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The Good Wife S05E05: "Hitting the Fan"


"Hitting the Fan" was not ONLY the culmination of Season 5's biggest ongoing plot, nor was it ONLY The Good Wife at the height of its storytelling power in terms of acting, writing, direction, and music. It was both of those things, of course, but it was also one of the single best episodes of television I've watched this year.

It's very impressive, as commenter MarieLaureDep noted last week, for a show to still be going this strong in its fifth season. I countered that it's even more impressive for a show to reach new heights in its fifth season. In either case, many shows have by this point settled into comfortable rhythms, foregoing much in the way of ambition in favor of sticking with what works, racking up episodes for syndication money and just coasting. But The Good Wife said "To hell with that!" and decided to reinvent itself this season, to blow up a significant portion of its premise and start over. In a way, Alicia's words to Will at the start of the episode—"It's time I tried something new."—were also the show's words to us.

I sort of don't know where to begin, so let's just start with Will. I advised you to keep in mind his and Alicia's exchange from last week—"That was weird, wasn't it?" "Talking about two years ago? Yeah, that'll be on my mind for the rest of the day." "Just the rest of the day?"—and I love how that line set up Will's state of mind as he charged into Alicia's office. He was initially dumbfounded, flashing back to their time together—this show has gotten so much mileage out of those romantic, dreamy cut-aways—and it lingered in his mind. How could she do this to him? Because he never saw it as a betrayal of the firm, as Diane did (more on her in a bit). Alicia's insistence that it was professional fell on deaf ears: "I don't give a damn." Will framed it very much as a betrayal of Will.

"You were poison," he snapped, reminding Alicia that everything she has—including the ability to abscond with clients—she has because five years ago, he fought for her to be in this position. His word, and him calling in a favor with David Lee, were the reason she even had a job in the first place. The joy in the complexity of this drama is that the personal argument collapsed as Will's only way to respond to attack on a professional front. He can't hurt her emotionally (not too much, anyway), but he can damn sure do his best to destroy her professionally. That's partly because, while they still share a bond, that bond isn't as strong as it was just two years ago, and partly because the law is everything to Will. His response in this situation was no different than his response to Diane's interview: He was using his personal brand of Chicago-style legal maneuvering to obtain some measure of satisfaction, because it's the only way he knows how to get any satisfaction.


Alicia, on the other side of this, was equally compelling. The sheer force of will and determination behind her "No." in response to Will firing her came from the same place that has allowed her to survive her various ups and downs, but it also demonstrated just how far she's come in five years. Even in Season 2, I don't know that Alicia would've stood up to Will like that, pointing out the legal necessities that were required to actually fire her. The sheer degree of self-confidence required to pull off this defection, combined with how smoothly she operated in the first half of the episode, spoke volumes about where Alicia is now. She's holding back emotions, but she's not letting them control her. She's thinking clearly through the haze of Will's anger, only allowing herself to break down in the elevator—The Good Wife loves few things more than having people have breakdowns in elevators—and then completely casting off the Saint Alicia persona to do battle with Will.

Before we get to legal battling, though, let's talk about Diane and Cary. Last week, there was a lot of discussion in the comments about Diane's reaction to the departure, questioning not only whether it made sense, but whether she had the moral leg to stand on with regard to her reaction. While she provided an explanation—"I don't like betrayal; I like this firm."—it still didn't come off as anything more than just Diane trying to right the wrong she did to Will and the firm with the interview. 

The narrative needed this scene, though. Cary's motivations for leaving are, at the core, similar to Alicia's, in that they both want to make something of themselves, for themselves.  Where Alicia is spurred on by a desire to be her own person in light of so many external events pushing her around, Cary's motivation comes from not being appreciated at Lockhart/Gardner, and seeing the inequities of how firm operates, from being fired in favor of Alicia while working his ass off to the bait-and-switch of the partner promotions from last season. This difference, I think, is going to be very important to how things progress at Florrick/Agos. 


The entire first half of the episode was a mini-masterpiece. James Whitmore, Jr.'s direction and David Buckley's score pushed everything to a fever pitch that invoked speed chess as Will and David Lee tried to block and fire all of the departing fourth years plus Alicia, while Alicia and company tried to stall them to get more files. Move after move after move took place so quickly that even though I've watched the episode three times now, it's still a delightful haze of opponents exploiting the office's glass walls, the camera as a character watching the events unfurl, beautiful string arrangements playing in background, and David Lee relishing each and every opportunity to fire someone.

What elevated "Hitting the Fan" for me is that its second half didn't betray the show's format. It would have been so easy to stretch this whole thing out, especially with a hunt for the fourth years, but instead we had a case of the week! There's always a case of the week, and this time it just happened to be "Red Team, Blue Team" but for real. That's just dedication to your show and knowing what it is, even as you rearrange everything.

It helped, of course, that the case was really just an extension of the main plot, but "Hitting the Fan" still hit all those delightful Good Wife procedural twists and turns while also highlighting just how crafty both Will and Alicia are as legal strategists and, well, badasses. This was really more important for Alicia than for Will, however. We know Will is cutthroat and ruthless as an attorney—we had a whole arc about it—but Alicia has sometimes hesitated to go that extra mile. She's done underhanded things before, like interrupting Jonas Stern in court knowing it would throw him off due to his dementia, or trying to get a different judge by exploiting a Jewish high holiday, but it's not her normal course of action. Here, though, she was dangerous and angry and rude—I loved the hand-gabbing motion during an objection, not even looking up from her notes—in her drive to keep Chum Hum. I mean, going to one of the judges who got burned in Will's suspension to get a restraining order? Brilliant. Totally something that Will or Peter would've done.


