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The Good Wife: Hitting the Fan

Well, “The Good Wife” fans, the episode we’ve been waiting for is here. After last night’s aptly named “Hitting the Fan,” everything is different. Nothing will be the same from this point on.

I don’t know about you, but my heart is completely broken.

As we saw at the end of last week’s episode, Diane tells Will that Alicia is leaving with Cary to start their own firm, and taking some of their clients with them. Josh Charles plays Will so poignantly, moving deftly from shock, to sorrow, to anger, to action. Those first few moments of him trying to parse the news while remembering his intimate history with Alicia are so wrenching. Then he confronts Alicia about her betrayal, but he’s not angry yet. He gives her a chance to admit to him what she’s done.

When she does, he instantly fires her, and tells her to leave. Surprisingly, in the first of many moments proving how tough Alicia is, she says no. Wha? Will calls security, but he needs to get a majority vote from the executive committee, and then from the board, before they can insist on her leaving. In typical lawyer fashion (at least on this show), they use this and many other tools to buy time.

Many others are fired, starting with the other Cary (Zepps, who I only recently realized is played by Ben Rappaport of 2010’s short-lived “Outsourced”), followed by Cary Agos. After Agos tries to pull one over on David Lee by rounding up special class employees who can’t be fired (in a moment reminiscent of the “You captured their stunt doubles” scene in “Spaceballs”), David fires all the fourth years almost willy nilly. The fired employees hold a meeting in the lobby coffee house to figure out their next moves.

Like divorcing parents, Lockhart-Gardner and Florrick-Agos argue over custody of their clients, who have to put up with lies, bickering, crappy service, and being used as weapons as they are caught in the middle. For example, Alicia and Will are supposed to hold a deposition for a nurse who was wrongfully terminated, but everyone is so busy with their own firings that no one is paying attention to the case. Alicia uses it against Will, resulting in a fantastic moment between the two actors as Will threatens Alicia with legal action, Alicia tells Will to go to hell, and then Will tells Alicia that her daughter called and needs her to call the school. Hysterical, and verging on surreal.

Wait a minute. Alicia told Will to go to hell, and he reciprocated. Just last week they were flirting and reminiscing. What happened?!

When Peter hears about Alicia’s firing, from a reporter no less, he tries to call Alicia, but Will answers the phone (which he confiscated from her). The two men, who have always vied for Alicia’s affections, have a thrilling verbal showdown over the phone, with Peter immediately calling Will out for sleeping with his wife. I know Peter’s not the bad guy he was at the start of the show, but am I the only one who still wants Alicia to be with Will instead of Peter?

Oh man, it is so messed up. Everyone is backstabbing everyone else to do what’s best for them. Kalinda dons her sneaky alter ego to convince Cary that she wants to leave with the new firm, just to get information Lockhart-Gardner can use against them. Diane talks to Eli to secure her bid for Supreme Court justice, who tells her, “We’re not in the business of letting personal concerns affect our professional decisions.” (Really?) And everybody’s trying to win over Chumhum’s Neil Gross, who only wants to do what’s best for his company. I guess that’s how the world works, but as I said last week: good thing I’m not a lawyer.

Eventually, after some back and forth with subpoenas and restraining orders, Florrick-Agos wins Chumhum’s bid—but only after Peter breaks his own rule about heading the most ethical governor’s administration in years, saying something in a press conference that benefits Chumhum and convinces them to go with Florrick-Agos. Peter also asks Eli for a new list of Supreme Court justice nominees, making a liar out of Eli for his reassurance to Diane. I was a little surprised to hear him promise that in the first place, because it seems to me they’ve frequently let personal concerns affect their professional decisions. That line perfectly sums up what this episode is about—if not the whole show.

As I asked last week, how could Alicia do this to Diane, and especially Will? They have too much history to throw it all away. They also have too much dirt on each other, and they’re already way past being civil to one another. As it started tonight and continues in the sneak preview, they’re already attacking each other personally. When and how did it get so dirty so quickly? Has Alicia really felt that the partners took credit for all the fourth years’ work? I guess she was never really a team player. As Will tells her, “You’re awful, and you have no idea how awful you are.”

Besides touching and heartbreaking, it was good to see Alicia break down in the elevator. She’s been so strong and severe, it’s good to know she’s still capable of being vulnerable. Also, what did she expect? She clearly knew she’s been doing something wrong, since she wanted to leave a while ago but was convinced by the greedy fourth years to hold out for their bonuses. I wonder if she’s regretting that now.

Diane too is in a very awkward situation. She’s siding with LG, even though she’s on her way out and many of the partners no longer trust her. She seems to be sympathetic to Alicia, but she’s still voting against her. And now she may no longer have a position, because Peter is likely going to remove his bid for her place on the local Supreme Court.

Just when I felt like I didn’t want to watch anymore because there’s no chance now that Alicia and Will will ever be together again, they suck me back in with a thrilling season preview (and lots of familiar faces returning, including America Ferrera, Nathan Lane, and Mamie Gummer). We’re at quite a turning point now. Nothing will be the same, as creators Robert and Michelle King took all the characters of “The Good Wife” and threw them up in the air, and we wait breathlessly to see where they land.

Where do you think they’ll land? Will Diane and Will bond together over the betrayal from Alicia and the others? Will Florrick-Agos survive, or are they done for? How soon will Peter’s actions come back to bite him? Are you as heartbroken as I am?

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