Tuesday 4 December 2012

Reaction Post - Are you threatening me?

The Good Wife: 4x10 Battle of the Proxies.

FINALLY, guys! In the final episode of the year, the one thing nobody could have possibly seen coming happens: Nick kind of sort of in the half-assed way in which he screws up everything threatens Alicia, and Alicia, always more comfortable with moral clarity than with the greyness that everyone seems to want her to operate in, asks him to if this is actually what he is doing, so that she is certain enough of it to tell Kalinda. 
Nick: I know you're the wife of the State's Attorney. You don't wanna say anything to anyone about this drugs charge ever. 
Alicia: Here's the thing, Mr Savarese, Attorney client privilege is voided if I'm threatened so let me ask you this, and I suggest you take a moment before answering: Are you threatening me? 
Nick: You decide. 
OF COURSE she tells Kalinda. Of course Kalinda puts on the specific kind of poker face required for Alicia whenever Kalinda is about to go off on an endeavour that would freak every other single person on this show out to no end. 
And the thing about this whole story is: Kalinda would obviously do anything to protect Alicia, we've established that in last year's season finale, but see what Alicia did there? She never asked anyone if she was free to fire Nick. She did it on her own accord, because of the evasive way in which Kalinda answered questions about him before, because she knows that something is profoundly wrong, that the best way to protect Kalinda here is to make Nick leave for good, and to subtly play into Cary's threat that any wrong move on his part will result in legal action. They are protecting each other, even though Kalinda's way of protecting is always more showy and spectacular than Alicia's. 
Kalinda: What's wrong? 
Alicia: Should I be afraid of your husband?
Kalinda: No. Why. 
Alicia: He was here. 
Kalinda: When?
Alicia: This morning. I told him we were no longer representing him, he didn't take it very well. He was worried that Cary and I might tell someone that he is moving drugs. Did I do the right thing, we no longer represent him? And I'm not in danger? 
Kalinda: No. You won't be. 

And I even love that quirky thing the show always does whenever Kalinda goes off to get shit done: it's almost like a superhero conversion sequence. She puts on those sunglasses and picks a weapon of her choice, and cue epic showdowns. Not that we know whatever becomes of Nick Savarese once he asks Kalinda for her Plan B, having no intention to go to Canada. I don't think we necessarily need to know, at least I don't, I spent a considerable time right after the first episode of the season thinking Kalinda had already disposed of him, and considering that Kalinda doesn't quite seem to inhabit the same world everybody else on this show does, I don't think it's far off. Remember what she did to the last guy she felt threatened her friendship with Alicia? And Nick is that much closer. 

The case of the week is a ridiculous thing that I wish couldn't actually ever happen - two people are on trial for the same murder, in different counties, and the respective teams try to help their opposites win the case - Alicia travels to Manooka, Illinois, to help the prosecution prosecute the guy who isn't L&G's client, and Matan of the SA's office (remember Matan?) supports the defence because Laura Hellinger in all her glory is trying to convict a guy in Cook County of the very same crime. Do these things happen? It gets even weirder when both guys are found guilty at the same time. At least everyone gets something out of it: Alicia the gross feeling of having helped getting an innocent man convicted of a murder her client committed (BUT IT'S THEIR JOB, IF THEY LIKE IT OR NOT! And after Colin Sweeney, is this really a lesson Alicia needed to learn again?), Will supposedly gets a date from Laura Hellinger, who spends the entire case flirting and I kind of like it, maybe just because Amanda Peet is so fucking great in that role (but imagine Alicia and Laura and Kalinda awkwardly hanging out though, desperately trying to find common ground - now that would be something to look forward to, rather than Will dating someone Alicia's friends with). 

Eli figures out what the picture Nick found in Lana Delaney's apartment was all about: The DOJ, or at least one guy at the DOJ, seems to want him to turn on Peter Florrick and pretend that they accepted illegal campaign finances (was that it? That whole storyline got so weird towards the end). Eli told the guy to go fuck himself, and Diane joined in, but why would Lana be involved in this? Are they running a two-tier strategy against Peter, because the thing to get him on would surely be the fact that he helped Kalinda Sharma become Kalinda Sharma in exchange for sex? Or maybe I am the only one still waiting for that fall-out, I don't know. 