Speaking of Peter, boy oh boy. If you're an Alicia/Peter 'shipper, I'm sure you were practically giddy at the "Oh my gawd, can we please have sex, like, right now?" eyes Alicia gave him, followed by the quickie—"You want me to lean in? How’s that?"—but Peter completely and totally stepped in it when he made a quick mention of state tax burdens and e-commerce as a way of signaling to Chum Hum that they needed to bring their business to Florrick/Agos. Add in his decision to reconsider Diane as a State Supreme Court judge, and suddenly Peter's declaration that he intended to run the most ethical governorship in Illinois history is already in serious doubt. He may've "handled" all of this like a husband, just like he said he would during that deliciously hatred-filled phone call with Will, but he used his political position to do so, and it's going to come back and bite everyone. Hard.

So where are we left for next week? Alicia and Cary have a new firm, but no offices for at least two months and fewer clients than they originally planned on. Diane is likely out a judgeship, but thanks to no one signing her exit package, I expect she'll be back at the firm in some capacity. Peter's in an ethical quagmire, and only Eli seems to be worried about it. Then there's Will. The paranoid king of a crumbling kingdom, with Kalinda on his left and David Lee on his right. Except he's reinvigorated and determined—now more than ever, since (for now?) he lacks a check on his own worst impulses. 

I don't know about you, but I simply cannot wait to see what happens next.



SIDEBAR


– There were some good moments of humor in this episode. Whether it was Cary's use of protected classes to stall the firings—and David Lee's disappointment in not getting to fire people—to the switch in tone as Will informed Alicia that Grace need permission for a faith-based field trip, they provided some much needed chuckles.

– "My peeps on the West Coast aren't too thrilled with the idea of me leaving Lockhart/Gardner for what's essentially a start-up." I love Neil Gross.

– "That's right. Walk away. Juuuuuuuudas." "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. We're taking them. And then you know what you'll have? A very nice suite of offices." 

– "We've got ten minutes, otherwise they're going to start making some bad decisions out there." This line, while funny, also encapsulates just how much of a struggle this new firm is going to be. Never mind that this is the same woman who suggested bringing Chicago's top drug lord to the new firm.

 – I feel horrible for assuming that Carey was chatting up Grace, but he was totally chatting up Grace and JUST YUCK. YUCK YUCK YUCK. 


What'd you think of "Hitting the Fan"?


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This episode just aired in the U.K. I'm glad they built up to it the way they did, so the level of fury and betrayal was justified. But I will say that in the buildup some of the Will/Diane enmity from last season was already beginning to fade for me (sure this was intentional as well), so that by the time Alicia is finally exposed, as opposed to leaving in her own remit, I felt immensely sorry for them both again. I love Baranski so much as Diane, and with all the excitement and chaos in this ep, nothing came close for me to her amazing scenes last week, uncovering the exodus, that incredible scene with Alicia where I don't see how Alicia couldn't have known the jig was up (Diane just about bored a hole in her with her eyes), and then the slow walk to Will to tell him, for me the Good Wife is all about the slow burn, and while I love eps like this week's, those are the ones I savor more.

I loathe Alicia and Peter together, but can appreciate the narrative &the parallels they are going for hard. Alicia is becoming more like Peter in this phase, high on power,ruthless, while Peter is so easily slipping back into his old ways. The carefree swagger with which he dismissed Eli's questioning him about Diane was skincrawling to me and a harbinger of him no doubt bonking the sexy P.R. woman by episode 22. If that long. I think his inherent selfishness will always be his downfall, say what you will about Will's weaselly ways in the courtroom, in life he is not a bad guy and would never betray Alicia the way that Peter has proved he will. I don't think there will be any Will/Alicia kisses this season but by no means is their story over.

Things that are bugging me so far this season (keep in mind I am behind the U.S.), so hope will round out. The supporting cast has so far been swallowed up by the core drama. At this point it feels like Carey Agos is just Alicia's sidekick, when it was his impetus to leave, so I hope they inject the tension back into that relationship. I miss the Carey/Kalinda relationship too so hope they can still meet up. Kalinda hopefully will have some good storylines being stuck between her loyalty to Will and remaining friendship w/Alicia (the tentative efforts to rebuild last season were not for nothing hopefully), because so far she is just floating around. I need Kalinda with a baseball bat, stat. I agree with whoever said the 4th years are a bunch of faceless unlikeable types so far so they need to fix that. And Eli Gold needs his own spinoff show, because he is being wasted. Although he and Jackie together are gold.

As much as I love Neil Gross, I am over Chum Hum. They need to get back on the government wire tapping, curious to see who they will tap now that the firms have split. And where the frack is Louis Canning/Michael J.Fox? Ok ok I know he had another show, glad he is coming back though as I'm a tiny bit bored with the rest of the recurring guests. Aside from Gary Cole. He rules the earth.

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It's no wonder the episode's soundtrack was "orchestra" music. That's what the whole thing felt like! A well oiled philharmonic. Pitch perfect. Nothing out of place. The dialogue was out of this world. If this episode doesn't get a Golden Globe and an Emmy for directing/editing next year, I will never watch TV again! And here I thought it didn't get better than Breaking Bad's last season...
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Loved the episode. Probably my favourite to date.
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Maybe the following question makes me somewhat unpopular right now: Anybody out there who did not outright love this episode? Anyone?
Because I am not so sure myself... This whole story line left me uncomfortable since the finale of last season.

