The Good Wife: The One Percent
May 11, 2014 10:07 PM - Season 5, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Alicia's client can't keep his mouth shut. Louis does what Louis does. Finn has a terrible new haircut.

So many questions.
Will Rayna Hecht join Florrick Agos? Are we going to see Tascioni again?
When did Kalinda start sleeping with Cary again (or did they ever stop)?
Isn't Eli awesome? Did you know Alan Cumming is starring in Cabaret at Studio 54?

Will Peter do the stupid thing?!?!
posted by desjardins (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's kind of cute how emotionally involved Eli is in Peter and Alicia's relationship. He looked like a sad shipper in that kitchen scene.

My mom is still texting me about how disgusted she is in Peter thinking with nothing but his penis "just like Clinton." Usually I wish I was a dude, but if that is literally all men can think about, then I'm glad I'm not.

I wonder if Diane is going to do a runner to F/A&A because the menfolks are so determined to kick her out of her own firm. Disgusting how they're doing it with the "omg, femalez be acting all female and sad and neglectful" shit. Why do they suddenly hate her now that Will is gone? Apparently only because they hate women?

Oh, Tom Skerritt's character. How many more limbs can you fit into your mouth, sir?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:35 PM on May 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Okay can someone come up with a theory about Canning? And is David Lee being played too? He and Doane had such a good scene of mutual honesty and respect just then.

I liked that Peter is heartbroken. It's not just lust. He is so sad.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:25 PM on May 11, 2014

I appreciated Alicia's instant support to Diane, and Cary's caution. There's a real sense of trust in a person overriding ambition. Eli is a friend first, campaign manager second (a very close second) and that tension is shown as good drama here. Castro is scummy because he chose ambition over loyalty.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:59 PM on May 11, 2014

Also, they've now established that Finn's wife is out of the picture and he is clearly being set up as a future potential love interest for Alicia.

This plus Kalinda/Cary makes me go eh. I enjoy The Good Wife far more when it's about politics, work and marriage, not falling in love. Will and Alicia made sense because they existed prior to Peter, but romantic will they, won't they is so - dull compared to the meatier stuff.
posted by viggorlijah at 2:56 AM on May 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

Alicia's Ayn Rand critique made my week.

Eli's "You love Peter and even if you don't, he loves you," and the apparent impact of those words on Alicia made me wonder if after all Peter and Alicia might be getting back together. Alicia didn't disagree with him. She would have, or at least looked exasperated or something, if Eli was wrong.

I hope Cary isn't expecting Kalinda to be monogamous.

Alicia mixing up the two anchormen was just cringeworthy.

"What do I call you? Do I call you handicapped or crippled?"

"How about Louis?"

Don't do it, Peter!!!!
posted by orange swan at 3:57 AM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also loved the Ayn Rand comment. It was the best.

I really do not want to circle back round to Peter Cheating On Alicia With An Aide; it was not particularly interesting the first time.

The Diane vs Louis plot is interesting, but I think I prefer Diane and Alicia as friends but also business rivals than friends and partners. I would love more of trying to irritate potential jurors into disliking the other party via stupid business gaffes.

AVClub says B+. Also lots of discussion about Alicia's personality.
posted by jeather at 5:10 AM on May 12, 2014

I was really hoping that Eli was going to successfully figure out and prevent the Relationship Drama Caused By Bad Communication all in one week. I mean it seems like after so many times somebody ought to get better at seeing this stuff coming and cutting it off. Sadly the end of the episode suggests that despite Eli's valiant efforts we're due for another ride on the merry-go-round; although I do have to wonder what that aide is up to that she was willing to totally ignore Eli and pop her head into Peter's office late at night.

The scenes of Paisley giving interviews while Cary and Alicia cringe and Louis cheers were wonderful, though.
posted by mstokes650 at 5:50 AM on May 12, 2014

I liked that Peter is heartbroken. It's not just lust. He is so sad.

Oh, fuck him. He made his bed, now he has to lie in it.
posted by desjardins at 6:40 AM on May 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

He and Alicia were back to repairing their marriage when Will died. They had plans for their shared future, discussions about who would live where, and a lot of affection and trust, hardwon and from Peter's side, recognized as important. He was so happy for her success. And Alicia had already decided to walk away from Will permanently. But it was still fragile, and when Will died, all that grief and Peter's crappy handling of the situation, all that blew their repairs apart.

We see Alicia's grief in the show, and we know how much Will mattered to her. But for Peter, Will was his loathed rival who came close to destroying his marriage and career, a man he might have liked as a person but someone who has caused him pain and who managed to devastate his wife by dying and destroy Peter's marriage again. Peter doesn't have grief over Will, just loneliness and watching his wife who he was again deeply in love with, slip away into icy distance for a dead man and not have a damn thing he can do to change her mind.

