What is happening to Lockhart-Gardner? To coin a phrase from both David Lee and Elsbeth Tascioni, everybody’s getting slimed on “The Good Wife”! The way things are going, there isn’t going to be much of a firm left. I feel so terrible for Will and Diane. They’ve been through so much, and it’s getting worse instead of better.
But first: the procedural component of the show is kept in-house this week, as the firm defends themselves against one of their own. Chrissy, a paralegal who’s apparently been with the company two years (though we’ve never seen her before), decides to sue LG for a hostile work environment. They hire our favorite quirky yet effective lawyer, Elsbeth Tascioni, played by the brilliant, Emmy-winning Carrie Preston, to defend them. Chrissy’s lawyer is Viola Walsh (the wonderfully entertaining Rita Wilson), frenemy of Diane’s—who also wants a crack at a judgeship.
Chrissy files sexual harassment charges against everyone in the firm—except Kalinda. As soon as they said that, I knew she had been involved with Kalinda, and sure enough, she had. Every allegation she throws at them, Elsbeth knocks down, until they finally reveal that Chrissy had a physical relationship with Kalinda, all over the office, proving her complaints hypocritical at best, and totally unfounded.
But not before giving them a scare, as Viola kept pulling out secrets they thought were well hidden. Turns out one of the fourth years, who is planning to leave with Cary and Alicia, is a mole, providing information to Viola. That seems like a pretty stupid move. Why would he jeopardize the new firm, and himself, in that way? He is let go from LG, but somehow affirms his position with the fledgling team.
He’s not the only one in trouble, as Alicia is headed for some deep doo-doo now (finally, as indicated by the preview for next week—though considering next week is only the fifth episode of the season, it’s a little earlier than I expected). She’s been the go-between for the departing fourth years, getting them access to the partners’ restricted files so they can poach their clients. Diane red-handedly catches her snooping in one such restricted file and confronts her. Alicia tries to pass it off as nothing, but Diane’s on to her now and does some investigation. Alicia’s underused decorations budget convinces Diane to follow up with the client, who confirms her suspicions by confessing “a firm with the governor’s wife on the letterhead is hard to pass up.”
How can Alicia do that to Diane and Will? With all that they’ve been through, professionally, personally, even emotionally and romantically (with Will), how can she treat them that way? It seems pretty heartless and cruel, especially considering how much they’ve been through—not to mention what they’re going through now. Alicia tries to convince herself that she’s not stealing clients from Diane and Will (in what universe is that possible?), and in next week’s explosive preview, she tries to tell Will that it was never personal. Why shouldn’t it be? Why shouldn’t the fact that she’s been so deeply involved with the firm have some influence on her decision to leave, and her keeping it a secret from them? I could never do that. Perhaps it’s good that I’m not a lawyer.
And all this just as Will and Alicia share some flirtyness again (it’s about time!) They have a weird but charged moment in his office as they try to remember one of their particular sexual encounters, potentially relating to Chrissy’s case. As much as I want to say “more please,” I doubt there will be. Not with everything that goes down next week.
Alicia, assuming Diane had already left, is surprised to find Diane in her office. Diane, now knowing the truth about Alicia’s departure, just stares at her. “Daggers” does not begin to cover it. I’ve heard that expression before, but never have I seen a look that so clearly encapsulates it. Alicia leaves the room (does she suspect that Diane’s on to her?), and Diane goes across the hall to inform Will what she’s learned.
What’s odd is that Will and Diane seem back to normal, as if last week’s fireworks were never set off. Yes, Will mentions that Diane hasn’t accepted his offer for her exit package, but their interactions and further negotiations are very civil. Gone is that tension and silent anger that was so palpable in last week’s final scene. It can’t have been more than a couple days since then. Are they really over it already? It’s also interesting to see if Will and Diane will need to reconnect somehow because the firm is splintering apart—especially after they worked so hard to save the firm from financial ruin last season.
In the wake of all this, it’s easy to forget this week’s side stories: Peter’s mother Jackie (Mary Beth Peil) returns (just when I was wondering where she is), and insists on decorating Peter’s new office and holding the inaugural ball in the governor’s mansion. Diane’s beau Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole) returns for their wedding, and they marry despite their huge political differences and the opinions of their friends (like Diane’s friends, I’m not sure this relationship will survive). But who needs those stories when you have the delicious conflict between Alicia and her soon-to-be-former partners? Boy, is there going to be a big kablooie between Will and Alicia next week, apparently leading to her being escorted out of the building.
So, “The Good Wife” fans, are you excited (nervous? sad?) for next week’s episode? What do you think will happen? Is Alicia doing the right thing by leaving? Or should she have done things differently? What’s in store for Lockhart/Gardner, or for Will and Alicia? Is this it for them, or do you hold out hope?