New Show Recap: The Good Wife, 5×05, “Hitting the Fan”

This fucking show, readers. THIS. FUCKING. SHOW.

A recurring theme in The Good Wife is the Good Girl. Good girls do the right thing. Good girls are humble. Good girls don’t need credit. Good girls put everyone else first. Good girls celebrate everyone else’s victories out loud, and pass their success onto others. Good girls don’t fight. Good girls do what everyone else expects. This was exemplified in a very, very brief scene between Alicia and her daughter, Grace, last season. Grace, who at the time was dating a boy of questionable dating value, and Alicia told her to “be a good girl.” As soon as the words left her mouth, we could see Alicia flinch, and we could see Grace decide she was never going to be a good girl again.

Saint Alicia isn’t a Good Girl anymore, either, and she is scorching the path behind her. This show has never pulled its punches, ever, but Sunday’s episode landed each one squarely in the audience’s gut.

Florrick Agos v. Lockhart Gardner

Thanks to Diane’s preternatural ability to spot bullshit a mile away, she’s sussed up that CaryI and Alicia are jumping ship, which is where we left off last week. She’s informed Will, who is dumbfounded, hurt, and eventually, very, very angry. When he’s finished processing what’s happening around him, he’s out the door and on his way to Alicia’s office. The confrontation between the two of them is excruciating, even outside of his sweeping all her things from the desk to the floor. He, as we do when we’re hurt, says every hurtful thing he can think of to Alica, before firing her and taking her personal cell phone.

“You were poison when I took you in.”

Alicia is left with Robyn as her guard as Will gathers a quorum to make her termination official. Robyn, as of yet undiscovered as another Florrick Agos pilgrim, allows her to call Zach. She asks Zach to see if LG files are still available in the cloud, and asks him to try and grab them. Robyn is panicked, and keeps asking Alicia questions she won’t answer, as they will both likely be deposed about their activities at this very moment. Robyn, bless her heart, keeps trying.

She’s escorted to the Elevator of Exposition by two security guards, and told anything which belongs to her will be sent by messenger later.

Next to go is Car(e)yII, who’s caught trying to download the rest of the client files needed by FA. Then CaryI, who’s confronted by Diane. The gist of their conversation is as follows:

Diane: I WAS YOUR MENTOR! WHY ARE YOU NOT MORE GRATEFUL! WHY DO YOU SHARE SO MANY FACIAL FEATURES WITH FALCOR THE LUCK DRAGON?

CaryI: YEAH, MENTOR, YOU ALREADY FIRED ME ONCE. AND THAT’S JUST MEAN. FALCOR IS A HERO.

Diane: GET OUT.

Parts of that may have only happened in my head.

One by one, the rest of the fourth years (minus one, more on her later) are caught and ousted, including, finally, Robyn. They all regroup in the coffee house in the lobby.

I once worked for a start-up company that went broke (because the owner is a certifiable idiot with delusions of grandeur). My last day there was much like Alicia’s last day at LG, only we met in a bar. The Merry Fourth Years did a fine job of conveying the emotions of FREEDOM! GIDDY! OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW? that were so prevalent in our group. Unlike us, however, the Merry Fourth Years have an ace-almost-in-the-hole, which is a $35m per year contract with ChumHum. Cary phones up Neil Gross and sets up a meeting. As they’re about to ascend the stairs to financial independence in the ChumHum HQ, however, they’re met with a restraining order from LG, preventing them from talking with Gross or ChumHum until the terms of the order are settled in front of a judge.

FA, already establishing that they don’t have time for this nonsense, responds in kind, with an identical restraining order limiting Lockhart Gardner’s contact.

LG, now really pissed, discovers the location of FA’s future offices, and reports them to the state board of health for a vermin problem, keeping FA from moving in until months down the road. Not missing a beat, Florrick Agos and associates take over Alicia’s apartment.

Two visitors break up the fun. First, Diane swings by to offer a compromise and encourage FA to follow LG’s lead and drop the restraining order. Second, Peter and his Secret Service detail come by, and he and Alicia sneak off to the bedroom for a quickie.

Peter: I so… deeply… respect you as a professional.

Me too, Pete, me too.

Meanwhile, Will has enlisted a lieutenant, Kalinda. She promises Will that she can be trusted no less than twice in this episode, but Kalinda has an established track record of not playing her hand until all the other cards are face up on the table. I have no idea where her loyalties actually lay.

Florrick Agos has the full weight of the Governor Elect’s office behind them. Peter not only makes a pretty ballsy threat to ChumHum in a press conference, by implying Internet companies are going to have to start paying taxes like everyone else, he also decides he’d like to consider candidates other than Diane for the Supreme Court opening. Eli, smartly, thinks all of this is a pretty terrible idea. I agree. While it’s awesome to see Peter supporting Alicia, he’s not helping her cause, or his own, by playing favorites and being petty. It’s a pure hoot to watch, but consequences are inevitable, especially in this show.

Peter’s play ends up working in FA’s favor, for the time being, when Gross seals the ChumHum deal with them over Lockhart Gardner. I doubt this will be the last we hear of it, though.

I was exhausted when this episode was over. Some of the best TV I’ve ever watched.

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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.

4 thoughts on “New Show Recap: The Good Wife, 5×05, “Hitting the Fan””

  1. OK, that had me on the edge of my seat the WHOLE TIME. The pace was Scandal-esque. I feel like we saw the real Peter for the first time in this episode. He’s been keeping his anger at Will in check, but now he doesn’t have to, and we’re going to see how rough he’s willing to get, and it’s Chicago rough. I was surprised how angry I was at Diane’s moral outrage. The firm royally screwed its 4th years, and now that it’s reckoning time they are SHOCKED I TELL YOU SHOCKED that these employees have no loyalty.

  2. The confrontation between Alicia and Will was SO awkward to watch! I hate that he feels so hurt, but I feel like he also is going too far in his rage. This whole situation I think will bring more pain down the line for everyone involved, but I do like seeing Alicia as the HBIC for once!

    1. I like that this show has spent 4+ years making us care so much about all of these people, and now we’re stuck in the middle. Who do we root for? Do we root for everyone to come back together as a big, happy, litigious family? Is that even possible?

      I think Will is swimming in his rage/hurt, and Will is dangerous when he’s hurt. We saw hints of this in his scenes with Diane last week, but with Alicia all bets are off.

      Damn fine TV.

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