The Good Wife: Unmanned

E: Well. That, ladies and gentleman, is the episode we’ve been waiting all year for — maybe, for some people, the entire series.  That was the beginning of the end.  It feels like this entire season has been that slow, rickety ride up the hill, and now the roller coaster is zooming down, doing twists and turns and loops and shoots.  I kind of regret that I don’t have the time anymore for a transcript style recap, because damn, that was beautiful and heartbreaking and full to the brim of complete game changing insanity.

As has become habitual, we begin with Alicia and Jason in bed.  Less typically, they’re discussing his religious faith, although by “discussing” I mean that Alicia’s poking into what he thinks and he’s answering with slow smiles and one word answers.  Does he think what they’re doing is wrong? Maybe, even though he disguises it with humor.  Why, she wonders, is she offended by her daughter’s faith and not by his?  (At a guess, because she’s too infatuated with him to care — but also because she feels responsible for her child’s moral choices in a way she wouldn’t for a lover’s.  She knows she isn’t the one whose job was to teach Jason to believe or not to believe.)  You’re a bad person, he jokes, and then they chuckle a little over whether or not the best thing about their affair is that it feels (because it is) illicit.

When the phone rings, we see how far she’s sunk into this affair; it’s a work day, she’s late for a Dipple case in court, and she hasn’t bothered to get dressed or get out of bed or make any effort at all to join her working life.  More, she insists that Jason stay in her apartment all day, so she can think of him waiting to come home to her.  Holy reverse gender fantasy weirdness, Batman! Rather to my surprise, he agrees to this plan. Seriously, where is Grace through all this so called “fornication”?  This is such a bad plan.

When a glowing Alicia arrives in court, Diane is waiting for her, along with client Max Medina (yet another Gilmore Girls alum, though he’ll always be the Wolf from the Tenth Kingdom to me) and – huzzah — Anna Camp’s Caitlin D’Arcy!  How wonderful to see Alicia’s old protege again, David Lee’s niece who was foisted upon our girl instead of the Martha she wanted, yet who turned out to be a resourceful and smart lawyer who Alicia sorely missed. Before we see them, however, we get to see footage from the neighborhood watch drone that so unsettles therapist Medina’s clients that many of them have quit, negatively impacting his business.

Look at her, Alicia grins to Diane, and she remains happy even when Caitlin eviscerates her witness.  Why does he think his patients have a right of privacy when they park on the public street and just walk into his home office?  He suggests that we accept being seen by passersby, but not filmed by flying robots, which I think is quite the fair point.  Quickly, Caitlin moves on to the fact that the 300k Dr. Wolf is suing the neighborhood watch leader, Miss Hamm for doesn’t feel like it would require the services of two top partners; I know how this firm works, she says, and that’s not it.  In other words, she’s twigged to the fact that this is a Dipple trial balloon.   Judge Dunaway (ah, good old Judge Dunaway, having his last testy hurrah?) shuts her down; she may be right, but what does that have to do with the merits of the case?

“This is a surprise,” Alicia grins when they break for a recess. “When did you come back to the law?”  Indeed; Caitlin quit to get married and have a baby.  The baby, it seems, has just started nursery school, so Caitlin’s been back for a month.  “And you’re good in court,” Alicia compliments her former associate, impressed she figured out that Dipple was behind the presence of two partners. “I learned from the best,” Caitlyn smiles.

And, look, there’s Jason wandering around Alicia’s apartment in his boxers, pulling on a t-shirt.  I can’t believe he would really skip work just to sit there all day?  Maybe he’s just getting a slow start?  Either way, it’s way to slow for anyone’s comfort, because the person who walks in on him is not Grace (as everyone should have feared) but Peter.  Oh, crap.  Why is Peter letting himself into Alicia’s apartment at 10am?  No one ever says; Peter’s too busy slapping the coffee mug out of Jason’s hand and attempting to physically intimidate him.  “We are still married,” he snaps.  It’s funny how both of them are all “it’s a marriage of convenience” until the other one sleeps with someone, isn’t it?  I’ll get my things, Jason replies.  That’s a good idea, Peter says, but personally, I’d have thought he’d want to leave himself, so that the bodyguards waiting out in the hall don’t see Jason doing the walk of shame.

