“The Good Wife” recap (5.14): Keynotes and Flashbacks

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Holy guacamole is The Good Wife good at flashbacks, and this week’s episode was a flashback feast. While the Peter Florrick ballot box stuffing shenanigans continue to get more and more ominous, this episode was really all about Alicia, a character study so well done and interesting that a good 15 minutes went by before I even realized that we hadn’t yet seen Kalinda and that I was sad about it. But, to make up for it, there’s is this: Elsbeth Tascioni. How I miss you every moment of my life that you’re not there, Elsbeth.

This episode also takes us out of Chicago, as everyone is suddenly in New York City for the American Bar Association conference. The writers throw in some thoroughly enjoyable jabs at the Big Apple, as Nathan Lane tries to convey important information to Cary over the phone but can hardly be heard, as he’s stuck in traffic in a cab that’s blaring a video of De Blasio shouting about how great the city is, whose volume refuses to be turned down.

5goodwife14screencap1“Cary? Cary! I’m sorry, this Bill guy won’t shut up.”

Alicia’s giving the keynote at the conference, a talk about how she went from an “opt out” mom—a phrase I completely hate—to the top of her legal career in just a few years. Like anyone who’s ever had to write something important, she is existing in a living hell, where the devil is a blinking cursor on a computer screen. Cary’s a good advisor, telling her to stop trying to impress people with stats and figures and just tell her story.

And so her story flits through her mind as she sits at the desk in her hotel room, a caffeine drink at her side and a blank page in front of her, staring into the distance and remembering all the condescending smiles and offers she received from men and women alike when she attempted to enter the workforce again as a woman recently caught up in her husband’s scandals. A woman sympathizes about her about men problems and then tells her there’s no place for her; a man offers her a job and then the next day informs her it’s a paralegal internship. It’s all unsettling and humiliating, and there’s that horrible gut-punching Alicia elevator crying, along with a frightening baby blue blazer.

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But the moment she keeps coming back to, replaying multiple times, is when Will sticks his hand in that elevator door, and tells her to call him.

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Meanwhile, current day Will is being harassed by icky Public Integrity guy, who’s also at the ABA conference, because everybody is, even though it sounds like the boringest conference ever. Will literally puts in earplugs to tune him out at one point, which is quite cheeky, before officially enlisting Elsbeth Tascioni to help protect him legally.

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He finds Elsbeth Tascioni in Times Square, taking pictures with a bear. Naturally. She then hugs the bear. Elsbeth Tascioni is giddy with happiness because she loves bears. This is the best five seconds of Good Wife history.

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Except then the bear calls her a dirty Jew. New York!

5goodwife14screencap8“That bear is an anti-Semite!”

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