“The Good Wife” recap (5.1): Open at the Close


If your brain is going where my brain is going, you might be wondering if Marilyn and her perfect face will at some point come into contact with Kalinda’s perfect face, but alas, it doesn’t appear that way. We don’t yet get to meet Kalinda’s love interest that we’ve been promised this season by the Kings. While Kalinda and Robyn do get to share a brief scene in this episode when they track down an old snitch in the death row case, and I do love me Kalinda and Robyn scenes, the only real relationship Kalinda still seems to have at this point is with her trusty orange notebook. Along with the ghosts of all of our hopes for her heart.


Anyway, it seems Marilyn’s main plot point is that she is too sexy for Peter Florrick, or at least Eli worries it will seem that way to the press if they’re ever seen in pictures together. And we do indeed see Peter sneaking too long of a peek at the lady’s legs at one point before shaking himself out of it. Peter, seriously, what is wrong with you? So even though he had previously blown off Eli’s suggestion that they “promote” her to a different office, because “We don’t get rid of people because they’re too pretty,” apparently they do, because he eventually tells Eli to do just that. But smart and sexy Marilyn can smell your sexist shit, guys. You are dumb.


Doubts for the future of Florrick Agos continue to swim up as Alicia is cornered by all the partners in Diane’s office, pressing her for information about the dissenting fourth years.

5goodwife1screencap10Next come the Dementors.

She answers as tersely as she can—all while hilariously holding a happy face sign, which someone had stuck on Roaming Telecommuting Litigator’s face—and then later confronts Cary with some of the rising tension she’s feeling: as a partner, she has current legal obligations to Lockhart Gardner, and the longer she lies or withholds information from them, the more she opens herself up to a lawsuit.


But more importantly, she’s thinking about this death row case, which they are all working on pro bono. She’s been watching how hard, and how cleverly, Will and Diane are working on it, and she knows that it’s a case Florrick Agos wouldn’t be able to take on because they couldn’t afford it. Cary tries to convince her that it took time for Will and Diane to be able to take on pro bono cases, too, but she looks only semi-convinced. But she still seems to be sticking to her word.

Speaking of the death row case, it becomes increasingly clear—mainly due to Robyn and Kalinda’s sleuthing, per usual—that the man is in fact probably innocent. But even with all of their work, the judge, who is played amazingly by Jeffrey Tambor, otherwise known as George Bluth Sr., essentially says that it’s too little too late. The execution is re-scheduled, and it seems that Lockhart Gardner has exhausted all of their options. Isn’t the American justice system the best?


In the end, though, Will pulls an ultra quirky move by calling the DEA on their asses, since they have illegally transported toxic chemicals through the US Postal Service for the special execution. You see, the man’s veins are real ruined by drugs, which caused the beginning bloody and traumatic vein scene, so they had to ship in some special deadly stuff. Postal law! Will, you clever bastard!

So after now being strapped to his death bed twice, literally almost moments from dying, twice, the probably-innocent and definitely-tortured man is given a reprieve once again. Diane and Alicia give him the news that the governor—Peter, now—has suspended the execution, and the state isn’t going to try a third time. In a nutshell, as Alicia happily says, it’s over. She gives him a teary hug. And while his face is filled with relief, I don’t believe that this means he’s actually free, but that he’ll just spend the rest of his probably-innocent life inside of a jail cell instead of facing the executioner’s needle. So, yay?


In any case, it is still cause for Will and Diane to celebrate, which Alicia wistfully watches while wistfully leaning against a door frame back at the office. She also glances at Cary, gathering papers in another room, until she returns her line of vision to Will. Because she always returns to Will. As he brushes happily past her to pick up another bottle of alcohol, she can’t seem to bear it anymore, and says “Will, I need to tell you something.” As they still haven’t resolved anything post-make out session in last season’s finale, Will assumes this confession will obviously have to do with their emotions instead of their careers. He’s like, look, it’s fine that you never called me back that night, let’s get off the merry-go-round of lust and love, it’s fine. As he begins to walk away, Alicia says quietly to herself, “Don’t end up hating me.” And even my heart twists for this never-ending Willicia heartache.

Will and Diane’s victory dance is also perfectly emblematic of the complexity of Alicia’s doubts: Will and Diane aren’t perfect, that’s for sure. They do not always do the right thing, and we have four seasons’ worth of decisions to prove it. But no matter how other law shows spin it, the law isn’t always about doing the right thing. And sometimes, when they’re able to, they do do the right thing, and they go to enormous lengths to fight for justice, like saving a probably-innocent man from execution. It’s hard to say that either Lockhart Gardner or Cary are right or wrong in their wishes and ambitions. So should Alicia stay? Or should she go?

What were your thoughts on the first episode back? What are your hopes for this season?

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