That’s just me, though, because Peter can’t keep out of it. He actually follows Jason into Alicia’s bedroom and tortures himself looking at the bed in disarray. He peppers Jason with questions; how long has this been going on?  Does Grace know?  I would really like to know the answer to that one myself, but Jason shoots each question down, noting correctly that Peter really needs to talk to Alicia.  “You’re in my way,” he says, attempting to leave the bedroom, and I think for a second that it really will come to blows.  “You’re screwing my wife, and I’m in  your way?” Peter squints. Yes. “I should kick your ass,” Peter growls. “You could try,” Jason replies quietly, “and then what?”  Peter thinks about it, and then moves slightly so the other man can pass.

“One Gogi-gasm with a virility boost,” Marissa calls out to a short, plump customer in a business suit waiting out in the mall, shaking an enormous juicer to get the last drops into a cup.  Ha.  “Good luck with that,” she smirks, but the smile wipes right off her face when Connor Fox steps up to the counter.  Don’t pretend to ask me out, she says, just get to the point. “What can I help you with, sir?”  “You can help me put Peter Florrick in jail,” he replies; she offers him a juice instead, but he threatens to subpoena her to testify against Eli if she won’t.  He reads a transcript of a conversation she presumably had with Eli about Judge Breakfast, admitting to warning him about the bribery sting.  Marissa calls (or pretends to call) mall security, but not before he’s thoroughly alarmed her by threatening to jail Eli for obstruction of justice.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Cary and Diane force Howard Lyman out of his swank office up down to the 27th floor, where clients won’t have to see him walking around in pantless anymore.  Now, Cary hasn’t been trying to accomplish this all season, but Howard immediately believes this is part of Diane’s all female firm plan.

Miss Hamm explains that her leafy neighborhood has seen mail and bikes stolen, so she bought the drone and started a website (picketfence.com) to presumably show the footage?  Everyone else in the neighborhood loves the drone, she claims, which seems unlikely even if Dr. Nockman’s home therapy business is perhaps an unusual one.  I mean, I’d be creeped out by that, wouldn’t you?  Knowing that my comings and goings would end up online?  Alicia and Caitlin tangle a little over terms and grandstanding, and Caitlin holds her own.  It’s weirdly nice.

Anyway.  During cross Alicia points out that the drone goes over backyards and can see into windows, which again, is creepy. Miss Hamm denies this, and says she’d never post footage from people’s homes online, but we see into someone’s bedroom in footage Alicia pulls up.  Well, then what goes online?  Does she edit the footage?  Is she sitting home all day doing that?  That doesn’t make a lot of sense.  That’s my objection, by the way, not Alicia or Diane’s; they assert that people have a clear right to privacy in the seclusion of their own homes.   Caitlin counters that the neighborhood watch is exempt from this right, because it refers to government surveillance.  Why doesn’t the good doctor just pull his blinds?  You have to weigh the minor inconvenience against the public interest in preventing crime, Caitlin argues, and you can see Alicia thinks she’s got them beat.  (I’m not sure that stolen mail is that dreadful a threat, and they haven’t yet proved that the drone has either deterred or caught potential robbers, thus actually preventing crime, but okay.)  And so she does; Dunaway sympathizes with the privacy concerns, but doesn’t think it outweighs Miss Hamm’s First Amendment rights.  I don’t even know which First Amendment right that is, but I get the picture.

David Lee charges into Howard’s office, demanding to know why he’s packing.  “First she came for the older guys,” he says, “then the younger guys. Pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to speak for you.”  Oh, David doesn’t like that – or the knowledge that Cary banded together with Diane to make this happen.

Poor, exhausted Cary slumps down in his office chair, listening to tropical-sounding music and sighing exaggerately.  Passing by, Alicia stops in alarm.  Is he okay?  Why doesn’t he just go home?  No, he says, then gives her a frank look. “It’s been a weird time,” he confesses.  Which part?  “Us jumping from firm to firm. All the changes.”  She nods, smiling. “It was easier when we started out,” he finishes sadly. Not necessarily better, she grins; nothing can dampen her mood today, can it?  And I’m sure her life feels far better now: more job security, less national scandal. Not even the mysterious arrival of Caitlin and Miss Hamm can bring her down. “Go home, Cary,” she says as she heads off to investigate, “An afternoon off isn’t going to change anything.”  Perhaps that’s the problem; Cary stares at an envelope, which contains a subpoena.  Which, crap; he worked for Peter back in the day.  Eli doesn’t know anything about Lock, but Cary might.

