Tag Archives: 7.05

A Guide to Not Backing Down on The Good Wife

2 Nov

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 Good Wife 7.05 Lucca and AliciaThe 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.

The Good Wife 7.05 Alicia and LuccaLeather 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.

The Good Wife 7.05 Lucca Quinn and AliciaThere 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 Good Wife 7.05 JDMThe 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.

The Good Wife 7.05 Alicia and wineOne 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.

The Good Wife 7.05 Diane and CaryDiane still looks great even with cotton wool up her nose.

The Good Wife 7.05This earlier outfit and her ‘come the fuck on’ face are also aces.

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.

Mad Men: Keep me Hanging on the Telephone

12 May

Continuing this look at Mad Men’s final season through a variety of essay topics, soundtrack observations and style pieces (both personal and general costume design).

There is a new computer at the offices on Mad Men, but it occurred to me while watching “The Runaways” that because so many of the characters are in scattered locations there’s not much keeping everyone connected. Except for the telephone and so I present to you my look at this week’s episode in the guise of phones and those making the calls.

Mad Men 7.05 MeganLong distance relationships are hard and long before there was Skype; phone calls were the way to stay in touch beyond the written word. It’s not surprising to see a chunk of Megan/Don’s interactions over the phone this season and last time we saw them chatting things weren’t so swell:

Megan phone 7.02Megan sobbed into the mint green receiver unable to hide her resentment and rage tears at Don’s latest deception. Being on the phone means we can mask our feelings as the person on the other end can’t see those eye rolls or blah blah blah expressions and on this occasion Megan’s emotions poured out. It’s all good between Don and Megan again, well it’s mostly good except the gulf between them continues to grow and there’s new points of deceit. This time it’s coming from Megan after she was given a window of opportunity to dispatch Don’s kinda niece Stephanie back to where she came from with a check for $1000. Megan’s insecurities are showing and there’s a competitive streak with this beautiful blast from Don’s past and who he really is.

Mad Men 7.05 Stephanie Mad Men 7.05 Stephanie part 2Enter Stephanie and she goes from one grimy phone booth to another. This is a connection to Don’s Dick Whitman life and it’s the first time the name ‘Dick’ has been uttered this season. You can conceal a lot on the phone and Stephanie doesn’t rat Megan out for pretty much pushing her out of the door.

Mad Men 7.05 kitchen phonePost threesome morning after phone calls from a pregnant girl who is sorta your husband’s niece but not really, takes some of sexy sheen off the whole thing. Actually that’s the hangover sweats and I love that both Megan and Don kind of look like shit, well as shit as you can look when you look like them. Megan’s pink dressing gown is becoming quite the focal point and it takes on a different appearance for any situation; she looks so sad and Betty like when she’s sobbing into the phone (not that Betty would sob “I’m not stupid. I speak Italian”), Stephanie had a whole new glow in it, which in turn prompts Megan’s bratty reaction and here it signals booze and sex.

Mad Men 7.05 Megan and DonIs it rather extravagant to have two phones in an apartment this small?

Mad Men 7.05 AmyAmy is comfortable enough in Megan’s world to answer her phone with a bit or just whenever and the phone rings a lot. This is very much Megan’s apartment, so when someone from Don’s world enters it shifts the balance. As it does when Harry Crane showed up and I laughed so hard when I remembered how much Megan despises him. Harry does have his uses as he spills some rather important information to Don. Everyone in this firm is so divided with both the West/East Coast aspect and where loyalties lie. Harry might be a chump, but he’s also been very helpful on more than one occasion. This is a chance meeting that could only happen in person.

Mad Men 7.05 BettyBetty has to deal with more Sally drama as she broke her nose “sword fighting” and like her mother I don’t buy this BS story. Anytime Betty gets a call and pulls this face you know it’s because Sally fucked up somehow.

Mad Men 7.05 PeggyIn the most heartbreaking moment of “The Runaways” Ginsberg suffers a full on psychotic break that has been in part triggered by the new computer. Ginsberg once told Peggy the story of how he came to be and he turns to her once again with these new fears. After a semi-spiral where he ends up at her apartment he appears lucid when he comes to her office with a gift and a solution to the computer’s presence; he has cut off his nipple and all is clearly not well. Peggy’s reaction is one of horror and she manages to make it to the nearest phone, cradling it as she calls the necessary people with the computer looming large in the background. It looks like Ginsberg is heading to a psychiatric hospital and Peggy looks understandably heartbroken by this turn of events.

So yes phones are an important connection tool on Mad Men and yet they also help conceal a multitude of things, it’s why Don could spend so long lying to Megan about his job situation even if she assumed he was having an affair because he was never in the office. It’s why things get so fraught between the two offices as the conference calling technology is still super glitchy; phones are aiding communication and alienating in equal measure.

And if you want your very own 1960s phone there are plenty on eBay.

Julie Hammerle

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