“The Good Wife” (5.5) recap: Hitting the fan—and smashing it to bits

My feelings changed in rapid succession about this turn of events: first I was confused about Kalinda’s change of heart as she talked to Cary, but I have to admit that a flicker of hope bloomed in my chest about Kalinda and Alicia still possibly working together. But something about Kalinda accepting less money seemed off. And Diane’s departure had been known for a while; that explanation didn’t really hold.

But then when she reported back to Will, it all made sense. I saw some people online interpreting this as Kalinda being shady and selling out Cary and Alicia, but really, I think this is more about Cary being stupid than anything else. If Kalinda had talked to Alicia, Alicia would have known Kalinda better and never revealed any information to her. Which Kalinda knows, which is why she talked to Cary instead. And also Kalinda and Alicia apparently haven’t spoken to each other in months, so that would have just been crazy anyway. Kalinda isn’t shady, just doing her job, just like she always has. In a way, she remains the most stable force throughout all of this.

The most beautiful thing about this episode is that amid all the drama, there are also lovely little moments of humor, and the best one happens when Will picks up Alicia’s cell phone, which he still possesses, and it’s Grace on the other line. For a moment my heart races, thinking that Grace is going to spill the beans about Zach trying to transfer Lockhart Gardner files from the cloud to Alicia’s personal computer, which Alicia had asked him to do earlier in the morning instead of silly things like getting ready for high school. Turns out Grace just wanted to ask her mom about a permission slip to some Jesus thing. Something about talking to Grace seems to crack into Will’s all-consuming anger for a moment, reminds him that Alicia’s a real person, one that he loves. When Grace asks where Alicia is, he stutters, “She’s not—I have her phone,” sounding momentarily puzzled about why he does.

Later, after an angry back and forth over the phone where Will and Alicia both tell the other to go to hell, before Will can angrily slam the phone to the ground he remembers to tell her that Grace called and needs the permission slip for the Jesus thing. Alicia says, “Oh—she did?” And he gives her the deets and she says “Thanks!” and he says “You’re welcome!” and their voices are light and airy and normal and THEN he slams the phone and they both look at their phones like they don’t quite know what just happened and it is hilarious. 100% genius.

The rest of the episode includes a bunch of handwringing over Chumhum and Neill Gross. They’re on Cary and Alicia’s side! Ohhh, now they’re back to Lockhart Gardner! They go to court against each other over restraining orders in regards to Chumhum, in which David Lee is a jackass and Alicia is a badass. Alicia and Cary end up losing, and as they walk away, David Lee calls out to Alicia’s back, “Walk away, Judas.” Awww, man. Blasphemous biblical references means shit just got real. And you have done nothing but fire Alicia up, Lee. She turns around, walks up to their faces, and says:

“We’re coming after you, all your clients, every single one we worked to make happy while you swept in at the last minute to take credit. All of them. And then you know what you’ll have? A very nice suite of offices.”



At this restraining order hearing, Diane had also been called to testify against Cary and Alicia, but at the last minute decides not to, to David Lee’s chagrin. Diane also meets with Eli, to double check that all of this stuff with Alicia won’t affect Peter’s decision to name her to the Supreme Court. Eli says that they’re not in the business of letting personal drama interfere with professional decisions, which is probably the most moral thing Eli has ever said, and he even seems to really mean it. But as he walks down the hall away from her, something in Diane’s face isn’t so sure. As always, it is Diane that can actually see how things are written on the wall, and while David Lee and Will are stomping around and smashing things this entire episode, she has been staying back, quiet. Yet her arc is really the most interesting of all. She cares about her future, she wants her future, but she also cares about the firm, and always will. She feels deeply betrayed by Alicia, but in a more hurt, less defensive way about it, and you can tell that in the way Alicia is stepping up and taking charge, Diane can’t help but see something of herself. In short, I love Diane Lockhart so goddamn much.

As the episode nears an end, Will and Kalinda share some fancy alcohol in those fancy glasses that people in fancy offices always seem to have, and commiserate in their shared remorse over Alicia, her departure from Lockhart Gardner and the way she’s haunted both of their lives. Although this shared yet separate experience isn’t necessarily spoken out loud or even hinted at, we can feel it; we know that it’s there. Will is still bruised and smarting from it all; Kalinda has accepted it. Will plots out his path of revenge: making his law firm the biggest and baddest in the world; smashing his competition to bits. He asks Kalinda, again, if he can trust her, if she is up to this. But this time the meaning behind the word “competition” is clear: Is Kalinda ready to crush Alicia? A moment passes, but not too long of a moment, and we know what Kalinda is going to say. Yes.

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Peter also begins to come back into play more prominently in this episode, turned on by Alicia’s youthful revolutionary spirit—they share a quick bit of sex in her bedroom as the fourth years strategize in her living room, ugh—and also revved up by what he views as Lockhart Gardner disrespecting his wife, specifically Will. He and Will share some unladylike words at one point, and unprompted, he not-so-subtly threatens Chumhum about taxes at a press conference. Chumhum, unsurprisingly, ends up on the side of Florrick & Agos. Back at Alicia’s apartment, the champagne is popped.

So Alicia and Cary’s dream is realized, finally, dramatically. We get an updated fifth season preview at the end of this episode showing the battles that are about to come between the two camps. It all seems rather exciting and triumphant.


The very last scene shows Peter staring thoughtfully out his fancy window, calling Eli into his office. He calmly asks Eli to create a list of other candidates for the Supreme Court justice seat. Eli appears taken aback, asks Peter if he’s sure. You know that when Eli thinks something smells unethical, it really has to be unethical. Peter says he’s sure. Eli says okay.

Hello. Peter Florrick. My name is Inigo Montoya. You have hurt Diane Lockhart.

Prepare to die.