8.5

The Good Wife Review: “A Few Words”

(Episode 5.14)

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<i>The Good Wife</i> Review: &#8220;A Few Words&#8221;

After a rapidly paced, nail-biting episode last week, The Good Wife slowed the action down considerably as Alicia headed to New York to give the keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association. She’s been chosen because she went from an “opt out” mom to a partner at her own law firm in four years.

So what did we learn about the Alicia of four years ago before she landed her job at Lockhart/Gardner? Well she had exceptionally bad taste in clothes (really Alicia? A powder blue suit?). She was cowed by Jackie, who served as the manifestation of her insecurities. She was meek. She cried A LOT more. And, because of Peter, no one wanted to give her a job. Until, that is, she ran into her old law school friend Will Gardner who fought to get her an associate position at his firm.

Both Will and Alicia flashback to this moment with wistful longing. In the present day, they run into each other in a diner across from the hotel and, since she’s already had a few beers, Alicia asks Will, “Why do you hate me?” Will responds, “I don’t like you. Hate is probably too strong.”

But really, Alicia knows why Will hates her. She betrayed him when he put himself on the line for her. She lied to him about leaving the firm. And for weeks she pretended to be investigating who was leaving the firm when she was really joining them. Not to mention that I’m still convinced she used Peter’s influence to land Neil Gross as a client. Is Alicia in denial? I think so. Especially because she’s still in denial about the real reason she left—to get away from Will and the daily temptation he provided. I still say those two are hooking up again before the season is over.

Back in the present day, Will is in deep trouble with Nelson Dubek and the Office of Public Integrity. He enlists the help of Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston), which leads to one of the greatest exchanges in the history of the show. “The governor’s guilty,” Nelson tells her. “How do you know that?” Elsbeth asks. “He’s the governor of Illinois,” Nelson replies.

Elsbeth records that lovely little conversation, and for a while it looks like that will be the end of Nelson’s investigation into Will. Until Jim Moody shows up and tries to trap Will in a conversation. Will doesn’t bite, but hotel cameras still catch him talking to Moody, which is a big no-no since they’re both witnesses in the grand jury investigation.

It needs to be said once again that I would so watch a spin-off series centered around Elsbeth. From her wondering how to pronounce “gif” to her reaction to being verbally assaulted by New York street performers to her legal acumen, I love everything about Elsbeth. Everything.

The only thing that didn’t quite work about this episode is everyone vying to get power lawyer Rayna Hecht (Jill Hennessy) to their firm. Rayna as a character wasn’t that exciting and how exactly does Florrick/Agos have the capacity to take on a new partner? Were they already willing to make their firm Florrick/Agos/Hecht? In the end, Hecht decides to join Elsbeth. During Alicia’s boozy conversation with Rayna, she tells Rayna “I want to be happy, and I want to control my fate.”

Being happy might be nice for Alicia, but an Alicia in turmoil makes for a great show. This investigation into voter fraud isn’t going away any time soon.

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Good Wife? Do you think Will and Alicia will get together before the season finale? How do you pronounce “gif?” Talk about it below.

Other thoughts on “A Few Words”:

Are the producers just using the show as a platform to vent about all that’s annoying to them? Last week, it was overwrought AMC dramas. This week, it’s Mayor de Blasio’s cab commercial trumpeting all the great things about New York.
It must have been nice to set an episode in New York since the series actually films there.
Very interesting to see Kalinda’s reaction to being asked to investigate Alicia four years ago.
If David Lee doesn’t show up in next week’s episode, I’m sending out a search party.

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.

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