Caitlin, it turns out, is there to countersue, because Dr. Wolf hasn’t taken the law into his own hands.  If the judge won’t keep the drone off his property, then he’s going to shoot it down.  Dang!  And it turns out that the drone was an $80,000 prototype.  Again, oops.  Again, I’m wondering how Miss Hamm could afford that, and how the theft of a bicycle here and there warrants a such a costly security feature even if the whole neighborhood collectively paid for it, but whatever.  Apparently no one else wonders that.  No, Caitlin’s more concerned with complimenting their offices, and Alicia with how deep Dipple’s support will run.  Could he possibly stand by the doctor after that?  I don’t know, Diane answers.  He does love the second amendment, and the doctor sure has a good aim.

Alicia walks into a dark, empty apartment.  She doesn’t find Jason – or the smashed mug.  Or Grace, of course.  Weirdly, it seems that Jason was sitting outside her apartment in his truck, and when she calls, wondering where he is, he drives off instead of taking her call.

A very worried Marissa shows up in her father’s office, and fills him in on the current threat — Fox has a transcript of their entire conversation in which he admits to tipping off Schakowsky. Oops. Did he tap the governor’s office phones, Eli wonders?  Is he insane?  “He’s like an evil boy scout,” Marissa grouses, and I almost die because that was my old name for Blake, way back in season 2. I’m sure it’s not a shout out, but a girl can dream, can’t she?  Anyway.  Matthew Morrison is definitely the boy scout type, beard not withstanding. Eli pins Marissa down to Fox’s exact words; Fox is reserving Eli’s testimony for the trial, not the grand jury, which means he’s pretty confident that he’s going to be able to indict Peter.   So much bad news.

Back in court, Caitlin and Alicia hammer at each other fiercely.  When Dr. Wolf admits that he shot the drone down, Caitlin insists he pay for it with another 10k in punitive damages and clear instructions from the judge that he leave the drone alone in the future.  Alicia gets permission to cross examine, in the hopes of proving that the doc was just protecting his property.  Caitlin (wearing black and white for the second day in a row, how interesting) scoffs at the idea of applying Castle Doctrine to the situation, calling it Dipple’s libertarian fantasy, but Alicia and Diane insist that the doctor did feel threatened, and that drones can pose a real threat to enter houses and harm people.  After questioning whether this is a reasonable fear (I’d say yes in general — look at drone strikes with the military — and no in this situation), the judge challenges both side to prove their contentions.

In a fine fettle, David Lee slams his way into Cary’s office and upbraids him for letting the camel stick it’s nose in their tent, beaming Alicia up onto their floor.  Oh, David. So many metaphors. True to form, Cary explains that he’s more worried about a pantless octogenarian scaring off clients than he is about Diane’s potential manuevering. Whatever she does, he reminds David, Diane can’t outvote the two of them.  They have more equity.  Either way, David insists, we need to fire a shot across their bows.

Of course, before we get there, we get to see Aaron Burr (that is, the wonderful Leslie Odum Jr.) give expert testimony about the dangers of drones.  They can hold machine guns, hand guns, bombs, grenades, you name it.  Miss Hamm, Caitlin and Judge Dunaway all groan through this presentation.  No one honestly thinks that the drone was going to shoot him.  Okay, so if that’s too over the top, what about a drone with infrared sensors, that can see inside your house?  Or one that tricks your wifi into connecting with it, so it can steal your data?  Ah, but as Caitlin points out, did he really have a reasonable fear that the drone would contain any of those things?  And judging by the footage, was the drone hovering over the doctor’s house, or flying away?  The latter; he shot it as it ran, as it were. (Ha.  Nice to bring in Burr for a duel, in a sense.  I like it.)  The Castle Doctrine doesn’t apply when the assailant, as it were, is retreating.  Hamm is awarded damages, and Dunaway explicitly insists that Nockman not shoot at drones.

