The Good Wife Recap: Love in an Elevator
Oh, Will Gardner, you might be the most competitive, vindictive, infuriating attorney scorned in the greater Chicago area of all time ever, but damned if you’re not also the most towering, uncompromising romantic figure on network television today.
Is it possible to be all those things at once? Yes, in the hands of The Good Wife‘s insanely talented writing team — where no person is only one thing, where the good and bad and complicated in-betweens of human nature reside in every character — such conundrums and juxtapositions aren’t the exception, but the reality.
And that’s exactly why our protagonist Alicia Florrick can flash back to her life as a struggling single mom, a steely power player, a possible “slut” (oh, Jackie, how you make your presence felt even when you’re not in the room!), and a chica who can show up to a major meeting slightly inebriated without losing an ounce of credibility in the process.
With that in mind, let’s hit on the major highlights of “A Few Words,” where Alica, Will, Diane, Cary & Co. head to NYC for the American Bar Association meeting — and where Julianna Magulies reminds Emmy voters of her worthiness (not only to be nominated, but to win) through multiple layers, timelines, moods and, yes, even hairstyles.
THE SPEECH | The action this week takes place at the ABA meeting in NYC, where Alicia starts the hour freaking out about her keynote speech on op-out moms returning to the workforce, the first draft of which gets a thumbs-down from Cary. His stern advice to write what she knows sends Alicia flashing back to the months following Peter’s indictment (and the era of her sensible/drab suits and un-flashy coiffs) — all roads which lead back to Will’s hand reaching out and grabbing the elevator door of some insignificant law firm. Just as important, though, Alicia knows her speech might make or break her new firm’s ability to attract legal rainmaker Rayna Hecht (Jill Hennessy) to sign up as a new partner. After she finally sifts through her near misses with multiple firms (more on that in a second), and how her flirtatious energy was one of the things that led to her associate position at Lockhart-Garnder — she winds up dropping this knowledge on her audience: “Use everything you have to get the job — and don’t feel entitled.” Plus, she adds, as a woman, no one questions why you opted out in the first place. (Mmmmkay?) Alas, though, when a phrama deal blows up near the end of her speech, hundreds of lawyers looking for high-voltage clientele walk out — leaving Alicia in search of a beer and a burger, and feeling more vulnerable than usual.
THE FLASHBACKS | As Alicia writes her speech, we see her looking backward at some of her initial pre-Lockhart-Gardner interviews. An attorney named Lorraine Joy calls her in as a curiousity — not a real job prospect. She scores a job at her second interview — only to break down in heartbreaking tears when she learns the position is actually for a paralegal, and that her last name is considered a liability. But oh — that hand reaching out and grabbing the elevator door! (Le sigh. Did anyone get shades of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Too much? Fair enough.)