For the record, I love Alicia and Cary, and I totally get the intentions behind the show's U-turn. Reinventing a perfectly well running series in its 5th season is courageous if not risky. I cannot help but admire "The Good Wife" for keeping up this high-level of sophistication and convincing with fantastic stories, actors and guest stars. - But: Even if I know change does not have to mean loss, I have to admit I am struggling with recent events.

This look on Will's face in the first minutes of "Hitting the Fan" cut right through my heart (What a performance Josh Charles!). And this bunch of half-baked associates clinging to Alicia's coat-tails? Seriously?? I cannot relate to any of them, they are just not likable so far. I wonder how the writers will do the trick to make me actually care for them. Ideas?
I always loved the team work of Will, Diane and in their back pocket as a kind of secret weapon Alicia with her caring self "bewitching" the tricky clients. There was a balance; Lockhart&Gardner (and Alicia) against the rest of the world.

Now it will be Florrick&Agos against (possibly still Lockhart&?)Gardner and even if it has a certain appeal to see how this mud fight will work out, I cannot really see it to work out for me.

I was so fond of Alicia when she finally got independent from her husband in past seasons. And now she is back with him for good, and to top it all, using his influence to the advantage of her career? Argh- Peter - in my opinion he is just gross. Politicians? Meh! I found Alicia so much more fun and sexy with Will around.

Ok then, *sigh*, lets find out where the new path will lead us - I will never break with this great show, anyway, just wanted to let you know my (very personal) concerns...
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Loved the episode, up until the point Peter decided to ditch Diane as a judge, it was very not deserved and frankly makes me sick.
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Noel loved your text and insights! and this was a great episode! I'm gonna put it on my PERSONAL CLOUD! :-)
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Kalinda is such a snake. I assume she took this a chance to be rid of Alicia and the horrible mistake she made os sleeping with her husband.
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So impressed with the quality of overall season plot, and the individual episodes 5 yrs in! The only area they seem to be failing in is Kalinda, she used to be my favourite character, but now im pretty indifferent on her, sometimes even dislike her. I think they should give her an ACTUAL romance, rather than yet another person she shares sexual/romantic tension with, who she then treats like shit. Id like to se more of Lana Delaney, I love her!
Also very pleased with how happy Peter and Alicia seem to be lately, I hope that lasts, I much prefer Peter/Alicia than Will/Alicia. Wills just a bastard, eg. when he stormed into Alicias office and scared the shit out of her buy trashing her desk. Too far Will, too far.
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How can each season be better than the last? This season has been breathtaking!!!
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Since this plot has been introduced, my biggest issue with Alicia's actions were the clients. I love everything about splitting the company, having all these new conflicts form and extend, but sneaking around for a month, trying to steal L/G clients is low by any standard I can think of. However hard you have been working for a client, that was your job and you got paid handsomely for it. Stealing clients is absolutely unethical and Alicia's hypocrisy on the matter, more than anything else, is annoying and unsympathetic to me. I find it hard to like a character, so righteous and so unwilling to call things their real names. Man up to what you are doing, admit you are an assh+le for doing it and might deserve some respect.
I have the same issue with Peter for diss-ing Diane - that is simply low, mean and petty... uncalled for in any case, but I guess the writters needed a way to keep her in the company... :)
Can't wait to see what is next, love how this show never disappoints me when it comes to quality!
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I would think that when Alicia finds out about what Peter did to Diane, shell make him do the right thing seeing as she is quite fond of Diane and still respects her a lot. Id rather see Diane join Cary and Alicias firm than have her be a judge or go back to Will, And as for the stealing slients thing, thats just a necessity for their new firm to succeed, its just business. And to be fair, Will and Diane did screw them over in a big way before that with the whole partnership offer thing. So I dont think it wasSO bad of her really
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One is responsible for one's actions. The thing with the partnership is one issue, the splitting and stealing clients - another. Again, own up to what you do, call it what it really is - I can live with that. Being hypocritical about it from start to finish and keeping your own righteous image along the way - not to my liking. Then again, I don't like Alicia that much and Carey has always been really uugggh to me, he has some slippery quality about him that I disliked from the start, so I am the first to admit I am bias :)))
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I watched the episode twice now and its even better the second time. One thing i remembered this time from the amazing, hate filled phone call between Peter and Will, was Will saying "Should i record this".

Don´t worry Will the NSA already did! Just one more thing which will come back too bite Peter.
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Absolutely brilliant episode! I was shocked, I laughed, so many OMG moments that the hour spent watching it went by waaaaayyyy to fast. Everyone was in their top game, this is what I expect from a really really great show. Kudos! EMMY material for sure.


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On a first note I hadn't thought about how it's true, most series at this point start to live in a numbly acceptance that we viewers like what we see, however it's amazing how we see the evolution of The Good Wife throughout the seasons and it's great that the writers, producers et al. decided to make this way better. This episode is total perfection, with the previous events leading to the biggest plot of the season, which really is just the beginning. Can't wait for more, specially with the preview of Season 5 and all the previous cast guests appearances "foreshadowed".

I've always liked the contrast and ambiguity and emotional baggage Peter includes to the story plus the sex scenes are always very hot, anyway, this time he didn't disappoint but oh so many things are going to happen with the "most ethical administration" thing... Let's keep an eye for when that comes back and bites everyone...

Diane knew that would be a game changer and now at least we'll keep seeing her on the firm fighting with Will and David, right??!!

The good wife is by far the best show I've watched and I love how they keep reinventing the main character, not in a changing her but letting us see how she evolves, as every human should.