This is when David Lee makes his shot across the bow; he gives Lucca enough busywork to sink her for a week at least.

In high dungeon, Eli thunders into Connor Fox’s office and threatens to tell both the attorney general and the New York Times that he’s been wiretapping Peter’s offices.  Oh no, Fox explains; I was tapping Marissa’s phone.  Eli’s face goes blank with shock. “Awful, huh?  The lengths to which an AUSA will go to arrest someone who’s simply done something… criminal.”  His probable cause: she worked for Lloyd Garber once.  Yeah, right.  That’s the thinnest pretext ever.  Did he tap all of the interns at Garber’s company for the last ten years? I think not.  He’s just trying to put the squeeze on Marissa, because Marissa knows not Garber’s secret ills, but Eli’s.

“Look, you have a simple choice,” Fox shows his hand. “Help me take down Peter Florrick, or your daughter takes you down.”

Hey, guess what? Jason decided to come into the office!  He sits in the conference room, talking on his phone.  When she confronts him, he tries to avoid the subject.  It’s quiet here, he had work last night. Then what are you doing tonight, she asks, pressing; if he doesn’t have an issue, that shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

“Look, Alicia,” he begins, “I like you. I like you a lot.”  Seriously, she asks, astounded that he could retreat so firmly into a cliche. Indeed, it’s not very grown up of him. “What do you want me to say?” he asks, defeated. “I don’t want you to say anything. I want you to do what you did the other day.”  Yeah, that’s such a lie, Alicia.  She starts in with specifics, but a bunch of loud associates laugh their way into the door, and she has to send them away.  They lean in close to each other. “I want to use you and I want you to use me,” she insists, smiling. “This is purely sexual.”  Such a lie, Alicia Florrick. “I like it too,” he smiles.  Is this about your religion, she falters, worried. “Because I don’t want your spirit. I want your body.”  It’s not, Ms. Comedienne.  “Your husband came home yesterday morning.”

Yep, thanks for telling the truth. “I just don’t like coming in the middle of something,” he remarks, not unreasonably. I’ll go anywhere, she says, if the apartment makes you nervous.  No, that’s not it either.

The meeting goers come in and start to take their seats, so Alicia leans in to deliver her message directly to Jason’s ear.  She wants him at her apartment tonight; afterward, he can do whatever he wants.

You know, I say this all the time, but if a man said that, we’d be uncomfortable with it.

As she walks through the hall, Alicia becomes more and more angry, so much so that when Caitlin reaches her at the elevator with the news that the doctor has used a drone dropper device to knock yet another drone out of the air, she barely stops to acknowledge it.  (I get side tracked, though.  How did they get another 80k prototype so quickly?  That all seems highly unlikely.  And where do you even buy a drone dropper?  Can you just pick them up at Best Buy, or would have to special order one?)  “Alicia, you need to talk to your client!”  I don’t need to do anything, Alicia snaps coldly as the elevator doors close.

And of course they open on the governor’s office.  Alicia walks through, each heel strike a sharp stabbing, and then throws open the doors to her husband’s office. I’m a little busy here, he says rudely; she just stands, implacable in black, and cocks her head. Finally he asks for a second from Eli and the two older men he’s talking with, and walks to her side. “What’s going on,” he asks, hands in his pockets.  She stares at him, searching his face for something. “Alicia?”  She cocks her head again, assessing, reminiscent of nothing so much as the raptors in Jurassic World. “I want a divorce,” she tells him quietly.

Just sex my ass.   This is all about control.

Also, damn.

After the commercial break, she repeats the line, just in case the full impact of the choice seven years in the making didn’t sink in.  Her husband blinks and literally steps back.

You can see him thinking through different approaches, finally landing on a mild question: what’s wrong?  Nothing’s wrong, she replies evenly. “I want a divorce.”  “Yeah, well, I’m in the middle of something,” he replies.  I’ll have my lawyer call you, she says easily, and turns to leave.

