Florrick & Canning?
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The Good Wife’s sixth season came to a close as a season of extreme halves. The first half of the season was largely solid, with a single episode feeling odd for lack of a better phrase. The second half completely fell apart. Disparate story threads languished about, flailing throughout the air and trying to catch on to some semblance of support so they could at the very least connect with anything else. It was understandable that Alicia’s electoral efforts would seemingly separate her from the workings at Florrick, Agos, & Lockhart, but the show increasingly shifted them towards the periphery to the point where they no longer mattered. They were on screen (Diane more so than Cary), but nothing they did seemed to feed into the overall narrative in any germane, constructive fashion. Cary just disappeared into the woods like he vaguely remembered that he actually existed but wasn’t sure what he did, like be a name partner at a law firm. Diane would show up occasionally for the showrunners to bring an important social quandary into the show without actually integrating it into any consequential fashion into the story itself. Thankfully the end of this episode signals that that perhaps has been understood by the showrunners and we’re going to see a fix to that through some good old-fashioned law firm rivalry.
Alicia’s planned law firm with Finn gets a boost when he unexpectedly says yes and then crumbles soon thereafter when he says no. It’s not an abrupt face-about or anything. The woman he was dating turns out to be his ex-wife and Finn understands that the potential relationship between him and Alicia would simply be too much to bear and he can’t risk losing his wife one more time. That Canning would knock on Alicia’s door and ask the titular question of the episode was pretty shocking, even though the groundwork was laid out fastidiously throughout the hour. As it turns out, Louis’s wife Simone is working at the firm as a paralegal and despite doing good work, David Lee thinks she could be giving Louis info on their cases. He votes to remove her from work and Cary surprisingly votes in favor, citing the recent cyberattack on the firm as a sign that they should be more careful in the future. Louis takes to this about as well as he was going to, furious that the firm would treat the person he loves more than anyone else in the world with such callousness. The theory of mutual enemies seems to be playing into Canning’s offer and just for the sake of drama alone, I want her to accept. If done well, this could be dramatic and exhilarating for the narrative as a whole.
Kalinda’s resurgence of sorts in the finale is a mixed bag that undoes any goodwill from her looking into the camera and firmly noting “Good-bye.” Her tying up of loose ends with Bishop give the clarity that the story understandably received, but perhaps the audience didn’t require. That over meeting with Cary, Kalinda would meet Alicia just rings absolutely false. After season three, perhaps that would make more sense. But Kalinda and Alicia haven’t shared a scene together in years – that somehow their old friendship would mean more to her than the person she had the closest romantic relationship to simply doesn’t prove itself to be true here. That’s not to say that romance trumps friendship, but the show forgot about this relationship and when it tries to sell you this emotional tug and pull over Kalinda’s departure, it doesn’t feel real. It’s hamfisted, inauthentic, and feels downright insulting to the audience’s intelligence. The worst offender in this regard is the drinking scene between the two, clearly shot in an awkward fashion where Archie Panjabi and Juliana Margulies weren’t in the same room. I want to feel something when Kalinda notes how much her friendship with Alicia means to her, but I just can’t. Everything rings hollow.
That hollowness is pointed out by Grace Florrick out of all people when it comes to her parents. Peter is being asked by the Illinois Democrats to run for President as the Vice President and he says that he wants the whole family to approve before he makes that decision. While Alicia is initially supportive, she appeared to have changed her mind after Grace’s line of questioning, perhaps the sting of her own election swirling about in her mind. The case swirling about this week in her mind is the black site of Holman Square where people are routinely interrogated without any constitutional authority or decent legal oversight. It makes sense that Alicia, having largely worked at a prestigious law firm with expensive clientele who would never be in danger of such treatment, to not be too aware of the infamous Chicago black site and just how awful and disciple the situation on the ground is. The absolute impunity with which these sites operate is disgusting, to the point where even Alicia’s angry claims that her client has epilepsy and could die without the proper medication doesn’t have much of an impact. Explosive new revelations about such sites have come forward this week and I hope that the show is smart enough to bring this pressing, prescient matter to the forefront again. See you all for season seven, folks!
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Fine line between legal and illegal.”
+I love how both Alicia and Kalinda treat Lester with such unbridled condescension and disgust
+“I pushed the panic button.”
+“It’s like every time I come up here, it has a new name.”
+Eli’s patronizing edits
+“There was a Godot-like experience getting you here.”
+Alicia burning Kalinda’s letter because “I didn’t want you to have it.”
+“He has no power.”
+“What is with all these tough-talking women?”
-“With you as a friend, the best time I’ve ever had.”
Title: Wanna Partner?
Written By: Robert King & Michelle King
Directed By: Robert King
Image Courtesy: EW