Again love the reviews, keep 'em coming.
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Alright it's settled: This is for me the only proof we need, to know that season 5 is going to deliver on a high level. And I mean HIGH. I knew from the end of last season that this season would be the most exciting for me to see play out. But now it's official: this was for me the best episode of the series (of what I can recall of course) or if not at least top three. Just because I kept getting more and more shocked of the high quality TGW never stopped giving. If this happened episode five, what will the show deliver in the upcoming 17 episodes?

When everything comes together as Noel pointed out perfectly, how can it not convince you that The Good Wife is far from over? And just because some people from previous experiences expect TV shows who last five seasons to not longer be as good as let's say the first couple or at least the first three season, doesn't mean it applies to every TV show. TGW proves that. As Noel pointed out, it's starting fresh in it's fifth season with the intention of reminding us why is still great enough to keep on going. I say, please keep proving to us that you're great and you will remain great :)

I'm glad that I still don't know exactly where this episode is on the top 10 TGW list. It seems to be many good options from the past. I can't remember how it felt watching them, because they're all in the past and "Hitting the Fan" is very fresh. I only know that I haven't even considered writing a comment until I had to today, so that says a lot.
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Wow, just wow Sunday's episode blew my mind was one of the greatest episodes yet. Loved it, and thats saying a lot as this is one of the shows I look forward to seeing on Sundays have been a fan since the first episode and will continue to watch till the end. It even beat Revenge used to watch that on sundays but TGW is just good writing. Alicia and Cary are the NEW Will and Diane. The way the episode from the previous week ended when Diane was in her office taking a final look and Alicia walks in and Diane just looks at her that was the moment I knew that this was just going to keep on getting better.

Can't wait to see what is to come for this great show.

"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. We're taking them. And then you know what you'll have? A Very nice suite of offices."

Wow that line from Alicia after they left the court room loved seeing her being like that to Will. That preview they showed of what's to come make me think this show still has a lot to give to its fans and hope that it will continue for a VERY very long Run CBS would be a foul to cancel or not renew it for many more seasons to come.
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I haven't considered the possibility of CBS cancelling this show. I don't know the ratings, but it seems it would be a show with high enough ratings for at least a sixth season. But like I said I don't have a clue. The procedurals: Person of Interest, Criminal Minds and The Mentalist I could totally see getting better ratings, especially with how POF have improved and for the simple fact that the viewers have a fondness for those kinds of shows. But come on even if TGW is well under them, why would they give up after five seasons of awesomeness? That's just my biased opinion :) I predict TGW will go for seven seasons or more, nothing less. That's me expecting that the writers and everyone involved keep up the good work they have done so far.
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It's ratings have remained fairly steady over the past few years, so if they were going to cancel it on those grounds, they would've done it already.

I think future renewals are going to depend on:

A) how well the show does in syndication (albeit most high profile-y on The Hallmark Channel) and its off-network deals (Amazon, Hulu). Since CBS produced TGW itself, it banks the syndication cash, so any more episodes it produces are additional helpings of gravy in syndication deals, which are normally made on a per-episode basis. Their current syndication deal was rumored to total around $2 million an episode from all its sources.

B) actor contracts. The regular cast all signed 6-year contracts (except Josh Charles, who signed a 4-year deal, and renewed for an additional year this past February). Those sort of 5-6-7 year contracts are normal as it locks people in for at least 100 episodes, the ideal number of syndication. Which is why I think a sixth season is likely -- if they were going to cancel it, I feel like it would've been after Season 3, cutting the losses as it were.

After this hypothetical Season 6 though, people can demand more money, and the show's budget may start to get tricky, but we'll see.
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Thanks for clearing that up, the syndication earnings will also factor in, didn't think about that.

I wonder how much the actors make. It's a pretty big cast with a lot of talent and experience. I could see it getting trickier as you say as the seasons go by. Hopefully it won't affect the show too much.

And hopefully if the show keeps going the way it has it will get seven seasons. I can't imagine it ending after season 6 and we viewers getting our closure. I wouldn't for sure.
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One thing I don't get tho is the new Offices that David Lee had shut down because he reported vermin infestation, will they go back to those Offices after the time frame they gave them??? Or will they stay in that crummy dump of offices sorry but I did rater like seeing them in those shiny new offices.
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The next three episodes are called "Next Day," "Next Week," and "Next Month" so I imagine we'll see some movement on the office front across the next three weeks or so.
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I was speechless after Breaking Bad´s Ozymandias episode and i was speechless after Hitting the Fan. TV at its best!

I really hope more people will check out The Good Wife now. Such a good show!
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Yes! I'd like to tell my brother who I previously recommended to, to watch this episode so it wouldn't be a doubt. But he can't, not if he wants to experience it the same way as the rest of us that knows what a big thing this is. TGW has taken a big step forward. Come on people, notice! Even if you can't watch it from this episode (beacuse it's a sin!) :)
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This episode really kick ass!!!

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Amazing episode! It had all the energy and bravado of a first season (heck, more of it) but with characters of five seasons' standing, whose quirks and entanglements we know so well. It made placing them against each other all the more delicious and truly exciting. I've always loved this show but now simply can't get enough of it.
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LOVE!
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I follow at least 15 different shows each year. Even more on DVD and so on.
So it's safe to say, that when I say "This was the BEST EPISODE this year.", you can be damn well sure I mean it.
HOLY CRAP it was good! It was better than good. It was simply the best. I just cannot believe how amazing season 5 is! E-P-I-C.
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I'm there with you! Give us more of this TGW. Never stop.
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TGW should submit this episode to the Emmys to be nominated Best Drama series of the year. I am very seriously about this. Ever since I found out from TV.com no less that Emmy voters only look at a few episodes and Homeland got its win probably because of a certain episode, I really TGW should go for it ! At least they should get nominated. This is probably good for show to start being creative and stay fresh even in its 4th or 5th year !

