One of the reasons people have quit The Good Wife over the years is because the showrunners often seem wildly out of touch with what the viewers want. I don’t think anyone who considered themselves a die-hard wanted Alicia in a political race. I don’t think anyone gave a shit about Kalinda’s (ex?) husband. I never once tuned in thinking “I cannot WAIT to see which one of Lemond Bishop’s lieutenants does him in!” There has been a legacy of intermittent tone-deafness that rivals some of the best cancelled shows ever.
But that’s all in the past, people! Show co-creators Michelle and Robert King totally get us now. It only took like a hundred and thirty five episodes but they’ve finally given us the things we wanted: a strong, tough female attorney without a silver spoon in her mouth and a male love interest so hot we’d still be attracted to him if we found out he had a barb-wire tattoo around his arm.
That’s what they gave us last week. And then, this week, they took them both away and gave us a dump truck full of everything we absolutely do not tune in for.
I was looking forward to more Jeffery Dean Morgan the way a child waits for her birthday. I had butterflies. I carefully pressed down the ruffles of my taffeta dress. Figuratively. I shushed everyone as a song of excitement built inside of me and then I saw the opening frame of this new, sultry romance and-
Uhhhh. What the fuck? We’re opening with Howard Lyman? Um, okay. I mean, I don’t give a fuck about Howard Lyman, but okay. Howard Lyman is a punchline. He’s a plot device that you insert pantsless into scenes to juxtapose the irritation anyone under fifty has with entitled, useless old fucks. But okay, let’s see where this goes.
HOWARD: Alicia. Represent me in a lawsuit.
ALICIA: Oh Howard, I’d rather not. Just do some work and they can’t fire you, okay?
Scintillating. Riveting. I was glued, open mouth, to my chair as this tour de force played out in my own living room. Was it as mindblowingly good as the Dennis Hopper / Christopher Walken scene in True Romance? No, but it was really close. I mean, it was about ageism. What could be more fresh? More hip? I was sooooo pissed that the scene ended without Howard hand-grinding his bunions but we can’t have everything.
After surviving the quake of every millennial viewer turning off The Good Wife for good, I was treated to a wonderful scene of Howard and Jackie in the elevator where Howard makes sure to check out her ass.
Ass check complete, the two descend in a conjoined sense of shared destiny ostensibly because they have similarly colored hair. You will someday, no doubt, wonder about how their connection was so instant. So magnetic. And verily I will say unto thee: By god, they shared an elevator!
As everyone over the age of eleven knows, sharing an elevator with anyone is the strongest possible love potion. The arithmetic is pretty basic.
1) Share an elevator with anyone
2) Ass check
3) Somebody gets fingered
It’s right about this time that I was like oh man I hope I get to see Jackie and Howard in bed, a white sheet palmed coyly across their respective liver spots. I hope we get to see Jackie riding Howard reverse cowboy, underfluffing her hair like she’s auditioning for a Prell commercial. Dear god I want to see that tonight.
Usually, if you have to suffer through a Jackie scene, you get rewarded with a Peter scene. Well, we didn’t get any Peter this episode, but we did get some sexy-as-fuck kissing scenes. They took turns holding each other’s face for stability while they kissed.
Mmmmm. You can almost smell the Geritol. Let me be clear: I like old people. I even like old people kissing. It’s nice. BUT I DO NOT LIKE EITHER OF THESE CHARACTERS AND I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY WERE GIVEN A STORYLINE. They are not likeable characters. They are jerks. I don’t want to see jerks kissing or petting or swapping arthritis medication. Because they’re jerks.
The plot then slid to over to Eli vs Ruth. The fight for Peter’s political soul.
COME 2 DIS MEETING ELI! OH SNAP YOU GOT NO CHAIR, BOI!
Oh damn, Ruth! Your seating plan is fucking hostile, yo! Nobody cares.
Then we’re over to the plastic cage of misery. It’s like a magic 8-ball in there. You never know what’s going to turn up inside of it. This week it was bald Macklemore and depressed Cheech Marin.
When we last left Alicia and her new besty Cush Jumbo, played by Lucca Quinn (I’ve decided to do it that way), Alicia was basking in the scorn of Judge Ron Scarpaggio or whatever the hell his name is. You know who he hates by the thickness of the pile of folders he shits out to them at the beginning of the court session. Thick pile: Judge loves you. Alicia sized, wafer-thin pile: MMMmmmmmm, you can eat a dick.
Let me say that there’s nothing that The Good Wife does better than casting amazing judges and humanizing them. It’s so great when a judge that you sort of got to know re-appears and you’re like oh man, I remember this guy. The casting of Christopher McDonald as Judge Bob Sclavinski or whatever is no exception. He’s someone who wants shit handled. Quickly and decisively, even if justice isn’t really something he’s all that concerned with. And the FBI knows this, so they set up a huge sting operation to catch him taking a bribe. Whoa. Heavy duty.
The thing that’s rotten in Denmark is that Alicia’s client in the sting, (who’s an FBI agent), doesn’t apparently have an identity. Holy cow! What detail-oriented superstar investigator picked up on that? Was it the rocket-hot new meat popsicle named Jason Crause?
It must have been! I mean who else would be able to nail an FBI AGENT IN DEEP COVER USING FACE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY? Kalinda? Are you back? Robyn with a Y? Who, praytell? Who is Mr. Robot-ing the shit out of Alicia’s investigations?
Grace: Well, it wasn’t all me. Zach helped.
So all these years, the wondertwin powers of the Florrick kids have just lain dormant on the ocean floor, waiting for a perfect moment to unleash investigation hell? Okay, fine. If you say so. Let’s check the believability index, Vanna….aaaaaaaaand….zero. We believe that by a factor of zero. Okay then, moving on.
