The Good Wife: 4x02 And the Law Won.
The episode starts with Clarke Hayden interviewing the previously unseen little people of L&G about what they have contributed to the firm's success in comparison to the people there we know and love, and the most interesting moment is when we finally see the Will/Alicia rumours from the other side, from the people who weren't lucky enough to have the biggest office of any four-year associate with a clear view of the partners through L&G's glass walls. And it's even more interesting what Clarke does with that piece of information, because once he asks Alicia that question about her worth to the firm, she just replies "I'm good", and this episode is all about in what specific ways Alicia is good, except note she didn't say "because I'm a good lawyer" (which she totally is, but maybe also being good at other things isn't always as helpful as you'd think).
The 60 Million (I'll use that as shorthand for the axe swinging above everyone's head from now on) sort of influences their every move. Will tries his first case and Clarke insists he accept (or makes their client accept, since it's not exactly their call), and when Diane and Will fight back it almost backfires. Diane tries to get better conditions for their lease from their new landlady, billionaire Maddie Hayward (Maura Tierney!!!!), who has been watching Alicia Florrick from afar, prompting Diane to totally try and pimp out Alicia for their purposes, because I'm pretty sure Diane thought it was for flirting reasons. Kalinda tells Alicia that creeper Nick is her husband and she's not entirely sure if he's dangerous (I mean she's really, really trying to find out, I guess, but the addiction angle they're pulling isn't my favourite thing that has ever happened to Kalinda Sharma to be honest), so Alicia should better drop him, which she promptly does for pretend moral reasons, but Clarke (weaselling his way into everything this week) makes her take him back for money reasons, because "it's not an economy for ideals", remember, and apparently also not one for keeping your only friend in the world (until Maddie Hayward gets her drunk, also, will we get a Maddie/Kalinda scene, because that would be the greatest thing in the world) safe from making the worst possible mistake.
Maddie makes a massive contribution to Peter's campaign, ending his financial woes, but doesn't give L&G better conditions, meaning that she's managed to really help and totally fuck with Alicia's hopes and dreams at the same time, because Diane is starting to doubt Alicia's usefulness and her dedication to the cause. Winning an eccentric billionaire as a friend vs. pissing of Diane Lockhart - I'm pretty sure Alicia lost this one.
- Clarke about Diane and Will's biggest mistake: "This is how you got into this hole. Putting passion over pragmatism."
- The case of the week was a kid who got into the midst of a NATO protest and was peppersprayed and tasered to death by a cop. A pretty grim one in what I'd argue was a really funny episode, in that peculiar TGW-humour kind of way. Will almost lost because it was a jury case and after a likely actually real Supreme court decision, the jurors were allowed to question the witnesses, leading into a rabbit hole of "girlfriend broke off the engagement, also was prescribed drugs three years ago by a company Will previously won a case against (was that the "rats in a cage" case, cause that would be a really weird call-back), tried to commit suicide by cop" which the defense (played by the great Edward Herrmann) laconically commented on by saying "You gotta love the jury system". It was gross but probably also realistic.
- On the list of things that are going well for L&G: "Sweeney's been good". Well that's really great news for his wife and all the other women of Chicago, I guess.
- There's a really weird moment at the beginning of the episode when Diane and Will discuss the particulars of their financial woes and throughout, Alicia sort of awkwardly hovers in the background, fumbling with the envelope containing the settlement offer, and I think that's maybe when Clarke picks up on how important Alicia is, because they just let her be privy to their specific kind of partner-intimacy without even thinking about it.
- Diane also tells Alicia to join Will's case because "He is better when he has someone to impress" and they just fired the guy she suggests. An interesting episode about all the ways in which Alicia Florrick is "good".
- It's hard to enjoy any part of this because every time Nick is on screen I want to throw something but the opening scene with them in the ice cream parlour was hilarious; like they need to surround themselves with children and sundaes to not fall into the violence and sex hole, and even then they only barely manage (also ew). I realized last week that my moral radar in terms of The Good Wife is really questionable because if Kalinda happened to kill him and get away with it, I would be absolutely okay with that.