They are so many layers and characters interaction in this episode (as in most other TGW episodes) that watching them unfold is really fun. Beside what Noel mentioned, Kalinda involvement in all of these was also very fun to watch. Will asking her twice whether she can be trusted. Her use of deception to get information from Cary was really good. For a slight second, I almost believe her but she needed to take a side now and Will is lucky to have her.

There was a big camp of fans who was championing for Team Gardner against Team Peter Florrick. They even made mugs for their cause. I am very happy the writers are willing to sort of "burn" the bridges by destroying whatever romantic relationship Will and Alicia might still have left. That shows the show was more than just a love triangle. I just hope these fans will stay with TGW even though Team Gardner is kind of losing now. I think Peter waited very long to trash Will but restrained himself for quite a while now and is very happy he finally get his chance to do it. What is so good being the Governor if I cannot use it to help my wife.

With having lesser clients than they expected, I think Alicia will try to get Lemond Bishop even though having a drug lord on their client list might not look too good.

I always thought Diane is going to be a judge but looks like she will be back at Lockhart Gardner. Its kind of sad that her lifelong dream is the price she had paid getting involved in this battle.

Julianna Margulies , Josh Charles, Christine Baranski , Chris Noth and everyone else was just so good !

I have never watched any TV episode twice but I did it this time because it is just so brilliant.


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I'm kinda thinking you don't remember exactly how much Alicia has learned from Will. Not only Diane. Diane is more smooth, but when Will is committed he can really be great. I think you'll see a lot more of that in this season.

Cary and Alicia are very good and Alicia I think has proven herself to be even better, but they haven't went through everything Will and Diane has gone through to get where they are. They've chosen to take the more cut-throat path and now that's the path Alicia has emersed herself in, even more than before (her actually proposing to have Bishop as a client after all the times she felt she couldn't morally represent him).

In real life I would hope that people prefer lawyers like Alicia or even Diane (who has shown how much she cares about her morals), because it's not as easy for them to do what Will does. Diane's no angel, but Will has seemed worse for me in some regards.

I love Alicia, Will and Diane's new dynamic. But I wouldn't expect Will giving a easy fight just yet. I also love the whole concept of: The "new" rebelling generation who is determined to show the "old folks" how they should do their jobs and in that sense showing how much they're worth. Lots to look forward to, right?
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I highly doubt Alicia and Will will get back together, but some part of me would choose anything over Alicia+Peter=>lives happily for the entire season (with some bumps here and there).

Trust is not something someone easily gives to someone they feel don't deserve it and besides that Alicia and Will are wrapped up in a lot stuff right now. They're putting themselves and their carries or in Alicia's case family, over the two of them. Even if it seems impossible right now. Puh-leeease give me them over A&P because I'm already over that, despite of all good storylines that have come from A&P relationship. I'm all for the other option of Alicia freeing herself from everything she has with Peter and again realizes she doesn't need him in her life. Peter's political stuff will get in the way sooner or later. The consequences of that I'm really looking forward to. Someday Alicia will hopefully say enough is enough... I hope!
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I actually didn't think that Kalinda would betray Will more than she already had, because she already saw the previous betrayals as big thing. Even if she wanted to protect her friends, she didn't want to abandon her other much longer and a lot more complicated friendship. It seems that even if she had a bond with Alicia and a soft spot for Cary, she couldn't just keep going against her codes. When she said the Diane reason it seemed so forced to me. Something she was just saying. Did you notice how well Will read through her lies, even as she had eye contact? He knew she couldn't be so calm and collected, but also that someone like her could find out for her self or be put in a position where she had to choose. If Cary knew her better and know that she couldn't cross anymore lines then 4th years would have had their fancy offices. That was just too easily bought I thought, and I'm sorry to critize one of my favourite characters, but that was just totally dumb. Information should be more protected.
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I think this is the best drama on regular TV. I can't imagine why no one watches.
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Great review for a brilliant episode. Wow. Everything good about TGW.
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Two explanations for sweeping everything off the desk - very angry or very horny.

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YES, YES, YES! Amazing episode! I love this fierce Alicia, courageous Cary and angry Peter. So rooting for the new firm!
I never actually liked Will, never understood how can anyone like him. He always looks like a dead fish, and has proven numerous times that he can bend morals any way he wants.
Too bad if Peter takes the judgeship from Diane. Because now she will come back and the L&G will have at least one decent lawer. Without her Florrick&Agos would trash Will.
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Well, watching Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night will probably raise your opinion of Will somewhat...
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I never said anything about Josh Charles. I just think that Will Gardner is boring as hell.
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I see, ok. I just thought maybe you didn't know him from before.
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I'm kinda hoping that Diane will still become a judge because it's weird to make decisions that can affect other people's life base on emotions. But it kinda also shows how corrupt humans can be. I love this show.
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I'd love to see her being a judge, but I suppose she won't be assigned to Alicia's or Will's cases. And if not, I don't mind her being a lawer.

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Shady -- love it!
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:D hilarious scene!
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Hehehehehe!!!!!
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Noel with the cannonshot across the bow of other TV right in the first sentence! This was a really excellent episode and those who aren't watching The Good Wife because it's network are missing out on one of the best shows of the 21st century.

