Tuesday 23 April 2013

Reaction Post - What happened to being a family?

The Good Wife: 4x21 A More Perfect Union.

  • At the funeral of a friend's husband, Alicia's mum bullies her daughter into giving advice to a co-worker of the deceased on a contract (they're all coders) that they feel is unfair. It spirals out of control to the point where Alicia officially represents the coders against Nancy Crozier. 
  • Fran Kranz!
  • And gets them fired at the first meeting, which forces them to argue that they were engaging in protected activity (forming a union) in just another quirkily different court of law. 
  • While Alicia argues against the unfairness of not getting overtime for 60 hour weeks etc., the assistants at L&G realize the unfairness of not getting OT and start to organize (with the help of a Department of Labour guy Kalinda and Robyn bring in to help with the case). 
  • That whole thing is done really brilliantly because due to L&G's literal transparency  you start to notice all the little folks that have been there all along, presumably, and they mostly sit or stand in the background looking angrily while our well-known characters process as usual. 
  • Kalinda also finds out that Robyn gets healthcare, which adds up to about as much money as she's making AFTER her little revolt, and when she finds out that Cary is forming his own firm, she uses it as a bargaining chip against Will. The thing is, she's not willing to be exclusive, but you could also count the cases that the firm would've won without her on about two fingers (so having Kalinda steal everyone's important seats for the bargaining is so very, very fitting). 
  • There's a nice little parallel between the way the deceased's wife starts to behave right when the fight starts and the way Alicia's still struggling to figure out what it means to be a partner -  the wife embraces her pay-off whole-heartedly (but all that money also means that she's no longer an employee, which ends up winning the case for Alicia), Alicia still sides with the assistants in their struggle for fair pay. 
  • L&G does to usual divide and conquer, gives privileges to the ringleaders, everyone else doesn't gain a thing (but this is interesting because they're thinking it worked with the fourth years, except the fourth years are about an episode away, along with five clients that they probably can't afford to lose)
  • In the end, it's a bitter win - the firm gets sold to ChumHum, and Alicia can't shake the terrible feeling that Diane and Will let her continue the fight to drive down the price for their valuable client (and didn't Cary ask her when she last felt she did good?)
  • Meanwhile a numbers guy tells Peter that his in-house polling is off and he's actually losing to Kresteva, and he suggests that Alicia should attack Mike, because that wouldn't affect Peter's numbers negatively. So (or at the same time - or maybe it doesn't make a difference) Peter suggests that they renew their vows, all the while Owen and Veronica hover and argue against Peter (and for Will, because since they feel like the more emotional parts of the family, they think they're entitled to tell Alicia what "her body wants", ew). Owen weirdly stops after Peter elicits his mathematical genius on the polling numbers, and Alicia gives a decisive interview about how the fact that Mike isn't dealing with his alcoholism and is instead running a campaign proves he isn't a family guy. 
  • Which drives up Peter's numbers, and they have a conversation about promises and trust, but meanwhile Veronica sneaks into Will's office to tell him he's running out of time to make a move, and he thinks and thinks about that.
  • Also, Zach turns 18, and the family remembers that he's now allowed to buy cigarettes and porn... no one mentions voting.

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