'The Good Wife': Show me the plan
To anyone who's been watching "The Good Wife," the lack of resolution in last night's finale won't come as much of a surprise. If anything, the loose ends and ambiguity are all part of the pleasure of watching this show, and this episode is no exception.
Let's start with Kalinda, shall we? The mystery of her sexuality has only grown deeper throughout the season, and at this point, quite frankly, I am still baffled. Here's what we know: Kalinda was in a storage unit with Lana, the world's most attractive and sexually aggressive FBI agent. There were all sorts of breathy whispers and loaded statements. Then, all of a sudden, the camera moves outside and we see their feet from outside the storage unit, whose door has been pulled halfway down. It appears their feet like each other a whole lot. In fact, there's no way to look at the position of their feet and come to any conclusion other than they are totally making out. Add to that the fact that a few moments later, Will calls Kalinda and asks her, "Are you alright? You sound like you've been running." So why did the show get so coy at the moment of truth? I doubt they were squeamish about showing a lesbian love scene -- this is, after all, a show where last week we saw a half-naked dead woman covered in blood.
No, this was a strategic decision to keep us all confused but curious -- which, coincidentally, might be the best way to describe Kalinda's sexuality. Though at this point, I am genuinely mystified about what's going on there. Was she just using Tony, or is Lana the chump? Kalinda looks more serious and talks even more quietly when she's with Tony -- in fact, I can barely make out what the heck she is saying when she's with him, which doesn't help matters much. Is she so guarded because she likes him or because she's trying to protect herself from trouble? And while we're on the subject, what did she give to Tony at the end of the episode? Was she trying to get the truth out about Arkin's wife? Please share your theories. At this point, I'm beginning to think Kalinda only has sex when she can get some sort of info -- a manila envelope full of photos here, a toxicology report there -- and not for pleasure. What do you think?
Equally unresolved is the flirtation between Will and Alicia. The two finally have dinner together and, although it consisted solely of a shared pepperoni pizza, it is apparently quite a lovely meal. In no time flat, they are both starry-eyed and waxing lyrical about their days together at Georgetown. Will fesses up to Alicia, "I like myself around you, Alicia, and I don't like myself around a lot of people." The scene is, for lack of a better phrase, kind of adorable, and Alicia shows some admirable pluck. During a pause in the conversation, she tells Will, "Giada seems sweet." (Translation: "Giada seems like a total nightmare.") It's a pointed barb and one that Alicia knows she can get away with because she also knows that Will doesn't really care about Giada. It's said out of confidence, not out of insecurity. (The "j.k." scene was also priceless, though I'm still not buying Giada as a 25-year-old) I also appreciate her lack of judgment when it comes to Will's "girlfriend of the week"; she seems more amused by the Giada thing than anything else. Predictably, their dinner is cut a bit short by a phone call from Kalinda, who clearly asks something about Will, because Alicia looks right at him and says, "Noooo." She obviously doesn't care that Will knows she and Kalinda talk about him. On the way out the door, Will tells Alicia, "We always have options, Alicia. I'm just saying." (Translation: We can still sleep together.) It is an awkward moment, isn't it? Maybe even a little tactless? Somehow, it doesn't bother me. There is something endearing about how totally un-smooth it is.
Emboldened by their dinner, not to mention an $8,000 bottle of wine, Will finds the courage to call Alicia and express his feelings more directly. Unfortunately, his phone call is not timed too well: Alicia is at the press conference where Peter is announcing his candidacy for state attorney. Peter's return to the political sphere is a bit hasty, even for television. I'm also surprised that he's running for the exact same office he held a few months ago; as far as I can tell, political comebacks usually require a "change of venue." And since when is Jackie the Lady Macbeth of Chicago? Anyway, back to the real matter at hand: Will's phone call. In so many words, he tells Alicia he wants to be with her, though he hardly has to say anything before she interrupts him. She already knows exactly why Will is calling, and she has a doozy of a response: "I get the romance, show me the plan. Poetry's easy, it's the parent-teacher conferences that are hard." It was yet another moment on the show that rang incredibly true. Alicia only wants out of her marriage to Peter if there's a viable alternative. It's not romantic, but under the circumstances, it's the right response, especially since lover-boy Will hasn't had to make too many "plans" in his personal life. The episode ends with Will calling Alicia back, just as she's supposed to go on stage to join Peter at the press conference. Could Will have come up with a plan that quickly? And more importantly, will Alicia even answer the phone? Sadly, we won't know until September. My suspicion is she's not going to pick up the call, but what do you think? Could Will ever present a plan that would tempt Alicia away from her marriage?
Finally, in other couples news, Diane and her gun-toting Republican boyfriend continue to be very smitten, but when they end up on opposite sides of a case, it appears briefly that their relationship might be in jeopardy. In a harsh deposition, she calls Kurt's ballistics methods "homespun" and undermines his reputation as a star witness. Kurt barges out, and Diane has a look of shame and dread on her face. She seems to be thinking, "Is winning worth it?" In the end, Kurt actually seems to dig it, and he's happy to see Diane show up at his door. It's proof positive they can both be themselves -- wildly divergent opinions about Sarah Palin and all -- and still be together. I hope it lasts.
So, Show Trackers, it's been quite a first season for "The Good Wife." It's going to be a long summer for those of us who've enjoyed the show, especially since the biggest questions remain pretty much unanswered. We still don't know what Peter is up to with Kozko, Kalinda is more unfathomable by the episode, and Alicia's love life remains totally up in the air. For now, the loose ends seem believable and human, but the question for next season will be how long this lack of resolution can be sustained. I can't wait for September.
What we learned: Jackie is the force behind Peter's decision to return to politics, and she's not too into Pastor Isaiah. Will likes expensive wine. Peter is determined to stay faithful to Alicia, if his rejection of a waitress is any indication.
New questions: Will Alicia answer her phone? What the heck was going on in that storage unit? And can Will devise a plan to woo Alicia away from her marriage?
-- Meredith Blake
Photo: Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) gets an ill-timed phone call in the season finale of "The Good Wife." Credit: David M. Russell / CBS
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