E: As season finales go, the joys and sorrows of Wanna Partner felt pretty subtle. Of course, we’ve already had the major action of the season; Alicia won and then lost the election, reconnected with and then lost her firm, lost and then reconnected with herself. Kalinda’s gone, Bishop’s in jail, Cary’s out of jail but nursing a broken heart. It’s was all already out there. The real issue that’s left is how Alicia’s going to put her life together; how she’s going to move forward from here. What’s she going to do next? And we got some great insights into that, but did we get a direction? Far from Cary’s thrilling offer of two years ago, Louis Canning’s unexpected proposal simultaneously alarmed and bored me.
But before we get to all that, there are a few props to give out. Kalinda took care of business one last time and looked great doing it. Fascinatingly, we got a bunch of do overs. Things got said that should have been said (in some case) years ago. The State’s Attorney’s race debacle gave Alicia permission to finally, finally, take ownership of her own life. And all this begs the question: if that loss has put Alicia where I’ve always wanted her to be — fully in charge of herself, listening to the best parts of herself instead of other people or her strangling perceptions of what other people might want — then was all the crap we went through this season worth it? Let’s hope she continues to use her superpowers for good – and let’s go through this last stage of getting there.
E: We thought we saw Alicia start from nothing before. First, with Will helping her to a job at his firm, swimming her way out of Peter’s scandal. Later, stealing Will’s clients with Cary, trading on her husband’s reputation for money and prestige. This time, there’s only Alicia and her experiences and her wit to save her; and if she fails, there’s no back up. There is no try, Alicia Florrick. There is only do. Or do not.
E: Yipeee yipee yipee! May is the popcorniest of popcorn movie months, and this May is going to be five weekends worth of awesome. (Although to be fair that may mean me seeing a few of these movies more than once.)
M: I was going to say, I didn’t see five movies I felt were must-see-in-the-theater movies. Three or Four, maybe.
E: Sadly, C will not be joining our conversation this month, so we won’t know how many movies she’d put on her must see list.
M: On a happier note, she’s winning award and traveling to foreign lands!
E: And these proud older sibs will endeavor to be at least relatively entertaining without her.
E: “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because sh*t worked out. They got that way because sh*t went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”
Looks like the writing team has been reading a little Elizabeth Gilbert, doesn’t it? In this exquisitely torturous game of dominoes, everything Alicia’s built over nearly six years falls down. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let us begin at the very beginning. Let us begin with our renewal. Not just destruction, but deconstruction; pulling our characters’ lives into their component parts.
E: They picked the right word here: reason and the audience might have won, but man has it been ugly. What they’ve done to Alicia not merely in this brutal episode, but over the course of the season leading up to this? Ugly.
To sum up: this week was more exciting and better paced than most of the back half of this season, but seeing Alicia wrecked felt just as bad as I imagined it would. We saw a whole host of legal-ish proceedings. At the same time, we get a glimpse of the season — and probably the show’s — end game.
Also. CBS. What the heck? And why, if you must make my show come on so late (even without football or March Madness as an excuse) why can you not put this information out in advance so my DVR can actually record the whole show? Don’t you WANT us to watch the show?
E: You know who comes out of this edit feeling like a loser, right? Me. Because I spent the entire episode hoping that my beloved main character would be scandalized and humiliated and have to resign from the State’s Attorney’s Office, and I hate that it’s come to this. I don’t like hoping to see her wrecked, and yet I can’t help feeling like that’d be a far better thing — both for the show and for her — than what’s happening now. At what point is there going to be a pay off to this benighted story line? I genuinely don’t know what that might even be, or how they can wring something enjoyable out of the territory we’re headed toward. Every time Politician Alicia blanches, declares “I can’t possibly do that,” and then turns around, smiles, and commits that same soul-destroying act, more of my love for this show dies.
I usually avoid reading press about the episodes before I’ve finished writing about them myself, but I found this quote from Robert King instructive: “We’ve been with Alicia throughout the show and she’s done some questionable things, but you often forgive her as a character. But now we see how the public might react to her. There are things that we know and love, but the viewing public in Alicia’s world may view it a completely different way.” What I wonder if the writing staff has considered is the possibility that while the real world audience generally continues to care about Alicia despite her questionable and/or immoral choices, this doesn’t mean we have a rose-colored view of her as a candidate. I think as viewers we’re all pretty clear that Alicia’s been perpetrating a kind of fraud against the voting public, and we’re not all rooting for her to get away with it simply because she’s the main character of the show.
Also: the show remembers it’s own history! Yay, a continuity re-write. And then, both detail and emotional continuity fail. Sigh. At least there’s more fun, smart debate between Diane and new found conservative foil R.J. Dipple, as well as more guest stars and more dang content than you can shake at stick at.
E: Wondering what’s newly disappointing on our favorite show? The writing staff takes the idea of the Sony email hack and throws half the guest stars in their roster at it. Eli teaches Alicia that you can catch more flies with honey than with a fly swatter. Funny that she’s suddenly dumb enough to need a basic lesson in civility, isn’t it? Ah, that’s why we watched sophisticated television, to learn valuable life skills we’d never pick up on our own. Between spit and wrestling, the glass walls of Florrick, Agos & Lockhart take more abuse that we’ve ever seen. Yep. It’s happy days in the post-election world.