The great soromance of Alicia Flockhart and Kalinda Sharma may be dead in the water (Kalinda I will never insult your storylines again if it means you come back to me) but a bromance of epic proportions has suddenly exploded on the screen in the form of Peter and Eli. Forced to part after Eli’s legal troubles grew too public to be ignored they’ve taken to making stolen phone calls and seeking each other out so they can share longing looks and compel me to pull a Tina Belcher and softly demand that they “touch each other’s butts.”

Look at his heart-break you guys. Loook.

Look at his heart break you guys. Loook.

While I doubt the show would go to such a wondrous place because we live in a world so heteronormative spellcheck tells me it isn’t even a word, I can still hold out hope. Or I can assume they’re just playing up the romance to show the fine line between romantic and platonic love. A line Alicia is walking with gusto in regards to her relationship with Peter. After a nooner she’s surprised when he asks if they can go out for dinner, just the two of them. “A date.” It’s perilously close to the same surprise she expressed way back when Will accidentally told her he loved her.

Woman is very uncomfortable at the idea of a dinner date.

Woman is very uncomfortable at the idea of a dinner date.

It makes sense. She’s been beaten up by the world so long that she’s put up this wall (a Chinese wall if you want to be as racist as Will) between romance and sex. Never the twain shall meet again for Mrs. Florrick. It’s difficult to condemn Alicia for her choice. We’d rarely condemn a man for choosing to avoid romantic entanglements. The problem lies in Alicia’s growing aversion to any non-platonic relationship outside of the ones she possesses with her children and her brother. Over the course of the season she’s become more and more insular. Guarding herself. Just when it seems like the fun “home” Alicia might peak out over beers with Cary or tequila with Kalinda or bus sex with Peter something changes. Kalinda gets written out of every episode, Peter asks her to dinner, and Cary…

Cary and her are forced to contend with a new and frustrating dynamic. That of boss and employee. It is rarely if ever pleasant when a friendly co-worker receives a promotion and becomes the boss. As much as you’d like to be friends there’s work and, more importantly, money at stake that wasn’t at stake before. The old adage “you can’t be friends” comes into play. Certainly it’s possible to be boss and friend. I’ve seen it done. It’s just not easy, and when it’s a mid-level management position like Alicia’s it’s downright impossible.

As impossible as the doomed bromance of Peter and Eli or the doomed romance of Will and Amanda Peet. Will, you are a morally corrupt big time lawyer who is unwilling to look at your considerable sins. She’s an idealistic ASA and former Army lawyer. She is as moral as they come and working with people who HATE you. That is all going to end in tears sir. Juicy salty tears I will drink with joy.

Equally impossible is the idea of Alicia and Maddie ever being friends again. Maddie has burned the bridge and become an awful caricaturization of a “strong, independent woman.” I guess if any show can afford to craft such a terrible character it’s Good Wife. The show has a whole roster of great women characters with all kinds of marital statuses, and Diane is one of my favorite feminists on television. It’s true to that jerks like Maddie exist. I suppose it’s irritating to see feminism’s dirty laundry aired with the character. And it forges a deep conflict in me that I’m rooting for Peter “I sleep with hookers and in practice have little regard for women” Florrick to beat her in the election (which is probably the point).

Her passive aggressive amusement at Maddie's existence is kind of great.

Her passive aggressive amusement at Maddie’s existence is kind of great.

But the worst part is Maddie’s existence has Alicia pulling out that groaner about how women can’t be friends. Alicia (and the writers) stop. Please. Just stop. Stop enabling the patriarchy with your quiet support of Peter and condemnation of Maddie. It may have worked two seasons ago when Alicia had female friends. The line would have painted her as delightfully bitchy, but Alicia is so sequestered this season and her relationships are all so very manly that she comes off as contemptibly caricatured as Maddie. It’s deeply problematic. Unless this is all about Alicia realizing her internalized misogyny and overcoming it…which I am terrified it isn’t.

Notes

  • This is apparently Carrie Preston’s last episode of the season. She saves Eli from jail and has the best moment in the episode when she ungraciously leaves a “business lunch” with Kyle MacLachlan.
  • Also her giggles when teaming up with Kalinda for her single appearance this episode.
  • Kalinda is has been so long that I didn’t even blink when your usually funky accent went full on British. It was on purpose but I like to think it’s Archie Panjabi fucking with everyone because her character is in writer’s jail.
  • Free Kalinda. It’s a movement. I’m starting it now.
  • Jackie saved Eli. Either she really is suffering from senility or she condones of his butt touching love for Peter.
  • Diane for the win this week. Because she’s a great lawyer and because she’s the only woman regular on the show not in writer’s jail and not with loads of internalized misogyny.
  • Next Week: Romance is in the air. Cary puts the moves on Kalinda and Alicia puts the flirt on Will and Will and Amanda Peet make out. Also Kalinda has to train her likely replacement and she and I are both displeased about that.
  • Anon

    To be fair, “Chinese Wall” is a term of art and I often hear lawyers use it, even today. Not that it isn’t racist, but Will isn’t being any more racist than is still institutionalized in the industry.

    • http://fempop.com/ Alex Cranz

      Yeah the lawyer I lived with was very insistent that it’s a commonly used term in law, but I felt like calling a spade a spade because daaaaang.

      • Dan King

        Chinese Wall is both a legal and financial term. It is a barrier as strong as the Great Wall of China. Why is that racist? There really is a Great Wall of China.

  • http://twitter.com/STCyogagal Karen

    Kalinda’s replacement? Are you kidding me? I thought she was an additional investigator???

    • Kiki

      It is, but the promo wants to make us believe is a replacement.

  • Kiki

    Very very good points about Alicia, she is closed off to the whole world, none of her are going anywhere. She is not letting anyone in. I am worried about it too.

  • Alexandrine

    Oh no. I hope they won’t use the Cary-Kalinda thing because, even if I really love when they tease each other, I don’t know how a romantic relationship between them could not be weird/ridiculous. They already banged in my heart (too) anyways, I don’t need to actually see that happen ! Don’t let fangirls win ! Plus, after 4 years waiting for that to happen, it will certainly be more disappointing than anything else, because I don’t trust writers anymore on long time going plots after what they did with the absolutely horrible Nick story…

    And Alicia, I’m just totally bored with her. I absolutely adore her when she’s able to be amazing even if she’s wounded, ashamed, and acting in despair. Not when she fucks in bathrooms, has money and power, and becomes a partner. We already have the awesome Diane for that, and Alicia could never be her equal anyways even if the show lasted for 20 more years.