I really like this as a story - Peter in this case has done nothing wrong, it's just bloody awful timing. A year on, Will's death might be something very sad but distanced by time and with their marriage steady enough to withstand the blow. But just then, it was enough to destroy them again. And Peter can't do anything to fix it. He can't do penance or apologise because he didn't do anything. Will died, and Alicia is heartbroken. And Peter's marriage is ruined, but not by his action or inaction, just - timing.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:24 AM on May 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm kind of hoping the intern is a plant sent to summarily seduce and then attempt to blackmail Peter into endorsing Castro instead of Finn. (Where did she come from, anyway? Have we ever even seen her before?)

It could totally be projection on my part, but I actually didn't get the impression that Alicia was all that affected by Eli's whinging on about how Peter loves her even if she doesn't love him. All I perceived was a bit of a knowing smirk followed by a healthy swig from the ol' wine glass: "Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about." If you could use the f-word on CBS, I would have expected her to roll her eyes and say, "Ugh, fuck that guy."

I will be supremely, overwhelmingly bummed if Alicia and Peter are ever reunited; I've found her maintenance of a strict arm's length distance from him to be equal parts blistering and pragmatic. The way she cut him off after he was a douche about Will's passing was AMAZING. She understands his value as a political player, but she certainly doesn't need (or want) him for romance, and their kids are very nearly grown, so it's not like she's overwhelmed by parenting duties and needs him to lend a hand in that regard. What good could possibly come from getting them back together?

There's a lot I love about this show, but the majority of my enjoyment these days is drawn from the natural bliss induced by observing a woman who was repeatedly humiliated by her ostensible life partner get and stay out of a relationship with him. So much of what we're shown in every kind of media involves shrewd, successful, brilliant women repeatedly going against their gut, mistrusting their own instincts, and ultimately/permanently returning to whatever selfish nonce lied to and treated her like garbage for years while swearing up and down that he was doing no such thing. Watching Alicia draw a line in the sand -- no, no more, never again -- has been such an inspiration.

I feel like TGW is fairly unique in its chipping away at one of the most damaging lessons directed at women, which is transmitted at us pretty much from birth: that a relationship with someone who disrespects you and treats you badly is better than no relationship at all. Alicia is (clearly and truly, IMO) better off without Peter; he only drags her down. On the show, we're allowed to see her newfound independence as success and strength instead of having the brokenness of their partnership break her down as well, only to be eventually swept under the rug in favor of a reunion. Peter destroyed the marriage. Alicia's just catching up.

Kalinda + Cary = zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Random queries: Was eyeliner guy a one-off from last episode, or will he be back? (I really think he should come back. Ahem.) Why did Finn get such a terrible haircut? How can I be Diane when I grow up? Why did I get such a sinking feeling when Cary physically barred Alicia from getting off the elevator on her day off? And will you guys all swing by mine for a red wine + Good Wife party next week?
posted by divined by radio at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

I liked that Peter is heartbroken. It's not just lust. He is so sad.

Oh, fuck him. He made his bed, now he has to lie in it.

Yeah, I am typically in the "fuck Peter" (no not that way) camp. On the other hand, the whole bit with the water glasses was amazing, which made me realize I don't normally like Peter, but when I do like him, I like him a lot, which in turn made me realize that is probably a little bit what it's like to be married to somebody like Peter. He's not always a good husband; in fact sometimes he's a really bad husband, but then sometimes he's a GREAT husband.

Man, that would suck.

I think I prefer Diane and Alicia as friends but also business rivals than friends and partners. I would love more of trying to irritate potential jurors into disliking the other party via stupid business gaffes.

Definitely. My favorite thing about this episode (besides Alicia bashing Ayn Rand's writings, which was like crack to me) was Alicia's response to Cary when Diane accused them of screwing her over and she realized that it was Louis instead and Alicia shut down Cary as he started to snark. Even though Diane had just been yelling nastily at her, she was immediately like (a) "time and place, Cary" and (b) "okay, we may be willing to attack each other fairly viciously in the court room or in the defense of our clients, but when it comes to this intra-office politics shit, we aren't getting involved - and even if we did, we'd be on Diane's side anyway and you know it."*

Maybe that's reading too much into it, but Alicia and Diane are basically the relationship I'm most invested in on a show where I am invested in a lot of the relationship dynamics. (I will be surprised if I enjoy any moment on TV this year more than the conversation after Will's funeral when Diane said "We were like the two mistresses at the Irish funeral...I'm sorry, I meant that metaphorically." I'm smiling just typing it.)

* Not that I actually blame Cary for his snarky response about knowing what it's like to be screwed by the partners of Lockhart & Gardner because he was. On the other hand, biting the hand whose approval you've so desperately and obviously wanted since Day 1 when she is down is just a childish move.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:03 AM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I absolutely get your interpretation, divined by radio, I just have a different read on it. That's one of the delights of The Good Wife - the acting is rich enough that you can read different ways into the show - is Kalinda cold or careful? Is Canning ruthless or desperate? There is no single textual answer because they're people with multiple motives and desires.

I would give a lot to somehow have the whole thing end with Diane, Alicia and Kalinda sharing drinks as friends at a bar.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:05 AM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Why did I get such a sinking feeling when Cary physically barred Alicia from getting off the elevator on her day off?

