The Good Wife: A Weird Year
May 18, 2014 8:10 PM - Season 5, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Louis Canning plots; Jackie and Veronica make food together.

Eli tries to get Finn Polmar to withdraw from the State's Attorney race after he uncovers evidence that he possibly bribed another prosecutor to save his sister from jail. Jackie and Veronica clash as each other vie to cook for Zach's graduation dinner party; Jackie finally learning the truth of Peter's and Alicia's marriage. After a live-streamed deposition, Lockart/Gardner & Canning leave their conference room camera on, which allows Florrick/Agos an opportunity to eavesdrop. After Finn withdraws, Peter decides to offer Diane the chance to take his place. Alicia and Cary clash with each other after the proposal to merge with Lockhart/Gardner & Canning resurfaces. Canning, after being thwarted in his attempts to buy Howard Lyman's vote, threatans to dissolve Lockhart/Gardner & Canning if she does not give up her managing partnership, which prompts Diane to leave and join Florrick/Agos. Alicia farewells her son Zach as he embarks on a summer internship. Eli, in a last minute decision, proposes that Alicia run for State's Attorney.
posted by jeather (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Even though this whole episode almost just felt like moving pieces into place for next season, I still feel like there's a lot to say -- I'm just not sure what it is yet.

It almost felt a bit too twisty for its own good, but so many of the twists were so satisfying, I don't care.

As someone who often leaves his shared desktop connected to web meetings, leaving the webcam open did strike a nerve.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:41 PM on May 18, 2014

Have to go to bed, but I wanted to mention one thing that really bothered me. There was a continuity error with Cary's hair. When he spoke to Alicia outside about the merger, i'm pretty sure it was shorter than immediately before, where they were in the conference room.

I'll have more to say tomorrow, but I just wanted to get that off my chest.
posted by desjardins at 8:52 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Desjardins, I noticed Cary's haircut too, but largely in favour of "Man, he looks hot. His cheekbones! So hot. So hot."

I watch The Good Wife with the best of intentions, but they're all sort of so 1% pretty.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:53 PM on May 18, 2014

This episode felt really overstuffed. Much as I'd normally enjoy the comedy gold of the drunken food snipings and burnings of Jackie and Veronica, there just wasn't room for that level of fluff in this episode (or Zach's actual graduation) what with all of the listening in, sniping, and gossiping going on.

I have been rooting for Diane to join Florrick/Agos and I really hope that goes down. I'd be delighted. I yelled a "yayayayayay!" at the screen.

I was excited to see Louis Canning return, but this whole turn has been nasty. Doing anything to steal managing partner from Diane, ugh. Fun times, that. And yeah, Peter, this little offer of yours is kinda ridiculous now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:01 PM on May 18, 2014

Having Peter trapped in a kitchen with his mother and mother-in-law does seem like a suitable purgatory for him to suffer in.

Louis Canning's approaching death - where is his wife? his children? - seems to have concentrated him to the essentials of who he is, cutthroat and ruthless.

That last scene though had some of the reasons I love The Good Wife on TV. The camera panning in from overhead to show the room with the half-consumed dinner, down and around Eli, the back and forth headshots, the music in the background slowly increasing and then cutting abruptly to have silence, except for dialogue - just lovely crisp editing and colours and sound, all framed to fit a television screen perfectly.

I would very much like the next season to start with Alicia getting out of bed, Eli still fast asleep next to her after she laughed and said no, but let's go to bed, Eli, and he agreed.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:20 PM on May 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Matt Czuchry is so adorable. I like him with his hair a little longer and ruffled up like some sort of little pet chickadee's feathers, but yes, when it's more closely cropped it highlights his fine, fine bone structure.

