Season 4, Episode 9 | Original Air Date: Sunday, November 25, 2012
A life-sized giraffe, five bottles of wine, two mothers, one brother, one Cuban (caregiver, not cigar) and a giant turkey (and I don’t mean Peter… but yes, I sort of do). It’s just another Florrick family Thanksgiving!
I’ve been waiting for a family gathering like this since season one, so to say I was excited is an understatement. What I’m most grateful for? This episode lived up to my very high expectations and in some regards, exceeded them. Whenever The Good Wife throws family into the mix (flashback to Will’s amazing sisters and the always entertaining Owen), everything gets better and at least 85% more embarrassing. It’s the perfect equation and a most delicious mid-season treat.
This week, I’m taking a festive spin on things: Thanksgiving at the Florricks = A multi-course meal. Let’s dig in!
A Chocolate Appetizer
David Lee + Veronica Lloyd (aka, Alicia’s Mom, aka Stockard Channing) = Pure intrigue covered in a candy-coated shell. Why is Veronica talking to David? Well, she’s being accused of having an affair with Henry, an oil man from Alaska, by the son of Malcolm (who had the soul of a vagabond), who is now dead. Clear. As. Mud. Off the top, it’s easy to see where Alicia gets her messy life genes from.
As Veronica tried to quasi-seduce the sly and oddly captivated (and dare I say interested?) David Lee, we learned a few important things: 1) She likes M&Ms (of which David always seems to have an ample supply) 2) She likes Jewish men (further elaboration not required) and 3) She has yet to find someone to satisfy her (Veronica: “They either bore me or die.” David: “I could see us becoming best friends. Here, have more chocolate.” Okay, that last part didn’t really happen, but David sat there and laughed in a way that both scared and intrigued me, so I’m convinced this is what he was thinking).
What’s interesting is Alicia’s Mom is a complete mystery to us, except we know she’s had many husbands and Alicia will do almost anything to not be like her. As far as I can tell, the only thing these two have in common (aside from both liking Owen) is affection for red wine. Veronica is whimsical in ways Alicia isn’t; She is spontaneous and little irresponsible and we’ve been painted a picture where we can imagine her sneaking out under the cover of darkness for her next big adventure. While I’m moderately hoping she slips away with David Lee as her rebound fling (stop for a second and picture it – funny, right?), it’s the unease she’s brought to Alicia’s life that drives a deeper understanding of the foundation on which this show is built.
Everything Veronica is, Alicia is not. That’s our basic understanding. However, when talk of Will surfaced, something interesting happened. Alicia got emotional. Of course, as an avid Team Gardner fan, I did, too. Alicia’s relationship with Will was the closest she’s ever been to acting like her Mom though, and that, without question, is a scary place to be. “The older you get, the more you realize there’s only one thing: Happiness” said Veronica. And it’s true. Alicia knows it. Unfortunately, her dedication to Peter continues despite the fact Will has her heart.
My greatest frustration with Alicia is that whenever there’s a burst of emotion in her life – no matter what that seems to be – she winds up having sex with Peter in a bathroom. Okay, it’s not always a bathroom, but there is precedent for that statement. Tonight, I wish she had simply taken her Mom’s gift of Vagina: A New Biography (which is apparently, “very powerful”) and stayed cooped up in her room, using Will’s ‘most eligible bachelor’ magazine spread as a bookmark.
A Handful of Nuts
A large group of random characters thrown together in the offices of Lockhart Gardner? Talk about being thankful - I love these scenes! The Good Wife writers know a thing or two about creating awkward gatherings and they continue to do so with extraordinary success. As if the chat between Will and Owen wasn’t blowing my mind enough, they had to throw in Veronica. I *may* have screamed a little and exclaimed something about Will meeting the parents. When David Lee entered the picture and the conversation took a turn towards Alicia as an eight-year-old swimmer, my evening was made. And then it got better. Alicia surfaced. Seriously. I was jumping on my couch. The only thing that topped this scene was Veronica talking to Will about her new must-read book, Vagina, and having her get a few details on his love life (which resulted in two jazz hands and a shriek from me – he’s not seeing anyone… and Alicia overhear it!).
These flash gatherings are turning into some of the best scenes on The Good Wife. You never know when they’re going to happen, but you can always guarantee they’re going to be great.
