Screen / The Good Wife

The Good Wife‘s “The One Percent” Makes Good (Sort of) On Alicia and Peter’s Marital Arrangement

And of course after Alicia specifically refused the idea of having an affair last week, naturally suspicion fell on her relationship with Finn this week. Since fans have been speculating about The Good Wife perhaps throwing Alicia and Finn together down the line in the wake of Will’s death, it was clever of the show to tackle it, however indirectly, this time around. Looking to derail Finn’s campaign by nullifying Peter’s endorsement, Castro produced a photo of Finn leaving Alicia’s apartment and suggested that he and Alicia were doing the nasty. To which Peter responded by tossing not one but two glasses of water in Castro’s face, delaying the endorsement announcement and flirting with Intern Lauren. 

The Good Wife can keep Peter’s angst-ridden jealousy and lashing out, but please more of him throwing drinks in people’s faces. There are times when Peter is absolutely terrible and other times when he’s absolutely hilarious, and his casual throwing of the drinks has moved into my top ten Peter Florrick moments (I don’t even have ten of those let’s be honest) right ahead of the time he punched Kristeva in the face and said it didn’t happen. Because of how Alicia and Peter are doing things now, this was an inevitability. One of them was going to have to make the first move toward really acting on their new arrangement, if they’re really serious about it but I doubt anyone thought Alicia would be the first to take that step. And because Peter’s so predictable in this regard (and because he’s Peter), it’s hard to care about his flirtations with Intern Lauren. I’d much rather watch Eli navigate Alicia and Peter’s marriage.

Eli’s more fun when he’s screaming at people, stomping across Chicago and trying to contain whatever political scandal is threatening to unfold. He was overflowing with excitement when Finn was cleared of wrongdoing regarding Jeffrey Grant (while the blame is put on Castro), but kind of an asshole when he demanded that Intern Lauren remain fifty feet away from Peter at all times (it was asshole-y but it was also hilarious). And despite his assertions that he “cares” about Peter and Alicia’s relationship, it’s more likely he’s concerned about Peter remaining in office, and Peter and Alicia’s arrangement gave him some serious anxiety, only compounded by the idea of Alicia and Finn having an affair of their own. But Eli being stressed out is one of the best things The Good Wife can ever give me so I’ll take it and be happy.

But while Alicia said she didn’t sleep with Finn, and he’d only been at her apartment because she was representing him (which we saw), Castro was adamant that the photo was more recent than that. And no one ever clarified if Castro lied or if Finn really did go to Alicia’s apartment for some other reason that they both forgot about or just decided not to share. Also interesting: Finn isn’t married anymore. His wife had a miscarriage, and they divorced. So what does that mean? I spent the entire episode waiting for it to flash back to two weeks ago when Finn and Alicia did have sex, all the while thinking about how silly and disappointing a development that would be but also wanting it just a little bit.

In the case of the week, One Percent” channeled Mitt Romney (sort of) in Alicia’s client and his big mouth, constantly overflowing with offensive comments that made Alicia’s battle with Canning significantly more difficult. The show’s put itself on a bit of clock with Louis Canning, since his death is apparently impending, and he’s determined to ruin Diane before he goes. Why? I suppose because he’s just a terrible person, but the office politicking Diane’s engaging in with him just isn’t as much fun as I believe the show hoped it would be. Canning, as suspected, is too big a presence to be around as much as he is. Going from recurring guest star (with spots widely spaced) to the screentime he has now is only overbearing. He’s there too much, but still doing nothing much. His and Diane’s struggles take place largely offscreen even as they disagree about a class action suit and Canning ends up wrecking everything by telling Rayna Hecht that Diane’s off her game. It doesn’t help that we’ve got no reason for Canning going to these extreme lengths aside from just because. That being said, it was nice to see Canning back in the courtroom and not wandering Lockhart/Gardner exchanging words with Kalinda and a suspicious Diane.

 

Canning and Alicia’s fight over selecting jurors in their wrongful termination suit was a different something for The Good Wife, that kept Canning’s machinations to a minimum while the real battle played out in the media as they reacted with glee (on Canning’s end) and horror (on Alicia’s) every time the client opened his mouth. Where The Good Wife excels is in its ability to be a procedural while still toying with the format, dealing in stops and starts and fadeouts instead of barreling ahead to a resolution.

“One Percent” was the penultimate episode of the season, and it doesn’t feel like it. It just feels like another episode. I’ve no idea what The Good Wife could pull out next week to really draw a close to this season, or even what the end of the season would look like. The show’s so lowkey about everything that there’s nothing especially demanding heading into next week’s episode. Sure there’s Finn’s endorsement and Diane’s stuff with Canning, but what else could there be?

 

Stray Observations

  • Canning: “That was pretty crappy.”
    Kalinda: “I know.”
  • Rayna doesn’t like working with Elsbeth Tascioni? Working with Elsbeth Tascioni is too “constricting?”
  • Ayn Rand is terrible.
  • So we got an almost Cary/Kalinda sex scene!

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