The Good Wife kicks off the new season with yet another surprising move and while it might not elicit the same heart getting ripped out of your chest feelings as the Will twist did, it still packs a punch. Diane moving from her old firm to Alicia and Cary’s was what I expected to be number one on the agenda, instead this moves into the background as Cary ends up in prison as a result of some advice he may or may not have given – there is allegedly a recording which we don’t hear and Cary insists that he didn’t do the crime he is accused of – and what’s great is how equally disorientated both Cary and us as an audience are at Cary’s initial arrest and subsequent incarceration.
The amount of world building The Good Wife has achieved in the previous five seasons is showcased in “The Line” as old faces resurface from family members to former love interests and perceptions that were established in the very first episode are still very much on point.
Take Saint Alicia and the brand that is making Eli pull out his big guns to get Alicia on board the State’s Attorney campaign ship. Eli is convinced Alicia should run despite her lack of interest in this political position and the polling numbers support his belief that she can win. Alicia’s brand is enticing to both women on the left and right as she stayed with her husband and set up her own business; she is both fiercely loyal and independent striking that rare balance.
Skeletons lurk in Alicia’s closet when it comes to her relationship with Peter, not only her past affair with Will but also the current ‘faking it’ marriage status. Add in the slight flirtation with Finn and the photos Castro already has of Finn leaving Alicia’s apartment which he planned to use against Finn, but could easily double for Alicia smearing (no matter how innocent this visit was) and there is a reputation to be besmirched. Calling someone a saint is a rather high pedestal to put someone on and Alicia could be knocked off this perch in quick fashion if someone was to stumble on hotel room records or CCTV footage. Will might be dead, but he could easily come back to haunt Eli if he goes ahead with this.
Eli is excellent at his job even while his daughter mocks him (I’m beyond thrilled to have Sarah Steele show up once again as Marissa, more from her please) and he expertly manipulates Peter into getting on board with his Alicia plan by using Castro to rile him up. Eli has another issue to consider with the Florricks as he is still concerned about the intern Peter has been flirting with, an intern who doesn’t wear underwear (they said the word ‘panties’ far too much for my liking in this episode) and will happily show the office that she isn’t when confronted about it. Lauren is the intern Eli was told he couldn’t fire last season and while the vagina flashing is maybe a stretch, she represents everything Eli worries about when it comes to Peter’s brand.
P.S. Lauren, your dress is super cute, but underwear should be a given in a work place like this.
I’m not sure how much Alicia would actually care if Peter did sleep with Lauren as she really has severed those kinds of ties with her husband in the wake of Will’s death; I expect there would be an exasperated eye roll followed by a ‘because, of course’ reaction. The voters would definitely care as Eli’s polling suggested and Eli is pulling out all the stops to ensure Peter doesn’t resort to old habits.
There are far more pressing matters than Eli’s latest attempt to get his doomed ship back together as bail for Cary has been set to the crazy high $1.3 million (to match the street value of the heroin in question) and Alicia has to work several angles to obtain this money. Despite the current fractured state of her relationship with Cary as a result of wanting to bring Diane on board, Alicia is even willing to get a second mortgage on her house to get Cary out. Cary has already faced a test in prison regarding his loyalty to Bishop and while he didn’t lose a finger, he did receive a rather nasty hand gash which he then had to pretend he got from falling on the bars. Cary is a target in lock up in part because he used to be an ASA and because he poses a risk to Bishop. He passed the test and that should afford him some protection even if he’s received the wrath of a guard for not following certain rules like crossing lines and keeping his eyes to the ground.
When Cary enters prison his suit has a disheveled appearance, but with his pocket square still neatly in place he looks like a rich dude who has been done for a DUI or some kind of drug possession – so grateful they mentioned the last time he did drugs was the hilarious season 1 mushroom incident – and when Cary changes into the beige prison uniform he looks small and vulnerable. The puffed up chest lawyer confidence is all but gone.
Diane is having to maintain appearances with Louis Canning and David Lee as they try and figure out her next move; David Lee doesn’t think Diane will move to Florrick, Agos as it is “too small potatoes” with Canning accurately acknowledging that it appeals to “Diane’s romantic soul.” It matches Diane’s brand and her client roster is worth an impressive and significant $30 million. This is in part what Diane is selling herself on to Alicia, that and the prestige her name brings; a name that could counterbalance the damage to this fledgling firm from Cary’s arrest and the Lemond Bishop connection.
Costume wise both Alicia and Diane are on top of their power game despite the tidal wave of shit that has hit them both from last season and in this episode. Alicia is all Hugo Boss suits and Emilio Pucci puffed sleeve blouses. Alicia’s color palette sticks to darker tones and neutrals like grey; however as the ensemble below shows this isn’t about becoming a wallflower and she still stands out thanks to precision tailoring and flourishes like those sleeves.
Diane is also not someone to fade into the background even with the fake retirement story she is serving up. This means an exquisite raspberry colored St. John Collection draped dress and Pono statement necklace. The shot below gives me shivers and with Diane representing Cary (as Alicia has been removed) he has yet another excellent and very vocal advocate. Perhaps this will get him on board with Diane as a new partner.
Cary is but a pawn in the quest to bring down Lemond Bishop and no matter how hard Bishop tries to convey an appearance of being nothing more than a business his reputation precedes him and after all this is a pretty accurate assessment of how Bishop makes his money. Bishop can use intimidation to get Cary to keep his mouth shut, steer Kalinda away from her line of questioning and get the bail money. The latter is an issue now that Finn has requested a source of funds hearing as the funds are not from a legitimate source and were originally delivered in a duffle bag with $200,000 more than they needed (the removal of this extra money was hilarious). Does this mean Cary is going to languish in prison for even longer? Maybe they should tap up Colin Sweeney instead.
When Alicia suggests Finn is going hard after Cary because of his sister’s overdose she crosses a line by using her personal knowledge to suggest an ulterior motive. Instead he just wants to get one of the biggest drug dealers behind bars which seems like a perfectly valid reason and they shake on it not ruining their friendship.
There is an ease to Alicia and Finn in their playful back and forth even as Finn gets her disqualified – in an aside he notes how he didn’t want to go against her – that is free from the meaningful looks and complicated history that Alicia shared with Will. Not that I’m advocating a hook up just yet (this thing has to build) and gifs of Will and Alicia over on Tumblr still feel like a punch to the gut, but I have to admit that seeing the shoulder squeeze of thanks and the friendship declaration handshake makes me more than glad to have Finn Polmar as a an opponent and Matthew Goode retaining his regular status. Is he going to become the latest thorn in Eli’s side if he messes up the Saint Alicia brand?