Wednesday 15 January 2014

Reaction Post - It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

The Good Wife: 5x12 We, the Juries.

The trick pony of the week is this: Will and Alicia, back in the day of when nothing was wrong for Will Gardner, used to represent two people in a relationship, but now that they've broken up, both privately and professionally, the whole thing is a bit more complicated - complicated enough for both of them to push the judge presiding over the drug smuggling trial to separate the thing into two things, which the judge ironically sort of does - except he just ends up assigning two different juries to man and woman, but the thing is still happening in the same court room. It's not efficient, as he claims, but funny. For a bit. I guess. As Cary and Diane (who first-chair the thing because they both know what a mess it would be if Alicia and Will did, which is hilarious all on its own) send the poor guy responsible back and forth with their respective juries when they don't want them to hear testimony, and everyone quietly works out if they should really work together, or pretend not to be in love (applies to the couple they're representing but ALSO to someone else, because this is The Good Wife and that's how things work), or just be at each other's throats constantly to Geneva Pine's (hi Geneva Pine!) enjoyment. She just basically leans back, and tells Matan to lean back as well, and let LG and F/A do all the hard work for her. 
It opens old wounds, or maybe they were never closed and this is just a reason to revisit them - Kalinda watching how Robyn has turned out, now that she has her own wings to fly with, Kalinda trying to patch things up with Cary after the betrayal and being forgiven after he sets her up, brilliantly, for her own down-fall (because of course Kalinda appreciates nothing more than someone else playing the game as well as she does, sometimes - but again, the whole thing is a game of "almost" - Kalinda almost meeting Alicia, almost talking to Alicia, but in the end, never getting there), Cary and Diane being the grown-ups because they have to be. In the end, the woman, represented by LG, is found not guilty, but the guy, represented by Alicia and Cary, takes the fall - a plea bargain with Geneva, because going to prison even though he's very likely innocent is better than losing hope that the extremely small odds of meeting the love of his life came true. The whole thing is more important for what it does to Alicia and Will, because Alicia, in the course of the trial, realizes how far Will is really willing to go (he lies to the judge about having seen two members of the two juries talk to each other - and that turns out to be a cute behind-the-scenes love story, actually, as they walk out of the whole mess hand-in-hand), and Will finds some of the old anger in the course of considering whether Alicia's client was set up by his own client (since the story that Will Gardner is still telling himself is that Alicia was in on it from the beginning, that he was just the mark, because that's easier to deal with than that she just decided against him, and for Peter). 

This is happening in the meantime: Eli shows Peter the video of the election fraud, Moody unloading those votes that ZACH of all people saw, last year - and I actually went back to the episode, to see what really happened, because back then I completely misread the thing and was convinced Peter was involved. Kalinda found it, so she knows. And she took it to Will, because she didn't want to hurt Alicia, and Will took it to Peter, because he didn't want to hurt Alicia, and Peter left it up to Will what to do with it - he didn't make that choice, he left Will make the choice, and it's obvious what he ended up doing, back in the day (and the question hanging over the episode is - who leaked that video? Does it have to be either Kalinda or Will, is that where the season is heading?). Peter didn't own up to it, or investigate it, but he knew about it. And I think Marilyn spends a good part of the episode very desperately trying to believe that he didn't know about it, that Eli's very open command to Moody about needing votes is to blame, that they can stick all of the moral responsibility for it on that kind of vague command and Moody's choice as a party soldier to go with it. Except Peter knew, and the greatest moment of the episode by far is when Alicia realizes that she doesn't really trust that he didn't give that command, that her husband didn't choose to steal the election. At that point, it doesn't really matter if he did or didn't, what matters is that she conceives of a reality where Peter would make that choice, because she isn't certain that he isn't that kind of person. And Zach is caught up in it as well, which makes it all the worse. 
Marilyn goes to Will to ask him what happened, and Will - knowing what will happen, because this is a chess game and he's moves ahead in his thoughts, it's that decision tree, all over again - tells her he can only reveal what happened after the election if Peter waives his attorney-client privilege. Which of course Peter isn't willing to do straight away, because he doesn't trust Will. 
This is what it comes down to - Will and Peter, in a room, and both of them willing to shape reality according to how they feel. Will, furious about so many things (the thing he mentions is Diane's judgeship, because why not take revenge for that as well, obviously Peter opened himself up for attack when he made that choice), Peter with his "man who cheats with other man's wife", as if this were a conversation he should be having with Will and not with Alicia. 
In the end, it's about Marilyn (and isn't that a great twist - that nothing matters more than how disgusted Marilyn is with Peter once she realizes that he's dirty, even if it's not exactly in that way that he could have been). Because of course Peter doesn't waive his privilege - Will threatens that they remember the situation differently, that maybe he's willing to remember the situation in whatever way he pleases. There was enough grey space initially to allow for it. 
Marilyn: Eli, my report is inconclusive until I have the Governor's full and unconditional cooperation.
Eli: You're throwing this into the laps of the Feds.
Marilyn: No, but it might end up in the laps of the Feds because you don#t trust me.
Eli: He did nothing wrong. We won by 8 points.
Marilyn: It doesn't matter. Peter is in real trouble. He is in trouble for one reason. Will Gardner. 
It doesn't really matter what Peter was or wasn't willing to do for the win - it matters what anyone believes he was willing to do, anyone including Alicia, and now Marilyn. 

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