Alicia's strength in the past season and a half has almost felt out of place, I keep forgetting that the show started with her meek not because she was starting out in life but because she was REstarting her life after being successful in other endeavors, and her self-confidence can be stronger here because it didn't take much success for her to regain that success. The show has plotted it well, and for her to disallow Will's firing, for her to say "no" and to stand strong (that cry in the elevator feeling entirely justified) was indeed earned by the series' legwork.

Oh Cary, you suck at life this week. You're the spearhead of the associates and yet you blew it with Diane and you blew it with Kalinda by giving away secrets. That said, you earned your cockiness by shooting down Diane's bullcrap.

Alicia and Cary opening up in court with their mouthiness was priceless, and having Will's team be the betrayer and the sleaze made for a great back-and-forth. It's too bad that Peter had to cut Diane's judgeship down, having Will fight without her would have been a more interesting uphill battle - Alicia correctly called it with that line about him having just a nice suite of offices when all was said and done.

Honestly, having Will act like a human being and telling Alicia about Grace's need for a permission slip and her natural response was my favorite moment in all of this, all the anger and vitriol melts away to natural behavior, like a divorcing couple who fall back on routine behavior that is outside the foundation of struggle, that was brilliant character work.

Carey Zepps chatting up Grace was indeed yuck, or... was it? Maybe it wasn't what it seemed. No, it was, he was drinking wine too, he's trouble in the making, I wonder if that's who Zach punches in the promo for next week.
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To be fair, it's more of a shot across the bow of the TV I watch, not all of TV. I'm sure there's an equally stunning episode of Shake It Up this year, but I wouldn't know.

Your point about Alicia's confidence and the series legwork is pretty important when we think about the show as a whole. I rather doubt there was a five-year plan for this show, and yet it steadily and steadily built itself to the point where an episode like this was possible. No shortcuts. It earned its big, intense moment instead of starting that way. 5 seasons may be a bit long to build, but I'm not complaining since it was so so so worth it.

Plus, the hype (they made this episode available a week and a half in advance) and praise for the episode has gotten a few people who haven't watched it to check out this episode, and now they want to keep going. It's actually an ideal jumping on point!
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If they follow through, this could easily have been a pilot episode all by itself, it was that good a jumping-on point.
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This episode was pure perfection !!! Can't wait for the next episode...
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Comparing Peter and Alicia to Phillip and Brigitte (Borgen), it's just incredible what an actual equal relationship looks like. I love The Good Wife and their badass feminist writers. Congrats!

Now, Peter is going to be in ethical dilemmas soon, but I'm worried about the NSA thing coming back. Anyone else thinking that call was recorded? A dilemma is one thing, speculation by a reporter another, but actual proof? Can't wait!
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Oh yeah I forgot, I was going to say no as Alicia didn't use her cell phone she had it taken away, but just recalled that Peter used his office phone and that yes a wiretap was ordered but the NSA on the Governors office. But this whole thing with the NSA is something I'm not getting. They will really have to work that story line out really well.
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Her personal phone was tapped and it was the one Will was using, because Peter called Alicia. I think it'll come back late in the season, if they are going to use it at all.
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By the way, Borgen also has badass feminist writers - they just decided to really showcase sexism with a jerk and sexist husband who was jealous of his wife's success.
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This episode was so good. I was like "are they firing everyone??" And Dianne, Will and David go firing people like it was a death sentence.

I feel so bad for Dianne Lockhart... Im very sure this its gonna backfire on her, blowing her way to The Supreme Court. Sad cause she deserves it so much...
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Gee, that scene when she comes out of the bedroom after being with Peter and she realizes that she's missing a piece of clothing - Those details that keep you smiling!
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So I haven't seen any of the new episodes yet except for this one (for stupid school/hockey on tv reasons), and as such haven't kept up with reviews. But I'm so happy that TGW is now being covered here and kudos Noel on the awesome review(s)!

But man haha, that was an awesome episode to come back to. I may be a morally questionable individual because I cheered every time Alicia delivered some badass sass to Will and David Lee, and cackled when Peter held the press conference. I'm so so so happy the new firm is going through--so many interesting tensions and conflicts set up here, and so many interesting dynamics. I love the new combinations of characters colluding and interacting with each other as well!

I also LOVE what they're doing with Alicia's character. She's so multi dimensional it's amazing: vulnerable, powerful, trepidatious and cheeky all at once.
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Neil Gross is THE WORST -- not just a d-bag, but a wealthy d-bag! My sympathies to any lawyer (no matter how duplicitous or under-handed they may be) who has to be in the same room -- and breathe the same air -- as this tech turd.
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About Dianne:

On one hand, you like her character so much that you want to see her up there as a supreme justice, she just deserves it. On the other hand, as a viewer, you egoistically don't want to lose her as a reoccurring character in the series. Such a strange and excellent struggle the writers crafted.
Justice for Dianne VS our own egoism to keep her on the show.
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True. I was hoping that she would play a role in some political subplot and keep being in the show, or that she would continue at L&G. If she does continue there, she can still be a judge in the supreme court. But now it looks like the subplot is going to be directly related to her not being a supreme court justice because of Alicia.
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There are no words to describe the exhilaration I felt while watching this. It isn't just one of the best episode of the year; this might be one of the best episodes I've ever seen.
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I enjoyed it more than one of the better Breaking Bad episode that's how good it was!
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This was a fabulous episode. It was just about a perfect show. The review here was right on about everything. Kudos to the writers.