Are real law firms this unstable? It feels like there's always some sort of maneuvering going on. And for Alicia to go from stay at home mom to partner in a big firm to heading up her own new firm to running for state's attorney in the space of five years is more than a little too much.
posted by orange swan at 10:35 PM on May 18, 2014

The Good Wife Writers twitter account live tweeted tonight's episode and rather than just quote most of it here, here it is and if you're interested, scroll back to the right time. So many interesting points in there, but my favorite was that when they were discussing the ethics of inadvertent disclosure in the writer's room, the lawyers were having the exact same fight, complete with looking it up on their phones.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:23 PM on May 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

"I yelled a "yayayayayay!" at the screen."

oh me too. I was upset to see Alicia and Cary arguing, they are my favorite pairing and they were both right. The idea of Diane moving over is so satisfying but it would mean the end of the Lockhart/Gardner (LG?) name and symbolically erase Will from the show :(

The last bit was a twist to far. I understand that they want a cliffhanger but they really should have ended on the Diane meeting.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:50 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, from the twitter feed: We did an alternate where the Florrick/Agos people saw David Lee singing "I've Got A Little List" from Gilbert/Sullivan.

This show needs to be longer than one hour.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:56 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Louis is such a relentless schemer that it's become predictable and boring. I don't know if the "I'm dying" story line is an effort to portray him as human. It's not working, I hope he dies.

I really don't like the idea of Alicia running for state's attorney. They've done the whole "digging up dirt on candidates" so many times that it's become... predictable and boring.
posted by desjardins at 7:55 AM on May 19, 2014

I was really pleased that Cary had something to do again this episode, because he's been so underused all season. And I really like Diane joining Florrick/Agos (sure, they didn't show anyone agreeing, but it's pretty obvious they will); I don't think Alicia can reasonably run for state's attorney.

Louis Canning is a great schemer. I like his scheming. I don't want him to do anything but continue to scheme, ideally with a lot of David Lee. And then against David Lee. I'd also like to see more of the old guy (I forget his name) interviewing witnesses.

They really, really need to figure something out with Kalinda, because she's been misused lately. It would be interesting if she comes with Diane. Maybe she and Eli can team up and put in DOORS in the office.
posted by jeather at 8:01 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't know how anyone gets anything done in that office. No cubes, no walls, no doors, ugh.
posted by desjardins at 8:09 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hey, there's Robyn! They must have taken her out of F/A's presumably doorless cold storage room. How have they been getting along all season without their lone wolf investigator?

I was super creeped out by Cary's dialogue when he was in bed with Kalinda. Like, paused the show to froth and gnash my teeth about it to my roommate/TGW-watching partner. It's a solid bet to GTFO if your partner expresses anything but enthusiastic consent, let alone if s/he literally tells you to stop, right? Right. But the "I'm not one of your women" thing? Beyond the pale, IMO. Did not like, do not want. And I can't imagine Kalinda would be super-psyched about working for her erstwhile booty call, but I also can't imagine her staying at L/G without Diane.

Speaking of, goddamn, I love Diane. Also love how she's married, but Mr. Tea Party's presence or lack thereof do not seem to factor into any of her life-altering decisions AT ALL. "Quit my job where I'm a name partner in order to join a scrappy upstart with my sometimes-rivals? YES. Why would I need to ask my spouse about the ramifications of this choice?" I still feel like they married her off because TV is so uncomfortable with adamantly single women, especially when they don't have children, but that's America for you.

Glad to see the writers cop to this particular bit of poetic license. I yelled, "No fucking way!" when she walked in JUST in time to see Zach strolling across the stage.

The drunk moms were excellent -- drunk Jackie is vastly superior to sober Jackie, omg -- but I agree with jenfullmoon, the show was too packed full of Other Stuff to let that whole to-do play out as fully as it could have.

Really wanted the season to close with Alicia finding out that Peter banged that intern, yelling, "YOU ARE THE WORST" at him over the phone, crisply hanging up, and then going out for a drink with eyeliner guy from a couple of episodes ago. The only way to get over one man is to get under another, as we all know, but Finn is zzzz.

