How can I put into words how much I loved “The Wheels of Justice?” One simple phrase: Best episode of the season. I know not every episode can be my favourite (right?), but if I have to pick one on the season, this would be it. As I sit typing this week, I find myself at a loss for words… and also freaking out. It's like season three's "Feeding the Rat" all over again. Not only am I going to struggle to fall asleep tonight, I foresee a very restless summer coming my way, as this week we were given the incredible news The Good Wife is back for season five. The best part? Like a fine glass of wine, these episodes keep getting better with age.
The only way I can think to organize my thoughts and provide thoughtful commentary this week, is to pull out all the reasons this is the episode to which all others should be measured. Feel free to pop by the comments section at the bottom of this piece and let me know how you feel about “The Wheels of Justice.”
The Curtain Rises
Reason #1 this episode had me jumping for joy: An amazing opening sequence
Opening scene: Alicia’s new office is revealed and so is her decorating budget of $10,000 (which makes me wonder, what would Clarke Hayden say? How can the firm afford this? Where is David Lee with his calculator?). Cary’s new office is similarly shown off, but he’s forced to build a couch out of three folding chairs. Poor Cary. The upside is that Diane has given him a golden carrot – the thought a partner might be leaving in the next six months and that if he does what he can to make the firm succeed, he’ll be picking out a nice leather swivel chair before long.
Meanwhile, Diane is hiring Kalinda to investigate a partner at the firm: her. Being up for Supreme Court Justice means Diane needs to know what kinds of things have the potential to be dug up from her past.
In other news, it’s Colin Sweeney time – pretty much the best time ever, if you ask me – and that means he has done something terrible. Allegedly. Okay, he’s guilty 98% of the time, but in this case, he really seems innocent. Also, his creepy factor has increased exponentially since the last time we saw him, as he’s now sporting a goatee and comparing Alicia to Mary Poppins. In any case, Alicia is going up against Laura (which is making Sweeney strangely jealous) and through a weird quirk of fate, Cary realizes why the State’s Attorney’s office won’t settle on this case. Sweeney is one strike away from life in prison based on his two other offences.
Pieces of a Puzzle
Reason #2 this episode was epic: Everyone had a role… especially Cary
Like pieces of a puzzle, the beauty of The Good Wife is how well the cast fits together, especially when given the opportunity. Cary and Robyn have a new-found synergy; Cary and Alicia continue to be each other’s better half when it comes to work; Laura, Alicia and Will are muddling their way through a bizarre work/love triangle; Kalinda is out investigating for Diane; and somehow, for the first time in a long time, everyone is working together. Even the sinister (and, let’s face it, eerie) Sweeney is in on things, by using his knowledge of Will’s relationship with Laura to fuel the fire in the courtroom. At no point in this episode did I think, ‘I wish I’d seen more of <insert here>'. Everyone had a perfect role AND we didn't have to look at the inside of the campaign bus.
Love and Marriage
Reason #3 this episode blew my mind: Diane, Kurt and things I didn't see coming
The only way to prove Sweeney's innocence, given a trial prep of less than 24 hours? Bring in the world’s best ballistics expert, Kurt McVeigh.
Ahhhhh, Kurt. We haven’t seen this handsome face since “Gloves Come Off” in season three, and let’s just say: he’s been missed! The political banter, the way he can calculate a bullet’s trajectory and the way he gets thrown off by the mere sight of Diane – he’s the best of all worlds when it comes to being a love interest. Not only that, Diane’s lack of after-hours prospects this season has been more than a little disheartening, especially because last year she was juggling both Kurt and Jack. This year has been like the Atacama Desert: nothing but dry.
Now, I’ll admit my list of things I didn't see coming is a little shorter this year than last. Kurt coming into back into town? Not shocking. Watching he and Diane fall back into old habits without any need of small talk? I’m all over it. Tackling the Sweeney case by day and sharing drinks by night? I’m blissfully accepting. Having Diane propose to Kurt, having him respond “I’m not rejecting it… I just need time to think” and then having Diane cut him off at the door after saying, “I’m worried we’ll always be waiting?” What?! I’m not sure what just happened, but I think Diane might be getting married in six months. Of course, who can be sure? The scene cut and I was left with my hands over my face shrieking an inaudible “whhhhhhhat?!?!?’ The only thing I’m sure about is the fact I can’t get the lyrics of “Marry You” out of my head.
It’s a beautiful night,
We’re looking for something dumb to do,
I think I want to marry you.