I may be wrong, but I think Alicia decided to start her own firm to get away from Will. Remember that last shared kiss in the car, which showed the attraction is still there between them even though Alicia has chosen to stay with Peter? Remember the end of last year's season finale? When she opens the door to the person she has asked to come over to her apartment? I didn't expect Cary, I expected Will. But she knew it was time to be less close to Will in order to make her life work, and that meant leaving. Just my thoughts. They may not be what the writers had in mind.

I am delighted to find a review about show I watch, since pretty much all the reviews on this site now focus on shows I don't find in the least interesting.
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I think it is partially to get away from that attraction she still feels for him, and to be independent professionally. I can remember that she took the decision right after being told that Will only wanted her to be managing partner because he could control her. And the situation at that moment seemed to be confirming that. They didn't need to clarify her reasons with words. She didn't explain it to anyone. It's like it all happened in Alicia's mind only and they let us see the process and get our conclusions, which I think is great.

I'm also glad about these reviews. I always thought this show deserved to be reviewed here.
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I think getting away from Will is part of it, totally; it's something I just totally neglected to mention in this review but did mention as motivation back in my review of the S4 finale.
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This episode was great! I cannot wait for the next one.

Red Team/Blue Team was one of my favourite Good Wife episodes- and now we get to see even more Will/Diane vs. Alicia/Carey!

"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. We're taking them. And then you know what you'll have? A very nice suite of offices."

This was my favourite "Alicia Moment". My other favourite moment was when Will & Alicia changed their tone after they curse each other to hell.

So spot on Noel!

Fingers crossed that The Good Wife keeps rolling out episodes like Hitting the Fan!

(I'm still a little peeved that they stopped naming the episode titles to correspond with the season number...)


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(I think we all are. I was really looking forward to an episode titled "When the Bitcoin Bubble Burst.")
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Wow, I was sort of dreading this episode, but I loved it so much! They made it exciting and fun. I love seeing Alicia kick ass. Now I'm looking forward to the new firm, and the upcoming battles with Lockhart/Gardner.

People who try to write "strong female characters" should pay attention to the The Good Wife. They do it so well. A strong woman isn't perfect, she makes mistakes, she does terrible things sometimes, but she keeps on trucking. We've got three really good ones on this show - Alicia, Diane, and Kalinda.

I feel bad for Diane not getting the judgeship, but happy for me, because that means she'll be going head to head with Alicia now and then.

I guess they've stuck a fork in Alicia and Kalinda's friendship, but hopefully not forever.


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Love your comment! I hope Kalinda will play a bigger role going forward, she's been sent to a corner for a while. But it looks like she will be important again soon.
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I've always believed Peter to be an idiot. And this episode proved it. He's a corrupt, bully idiot. So you want to destroy Will and you give him a pissed-off Diane back as an ally? That's a bad move right there.

Amazing episode. I don't think I have ever loved a male character as much as I love Will right now. He was just awesome in how he managed to turn his personal betrayal in professional energy. Team Lockhart/Gardner!

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I'll suppress the need to call Alicia names. I used to love her character but she has become horrible. HORRIBLE. This betrayal is unacceptable.
And what really pisses me off is that she, and everybody else, is using the excuse that she’s doing that for herself, to be independent.
Yeah, go ahead and be independent without political favors, it’s easy to win with a hubby-governor behind your back.
So yeah, Lockhart/Gardner ALL THE WAY. And I’m super glad Kalinda is with them.
Nobody is a saint in that firm, but Will didn’t deserve that, especially from Saint Alicia-my arse.
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As for her husband pulling strings, my feeling is he wouldn't have done that if Will and David Lee hadn't played such dirty baseball. Implying that Alicia was fired for breaking the law by saying the authorities were looking into what she'd done, calling in a fake vermin infestation on their new offices, getting one of their compatriots to lie on the stand.

Lawyers leaving to start their own firm is just the circle of life. Acting like d*cks is just acting like d*cks. Will and David Lee went the low road first and were ruining their professional reputations. So Peter fought back.

I'm not saying Peter is a white knight in this... it's bad he's doing these things. But my impression is he's just trying to level the playing field.
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I don't blame Alicia for it. I'm not saying she's a saint but she wasn't that far in the wrong. This happens All. The. Time. Lawyers leave firm X for firm Y, sometimes a new firm that they're trying to start themselves. They try to take some of their clients; the ones they worked the most with AND the ones THEY brought into the firm, along with them.

This is how Will and Diane started THEIR firm, this is how just about EVERY FIRM IN EXISTENCE started out. It's expected. In any other business, it's a jerk move. Here's it's just how it is.

They weren't taking 100% of the clients, just the ones that they worked the closest with. Unfortunately for Will that include ChumHum and 1-2 other heavy hitters. But Will wouldn't even HAVE ChumHum is not for Cary and Alicia because the ChumHum owner hated Will.
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I am so disappointed because she did that to Will, not for the general action. I'm aware that, generally speaking, this same process always happens and it happened before when Will and Diane founded LG, but this time it's simply different.

Will helped Alicia as a friend, she owed him as much. He has always been more than supportive and more than understanding when it came to her relation with Peter. He never meddle, he never blackmailed her, like some hurt males often do.

He has always been fair to her and he didn't deserve being treated like that, like he was nothing more than a boss or a mere co-worker. You don't stab friends on the back, you don't lie to them and steal sensible data. You discuss with a friend, you fight with them, you confront them and maybe a friendship can end because of different opinions, but if it ends because of a betrayal it's simply horrible.

And now she's all happy because Peter helped her with his public declarations, unethical and highly biased.

I love that Eli didn't agree with him at all.

Alicia has become horrible for me and I'm gonna say it again: if you wanna independence go and win by yourself, not with political favors, which is one of the things I despise the most.