Legal nerdery: At least in contract law, F/A would be prohibited from using information unilaterally mistakenly revealed by L/G for their own (unjust) enrichment. *spends the rest of the day reading about the ramifications of inadvertent disclosure*
posted by divined by radio at 8:45 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yes, I forgot to comment on Cary. What the fuck was that? I thought it was going into rapey territory right there. I forgot that he was probably pissed off at her for manipulating him in that moment. And he backed off, thank god. But ewwwww, hated it.

Also, why are they always having tent sex? Isn't that too hot to be totally covered?

Robyn's been there, she's just out investigating, that's all!

I also thought it was weird that Diane's husband wasn't consulted about this (onscreen that we know of, anyway), but maybe Gary Cole was unavailable. I'd love to see him on the show more, though. I did read some story online (sadly don't know where I put the link) that said that the showrunners said that Kalinda would definitely go with Diane.

Another thought on the dying of Louis (though for a dying guy, he sure has the energy to get up to a bunch of shit, AHEM, will he be doing a show at the Moulin Rouge next?): isn't it a bit shitty of him to want to take over being managing partner if he's at least somewhat likely to be incapacitated in the near-ish future? Wouldn't it be more sensible of him to campaign to co-manage with Diane? Or even David Lee?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:12 AM on May 19, 2014

Maybe he's lying about dying, though it doesn't seem to be gaining him much sympathy on the show, either.

I blocked out the Cary moment when I was commenting, but at the time I gasped and said NOOOOOOOooooooo don't you dare.

If Kalinda goes with Diane, I expect more Kalinda/Robyn fireworks.

The only way to get over one man is to get under another, as we all know

Uh, no. :)
posted by desjardins at 9:21 AM on May 19, 2014

I like Finn and I hope they are keeping him in their back pocket because if Diane is moving over and Louis is on his death bed (Kalinda did vouch for this) then the former Lockhart Gardner is going to need a new attorney.

I loved the bit about the perfume and Eli told Peter that Jackie liked to sit in his chair when he was out of the office. Also the eyepatch and mustache on Peter's portrait. It could be a running background gag.

Both cases are still up in the air, the adoption and the potential defection of ChumHum. Also I forget what happened with the Silk Road kid. Did Alicia pass that case onto Diane?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:00 AM on May 19, 2014

I loved the bit about the perfume and Eli told Peter that Jackie liked to sit in his chair when he was out of the office.

Also from that scene:

Peter: Who's the replacement going to be?
Eli: For Jackie? I can make up a list.


I think the Cary/Kalinda grossness was another thing that would have benefited from more breathing room for this episode. Not that it excuses the awful thing that seems like was almost going to happen, but the lines would have made more of an impact and less of a "WTF Cary?" moment if we'd got to see a bit more of him being pissed off for being played by Kalinda.


Speaking of, goddamn, I love Diane. Also love how she's married, but Mr. Tea Party's presence or lack thereof do not seem to factor into any of her life-altering decisions AT ALL.

From this great piece in the Washington Post this weekend -- Christine Baranski on Diane Lockhart’s emerging presence in ‘The Good Wife’:

Speaking of which, we’ve seen so little of Diane’s husband lately. Is she even married any more?

Yes, but Gary Cole, who plays her “gun-toting cowboy” of a husband, is busy with his own office politics over on “Veep.”

“I kind of like that you don’t see her marriage, because it’s a very personal thing,” Baranski says. “She goes home to her cowboy, and they cook and have great sex.”

posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:19 AM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

I LOVED Cary and Alicia having a knock-down, drag-out shouting match with angry hands and yelling and the whole nine yards. Both of them are pretty controlled characters most of the time, and they have great chemistry in scenes together. Seeing them FIGHT was great, and double props to the writers for saving a big fight between them until it was needed.

