear and the fact that she is still married is part of this. This is no Will Gardner ‘show me the plan’ kind of situation and I’m happy that the end of this show is not about Alicia finding ‘the one’ or romantic happiness. Instead this part of the Education of Alicia Florrick is moving beyond Peter and exerting her sexuality/giving no fucks ‘tude. I only wish it had been something different from an under the table hand job in a crowded bar because that seems reckless even for a newly confident Alicia as there is no way that a) someone won’t notice and b) the newspaper headline that Alicia jokes about will become a reality. Plus Lucca will surely be back soon from her chip run and that’s just bad friendship etiquette.

At least it didn’t involve an ice cream cone and I’m sorry for bringing up the memory of Kalinda’s husband which we all need to have Eternal Sunshined from this series. The Good Wife 7.17 LuccaAlicia is also juggling the whole Diane takeover offer and Cary is still suspicious with just cause. Alicia still seems reluctant to join forces with Diane because of her loyalty to Cary, but Diane comes through on the making things better for Lucca thing by bringing her into the courtroom rather than just doing the ‘grunt work’ and giving her an office. Alicia flat out lies to Cary when he asks her about Diane’s plans although you could argue semantics between all-female firm and all-female run firm. I do still think that Cary and Diane have been given a short shrift this season in terms of overall storyline even if the case of the week is an interesting one featuring some new and returning guest stars.

In The Good Wife hall of judges fame Denis O’Hare’s Judge Abernathy is high on the list and I’m so glad that this final case for him got to lean into his liberal interests while showing just how much he values his position. And that he got to deliver a verdict as wonderful as the one he did and his delivery of said verdict was a delight to watch. They had him at Supreme Court. Blair Underwood does a really good job as the grieving father and the opening sequence was devastating; it had me in tears even though we had spent less than 3 minutes with these characters.The Good Wife 7.17 Diane and Becky Ann BakerBecky Ann Baker returned as Alma Hoff and it was wonderful seeing Mrs Weir representing Dorota from Gossip Girl. A double night of Baker with Girls and I am always so happy to see her on anything. If only there was a way she could have been in an episode with real life husband and Good Wife guest star MVP Dylan Baker (working his magic on The Americans this season). The depth of the guest star bench on this show is like no other. The Good Wife 7.17 Lucca QuinnCostume wise this was another great week for Lucca in this Peter Pilotto dress and this image of her sitting with her feet up on the desk is everything, but I do worry about her getting caught in the battle of the firm cross hairs. I am definitely bracing for everything to come crashing down as right now things are going far too well for Alicia and we’ve still got a final act chapter obstacle to overcome.

One final observation and a request wrapped up in one; isn’t “Everybody Hurts” on the list of songs that should never be used thanks to over saturation in the 90s? Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” is on the 00s version of this list – thanks The O.C. as is “Fix You” by Coldplay (which actually debuted on The O.C. and therefore that moment is the definitive one – not you The Newsroom). And woah was that a weird cover and choice of song for Alicia spotting Jason smooching a mystery blonde. Suddenly she became a very sad teen a la Angela Chase and Felicity Porter.

Well Earned Distractions on The Good Wife

7 Mar

It is really good to see Alicia Florrick smile again as we head into the final stretch of The Good Wife and it makes sense to show a slightly more carefree Alicia before it could all potentially come crashing down. The investigation into Peter is heating up as is Alicia’s relationship with Jason and the episode opens with a ‘lost weekend’ of sex, movies, eating pizza and more sex. All the things Alicia has been denying herself for too long. Yes she might have an ‘arrangement’ with her husband, but she really hasn’t been taking too much advantage of this setup until now.The Good Wife 7.16 Alicia“Hearing” takes a farcical turn with the arrival of Alicia’s family during her weekend with Jason and I am always happy to see Veronica and Owen even if they are interrupting as they respond to Jason with such glee. Alicia has finally ‘taken a lover’ like both of them have wanted her to do for so long now. They are very much the anti-Peter brigade and an audience stand-in as Veronica was also a huge Will/Alicia shipper. Veronica has been the victim of a scam that dates back and Jason is more than happy to help get her money back. This one might be a keeper.