I think he was genuinely trying to be nice; left unchecked, Alicia will overwork herself. I just don't get the cold and calculating sense from Cary. He's no Louis.

And will you guys all swing by mine for a red wine + Good Wife party next week?

Yes! Or my place!
posted by desjardins at 8:21 AM on May 12, 2014

Yeah, I don't really want Alicia to get back together with Peter, but I do think that Peter did act pretty badly in the wake of Will's death, and in response to Alicia's grief; he didn't do nothing wrong.

I think that as Alicia and Diane get closer, she will get closer with Kalinda again. Because that relationship is so much more interesting than Kalinda and Cary. Cary needs to be more tied in to the other characters, but not by hooking up with Kalinda where they are or aren't trying to play each other too.

What happened to the other investigator?
posted by jeather at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2014

IIRC, he was threatening to blackmail Kalinda over her mysterious past, but she found evidence that he was responsible for the assault on the doctor. She threatened to expose him if he didn't leave the area. It was either that or something to do with his ties to the criminal underworld in Baltimore. I do definitely remember they had it out in a parking garage and he sped off, never to be seen again.
posted by desjardins at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2014

No, the F/A blonde one.
posted by jeather at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2014

I have no idea what's happening with Canning. I don't know what his motivation is half the time and I don't know where that plot line is going.

For some reason during this episode I got the feeling that Alicia actually had slept with Finn and they just hadn't bothered to tell us.
posted by gerstle at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2014

The blonde's name is Robyn Burdine. The wiki doesn't have any indication that she's left, just that we haven't seen her.
posted by desjardins at 9:48 AM on May 12, 2014

I think Peter does have his moments of glory. I really enjoyed the whole wire-tapping thing when he handled it, hah.

I think P&A's marriage was ruined from the start of this show--it just depended on how much Alicia was willing to acknowledge that (since god knows Peter isn't). She has been willing to be the good wife, to put up with his crap as much as she can for the sake of family, career, and politics. She was willing to try to rekindle, blah blah blah, including giving up Will for the sake of her family (more specifically the kids since Grace's little religious disappearance brought that on). But having her one hope of anybody good happening to her gone forever seems to have just made her snap. She's acknowledging to herself that she's had enough. Well, so far. I don't think she'll have really had enough until she actually goes through with a divorce, which probably won't happen unless the show is ending. Unless she actually ends the relationship publicly, she can and will always be dragged into Peter's drama.

It's the same "Peter's fault" that it was all along to me, really. Alicia's just lost most of her desire to "get along."
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:03 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

As a Fringe fan, it is still very weird to see Cerveris emote at all (he plays an emotionless Observer), so having him go "Seriously?" after getting splashed with a drink was my highlight.

That and Eli's wistful sadness about the Florrick marriage.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:23 AM on May 13, 2014

I think Alan Cumming is the best actor on the show. We've seen him convincingly express every emotion. Can you imagine Cary being genuinely wistful?
posted by desjardins at 9:58 AM on May 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

%n: "My favorite minor part of this episode is where Eli meets Alicia at her apartment, and she pours half a glass of wine, and then does this weird pause because she clearly wants to pour more but thinks it might be awkward."

That was beaaaaaaaautiful.

I have been a Peter/Alicia fan since at least season 3, I think because Peter has a moral compass, just no control over his penis. Will was a much more cutthroat and amoral person.

A sign of the strength of writing on this show, I guess, because I never, ever empathize with TV cheaters (except the waitress in Waitress), but I am rooting for Peter so hard.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:57 AM on May 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm packing for a con I'm tabling at so I don't have a lot of time atm, but!

I wanted to come in and confess to you all that after this last episode, I suddenly and INTENSELY ship Alicia and Eli.

He's much closer to Alecia now than he was at the start of the show. I think that he's beginning to see Peter's bad behavior and inability to change as not just political poison, but also personal betrayal. He's in deep on this -- he's told us over and over again how Peter's life is basically all he has -- and Peter has not been a particularly easy project to have invested in, especially not recently.

I don't know, I just love the idea of the two repeated victims of Peter's poor decision-making finding some sort of solace in each other.

That and I ADORE Eli and find Finn to be kind of boring.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:37 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ha, Narrative Priorities, I was just catching up and toward the end of this episode, I was thinking 'Huh, it'd be sort of weird but also awesome and increasingly believable if Eli and Alicia end up together.'
posted by jacquilynne at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, please don't have Alicia and Eli end up together. I do not wish for that AT ALL. Eli is my favorite on this show, but I just don't see it.
posted by schnee at 8:08 PM on May 27, 2014

I wanted to come in and confess to you all that after this last episode, I suddenly and INTENSELY ship Alicia and Eli.

I also ship Alicia and Eli and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO disappointed by the dearth of good fanfic for this ship.

I wish someone would write a canon-divergent near-futurefic in which Peter dies and Eli consoles the widow and one thing leads to another and... [insert Explicit rated sex scenes here]
posted by Jacqueline at 11:13 PM on December 14, 2014

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