The Good Wife season premiere recap: 'A New Day'
Hello, and welcome back to… can we still call it The Good Wife? Because, judging by what happened last night, Alicia’s not so good anymore. After nearly two seasons of always doing the right thing—confiscating her son’s condoms, defending the virtues of her almost-always-innocent clients, wearing very tasteful pantsuits that she buttons all the way up past body parts that even scuba divers let breathe—it’s now very clear that, as Chris Isaak sings in the opening scene of “A New Day,” Baby did a bad, bad thing.
Isn’t it fun seeing Alicia starring in Good Wives Gone Wild? Judging by the flippy new hairdo she’s sporting this season, something happened in that $7,800-per-night presidential suite that really made her hair curl (and maybe her toes, too). For those pure-of-heart fans who still want to believe that, once she and Will got into that hotel room, they just played on-demand Nintendo games all night, the opening montage discounts that notion, juxtaposing close-ups of Alicia’s new I-just-slept-with-my-boss! glow with video footage of Hamas bombings. No doubt about it: Saint Florrick’s been indulging in some morally-questionable behavior. And from the moment we see her getting off the elevator at Lockhart Gardner, it’s obvious what’s changed. She’s happy.
Excuse us, did we just say getting off? Please forgive us. We’re still caught up in all the double entendres that everyone’s slinging around this week. Among our favorites? Newly strict boss man Will whispering to Alicia: “I’m going too hard on you.” Peter introducing the firm to Sophia, who’s lying back suggestively with her legs propped up: “She’s good, and she’s cheap.” Kalinda cooing to her late-night “law partner” Sophia: “Strange bedfellows, huh?” Diane slowly mouthing those nine little words that Alicia longs to hear: “Wasim wants us to pull out of Jamal’s defense.”
Okay, we’re joking: there’s nothing sexy about that last one. Apparently, Diane’s old friend Wasim has convinced the firm to defend a college kid named Jamal, who (Wasim believes) attended an inter-faith rally for Jewish and Palestinian students and ended up in a fistfight sparked by an anti-Hamas video. Twenty students were involved, and only one—a Muslim with no previous record—was charged. Plus, there’s an unfortunate coincidence: a Jewish fraternity brother named Simon was killed the same night, bound and gagged and stabbed forty-five times, and left with a backward Swastika carved into his forehead. (Later, when Wasim finds out that Jamal’s the prime suspect, he’ll want to distance himself from the case.) Now, what should have been a misdemeanor battery charge is being tried as a hate crime. As Wasim explains, “The new district’s attorney wants to appear tough on his first day.”
Uh oh. Isn’t that new district attorney… Peter Florrick?
NEXT: Peter and Alicia release some sexual tension while Eli tells tasteless jokes.
Yes, Florrick’s got a long history of playing dirty, bothin the courtroom and, uh, with actual hookers. So it’s no surprise that, for him, this case is not just about prosecuting a guilty man. It’s all tied up in campaign influence from Jewish and Muslim constituents, and it’s putting Eli and Wasim in the mood for tasteless jokes. Eli: “Arab spring? Sort of like Irish Spring, but with Arabs.” Wasim: “Did you hear the one about the Arab and the Jew? An Arab and a Jew walk into a bar, and then they kill each other.” Ha… ha?
Maybe it’s fitting, then, that this battle of the sexes between Peter and Alicia could’ve been ripped from the Torah: Wasn’t it King Solomon who said that the desire for sex and the desire for power are pretty much the same thing? Alicia’s already kicked Peter out of bed, so the only way for him to fight back is to get the upper hand professionally. He’s so smug when he says to Alicia, “Hate to tell you this, but we’re going to beat you”—and he remains smug long after he knows that he’s going to lose. As it turns out, sex and politics are alike in another way: you don’t have to be good at them to enjoy them.
Anyway, Peter’s still winning a moral victory: his wife is becoming a little corrupt, just like him. Once, Alicia was so far up on her high horse, she was show jumping with it. But ever since she learned the truth about Kalinda, she’s had enough of people taking advantage of her. For so long, she’s been so fiercely by-the-book, we’ve wanted to shout, Go on, Alicia! Break some rules! Turn in a library book two days late! Use a knife as a spork! Get crazy! And now, that’s finally happening. She’s willing to do what it takes to win, and it’s so satisfying to watch her. She convinces Jamal to lie (under oath!) and say that he was out driving during the rally. (Unfortunately that only helps Carey place Jamal at the scene of the crime.) She accuses the judge of pro-Israel bias, just so that she can get a new judge appointed during Rosh Hashanah, when no Jewish judges will be working.