Alicia’s apartment is a hotbed of activity much to her chagrin at disturbing her actual hot bed of activity and Eli makes a stop by with Peter’s new lawyer Mike Tascioni. The grand jury has started and they still don’t quite know what Peter is being investigated for, but they are slowly piecing the clues together. First up Lloyd Garber who they figured was the redacted name on Elsbeth’s client list and while this might be clutching at straws I still think my Will Gardner theory is a possibility even if nothing in this episode points to the stuffed ballot box switch. The Good Wife 7.16 eliOver the course of this season Eli has spent a lot of time standing on his desk eavesdropping at a vents and he gets to put this skill into practice at the courthouse. Alicia inadvertently discovers that the vent in the bathroom can pick up dialogue coming from the room in which the grand jury is convened, but it is illegal for her to listen as both a lawyer and someone who is going to testify. For Eli it straddles the unethical/illegal line and we get to hear everything the way Eli does; it is muffled and at times the construction workers in the ladies bathroom can be heard and I love it when they mess with perspective in this way. It is frustrating for Eli, but he does manage to pick up some useful information namely that it is something from 2012 and the name Lock is important.

Like his ex-wife, Mike Tascioni has a very good way of unnerving and disarming people and he seemingly gives away all their strategy and clues. Instead he is using this to rattle their opponents and see whether they are investigating the right things. They believe Lock is a person and that he was someone that was put on trial for murder; the case ended in a mistrial and it is one from Cary’s time working at the DA’s office. Cary mentions to Eli that Lock had a top team of defense lawyers but they never did a source of funds. Lock’s father, whoever that might be could hold the key to this whole investigation. Or this is all a red herring and my Will Gardner theory is correct. The Good Wife 7.16 Diane and AliciaSpeaking of Will he comes up in conversation when Diane approaches Alicia about her long term plans for the firm. It turns out Cary and David Lee have a right to be concerned as Diane does have plans to push Cary out and bring Alicia in as a named partner again. Diane isn’t going after an all female firm, just all female named partners. Diane claims it is because she needs someone like Will and Cary is no Will. I am inclined to agree, but only because Cary has barely been given anything to do this season and not because I don’t think he is a good lawyer.

Diane thinks differently and on my list for these final episodes is for a decent storyline for both Diane and Cary. I’m not sure if this is the one I would go for and it is a bit of a bummer to see Diane turn her back on the person she championed from the start, but here we are. If this means more screentime for Diane and Alicia together then that will be one bonus at least. Post-Will funeral martinis included a discussion about this and I do think Will would be very much on board with Diane’s plan as Alicia’s comments to Lucca seemed to suggest. Even if she does an accidental Jason name slip and thereby reveals her recent activities to Lucca. Lucca at least doesn’t feel the conflict of this name mix up and instead is very happy that her friend is having fun.

For her part Lucca also thinks Alicia should tell Cary what Diane is planning even though Alicia appears to be leaning toward Diane’s suggestion; Alicia’s ambition lamp burns bright. For now she is going to turn her brain off and that means more Jason time, but she can’t ignore the knock at her door for too long.

In somewhat related news this is the style highlight from “Hearing” and when the pizza guy tries to mock him for his choice of robe, Jason delivers on the not giving a fuck response. The Good Wife 7.16 JasonAt this point in time it is hard to picture Jason getting either flustered or embarrassed. It is all fun and games at the moment, but I do wonder how Peter will react if/when he finds out and whether this is just a fling or something more.

Paranoia Runs Wild on The Good Wife

22 Feb

The big Good Wife Super Bowl announcement has put a countdown clock on this season and with each passing week it becomes clear that Alicia Florrick’s journey is going to come full circle; with Peter accused of a crime he may or may not have committed, resignation and the question of whether his wife will stand by him. The Education of Alicia Florrick is not going to see her making the same mistake twice and I have a strong feeling that Peter might be standing alone the next time this kind of press conference takes place; especially if she take Ruth’s advice to put herself first and get out while she can. The question is what charges are they going to bring against Peter and Eli is scrambling to get ahead of the FBI. Now there happens to be a big Elsbeth Tascioni shaped obstacle in his way.

Ah yes! It is always a pleasure to see Carrie Preston as Elsbeth and while there is a danger that things could tip into overly kooky territory; Preston manages to walk this very narrow line stopping her from appearing too cartoony. Plus it is always fun to see characters interact with Elsbeth for the first time and now we get to meet her equally disarming ex-husband. Plus it helps that she isn’t always sickly sweet and is very protective of her clients and her duties as a lawyer.The Good Wife 7.15 ElsbethThe question of who the redacted name is and how Elsbeth connected the dots has apparently been answered in the episode and yet I have a feeling it is someone else entirely who Elsbeth is keeping attorney/client privilege with and I’m pretty sure that person is dead. Yep I think Will Gardner is the one and it goes back to the stuffed ballot box from Peter’s election at the end of season 4. Will showed Peter a video of said ballot box and was being pursued by the Office of Public Integrity just prior to his death.