And Neil Gross of ChumHum is simply opportunist, he hates Will, yes, but he literally jumped into his arms before Peter declaration so yeah, he really doesn't count, he just wanted what was best for his company and I don't blame him.

And rethinking Diane position? That was such a cheap shot for Peter.
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I agree with you for the most part, but I still like Alicia a lot. Will did help Alicia, but she did not leave Will specifically, but the firm as a whole. She did important work for the firm and didn't feel appreciated in the past, so I can't hold it against her that she tried to expand and strive for more, even though it was at the cost of betraying Will.

So many factors and layers, that is why I love this show. There's no easy solution for anyone and you can't hate a character for any wrongs because they have reasons for doing what they do.
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I don't hate her :)

I just think we always have an alternative and betray someone is an act of extreme weakness. We are human beings, it's okay to be weak but I'll be more tolerant when she'll admit her mistakes and even more when she won't be all giddy because her husband went against the law to help her while she was claiming to want independence.
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As @McCovey mentioned, Alicia was probably leaving BECAUSE of Will. It was after their make-out session in the car that she decided to leave the firm (and him). So a clean break was needed.

What was she supposed to do though? It's S.O.P. at a law firm: if you're going to leave then you see if some of your clients would like to go with you, then you pull the trigger so it's "done" and you tell the boss.

If you tell the boss up-front, they're not going to let you take anyone with you. Especially with people like David Lee running the place, they'd make sure you're starting with nothing. Sure there are the exceptions, but Will isn't the most moral of people and David Lee would be evil if he wasn't so funny.

Will would have been less angry, and perhaps not have black-balled her with so many people out there with claims of illegal activities. But he still would have done everything he could from the 4th years from running off with their clients.
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David Lee is a snake, I think we all agree on that.

But Will wasn't her boss, he was her friend and I still believe in honesty. I know I sound naive, but I always think there's an alternative to betrayal, It's like accepting cheating. I can forgive it, but that doesn't mean I think it's okay to cheat on someone.
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I think Alicia is leaving because of Will. She knows she can't work with him any more since she is staying with Peter. Will is too much of a temptation for her.
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I agree that she's leaving also for this reason, but I also think it's not a valid reason to be so unfair towards Will... I think there's always an alternative and maybe I am naive, but I believe in honesty.
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Somehow after watching that episode last night, I woke up feeling sad for all the water that's gone under the bridge.
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This was a great episode all the way. I love how Alicia went into full attack mode.
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Awesome episode!!! After this, I'm team Lockheart/Gardener all the way!!! I dare anyone to defy me. :P
And I knew it, the ballot boxes video is going to be in play somehow. I hope Peter pays for choosing another Judge instead of Diana. David Lee is hilarious and kudos to both WIll and David Lee for coming up with some great sneaky techniques.
I think only Kalinda made the correct choice by staying with Will.
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David Lee is a creep. I can hardly stand to watch him as a character.
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Yeah, but he is entertaining as hell :)
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I used to compare The Good Wife to Suits. But last night's episode made Suits look like an episode of Sesame Street. Excellent Episode.
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True. Suits is a cool show, but doesn't carry as many characters as The Good Wife does. And also, at TGW, characters are not all good or all bad. They are always somehow shady. Diane, Will, Peter, Kalinda... and now also Alicia! While at Suits, there is a supremacy of Harvey's morals that seems impossible to correct.
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My wife use to say Suits is a show that the lawyers never goes to court and TGW is a show that the lawyers keep going to court.

I agree that Suits is a cool show and we have watched all the past seasons but we have not started watching the current season of Suits. Its like they are so many other good shows, we do not really feel like watching it. We might come back to it when we have the time.
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Diane is likely out a judgeship, but thanks to no one signing her exit package, I expect she'll be back at the firm in some capacity.

Tough sell. She wasn't just getting the exit package because she was leaving, but because the partners were FURIOUS at how she screwed over the firm by bad-mouthing Will. Seriously, they all wanted her head on a pike.

That being said... they may have to bite the bullet and let her stay on in some capacity for appearances sake. They just lost a lot of their workers, one of their biggest clients as well as a handful of others, and are STILL just coming out of bankruptcy. They might have to keep her on to make the firm look like it's not sinking.
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I know "that's how it's done" but I wasn't a fan of how David Lee and Will were screwing over Alicia and Cary with NEAR slander.

I didn't mind the "for performance reasons" bit nor did I mind getting a restraining order.

But David Lee implying that it was due to illegal doings on her part (we'll have to wait for the authorities to finish their investigation) was horrid. Forget stopping the new firm, he's ruining her rep for the future.
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David Lee's actions were at least as unethical as Peter's, and likely illegal as well. I think we may see competing 'you're more unethical than I am' suits in the near future. And maybe more...
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Incredible episode. Every moment. Hilarious, dramatic, heartbreaking, insane, just everything I ever wanted in a TV show.
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What an awesome episode! And there was so much epic shade being flung around -
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The Good Wife > Scandal > Everything else on Network TV...
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I dunno. I don't really think he's reconsidering Diane for the judgeship. It doesn't seem like something he'd do. I think he wants rumours to get started that he's reconsidering in order to cow some of the people trying to tear Alicia down, namely Diane. We'll see.

I just don't see them not making Diane a judge. They already had one fakeout like this in s2(?). They can't have another one.
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If you wants the scenes of the coming episodes in the end, there is a Lockhart/Gardner meeting and Diane is on the board, sitting next to Will... I think it's so stupid of Peter to do this!!
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*watch
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