Speaking of judges, the only thing more entertaining than witnessing Alicia’s bad behavior is watching Judge Karpman try to overrule her. The wide array of eccentrics who find themselves banging the gavel has always been one of The Good Wife‘s best running jokes—in our opinion. And one of our favorites is the aptly-named, often-carping Karpman, or, as we like to call him, Judge Street Cred. When Carey tries to set Jamal’s bail at $100,000 for fighting at the rally, Karpman scoffs, “Have you ever been in a fist fight, counselor?…Fists are flying everywhere, you get hit in the head, the next thing you know you’re on the ground, and somebody’s jumping on top of you.” As he tells Alicia and Carey, “Nobody likes a street fight better than me.” Clearly, he’s been playing this game a little too much.
NEXT: What was up between Will and Kalinda?
Luckily, Karpman never gets the chance to really throw ‘bows with Alicia, because they soon learn that Jamal’s not the fundamentalist they think he is. His roommates have been signing into his political science classes and using his avatar while playing his favorite Gaza Strip suicide-bomber video game. And with a little help from Kalinda, Sophia, and a not-so-well-hidden gay bar, Alicia’s able to prove that Jamal’s roommate, Tariq, was the one who killed Simon, and not for religious reasons, either. It was a lovers’ quarrel. And one of those lovers could’ve made it look like a random hate crime if he hadn’t forgotten how to draw a Swastika. How embarrassing.
With the mystery solved, everyone’s in the mood for Kalinda’s favorite Lockhart Gardner tradition: taking way too many shots at the bar. Throwing back drinks, she and Will slowly ease their way into real talk. Though he doesn’t know why she’s acting so sad, he does know that her lone wolf act is giving way to some troublesome human emotions, and he can relate. “We’re not like normal people, are we?” he asks. “Sometimes when I’m in the middle of an emotion, I just look at myself and realize I don’t feel anything. I just like acting like someone who feels something.”
“Why not stop acting and actually feel?” Kalinda replies. It’s a very honest, believable moment between them. And it makes us worry for Alicia.
Was Will flirting with Kalinda when squeezed her shoulder on his way out the door? After all, there doesn’t appear to be a human alive, male or female, who can resist her. If The Good Wife were a sitcom, CBS would call it Everyone Loves Kalinda. And who can blame them? In her everyday uniform of leather, knee-high boots, and perpetual scowl, she looks like the Lara Croft of Litigation. But when it comes to other women’s men (and other men’s women), we’re hoping that Kalinda’s learned her lesson.
Even if that’s true, we’re still feeling a little uneasy about Will and Alicia. At the office, Will’s already trying a little too hard to pretend he’s not giving her special privileges. “She’s a third year associate on a partner track,” he scoffs to Diane. “She’s treating us like peers!” Yes, exactly like peers. The kind of peers who settle their disputes with equal-opportunity make-out sessions in the elevator.
True, Alicia still acts like a woman in love. While waiting for Will to arrive at her house, she puts on lipstick and fixes her hair. And yet, when he does arrive, she doesn’t rush to the door. Not even after two whole knocks.
Is Alicia already having second thoughts? Is baby already feeling bad about doing bad, bad things? If so, let’s hope that Will can cure her of that good-person guilt, because watching Alicia indulge her irresponsible side has never been so gratifying. We like watching this new show, The Bad Wife. And we never want her to go good again.
NEXT: a few final questions for you readers
Okay, readers, I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments:
Do you think Alicia should forgive Kalinda for sleeping with Peter? Is it hypocritical for Alicia to still be angry with Kalinda after she herself hooked up with Will, who still calls Tammy “my girlfriend”?
Did anyone else get weird three-way-attraction vibes from that scene between Carey, Sophia, and Kalinda? There was a lot of sultry sideways-glancing going on.
What do you make of Grace’s weird, pole-dancing, stereo-blasting, chocolate-scarfing tutor? And why does Grace like her so much?
What did you think of the episode overall?
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