The Horn of Plenty
Speaking of people being thrown together in awkward and embarrassing situations…. Thanksgiving at the Florricks was more like a jungle-inspired war zone (with the bathroom being an unfortunate bomb shelter). Jackie brought Cristian, her Cuban caregiver (and dare I suspect, ummm, something more?), Cristian brought a drink to poor over ice, Veronica brought a giant giraffe for Grace and a skateboard for Zach, Owen brought wine: three bottles of white and two bottles of red (which should have held this group until appetizers were served) and Peter brought liquor and his A-game. Grace didn't bring her new boyfriend, but I’m sure that was just an oversight.
Watching Jackie and Veronica throw banter back and forth was as entertaining as any tennis match I’ve ever seen. Three points for Jackie who blamed her stroke on the fact she had to help with the kids without Veronica’s help, and three points for Veronica who said Jackie should know a thing or two about paying for companionship by the hour. Pa chow! The piece de resistance? Peter’s conversation with Cristian:
Cristian : “She’s a funny lady… we laugh… She has extended my hours”
Peter: “Really? Is that necessary?”
Soooo… that just happened.
On the one hand I’m glad Jackie has found someone to help balance things (I’m pretty sure Cristian wouldn’t have approved of Jackie riffling through Alicia’s lingerie last season), but on the other hand I wonder if he’s working his way into her life for ulterior motives. I could just be questioning his actions because I clearly missed the boat on the whole ‘Maddie’s a lesbian and out to take Peter out at the knees’ thing, so on this story line, I’m trying to be proactive.
A Side of Frozen Peas, Please
Stop the presses: Cary Agos is alive. ALIVE! Whew! I thought about this all week, and while I’ll admit to being a little disappointed when we didn’t get any follow-up on how Cary got home that night, the absence of commentary on the matter has led me to believe he crawled to his car and put some frozen peas on his rib cage when he got home. Using the guise of a ‘basketball injury’ to explain his bruised face (something I’m pretty sure Will was skeptical of, because, let’s face it: he knows what a parking lot brawl injury looks like), everyone bought into the lie.
Everyone but Nick. Awful, deceitful, sleazy, Nick.
Cary, boldly, headed to see Nick on the job and pulled out all the stops when explaining his connection to the State’s Attorney’s Office. As it turns out, Cary has spent a lot of his time (now that he has a desk, an office and some pens) investigating Nick and the world of tow truck businesses. He has found out about broken-handed Bill and his drug (heroin to be exact) smuggling ways and, is if it were possible, Nick hates Cary more than before. Where does this leave us? Well, there’s still no sign of Nick departing and Kalinda doesn’t appear to suspect anything suspicious about Cary’s injuries. Urgh. Getting rid of Nick seems like trying to rid your house of a pesky rabies-infested racoon that has nested in your attic. I’m beginning to think it might end up being Cary who drives Nick out of town – one tip of the drug smuggling accusations into the ear of Peter Florrick could prove to be a very interesting turn of events. And I won’t object. No one arranges to have Cary beaten up and gets away with it. No one.
All that Cherry Pie Crust
There was a case of the week – of that I can be certain – but with all of the family drama it was hard to keep track. Owen was in the courtroom one minute, talking to Will another and before long he was greeting Alicia at her door with a monstrous stuffed giraffe lurking like his partner in crime. Bebe Neuworth was back as Judge Claudia Friend (a surprisingly normal character in contrast to others on the bench) and Brian Delaney reprised his role of “Bucky” for a second episode. In my opinion, despite the relevant commentary on the defense of marriage, the question of attorney ethics was the most relevant outcome of this case. Can you sacrifice a client for a cause? We’ve seen this theme a number of times, most frequently when it comes to healthcare cases, however, this week, it became about one lawyer on a mission to fight for the memory of his brother who died of AIDS, at the expense of his client.
Up Next: “Battle of the Proxies”
Laura is back and Will’s up against her in the courtroom defending someone who appears to be 50 shades of guilty. Somehow this leads to drinks. I’m a little weary of where all of this is going (and while friends have pointed out these two could end up closer than I would like), I hope this relationship stays platonic. Alicia’s life is messy. With Kalinda having slept with Peter and Maddie now running for Governor, Alicia only has one friend who has more than two degrees of separation from other people in her life, and that’s Laura. On this one, I’d like to see her catch a break.
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