Alicia Hulks Out In Last Week’s Squeal Inducing The Good Wife
By Alex Cranz
There’s this habit I have when watching a show and seeing two characters connect in a fundamental way. Doesn’t matter if they’re friends, family or mortal enemies. If they connect I will, inexplicably, shout “MAKE OUT” at my television. This has led to me urging infidelity and incest and pedophilia on numerous occasions. The parties have never made out.
UNTIL THIS WEEK’S GOOD WIFE.
I felt like a god dear readers. Like some omnipotent being moving characters about like chess pieces and cackling madly at my own mind. Alicia and Will were snarling at one another and saying so many things they’ve left dormant and so close and it just felt right to utter my television relationship battle cry.
And it was utterly satisfying to see them actually kiss. It was messy and wrong and wickedly stupid of them.
But let us backtrack to a time before I inadvertently became a god and they set themselves on a path to a sexual harassment lawsuit. A time when Diane and Will are railroaded by the equity partners and forced to “postpone” partnership offers to fourth years. That’s nothing new. Diane and Will are apparently the single worst business folks in law so besides bankrupting their firm more times than I can count they naturally are terrible at controlling their huge angry swath of equity partners.
The unexpected that rises from their poor handling of basically everything is that Alicia and Cary forge an official alliance. Not even just soft-spoken frenemies. No. Cary comes over for drinks and yeah it’s so they can plot with the other screwed over fourth years but Cary. Alicia. Same place. If they didn’t want me rooting for these two crazy kids to eventually get together then they’ve been doing it all wrong.
While Cary and Alicia plot Alicia also nurses the kind of unbridled rage often hinted at but never expressed. She’s brimming with it. Letting it bubble up and out of her in court and finally in that aforementioned MAKE OUT moment. It’s fascinating that this, the partnership offer, is what finally pushes Alicia to a point of showing some real anger. She’s been a victim before, and now she’s grown so accustomed to being a victim that she goes straight to that angry place when this partnership offer is rescinded. She’s come to interpret every slight in the same manner as her earliest. Which leads to sulking and wrath and making out.
And it also leads to her making rash decisions just to escape that feeling of victimhood.
Just when you think that Cary and Alicia have something special and wonderful and utterly brotastic going the partners get wise to the fourth year rebellion and divide and conquer, offering Alicia, the oldest fourth year, the plum partnership position. A lot of shows would have had their heroine say no. Idealism would have gotten in the way and Alicia would have taken her new loyal friends and run off to start her own firm with big fancy clients and a naiveté that would have doomed them all to eventual failure.
But Alicia is a worldly woman. It’s one of her defining traits. She’s seen what’s out there and, while not so jaded as to be unapproachable, she’s still a wearied individual. At her age, and with two kids and a sort of husband she can’t afford to ignore a major financial opportunity. She has the decency to tell Cary she’s taking the offer, and she even seems a little ashamed of her choice. But Cary can’t afford to care. That’s the problem of making friends at work. Money and power eventually come into play. A best friend can become a boss and suddenly all the social ties you’ve built shift into something unrecognizable.
There’s more at play than just Alicia’s weariness. That’s evidenced by her hot temper and personal offense early in the episode and her quick move to acceptance at the end. Privilege is at play–Alicia’s hauteur is usually one of her endearing traits, but it twists into something petulant when combined with her victimhood. Everything plays into a righteousness and persecution never seen before on Alicia. It’s only ever been hinted at.
She promises Cary she’ll be “his guy” when she accepts the partnership offer. Really she’s just ruthless and entitled–which in a firm as fatally optimistic as Lockhart Gardner might not be such a bad thing.
- Carrie Preston returns to help Eli Gold out with his federal investigation problem.
- This leads to a showdown with Kyle MacLachlan that is equal measures offensive, entertaining, and…sexy?
- I was very confused by how much I liked him playing such a smug jerk with charm. Mainly because I hated him but wanted him sparring with Carrie Preston every week.
- If Cary and Kalinda spin-off into their own firm let us cross fingers Elsbeth Tascioni signs on. As a boss. I WOULD WATCH THAT.
- Kalinda continued her stint in purgatory. WRITERS: Kalinda wasn’t the problem. Archie Panjabi wasn’t the problem. Your terrible concept of a plot was the problem.
- George the Wunderkid Political Strategist waltzed in and was confused. I feel they could do more with his guest spot?
- Is anyone else worried the show is becoming enamoured with Elsbeth Tascioni? She and Kalinda are my girls. I’d hate for her to get overexposed and benched because the writers let their excitement get away from them.
- Next Week: I have no idea what happens in this episode beyond continuations of current plots, but man, guest stars!