I also loved watching Eli's face as he realized he HAD a vetted candidate ... although I don't buy that even in Illinois the governor's wife could run for state's attorney of Cook County, at least not without getting divorced first (although, I can totally think of downstate cases where a husband-and-wife ran for prosecutor and judge in the same election in the same county and both won, as well as city councils with ex-husband-and-ex-wives on them).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:20 PM on May 19, 2014

at least not without getting divorced first


posted by desjardins at 1:23 PM on May 19, 2014

Alan Sepinwall seems to capture my thoughts on this episode (and this season) perfectly, so it seems appropriate to link to it.

As I said last night, I agree with his concern that "Alicia running for state's attorney" is one twist too far. That said, I also trust the Kings and others behind the scene at the show a lot more than I trust other shows to play it right. I can just as easily imagine them starting to plan out stories for next year, realize that they can't make Alicia running for office work, and return next season with her laughing at Eli and that's the end of it.

On the other hand, I am now imagining she and Peter getting a divorce for the reasons mentioned above and then people thinking they have a sham divorce for professional reasons when the opposite has been true for a while and I just can't wait until next fall.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:33 PM on May 19, 2014

MCMikeNamara: "That said, I also trust the Kings and others behind the scene at the show a lot more than I trust other shows to play it right."

Yeah, ditto; my initial instinct was to snort in derision at the twist, but the Kings have made tasty tasty lemonade out of sillier lemons/tropes.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2014

This episode was definitely overstuffed with stuff and things and twists. I don't like the idea of Alicia running for office, because it would take her too much out of the ensemble cast that I like, though I suppose if she were the States Attorney, she could still try cases against her old colleagues.

I do find it quite interesting how much of this seasons has revolved around surveillance -- the NSA stuff, Grace's computer being ratted, now this left on video camera -- and how different it looks when you're on different sides of the issue.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:10 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Related to your last paragraph, this article about the season as a whole by Matt Zoller Seitz is just spot-on:

But something else happened this year that emboldened the series and kicked everything up a notch: The Good Wife distilled its worldview and communicated it, subtly but plainly, in every episode, line by line and shot by shot. More than anything else, it's become a show about the irrevocable erasure of the line that once separated public and private behavior.

The gist: There are no secrets anymore, only things that people haven't found out yet.There's no safe harbor now, not just for the major characters, but for their clients, indeed for anyone who inhabits their world. There's no place that's off limits to the press, the government, or our curious/prying families or friends. Some intrusions are forced, others invited, and we're not all that consistent about what sort of consent we give, or whether we're even aware that we've given consent. But it doesn't matter. Facts are facts. Everything everyone does is public now, and (seemingly) permanent, thanks to social media and other forms of electronic paper trails. Real life has become a division of virtual reality: a wholly owned subsidiary.

(This is actually the removed-multple-paragraphs version of what I wanted to cut-and-paste. It's so good I would have been tempted to do a FPP about it if not for Fanfare.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:59 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think what's happening with Cary is actually really interesting. This episode was the first time I've noticed that he's kind of lost that smoothness to his appearance, that baby face, and he actually is starting to look kind of craggy and harried. I think this adds a kind of depth to him, the idea that there is a physical (and moral) toll that his kind of ambition takes on a person. The rapey-ness of the scene with Kalinda was quite deliberate, I think, to show that he is not a nice person and he can go to some bad places when he feels betrayed.

Also, I've been waiting for weeks for Diane to join F&A.
posted by matildaben at 4:35 PM on May 21, 2014

MCMike: "(This is actually the removed-multple-paragraphs version of what I wanted to cut-and-paste. It's so good I would have been tempted to do a FPP about it if not for Fanfare.)"

You should FPP it! I had the same thought
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:22 PM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm right in the middle of the usual definition of "Generation X," which means I grew up with Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton and as Marty McFly. And yet, when Louis Canning is on screen, I forget I'm watching Michael J. Fox, and only see Louis Canning. I never found that true of his character on, say, Spin City, although I didn't watch that a whole lot. Just one example of the all-around excellent acting on this show.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:39 AM on June 4, 2014

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