Tuesday 29 January 2013

Reaction Post - I want you to be Saint Alicia.

The Good Wife: 4x13 The Seven Day Rule.

I think what The Seven Day Rule is in this episode is the time that Alicia spends pondering an offer, going from excitement and enthusiasm, because she is still our Alicia and questioning people she considers her friends isn't the first that occurs to her, to doubt, to something that feels like a step in a direction that we (and Diane, in that final scene) aren't really sure of yet. It's like when Alicia tells all of them twice that the client who is going to contribute to the firm's resurrection if they play their cards right is motivated by love, and if they can't accept that, they won't catch her in their net, except they look at her like she's from a different universe and lay their little traps and eventually it works out (or how Cary realizes from the beginning what being offered a partnership means while Alicia needs to be told bluntly, several times, by people who have no reason to make it easier for her). 
But here's what happens: Neil Gross, owner of ChumHum, self-declared hater of L&G, intends to marry a litigator working for his law firm. She brings the pre-nup to David Lee (and how interesting that Kalinda is in that room from the beginning) who realizes that this is about the ninth-richest American and that handling her business is going to really help with the sixty million thing that is still haunting the firm (literally, because Hayden is currently engaged in arguing against an extension and new debtor Louis Canning jumps at the chance to try and ruin his foes in his never-ending game of chess against L&G). While Cary, Kalinda, David and Alicia (mostly Cary and Kalinda) work to undermine the fiancé's trust in her soon-to-husband just enough for her to argue for a better pre-nup, but not for them to call off the engagement, Alicia gets the offer to become an equity partner (excitement) for the prize of 600000 (which neither Will or Diane mention at the initial meeting - panic) just like four other fourth-year-associates (serious doubts) probably because it would raise 3 million and help with the debt (actual anger and betrayal). It's an emotional roller coaster for Alicia Florrick that seems designed to teach her another lesson about how gross everyone, even people she trusted, is, and how she needs to fine-tune her arsenal a bit further. Because this is the speech Diane delivers to her, once everything is won (the extension, Neil Gross' wife as a client) except Alicia's trust, which is probably gone forever: 

Diane: You're pouting. It's unbecoming.
Alicia: No. I'm working.
Diane: You know why I was made partner? Jonah Stern was sued for sexual harassment and he needed to show that he had a female partner, that's all. When the door that you've been knocking at finally swings open, you don't ask, you run through. that is the simple fact. No one is here to make it comfortable for you, no one is here to appreciate your moping. So this is my advice to you: take a minute for yourself, put on your best gracious voice, find a way to wear a smile and then come into the conference room ready to thank the equity partners for giving you this opportunity. Because what has been given can quickly be taken away.

It's advice and a threat, but it's also something that I'm pretty sure Diane wishes weren't true, the thing about never asking for reasons. Alicia is proud enough to insist, in the court room, when she gives testimony on possible schemes by her firm to raise money, that she got the offer for her abilities, but I think there's a prize that Diane and Will will pay for the moment when she finally does what Diane asks her to do (because in the scene, it doesn't look like Alicia's giving up or in, it looks like's she's owning the situation in some way that will soon be revealed). Because Louis Canning never loses completely, and came into her office to tell her that she still has a get-out-of-jail free card: his business card, a number she can dial once she's fed up with all the lessons she's been learning left and right (yet armed with that knowledge, no doubt). Even Kalinda was a step away from quitting, a scene hilariously underplayed, until Will offered her more money. The thing is; they could both walk away, and wouldn't that make for an exciting next season?

  • It's been a while since I last enjoyed an Eli storyline, but in this episode, Jordan detects a weakness in Maddie Hayward: she's an atheist, as Alicia confirms after hesitating for a beat (then realizing that Maddie has betrayed her enough to allow for that indiscretion . Except Jordan and Eli have a hard time using that knowledge, because fed up with all the recent betrayals and slightly drunk on campaign event wine, Alicia doesn't even flinch before revealing to a reporter that she's an atheist as well. 
  • Peter offers to lend her the 600000 she needs for the partnership; except there's always nagging doubt when it comes to Peter, isn't there? And their relationship's starting to feel like an exchange of goods anyway, except for now, Alicia's the one calling the shots.
  • Louis questions Alicia about whether the firm has settled so many cases lately for money reasons; Alicia says no (and I guess we could go back and realize that this isn't exactly completely true).
  • Hayden comes to his senses and helps L&G get an extension at the last moment, angry because Louis offered him a job in exchange for information. I've always liked Hayden. Cary apologizes for being a terrible friend and tells him that the law isn't necessarily imprecise, it just depends on how you practice it (and if that wasn't a subtle hint at Cary's frustrations - brilliantly done by the show, it's the theme of the season, but seeing it through his usually pragmatic eyes rather than Alicia's idealistic ones is great)
  • Plus Kalinda and Cary work great together with the awkward sexual tension thing removed. "YOU just feel sorry for yourself because you were offered something."
  • "Sexual maintenance"
  • WHEN ALICIA WALKS OUT OF THE COURT ROOM after Louis makes her realize that the equity partnership is indeed a scheme, it's THE GREATEST SCENE this season so far, I think. I love it. I think this is an indication of what's to come. 
  • Great episode.

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