Of course he can’t leave it there, with his failed bravado.  Of course he follows her out, anger tightening his jaw, his voice low as he stops her in the outer office.  This is about your investigator, isn’t it, he sneers. “Yes,” she mocks him, “I would never think of divorcing you unless I had some other man to call my own.”  Show all the contempt you want, Alicia, but you can’t completely separate out your reasons for finally being done.  He grabs her elbow and hustles her into an empty office, raising Nora’s interest and eyebrows as he does. (Will this be our last view of Eli’s long time assistant?)  He slams the door shut behind him.  I saw him at your apartment, Peter hisses, walking around in his underwear like he owned the place.  Because I own the place, Alicia snaps, and I told him he was welcome to. When Peter not unreasonably points out that the likeliest person to walk in on Jason is Grace, Alicia scoffs that Peter should get her declared an unfit mother so he can have custody in the three weeks before Grace leaves for college.  (Is she going to start living at school early like Zach did? I have never in my life met someone who did that the summer before their freshman year, and I worked at a university for a decade.  And it’s not normal for someone never to come home during vacations, either, although I certainly don’t blame Zach for being well shot of this atmosphere.  My annoyance with this isn’t exactly relevant, but it annoys me nonetheless.) Well, this must be true love, Peter mocks her. “Again.”

She stares him down. “Is that what would upset you most?” Alicia wonders. “If I were in love?”  What upsets me is that you’re shoving it in my face, he snaps, totally unreasonably.  What the hell was he doing letting himself into her house while she (and the kids) weren’t there?  I’m not, she replies.  “This is me not caring. Noting caring what people think, what Eli thinks, what you think.”

What about what the FBI thinks, he growls. You know I’m about to be indicted.  You’re always about to be indicted, she half-laughs. Isn’t that the truth!  “I’ll have my lawyer call,” she finishes, and strides out.  For a moment I expect him to burst into violence once more, but instead, he sits down on a leather couch (is this Eli’s new/old office?) and twitches.

Alicia shows up in court, late, as Diane argues that using the drone dropper was just a way of getting the drone off Nockman’s property safely, in accordance with the court’s instructions.  He even returned it.  It does seem hard, really, that you can fly surveillance over someone’s property and they can’t do anything about it.  It’s unsettling, knowing you could be filmed, that it could look inside your windows.  Anyway, Judge Dunaway agrees with Diane.  Why is he being bothered if the drone is back with Miss Hamm and wasn’t harmed?  Because it’s unlawful to shoot an aircraft out of the sky, Caitlin argues.   Drones aren’t covered in FAA rules the way airplanes and helicopters are.  In a topical detour, the legal teams disagree about whether drones (which have to be registered with the FAA, sort of) fly in FAA controlled airspace.  Looks like they need to talk to another expert, then.

When the elevators open onto the 28th floor offices, Eli’s waiting.  Not, to Alicia’s surprise, for her, but for Diane.  He’s there because as we now know, he needs a lawyer, and Peter’s counsel Mike Tascioni won’t do. He won’t talk unless he’s covered by privilege, and he doesn’t want Alicia to know any of it.   He doesn’t know anything about the Lock mistrial, he says, but the AUSA is trying to force him to testify.  So why not testify to your own ignorance, or plead the fifth?  Because, as already stated clearly, the prosecutor is going to use Marissa to take down Eli if Eli won’t help take down Peter.  Which ironically he can’t even help do in this instance, though he certainly knows where many other of Peter’s skeletons are buried.  He and Diane consider strategies together.

Alicia stops by to see Lucca’s office, and they discuss David’s little warning shot, which Alicia immediately understands to be his response to Diane’s bold moves. “Are we taking over?” Lucca wonders. “I don’t know, Alicia replies honestly (after closing the door so they can’t be overheard), “I don’t’ know if I have the stomach for a gender war right now.”  Would we make more money, Lucca wonders? Because if so she’s all for it.

I’m kind of annoyed that Alicia shows up on Cary’s doorstep (office step?), asking him to get David to lay off Lucca. He’s cagey.  He won’t commit. David Lee’s just like that, he says; he did that to me when I first started here.  Of course Alicia doesn’t see it as the same thing; since she convinced Lucca to come on board, she feels like Lucca should  be immune to such hazing.  I have a favor to ask you, actually, Cary replies: don’t side with Diane on this all female firm idea.  She plays dumb, claims it’s not her business, claims she has no influence.  In other words, she’s cagey too; she won’t commit.  Then she has the nerve again to him to help Lucca. We’ll see, he says, and he stares at a picture of palm trees on his laptop.

