New Show Recap: The Good Wife 5×01, “Everything is Ending”

Let’s talk about the Florricks. 

The Good Wife is back, and it’s started season five with a bang. Peter has been elected governor, Alicia and Cary are starting their own firm, Diane is about to become a state supreme court judge, and Kalinda has a plucky sidekick. The first episode of the fifth season drops us right into the action, and it’s up to us, as the audience, to keep up. One of the many things I love about this show is the pacing. I enjoy a slow burn as much as the next lady, but when a show can do frenetic really, really well (see also: Scandal), I’m all in.

The case of the week is a death row appeal, and Lockhart Gardner is playing beat the clock. Eddie Fornham (played by Malik Yoba) is being executed in Indiana (where we execute a lot of people) for the murder of two teenage girls after a car jacking gone tragic. The first execution attempt goes horribly wrong, causing Fornham to nearly bleed out, so Diane and Alicia are able to halt the execution. After the execution is stopped, the L&G team begins racing to find any loophole or irregularity to get more time. Their efforts fail, repeatedly, and Fornham is nearly executed a second time, but Will finds some magic beans and again halts the procedure. Fornham, in spite of the evidence L&G collected opening the possibility of his innocence, won’t be put through another execution attempt, but he will still spend the rest of his life in prison.

Meanwhile, in the Hall of Justice Governor-elect’s office, Peter and Eli meet the Ethics committee staffer who helpfully points out that four of the last eight governors of Illinois went to prison. (I’m telling you, the Midwest is way more interesting than we look from the outside.) She’s also quite attractive, which makes Eli worry about how she’s going to look next to Peter. He wants her transferred. Peter initially fights him, because firing women for how they look is skeevy, but he relents later when he catches himself giving Ethics Lady a lecherous once-over.

Aside from Peter’s basal tendencies, there’s a really nice moment when Alicia tells him and Eli that she’s starting her own firm. Eli looks as though he just swallowed a very large bug, but Peter is instantly thrilled for her, and 100% supportive. In the early seasons of this show, it wasn’t always easy to see what Alicia ever saw in Peter, but that’s become a lot more clear as the story has progressed.

Things are also getting fairly interesting for Alicia’s daughter, Grace, who discovers she’s the fourth hottest politician’s daughter (behind Abby Huntsman, Bristol Palin, and Meghan McCain) on a site called Turbochap.com. (Which site is this poking fun at, readers?) Zach is much more disturbed by this than Grace is, at this particular moment.

The L&G partners are beginning to notice the fourth years acting strange, and David Lee decides to dump all the data from the company phones to see what they’re up to. He discovers the associates have all been calling the major clients excessively, leading the partners to call Alicia in to ask if she knows anything. She looks as though she ate the same bug Eli did, chokes out some lies, and then can’t open the door to the conference room to get out. It’s beautifully awkward, and it makes me fall in love with Alicia Florrick even more than I already am.

In addition to all of this, there’s a thread of comedy that runs through the entire episode like a magical rainbow. Most of the comedy is centered around Monica, from litigation, who’s telecommuting to L&G by way of an iPad on a robotic mic stand, punctuated by some really great one-liners.

Everything about this show is fantastic, and if you’re not watching yet, you really need to start. Great, interesting, women characters? Check. Cast without a weak link? Check. Smart writing that doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence? Double check.

Side points:

  • I love Kalinda and Robyn together.
  • Elevators are always a cast member on this show.
  • “What is this? West Side Story?”
  • Apparently, there’s been a naming convention in the episode titles of this show. In the first season, all the titles had one word, the second had two words, the third had three, etc., through the fourth season.  This season, the fifth, it looks as though each title will have three words. Is The Good Wife telling us something? Discuss.

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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