Tuesday 13 May 2014

Reaction Post - You have changed.

The Good Wife: 5x21 The One Percent.

It's never easy to sum up episodes of TGW, not because they don't have themes, but because it's too good a show to ever just be about one thing: so The One Percent is, on the surface, about that one client that FA could never afford to lose but who keeps saying the wrong thing, which works best in the process of jury selection (even though Alicia ends up being the one screwing up just as much - which was an interesting development at the end of the episode, Alicia not being able to tell apart the voices of two black men, and being called out for being of the one percent, even though she's the kind of person who'd insist that it always starts above her, because you sort of do, because feeling privileged is so elusive, it's always easier to focus on the hardship). On a more fundamental level, it's possibly about preconceptions in general, and the idea that there are always a hundred things in anyone's history and mind that determine our decisions, so in a setting where it's important to predict someone's actions, it possibly says more about the person that is doing the guessing than the person who is actually acting what they think is going to happen. Like Peter, being shown a picture of Finn Polmar leaving Alicia's flat, being led to all the wrong conclusions by SA Castro who is struggling in an election where he doesn't have the Governor's backing: He's jealous, has always been, so it's easy to not have him trust or check the facts, and he is, deep down, still the same person that went off to have all these affairs, so of course, like a petulant child, he goes off to hit on the first intern he sees. Poor Eli, who doesn't have a life (as portrayed in the episodes where he tried to have one and didn't), who actually has to go to Alicia to clear the whole thing up and talk to Peter and find out everything about their arrangement and ends up being the person to plead for their marriage, even if you can never tell if it's genuine or for the sake of politics (the thing is: Eli cares about the politics, so it's not like it would mean he cares any less if that's what he does it for, if that makes any sense - but he does care about Alicia, because she's probably the one person who fully comprehends what a task it is to manage Peter). Eli draws conclusions from intern-in-office and comments about lipstick and that weird thing that people call charm that Peter is supposed to have, the same way that Alicia and Cary and Louis draw conclusions about the jurors in their case - based on the limited amount of information that they have. Eli has more information on Peter, but it's still about how you can never truly know someone else as well as yourself, and sometimes even yourself very well (so that in the end, it literally comes down to whether juror number so and so will make his decision based on the fact that he is gay, or based on the fact of how much money he has - a million things to take into consideration, a million things to make up a person). 
This is also a way in which Kalinda fits into the episode - last week, Louis called her out on investigating him for Diane, so she knows it would be pointless to continue doing it behind his back, and, being Kalinda, she's exasperated by stupid games she can't win, so without the necessary information and in the pursuit of the necessary information, she decides to cut the bullshit and just ask him straight out what he's trying to do. It still doesn't really go anywhere, because Louis being Louis, he always has a secret hand - in this case, it brings back Jill Flint, who once again proves to be elusive AND contributes to Diane being dealt a quite final blow in her struggle for her own firm. Preconceptions, grudges - she thinks it was F/A, because of course she would, because that's what this whole season has been about, the human fallout, the fact that it's ALWAYS personal - but Diane being Diane, it just means that the fight will become even fiercer now, so I'd look for cover if I were in Louis' or David's shoes. This is HER fight. 
  • Kalinda and Cary, still haven't decided what I think - Cary knowing Kalinda plays games and taking whatever he can get regardless, or being convinced it's not just a game and accepting the game-part anyway because he cares so much, or their weird sort-of fucked up but sort of genuine thing maybe working because they're both at a point where it can work? I don't know. 
  • Great scene: Alicia's client screwing up the entire hard fought for settlement with Louis' client by being offensive on television, Alicia knowing she'll need to talk to Louis before he sees it, Kalinda picking up the phone to tell her that Louis has already seen it, so that he can't play games with that information. GUYS. I can't feed on scraps alone but maybe we're getting somewhere again. 
  • It's not about Will dying, just like it was never about Peter having had an affair. Alicia is never the victim of her own story, that's not how this show works. She's growing around and above. This is about everything. 
  • Bless this show for the five-minutes take down of Ayn Rand. 
  • Who would ever LEAVE Elsbeth Tascioni. 
  • Where's Robyn?

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