A Mr. Ortiz takes the stand, a gentleman who works for the FAA in aviation compliance. He says that the new drone regulations are pretty much all anyone talks about there these days. He explains that the FAA doesn’t control class G airspace, the band of air between zero and 500 feet (outside of the approaches to airports).  Caitlin interrupts with some relevant case law.  According to the Cusby ruling, the area that you can build into the air on your property is considered a property owners, specifically, from zero to 83 feet. An airplane buzzing any lower, the court ruled, could upset Cusby’s chickens. (For real.  They say that.) Excellent; now we’re left with the band of air from 84 to 499 feet.  Who controls that? At 500 feet, using the drone dropper would be illegal.  Under 83 feet, the airspace clearly belongs to Nockman.  What about the rest?  The drone was flying at 200 feet.

So of course, Judge Dunaway turns to Diane’s expert.  Whose property is it at 200 feet?  Well, it’s not clearly NOT Nockman’s property, Ortiz prevaricates.  “As a representative of the FAA’s legal department, would you care to clear that up?” No, the man shakes his head.  Ha.  Dunaway stares at the man, who stammers that they’re waiting to hear from the public before ruling on the matter.   For the time being, that space between 83 and 500 feet is the Wild Wild West.

Father and Daughter Gold have a meeting on the really nice leather sofas at Marissa’s work.  I hired a good lawyer, she reassures her.  I’m glad you passed on the bad ones, she snarks, I’m a small person; I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the guilt of having to put you away. (I wonder if she could be considered an accessory after the fact, and so could plead the fifth?  Just interesting.)  Don’t worry about me, he says, and don’t talk to Fox.  She has one question for him, though.  Is he standing up for Peter because the latter is innocent, or because he’s being loyal to someone who’s corrupt?

And, well. Dian and David have a throw down in the main conference room.  I don’t care about Howard, David says, but I do care about the way you’re pushing Alicia forward.  She’s a big name and people care about her, Diane argues.  You didn’t even want her back, Cary finally interjects from the other side of the room, a piece of truth that has Diane stammering.  She’s made it through a lot of trials, and can be an asset to this firm. What’s your move, David presses, and so Diane plays her hand; make Alicia a name partner.  Right.  That’ll neatly cut out the male equity advantage. Why would they ever agree to that?  No, says Cary, after the three stare at each other.

I can bring it to the full partnership, Diane threatens.  You think you have the votes, Cary wonders; she thinks she can get them. “Do you really want to tear this firm apart to find out?”  Yeah.  I’d say she does.

Back in his office, David consults with Howard Lyman.  Howard’s not getting his office back, and David’s not sure he’s really interested in having the gender war that’s tiring Alicia either.  No, he might be more interested in, in his words, “all I want to do is milk this place for all its worth while its still standing.”  Um, has he just announced his intention of embezzling?  At any rate, he walks into Diane’s office, and offers his support for Alicia’s elevation to name partner on a condition, he says, he thinks she’ll be happy to comply with.

But instead of hearing it, we see Alicia’s familiar doorway.  If I had to bet, I think it’s a good fifty/fifty chance that the show ends either with a press conference (as it began) or a shot of this door.  She sighs before she opens it. She calls out a quiet hello, dropping her things in the kitchen.  There’s no sound.  She walks to her bedroom (which seems to be located in a different spot this episode, has anyone else noticed?), opening the door to reveal Jason lounging on her bed. When he sees her, he grins wordlessly and opens his arms. Grinning, she literally runs and throws herself onto his lap.  Did you eat, he wonders after their first kiss.  No.  Does she want food?  No. Oh, no.

“What we have here,” Judge Dunaway rules the next day, “is a political hot potato masquerading as a legal case.”  Indeed. “The law has simply not caught up with technology, and drones remain — I would suggest frighteningly — unregulated. But because any regulation would require hard choices between the competing values of privacy, individual liberty and commerce, neither the legislative or the executive branch want to make any decisions. And so it falls to me.  I’m not thrilled to say this, but drones are not on private property above 83 feet, and you, Mr. Nockman, owe the plaintiff punitive and compensatory damages.”  Okay. There it is.

