The Good Wife: “Hitting the Fan” (Episode 5.05)

TV Reviews The Good Wife
The Good Wife: “Hitting the Fan” (Episode 5.05)

TV shows and critics like to throw around the phrase “game-changing.”

Now, that term can be defined by “Hitting the Fan.” The hour was a game-changing episode of The Good Wife in every way possible as the show ripped the Band-Aid off a long-simmering storyline.

Most obviously game-changing, of course, is that Alicia and Cary have now officially launched their own firm. Will dramatically fires Alicia (after getting the majority vote of the partners) and Diane fires Cary (as he so aptly pointed out for the second time.). “I took you in. You were poison,” Will seethes. And he’s right; he made Alicia’s career possible when no one else would, and she has betrayed him.

Sure, Alicia may be legally within her rights (it’s debatable whether she’s held up her fiduciary responsibility to the partners), but it’s a crappy thing to do. “You’re awful. And you don’t even know how awful you are,” Will tells her. The show has pulled off the trick of actually making viewers root for both Alicia and Will simultaneously. I want Alicia to succeed, but I also want her to get her comeuppance at the hands of Will. Only one option is possible.

Alicia lies when, as the elevator doors close, she tells Will, “This was never meant personally.” Her decision was mostly, if not entirely, personal. She needed to physically distance herself from Will.

The episode was jam-packed with fantastic moments. Kalinda uses her friendship with Cary to find out more information. David Lee, now vindicated because he was right all along, is at his absolute best (calling in the public health department). Will is in fighting mode (and has never been sexier). John Benjamin Hickey is always entertaining as Neil Gross. The phone conversation between Will and Peter finally let both men show their true feelings. (“Thanks for the advice, jackass.”) The comic relief arrived at just the right time (Alicia and Will discussing Grace’s permission slip.)

But the real game-changing moment and the best part of the episode came when Peter used his gubernatorial-elect influence to force Neil Gross to pick Alicia’s firm. And—this is the most important part—Alicia let him. For all we know, she asked him to do it. Viewers weren’t privy to what happened between Neil Gross telling Alicia and Cary he had chosen to stay with Lockhart/Gardner and Peter’s impromptu speech. Alicia has long been on a slippery slope when it comes to doing the right thing. But this is on a whole other level. Her husband basically threatened Neil Gross. That’s how she and Cary got the business. And not only is she okay with that, she’s drinking champagne and celebrating.

And what about Peter? He’s already been to jail and has vowed to have his office operate to the highest ethical standards. He’s not even in office yet, and he’s already broken that promise. He issued the threat. And then, in the worst turn of events possible, he pulls Diane’s nomination. I have to admit that, in all the permutations of what could possibly happen when Alicia left Lockhart/Gardner, I never thought about this one. How quickly Peter has turned his back on his ethical promise. How quickly he slipped back into old and terrible habits. Eli might self-combust. “Peter, you can’t be doing this. It will come back to bite us,” he tells him.

But it’s really Alicia who I’m worried about. She’s now hit a new low. What won’t she do to successfully launch her own firm? Due to football, next week’s episode, entitled “The Next Day,” begins at 9:30 p.m./8:30 p.m. CST and features the return of Mamie Gummer as deceptively sweet attorney Nancy Crozier. The show just keeps getting better and better. The Good Wife is the program of the year.

Other thoughts on “Hitting the Fan”:
• “Is this what they mean by leaning in?” The BEST reference to Sheryl Sandberg’s book—ever. EVER.
• This is the first time I realized that the other character was named “Carey.” And yes the official CBS press material spells Czuchry’s character “Cary” and Ben Rappaport’s character “Carey.”
• Anthony is going to be trouble. He’s way too concerned about his bonus.
• It was genius the way Grace’s newfound looks managed to seamlessly work their way into the episode.

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