- On a more serious note, the whole point is that Nick isn't the abusive husband I thought he may have been and whatever went on between them was very complicated and they can't get away from each other, etc and hurting each other gets them off, and this seems particularly dangerous because the only person Kalinda can talk to on the outside is Alicia, and I don't think Alicia is in any position to understand any of this (on the other hand, they might bring back other people from Kalinda's past who'd maybe get it and that could be interesting so let's see).
- Kalinda's completely off her game, comes late for work, doesn't know what case Will is talking about, and only finds the important evidence once she thinks that Nick is gone from her life (underground cops at protests use pink stickers to mark radical protestors, the cop in question mistook a smiley button on the victim's backpack for it, and somehow saw red but they settled so it ended there).
- Alicia gets into a weird position when Clarke asks her about the value of people she's previously worked with (lucky Alison Seebach - but what is she going to do now that she is L&G's entire mergers and acquisitions department!), and Alicia soon realizes she's basically the arbiter of life and death - but the question is why Clarke pulled this off? Was it a test, was it about trying to figure out what she means to Will?
- One wonders what kind of screwed up mindset a petty criminal must have to think that aggressively drinking mineral water would come across as a threat. Nick is such a creep.
- Maddie: Why are we saddled with so much guilt? I have enough Catholic and Jewish guilt and now I'm getting feminist guilt, thank you very much.
- Maddie takes her driver to her meetings because people automatically assume he's the buyer and she gets some time off. I wonder what reporter Kristin Chenoweth would have to say to that.
- The Maddie/Alicia stuff was GREAT.
Maddie: Mrs Florrick!
Alicia: Ms Hayward!
Maddie: Maddie Or Ms Hayward, I don't mind being objectified.
- The whole thing was like a Kalinda through the looking glass, which makes a lot of sense considering how it ended: Every single thing Maddie says and does could easily be construed as someone slightly socially awkward and also really weird flirting (that look of love at first sight after their conversation also helped). Peter totally picked up on it (which was the greatest thing for a bit there - I might give you a lot of money, get to say stuff like "so your way of making up with your wife is not sleeping with prostitutes!" but also indicate that the reason why I support you is because I secretly want to date Alicia!), and Diane sort of did too ("Yes, well, she's a funny one").
- Also contributing life-saving amounts of money to Peter's campaign seemed like a really appropriate version of u-hauling after the first date, well-done.
Maddie: Speaking of which, this is a little bit awkard so I'm just going to say it: Would you like to have a drink sometimes?
Alicia: Look Maddie, I'm flattered, really, but I'm married.
Maddie: Oh, um. I wasn't hitting on you. I'm sorry.
Alicia: Oh no.
Maddie: Well now it's really awkward.
Alicia: Oh god, sorry, I just misunderstood, in this day, it's just been a long day.
Maddie: Don't worry. Look. The thing is, I don't have many friends, Alicia. There, I said it. Sometimes it's hard to know if someone wants to be your friend or if they want something from you. So um, I'm going to say it again. Would you like to have a drink sometimes? What's so funny?
Alicia: I just don't remember the last time someone just approached me for a drink. And I would be delighted. How's that.
Maddie: Good. Good. We're talking like normal human beings. How about tomorrow night.
Alicia: Looking forward.
- This was the most awkward and awesome friend-dance EVER, between two people who are completely awkward about different things. The greatest. The only way this could be improved is if Alicia and Kalinda could process this over drinks after she emerges from the Nick-shaped hole - something along the lines of "you know what happens when you're not around to help me navigate this complicated world we live in?" "IN THIS DAY". Like Alicia checked out at some point during the Eighties and now that she's back everything confuses her (too bad this totally backfired for Alicia though).
- In the end, all is fun and games because Alicia is riding the campaign bus of success, Eli happily plays the fool as long as Alicia and Peter are so actively "working on it", and I'm sure this will all go terribly wrong really, really soon. Because Alicia is good, but not in the way Diane wants her to be good, and not in the way Eli does, either.
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