Well fought, Alicia tells Caitlin in the court house hall. The latter is this time wearing a white blouse with a grey tweed blazer. “Your husband is  a lawyer too, right?” Alicia asks. “How does that work?”  Not well, Caitlin confesses; they’re separated.  He’s in Las Vegas, leaving Caitlin and Zoe alone. Oh my God, I’m so sorry, Alicia apologizes sincerely. “I guess you were right,” the younger woman replies, her cheery expression breaking, “I never should have left.”  Alicia shakes her head. “No,” she says. “I wasn’t right.”

Now it’s Cary’s turn to barge into David Lee’s office, furious that he’s thrown in with Diane on the matter of Alicia’s partnership.  It’s just what’s best for the firm, Howard declares, walking in behind Cary. “Isn’t that what you told me when I got sent downstairs?” Yeah, whatever, Howard.  This is a slightly more important issue to the firm’s structure than one partner’s office space. You sold yourself for what, a few extra shares, Cary barks.  Something like that, David admits. “Life’s a bitch, kid,” Howard snarks as Cary surges past him for the door.

Diane introduces herself to Connor Fox as Eli’s lawyer; she and Eli offer to trade Eli’s confession to obstruction of justice for a promise to leave Marissa alone.  If he does that, then Eli might be free to testify in future cases, perhaps ones against Peter.  I thought you didn’t know anything about the Lock mistrail, Fox presses.  Time might unfog that glass, Eli suggests.  So would you rather hear his confession now, Diane asks, or wait to see what you might get in a trial?  Connor Fox swallows.

Again, the drums beat as Cary stares longingly at the photo of a tropical sunset; Alicia walks in to his office, grinning, in a gray and white plaid jacket that marks a new day.  She thanks him for making her a name partner: “it was a surprise,” she grins. Don’t thank me, he says flatly. “I voted against it.”  His confession wipes the joy off her face. “Is that because of the conversation we had before?” she wonders, and he denies it.  “Don’t worry, David Lee voted for you. He doesnt’ care anymore.”

“Cary,” she begins, “I’m on your side.”  Really?  What does that even mean now? “I know we’ve been at loggerheads before, but I won’t be working against you.”

“I know,” he nods, “because I’m quitting.”

Okay, WHAT?

She can’t believe it anymore than I can, that he’s letting Diane buy him out.  Why? “I don’t like it any more,” he confesses, and there’s stark truth in his tones.  I guess he has had a rough couple of years.  Nothing he builds stays the way he wants it. He gets ground up in other people’s wars, even imprisoned just for being in the wrong proximity.  “I like being a lawyer, that can be fun, but this isn’t. I’m not good at it.”  Well, indeed.  None of them seem good at running things, ambitious as they’ve all been.  “I’m not good at looking over my shoulder.  I don’t wanna be my dad.”

Cary, Alicia begins. You can’t just quit.  Yes I can, he says, closing his lap top, tucking it beneath his arm, walking toward his door.

“By the way,” he adds, “I’ve been subpoenaed in your husband’s case.  It’s not good.” She watches him leave, tie askew, walking with swagger. If you don’t like my fire, then don’t come around, cause I’m gonna burn one down.

There’s a knock on Alicia’s door that night, and much to her distress, it’s her husband.  I can’t fight now, she says.  She doesn’t have the energy. So let me just talk, he pleads, walking in and closing his guards out. I’m not here to argue you out of the divorce: the kids are grown, we live apart, it’s a reasonable thing.  I won’t contest it, proceed.  Just please wait until this is all over, or it’ll look like you’re leaving me because you think I’m guilty.  Stand by me one last time, and I’ll leave you alone.

The episode ends with her mouth opening to answer.

Oh, Alicia.  Don’t you know you’ll look guilty by association if you stay? It’s hard to say what she owes him at this point; she’s reaped financial benefits from staying, but she’s lost a lot, too.

Man, that was a lot.  She asked for a divorce, though whether she’ll go through with it is a whole other story; I’m inclined to think not (and no, I know I’m late, but I haven’t seen the new episode so I don’t know for sure). I expect it’s all a tease. I’m a little weirded out that Jason is the prompt for this, even though it’s clearly about being able to do what she wants (or who she wants) without interference than it is her wanting to be free to love Jason.