Before moving on, can we stop and talk about this development for a minute? Can you even imagine how different season five would be if Diane got married and became a Supreme Court Judge? What an incredible thing to think about for the next few months. Of course, I’ll be staying tuned to any tidbit of casting news possible: let’s hope for more Gary Cole!
Three’s a Crowd
Reason #4 this episode made me scream with delight: The Team Gardner bus is back on the road
Somehow, I’ve waited until point number four before mentioning the fact some seriously amazing Team Gardner things are beginning to brew. How did that happen? I’m beginning to show major restraint!
Lucky for me, the writers are ending the season by baiting me with the promise of things to come (and don’t worry – I've already sent the thank you tweet expressing my gratitude). With Laura and Will in dating mode for the last seven days, Will is already having to confess his new-found girlfriend to Diane, who seems fairly pleased he’s pursuing someone besides Alicia. Laura, however, seems hesitant to move things forward until she can talk to Alicia… again. Outside the courtroom hosting the Sweeney case, and before they go head-to-head, Laura stops Alicia and asks, “Do you have a relationship with Will.” Looking around, Alicia answers ‘no,’ but that she did, a long time ago, so there’s nothing to worry about. If Laura’s looking for a blessing, she’s got it. My question? Why would Laura think these two have anything going on? The only time she’s seen them together was the night of the Shamrock Dinner when Alicia was in for questioning. Sure they laughed behind closed doors, but there was nothing else.
Flash forward. Alicia’s in bed, sipping a glass of red wine (which is one thing I love about her character) when she gets the urge to call Will. This, of course, on the heels of her last night’s sleep when she was dreaming about she and Will and then imagining Laura in her place. While I was waiting for her to pick up the 'Chicago’s Most Eligible Bachelor’ photo spread (which, let's be honest, we all know she still has), she opted to pick up the phone and dial Will’s number. Of course, he answers. It’s Alicia. He always answers for Alicia (and I always cheer!). Under the guise of a ‘work question,’ she starts fumbling through some words before hearing Laura in the background. Time to hang up and forget anything ever happened. While we know she won’t forget, and neither will we, it looks as though that could be the end of things, at least for the night.
Meanwhile, as Will hangs up the phone, Laura asks if it was Alicia on the other end. He says yes and then moves in for a kiss. Immediately, Laura backs away. Say what? No one backs away from a Will Gardner kiss! Claiming honesty, Laura confesses someone she dated while in the military is back in her life… and then she hastily makes her exit. The scene ends with Will staring out his office window while sipping scotch and Alicia sitting in bed, staring into space, sipping wine.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe for a second that Laura has another suitor waiting at her door – I think she can smell the Team Gardner vibe a mile away and doesn't want to get in the way. Strangely, I feel as though my master plan involving Laura might actually be coming together, albeit more quickly than I had anticipated. She values Alicia as a friend and respects Will as a stealthy courtroom opponent – Laura is a seriously upstanding character and one which, no matter what happens in her dating life, I hope stays around well into season five. She might just be my favourite long-term addition to the cast.
- Judge Politi yelling about not being phased by a courtroom of raised voices. He may not be the quirkiest judge on the bench, but I think he’s quickly becoming one of my favourites. Also, he has no known history of playing basketball on Wednesday nights, so he’s probably safe for episodes to come.
- Diane being
set up as secret writer of Vampire Diaries fan fiction. What can I say? My face was as shocked as Diane’s. Also, it got me thinking. If ever I become a lawyer, and later a judge,
will this blog come back to haunt me?
- Colin Sweeney re: Will telling him he has a relationship with Laura: “Yes I sign off – as long as I get details.” Ewwwww. I now need to shower. And so does Will.
- Robyn jogging back to the office, drunk, after a night out with Greg, the associate stolen from under Lockhart Gardner's noses. What can I say? This girls cracks me up.
In two weeks, we can look forward to the new episode: “Sex, Dolls and Videotape.” It sounds like something in which Colin Sweeney could likely be involved, but as it turns out, there’s an anonymous hacker and guest start Jason Biggs. Also, the campaign for Governor is down to the wire and we’ve been promised election results before the season is through. Most importantly, at some point between now and the end of the season, Dallas Roberts is back as Alicia's brother Owen, and we have this little exchange to salivate over:
Peter: “She’s my wife.”
Will: “Then punch me.”
Pa chow! We're in for a dramatic race to the finale... and I can't wait, can you?