Alicia tells Eli. Then a mysterious hooded figure tips off the judge. Woooooo wooooOOOOooooo! It’s Halloween season! Will we ever figure out who that mysterious figure in the shadows is? Will they ever dare to reveal the identity of-
Yeah, it’s obviously Eli. He’s not one to let that kind of advantage, or any kind of advantage pass. I OWE YOU ONE, ELI says Judge Don Scarsdale. LET ME KNOW IF, SOMEDAY IN THE FUTURE I CAN HELP YOU-
::wheeze:: ::wheeze:: I need to KILL FRANK LANDAU! ::wheeze:: ::wheeze::
Basically, this whole episode, were we to shrink it and peel away subplots and kernelize it into a single point in the Eli Gold Revenge Timeline against Peter and all things Ruth, this whole episode was just to get a chit against Frank Landau.
Frank Landau, you’ll remember, was an ancillary figure that was purportedly at the center of Alicia getting fucked out of her election win. I mean, I’m like 86% sure Peter was behind the whole goddamn thing, but let’s just pretend it’s some dude that no one actually gives a shit about named Frank Landau who has had like four minutes of total screen time in the 135 episode run of The Good Wife.
Obviously, then, it makes sense to devote an entire episode to foiling him.
I mean that was inherently the macro plot that was pushed forward in this episode, but that’s not all that happened.
Diane tried to enlist some mouthbreather as her protege. She was like, EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE YOUR CONCLUSIONS AREN’T COMPLETE DIARRHEA! MEET WITH ME EVERY SEVEN MONTHS FOR SIX MINUTES TO BE MY SQUIRE. And the mouthbreather was like GNNNRRRHHHMMMGGGHH ME HAVE BOYFRIEND. NO CAN BE SQUIRE.
So Diane was like “this mouthbreather has made me realize that I miss Alicia Florrick, who has intentionally and unintentionally through a mindnumbing series of TRUE AND CHARTABLE complete buffoon-level misunderstandings that could have been cleared up with a phone call or a rudimentary pro & con list been a thorn in my side. I will visit her and give her all of our shit cases and wear bright colors and show her my happy teeth and my necklace of circular sisterhood.”
But then, back at douchebag central, asswipe David Lee is like I OVERHEARD THAT OLD GUY AND ALICIA SEXTING OR SOMETHING AND LET’S HATE ON EVERYONE LIKE USUAL.
Then Diane was like I’ll now visit Alicia in dark colors and keep my happy teeth secured behind my mean lips and wear my necklace of endless shackles. I will let Alicia know, in person, with the type of nasty-talk I always do to her before I find out that everything was a grade school misunderstanding, that I’m not a woman to be trifled with.
Goddamn I miss the real Diane. I miss the Will Gardner era Diane. What would it take for her to recapture that magnificence? Has Diane been unintentionally written in a way that her ability to thrive is dependent on having a male co-worker of considerable prominence? Is the Will Gardner-less Diane merely a phantasm? A shadow of her former promise? Will the real Diane please stand up?
Anyway, while that whole debacle of stupidity was going on, with -of course- geezer Howard Lyman at the center of it, we see some weird twists and turns with Alicia’s fake FBI case. The long and short of that is that Alicia reveals herself to be just kind of awful in a “why-the-hell-does-anyone-ever-root-for-her” kind of way when she severs ties with Cush Jumbo.
It’s like the showrunners haven’t even read either one of my The Good Wife recaps! I mean, come on, people! There are three people in the whole universe that you never ever ever ever try to cross:
#1: Dar Adal
#2: Kathy Lee Gifford
#3: Cush Jumbo
I mean, how much clearer can I make that? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
Anyway, it all comes full circle. Judge Bob Sharkowsky gives Alicia a warm smile and the fat stack to show his approval of her disbarrable breach of unethical conduct (she doesn’t know what Eli did, but he doesn’t know she doesn’t know). Cush Jumbo is cast down with the sodomites to the land of tiny stacks for no other reason than she doesn’t have a campaign manager who is the biggest bitch in the universe.
Then Alicia is like, SORRY I SEVERED OUR SHIT GURL and she hands half her stack to Cush Jumbo, who’s like IT’S OKAY WE’RE COOL THANKS TO THIS FAT HALF-STACK YOU GAVE ME.
And I’m like NO CUSH JUMBO. You deserve better than that. What is that like twelve hundred bucks in delayed payment misery if the plastic box trashperson signs the right line? That’s all the talents of silver it takes to win your heart back, Cush Jumbo? Girl, please. You can do better than some skinny uptown snot with fever lipstick and a me-first attitude. I promise you that as long as you stay you, everyone from Pajiba will love you forever. You don’t need to be in the Florrick maelstrom of emotional destruction. Next time drop that half-stack on the floor and let Alicia know you won’t be trifled with.
Next week, Judge Dodd Smartcloppski forgets that Alicia saved him from life in prison and yells at her to do her job. That’s the look he gives her on the preview for next week’s episode, because someone in the know has apparently decided to devote a substantial portion of this season to the relationship between Alicia and some asshole Judge? I guess?
And (fingers crossed! J-pop teee heee heee heee heee) hopefully we’ll get as many scenes as humanly possible of the sight-gag-that-keeps-on-giving of Eli’s tiny office. HO! See what they did there? You can’t even open the door! HO HO HO HO HO! Show it again and again! That’s a real tummy scratcher, I tell you!
The Good Wife wears adult diapers every Sunday at 9 Eastern. Sometimes, they even remove them. Wink wink. Smoooooch.