A few seasons ago, The Good Wife was a show that might have been accused of juggling too many plates. Between the intricate cases of the week, the deep rolodex of enjoyable guest stars, Alicia running for office, Alicia starting a new firm with Cary, the C-plot of the Florricks’ political marriage, and Kalinda always having a bat at the ready, the show’s full platter occasionally worked against it by burdening Alicia with more than forty-three minutes could properly cover. Since then, the show has worked hard to strip Alicia of… pretty much all these things.
As was confirmed earlier this week, this is indeed the last season of The Good Wife, which means that the most recent status quo of Alicia operating a small practice out of her apartment with sidekick Lucca and sex-oozing investigator Jason Crouse was always going to be a short-lived one. Alicia has spent much of this final season in bond court purgatory, which has yieled mixed results. On the plus side, Lucca has been a welcomed addition who has successfully shed her “nu Kalinda” sheen to provide a good counterbalance to Alicia. (Chemistry that no doubt benefits from the two performers willingly sharing the screen with one another.) On the other hand, there’s no denying that a sense of momentum was lost in the process as Alicia only had limited interactions with some of the show’s other key players. Namely, Cary and Diane.
Just as episode titles have shrunk back to single words, Alicia herself has also been reduced to the barebones of her character. Her children are gone, her political career is dead — as is Peter’s for the time being — and tedious as it was, this recent rethread of Will’s erased voicemail lifted one lingering shadow from under Alicia’s past. She has no choice left but to look forward, which has brought her back to the law firm that started it all.
With only a handful of episodes to go, the show is back on the floor where Alicia worked her very first case and facing yet another quirky judge with a case revolving around good ole ChumHum and their leaked tablet. Things are nevertheless different this time around. Diane’s concerns that Alicia may not slot back into her old role are quickly proven right and can be summed up in one word: Lucca. Lucca is not simply a coworker to Alicia but also a true friend and someone that she will not leave behind. She is a net gain that Alicia intends to keep and this new friendship serves as the perfect catalyst to bringing out the side of Alicia that’s never really fit with the old firm; the one prone to “a certain independence and resistance to oversight,” as Diane diplomatically puts it.
If your brains haven’t spilled out from the show beating you over the head with its chair metaphor, Alicia still hasn’t found her center and things are clearly being set up for another final switching of the gears for her — one that will probably again take her away from the 27th floor. We picture a phallic red convertible and Jeffrey Dean Morgan smirking.
This next shakeup might not be a voluntary, mind you. This week’s revelation that the FBI is yet again targeting the Florricks promises a big and perhaps permanent upheaval for the political family. What was stranger was the roundabout way in which this came into play. Considering that Marissa Gold is the daughter of her husband’s (former?) campaign adviser, her increased involvement in both Alicia’s affairs and the series as a whole always felt like something that might be more suited to Alicia’s own daughter. Then again, Sarah Steele is always fun in a role that could so easily twee our faces off, so no complaining there.
The show has often gone to the well of the government looking to bring down Peter through Alicia, but this might again be a case of the deceptively familiar bringing us somewhere new entirely in time for the finale. After all, the ominous advice for Alicia to cash out while she still can sure sounds like divorce bells. It’s the one bridge The Good Wife, true to its name, has never crossed but there’s not much reason to keep up appearances now. If these past seven years have taught us viewers anything, it’s that the status quo is not a state that has ever really suited Alicia Florrick.
- Her chair is tilted because she doesn’t fit there. Get it?
- Cary and Diane’s comical desperation to pair up Monica and Lucca at leasts reminds us that the season’s earlier discrimination plot has not been completely forgotten.
- According to the photo featured in the opening montage retelling the founding of Lockhart, Agos & Lee, Diane has been weary her shiny frocks for most, if not all, of her professional life. That is commitment to a personal brand. Much props.
- If Alicia indeed fit at Lockhart, Agos & Lee, her chair might be perfectly upright. But she doesn’t causing it to skew. Get it?
- Remember Robyn, you guys? I’m using this one-week platform to remember Robyn and the elevator shaft she presumably fell down at the old Florrick & Agos office. RIP.
- Eli: “We’re good, yes?” Alicia: “We’re good.” I am taking this as a verbal agreement that the matter of Will’s erased voicemail will never be brought up again.
- As now confirmed in open court, Lucca’s unique name comes from her parents travelling a lot. Admit it, you were marginally curious.
- Carla! I too expected more of a guest appearance by Judy Reyes, but I’ll take any and all Turkleton I can get on my primetime.
- Does your chair skew under your weight? Because if so, you might not be sitting where you ought to be sitting. Get it?
- Thanks to the amazing Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya for letting me fill-in for her this week. No worries: she will be back next week to cover Alicia’s race to the finish!