  • Amanda Peet is basically the queen of the sassy court room back turn with the opposing council aka Will. That was some Ally McBeal brilliance right there. 
  • Alicia boringly ChumHums types of clay and accidentally stumbles over a previously, equally dreadful search for types of condoms, assumes it's Zach's, is told that Zach, being his father's son and an aspiring Kalinda Sharma, knows how to scrub his search history (are their teenagers who don't know how to do this, because it would be sad), tells Alicia about Grace's emo boyfriend Connor, leading to a super awkward conversation between two people who are indeniably related. Grace is outraged that Alicia assumed she would be searching for information on sex on the internet, because people back in 1890 didn't, anyway, the whole thing leads up to perhaps the single most ridiculous and perhaps great thing the show has ever done: Grace typing S-E into Chumhum, then taking forever to decide on the X. I'm pretty sure if you google sex, the internet breaks, so maybe when you chumhum sex, it creates the wormhole that probably swallowed up Nick Savarese whole (just kidding, I really like Grace, and the actress plays her so sincerely, it's fab). 
  • Oh, the outcome of the whole thing is that Zach's regrettable detective skills lead him to the conclusion that JACKIE FLORRICK WAS THE ONE chumhumming types of condoms, to the absolute quiet terror of everybody involved. Alicia and Zach decide not never speak of this again, except I sort of wish she'd tell Peter, just to see HIS FACE. 
  • "Okay, let's not rub your sophistication in my face, please."
  • Talking about Grace though, what does "being a good girl" even mean? It's great, Alicia Florrick asking her daughter to be a good girl, but arguably, even if Grace had chumhummed condoms, wouldn't that be the right thing? Isn't it a good thing not to stumble blindly into anything, even though Grace's internet skills are, if anything, worse than Alicia's (because at least Alicia "I can pretty much say I have never cleaned my cache" Florrick didn't try to search for "clay"). 
  • I'VE CAUGHT ON TO MISTER GARDNER'S TRICK. Please stay forever, Laura Hellinger.
  • Fantastic music in the episode, from the classical piece that followed Eli's human disasters around to that cover of Where Is My Mind over...

    Alicia [on the phone]: Kalinda, I'm just wondering where you are, give me a call. 
    Kalinda: What did I miss? 
    Alicia: Oh. Not much. Where were you? 
    Kalinda: Out. 
    Alicia: You look relieved. 
    Kalinda: I am. 
    Alicia: He's gone? And you're safe? 
    Kalinda: Yeah. You are too. 
    Alicia: Good. What if he comes back? 
    Kalinda: He's not coming back
    Alicia: You're sure? 
    Kalinda: Yeah.
She says "Yeah", but the question is, how literally does Kalinda Sharma slay her demons? Is it really necessary to know for sure that she did kill for Alicia, to make sure she was safe, if we know that she definitely would if she didn't say another way out? I don't think that Kalinda Sharma has ever made an empty promise to Alicia. Even the one that are hard to follow up on - openness, honesty - she tries and tries to commit to, as far as her nature allows her. 


Anonymous said...

Great points you made about one of my favourite episodes, I'm fascinated with Kalinda's dedication to Alicia and her protectiveness…

And you're right Kalinda almost turns into a superhero once she gets into that dangerous zone, but I have to say, I love her strength and the scenes she shows that hard side, her fight scenes especially makes me admire her as a character, I like Kalinda's dark ,mysterious side, I love the fact that we don't know everything about her and to the lengths she could go for Alicia…

She's my personal hero from the very beginning of the show and to be honest, if Alicia was not portrayed as such a hetero character, I wouldn't mind seeing Kalinda&Alicia as amt more than friends, now that would be what dreams are made of….

cathy leaves said...

Thank you! Their friendship was the reason why I kept watching the show, and I've always been fascinated by how they influence each other, how they change through their friendship - but yes, Kalinda's protectiveness of Alicia is special, and I sincerely hope that the makers of the show never completely abandon that ambiguous and complex relationship.
Sometimes it's almost like Kalinda - her strength, her mysterious history, the things she's willing to do - is a sort of wormhole into a different show. They can explore so many things that they wouldn't be able to if they didn't have her as a character and had to stick to the confines of just lawyers doing their job.
(and yeah, what dreams are made of... I guess that's what fanfiction is for)