In “A Few Words” Will approaches Elsbeth at a conference in New York and asks her to represent him in this case as he is being pressured to break attorney/client privilege and threatened with jail time if he doesn’t. It meets all the criteria as to why Elsbeth has to excuse herself from working for Peter; a grand jury case (tick), against Peter Florrick (tick) and Will was a client of Elsbeth’s (tick). At the time it looked like this was going to be a huge story arc and that it might spell the end for Peter, but then the courtroom shooting happened effectively killing two birds with one stone for Peter and his Will problem. Not that I think Peter welcomed this solution, but you can’t say he hasn’t benefited from it.

This isn’t the conclusion Eli comes to as after following Elsbeth (oh hi Jason!) they see her meeting with one of Peter’s top donors (and dairy owner) Lloyd Garber and assume he is also being investigated. But Garber is also very close to Gardner and maybe I’m being David Lee/Cary Agos levels of paranoid, but I think Garber is a big red herring here. Now Will is dead (*sob*) so where this leaves Elsbeth in terms of lawyer duties is something I am not clear on. Regardless I kinda like the idea of Will bringing Peter down from beyond the grave. There are some things like the Russian in The Sopranos or the outrigger in Lost that never come back regardless of these shows ending, but I have a feeling we have not seen the last of the stuffed ballot box.

Over at Lockhart, Agos and Lee all the years of takeovers, schemes and power plays – Derrick Bond, anyone? – have taken their toll and David Lee takes the interest in the female lawyers for a profile piece to mean that Diane is intending to turn this into a female run firm. Because of course he does. And because Cary has been involved in several of these plots he is easily influenced in believing this is a thing. There is a lack of trust at this firm from all angles and it is hard to imagine a time when it will settle down and the major players won’t suspect that there is someone working against them. As outsiders both Lucca and Jason thinks this is kinda insane and Lucca questions Alicia about why they came here in the first place. Money. The answer is always money.The Good Wife 7.15 Alicia and JasonWith Jason, Alicia has a whole different kind of interaction going from elevator smooches to late night office hookups and finally Alicia has thrown caution to the wind in what looks 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 suitors. Jason has concerns about where this might be headed and those concerns begin with Peter; Alicia explains the situation and that Peter is fine with it. Jason intuitively knows this is far from the case so Alicia tries another tactic first by playfully and emotionally manipulating him about her drinking followed by being direct; she wants him.

We don’t get to see where this leads as we cut to the NSA dudes who are not only listening into Alicia’s calls but also any conversation that happens to take place near her phone, which is pretty much all of her conversations. The episode ends abruptly and with a sense of uncertainty about what the NSA’s role is other than being an audience stand-in and how their investigation will impact the FBI’s investigation and Alicia’s work seeing as they did influence Alicia’s top secret case. I loved the look of pride/happiness that came across Alicia’s face when she was told that Judge Leora Kuhn was the one who recommended her and if Linda Emond isn’t coming back before the end then I’m glad they gave a nod to one of my all time favorite Good Wife judges in this manner.

I was hoping that with Alicia’s return to the firm there would be more for Christine Baranski to do; alas this week she was just dealing with paranoid dudes. Looking fabulous in the process (standard).The Good Wife 7.15 DianeIn a similar vein Lucca also got dealt the short straw this week as Cary tried to get info from her about this possible all lady takeover and getting booted from Alicia’s office when she wanted a word with Jason. There is also the small matter of a Top 5 Lucca Quinn outfit with this colorful dress.The Good Wife 7.15 LuccaAnd for a random Lockhart, Agos and Lee observation – I wonder why they have to spell out what is in this jar. Is it so people don’t think it is decorative?The Good Wife 7.15 candyI think it would be in Cary’s best interest if he did not align himself with David Lee even if he has cockroach levels of survival skills at the firm. The pieces are falling into place and it will be interesting to see where loyalties lie and who is willing to stand by who when it comes down to it.