Cary left.  That stuns me.  I don’t blame him, but I would never have expected it.  I want better for him than how things have turned out.  Diane will get her female lead firm, and may it work out better than the constant parade of fighting partnerships we’ve witnessed over the last seven years.  Caitlin’s bright future seems a bit cold as well, though professionally it’s wonderful to see how she’s landed on her feet.  I’m sorry about her quickly imploding marriage.

I’ll never understand where Grace has gone, why Alicia doesn’t care about impacting her life, and I’d love to know what she knows about Alicia’s love life.  It’s certainly odd to go from having her everywhere in the first half of the season to missing now.  And finally, Eli, who doesn’t know anything about Lock, but does about the election fixing.  Will he sing?  Will Shakowsky?  Will Fox try to take them all down, or is he only interested in Peter?  So strange, all these big choices finally made with so little time left.

 

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10 comments on “The Good Wife: Unmanned

  1. Angee says:

    E, what I will miss the most when The Good Wife ends are your awesome, insightful, wonderfully detailed reviews/recaps. I have yet to find someone who recaps with your great detail, wit, and fairness, thank you!
    I do not like or empathize with the person of Alicia’s become over the course of the show. She has gone from being a caring, loving mother to being cold and indifferent toward her children. It is like Zach has fallen off the face of the earth and Grace has now joined him there. I am not impressed by her asking Peter for a divorce, she should have done that years ago. The strange thing is I kind of feel now that she and Peter deserve each other. I still miss Will Gardner and the Stern, Lockhart, Gardner law firm of the early seasons. However, as much as The Good Wife has disappointed me in recent seasons, I will still miss it!

    • E says:

      Aw, thanks, Angee!

      I totally agree – I’m going to miss the show, the acting and the depth and questions it takes on, but the direction it took was just so depressing. In addition to the really dark turn in Alicia’s personality, I wish the writers had found some way of the firm existing without it being at war with itself for six seasons. It’s weird to think about it ending, even though I’m glad they’re going out on their own terms.

  2. Pam says:

    Matt Czuchry and Cary Agos deserved better. I couldn’t care less about that new firm (and I have zero sympathy for Diane and Alicia right now) and I don’t think we needed it or the show needed it. So it makes me even more pissed off about the fact that obviously Cary was written out to allow that firm to become a thing. And the worse thing is not like they’ve written something good around Cary’s exit or did plan to write some alternative storyline for him in those final episodes besided the subpoena for Peter. I just hope that now he’s free from that mess Matt Czuchry will finally find a new show and a bunch of writers who won’t be so willing to waste him as Robert & Michell King and CO. were. That was an awful and unceremonious exit for a character who has been there for 7ys and went through so much.

    • E says:

      Yeah, that was not just disappointing but weird; it’s so out of character, and for what pay off? The all women firm Alicia doesn’t even want? Because women never fight with each other, that’s going to be some sort of paradise? I dunno. It’s frustrating. For Cary it’s the culmination of a wasted year and a half, and as an over all ending, it’s dull.

      • Pam says:

        The all female firm is a lame/showy way to state this show wanted to be a feminist show. Too bad their concept of feminism doesn’t work with me and that they needed to screw over a beloved character in the process. That last season has been a letdown.

        • E says:

          It really has been – it hasn’t been as disastrous or alienating as the election plot from last season, but that was balanced out (at least in the first half of the season) by Cary’s terrifying prison plot which in most ways gave us the show at its finest. I’m sorry they couldn’t write a better ending, but I’m also relieved they’re going to be done torturing these characters soon.

  3. angee says:

    Hi E!
    I miss your wonderfully detailed analysis of The Good Wife, are you watching The Good Fight?

    • E says:

      Aw, Angee! It’s so nice to hear from you! I totally would if they hadn’t put it on a pay channel. I’m quite peeved about it.

  4. angee says:

    I know right, it is ridiculous to have to pay to watch one show. I did watch the pilot on CBS, I thought it was excellent but it does make me miss The Good Wife.

    • E says:

      I deliberately decided not to watch the pilot because it’d make me feel bad about not subscribing. When/if it comes out on dvd, though, I might take the plunge.

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