“The Good Wife” recap (5.1): Open at the Close

Last season on The Good Wife, we left off with Diane Lockhart possibly leaving ship to become a judge (whoa), Cary Agos definitely leaving ship to form his own firm, and Alicia possibly going with him (double whoa), and Mr. Big becoming governor of the Land of Lincoln (snore). Things that are more interesting about Illinois than Peter Florrick: Its state dance is the square dance! Its state food is a tie between an apple and popcorn! Also everything else.

We begin Season Cinco right where we left off, with Alicia inviting Cary over to celebrate her decision about Florrick, Agos and Associates. As Cary fills her in with who else is on board, Alicia asks the question that’s always on our tongues: “But what about Kalinda?” Cary answers, “Nah, she wanted too much money because of her righteous and completely accurate self-worth.” Alicia waits nary a second before shrugging and being like, “Eh, OK,” and then says something weak about everything changing. What? Is Kalicia completely dead? I know it’s been going that way for a while, but the true death of their friendship would be a huge blow for the show. Is that really the most fight Alicia will put up for her?


So let’s take stock: With Kalinda still tenuously on their side, we have one point for Team Lockhart Gardner. Cary was able to reel in Robyn, though, so one point for Team Florrick Agos. But wait, they still don’t have Kalinda. So NEVERMIND ZERO POINTS FOR TEAM DUMBASS.

This somewhat celebratory scene then strangely and abruptly switches to Alicia and Diane sitting in Indiana, waiting to watch an execution. Maybe there wasn’t a better way to transition that one, so they just went for no transition at all. I am very much not ready for this, as I have had death penalty trauma ever since The Green Mile and probably even before The Green Mile. And then the man who’s about to be executed begins his last words, which include lots of tears and a request to Alicia and Diane to apologize to his mother for being a disappointment of a son—no, stop it—but he continues to plead that he’s not guilty of the crime and then suddenly blood starts dripping out of his vein in big gross spurts—no, what is happening?—and they hurriedly close the blinds to the viewing room. Oh God this is horrible. But you know what they say, nothing like a botched execution to really kick off a season!

Lockhart Gardner is clearly the not-yet-executed guy’s lawyers, and Diane immediately makes a complaint of torture and gets the execution delayed. Everyone back at headquarters commences to spend most of the episode running around trying to get it delayed as long as possible, hopefully forever, while scrambling to find evidence of his innocence, all while the most dramatic music ever plays in the background. I have missed you, dramatic Good Wife music!

Comedic value is dropped into all this tension via a woman “telecommuting” through a contraption that is half Segway, half one of those signs that tells you where to wait in line at the doctor’s office. She/it follows people around, bumping into doors and shouting from the void. Like most things, this is only truly funny because of Alicia’s deadpan reaction to it.


In other important news, Robyn still exists, which is great! And she is wearing a most excellent sweater with a bird on it!


The only screentime we really get with Kalinda is when Grumpypants M&M Lawyer sits her down and orders her to get the scoop on the fourth years, who are really, really not being coy about this whole we’re-planning-a-coup thing. I know you’re supposed to be smart people, but I’m beginning to question the quality of your intelligence when you start fist bumping and beating your chests in conference rooms with glass walls and shouting “WE’RE SO HAPPY YOU’RE LEAVING WITH US!” to Alicia as she walks down the hall. Cool your jets, deserters!

Plus, one of the fourth years gives Alicia some guff when they meet oh-so-secretly in a parking lot to talk shop. One, you do not give Alicia guff. Two, this shop talk ends up being about delaying their departure from Lockhart Gardner by another three weeks, because the fourth years want to wait for their bonuses first. Oh man. Florrick Agos ain’t never going to happen, is it?



In Governor Big’s office, we are also introduced to the new head of his ethics committee, an uber hot woman named Marilyn played by Melissa George, an Aussie actress who us Americans might remember from when she appeared in eight episodes of Grey’s Anatomy back in 2009 as Dr. Sadie Harris, Meredith’s rebellious old pal.