NYFW Fantasy Costuming: Michael Kors Collection and The Good Wife’s Lucca Quinn

18 Feb

On The Good Wife Lucca Quinn has won Alicia’s trust and friendship (not an easy task) and our hearts all while wearing an array of colorful, sometimes pattern clashing and always interesting pieces that brighten up the courtroom and complement Alicia’s more structured style. It’s like she has taken a page from the Diane Lockhart sartorial book cranked the volume up and put a contemporary spin on it. Our NYFW Fantasy Costuming series is taking a dive into Lucca Quinn suggestions even though there are now only 8 more episodes left of The Good Wife.

Michael Kors Collection is getting the Fantasy Costuming treatment in part because Cush Jumbo who plays Lucca Quinn was in attendance at this runway show:Cush JumboAnd also because there are a lot of bold looks on show – even if the color palette is more geared towards neutrals – which are ideal for Lucca’s courtroom and office attire. The chain link belts put a twist on the Diane Lockhart statement necklace and there is a whole lot of amazing jacket patterns and texture going on. Collars and bows are also very important and we instantly fell in love with Lucca when she wore that stunning polka dot collar in her first episode.Michael Kors Fall 2016Michael Kors RTWMichael Kors goldMichael Kors RTW 2016Michael Kors Fall RTWMichael Kors 2016 FallMichael Kors FallThis last skirt probably isn’t courtroom appropriate, but is ideal for post work drinks and dancing.

The Good Wife’s Big Super Bowl Announcement: Only 9 Episodes Left

8 Feb

All signs have pointed to this being the last season of The Good Wife: Robert and Michelle King had already announced their departure, as had Julianna Margulies in a roundabout way and even the episode titles suggested this was the end by mirroring the season 1 one word format. The way The Good Wife unveiled this news was not so expected sharing the big news that there are only 9 episodes left (EVER) in a promo right before the Super Bowl halftime show.

This ending makes so much sense and I have been one of many voices saying the time to finish is now as The Good Wife has been meandering and feeling as lost as Alicia has for the last season and a half. BUT this news still hit me like a Will Gardner desk clearing moment and totally caught me by surprise; has any other show revealed when it is ending on a Super Bowl ad? This is such an Eli Gold move.

What happened next was a mixture of emotions from relief that there wouldn’t be a Good Wife without the Kings or Julianna Margulies quickly followed by sadness. Pretty much experiencing all the feelings at the Super Bowl party I was at (and this was all before Beyoncé slayed). The Good Wife 6.07 AliciaSo what does this mean for the final arc?

Well, Alicia hit her rock bottom last week as she spiraled and then emotionally vomited all over Lucca, followed by getting her elevator smooches on (about time). Case contrivance also leads Alicia back to Lockhart, Agos and Lee so she is back where the show started, but not back where she started professionally or personally. This season has been somewhat directionless and not just for Alicia so hopefully by having her return to the firm this will also create decent final storylines for Cary and Diane. It is also probably about time that Alicia and Peter call it quits officially and a divorce does seem imminent now that Peter’s campaign is over.

One thing the writers have been very successful in dealing with is the fallout of Will’s death from the immediate period which contributed to the best season of The Good Wife (the aforementioned desk clearance and Alicia’s first time leaving Lockhart Gardner was also a thing of beauty) to the recent ramifications of the road not traveled and lost love. However, there has been a distinct lack of focus at times and there has been too much time invested in recent campaign plot points.

The Good Wife 6.05 news coverageLast year ended on a bitter note with green screen goodbyes and the rumors of rifts on set bleeding into the fabric of the show and even though those details are vague (The Good Wife keeps its shit locked tight) it definitely impacted and overshadowed Kalinda and Archie Panjabi’s departure.

Nothing will hit quite so hard as that seemingly innocuous episode that took place just over midway through season 5 and the straight out of nowhere death of Will Gardner – this is what I mean about The Good Wife having its shit locked tight – even though everyone knew Josh Charles’ contract was only extended for this one season. The aftermath of that moment is the first time I ever cried while writing a review and those episodes are still really difficult to watch even now. I keep wanting to revisit season 5 because it really is GREAT TELEVISION (side eyeing this piece so hard right now) and I know that when I do those swells of emotion will come because that gut punch is how I felt when I saw the announcement last night. Objectively I know it is time, but I am still going to miss the hell out of Alicia Florrick and the many characters that inhabit her world.

Plus all of those costumes that made me long for a job where I get to wear power clothes on a daily basis. *Looks down at the array of knitwear I am sporting right now*

Let’s drink to this show in the best way possible and here’s to the final chapter in the Education of Alicia Florrick.

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