Alicia and Cary's plans to leave Lockhart/Gardner are finally exposed, and the battle for top clients begins 

By Breia Brissey
Updated March 02, 2015 at 07:51 PM EST
Good Wife Recap
Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

Holy crap!! So basically, “Hitting the Fan” can be summed up by a series of gasps and exclamation points. And while that would save me time writing and you time reading, it would be a disservice. I’m not trying to oversell anything here, but this episode of The Good Wife may have been one of the best hours of TV. Ever. And it’s certainly the best episode of the series. (Give it all the Emmys!) And who would have thought it would have come in the show’s fifth season?! There’s a lot to talk about. (In case you missed it, check out our postmortem with exec producers Robert and Michelle King here.) Now let’s get to it:

This season has been a bit of a slow burn. Each episode gave us a little more, and as the episode’s title suggests, this was the one where it all hit the fan. At the end of last week, Diane confirmed her suspicions about Alicia leaving the firm and told Will the less-than-ideal news. This week we picked up right were we left off: Will was in his office meeting with Joely (Erin Diller), a potential publicist for the firm. Her main sell? Stability. She wanted to be a part of the “big happy family” at Lockhart/Gardner. Ha! As if the episode’s teasers weren’t enough, this ironic statement was all the proof we needed that all hell was about to break loose. Needless to say, Joely got the job. Because a good publicist is a must when the firm is starting to crumble from within.

When Diane dropped the Alicia and Cary are leaving bomb, Will was rendered speechless. He did have a few flashbacks of some of his happier—and sexier—times with Alicia, but other than that, he was in a state of shock. Eventually, that wore off and Will developed what can only be characterized as pure anger. We’ve never seen Will this mad. I’ll have to admit, it was a little sexy. But mostly, it was just stressful. (It was this point that I realized I should have probably taken a Valium to watch this episode. Too. Much. Stress.)

Will marched straight in to Alicia’s office to confront her about her betrayal. And since she clearly couldn’t deny anything, the cat was out of the bag. To say Will’s anger escalated would be an understatement. He anger-swiped everything off her desk and lobbed these comments her way: “I took you in. No one wanted you. I hired you. I pushed for you.” Alicia said it was only a business decision, but she’s obviously lying. For Cary and the other fourth years, leaving Lockhart/Gardner is a business decision. For Alicia, it’s personal.

The verbal blows from Will just kept on coming. “You were poison!” “You’re awful. And you don’t even know how awful you are.” His outburst concluded with him firing her and taking her cell phone. But Alicia reminded that he’d have to get the majority vote of the executive board, and then a vote of the full board, to get her out of the office. But essentially, that was just to buy time. Alicia’s career with Lockhart/Gardner was over.

UP NEXT: Alicia & Co. get sent packing….

Will asked Robyn keep an eye on Alicia, totally unaware that Robyn is in cahoots with the Florrick/Agos team, and focused on getting his quorum to get Alicia out for good. The board needed Diane for the numbers, and since her exit package was still not final, she had to step in to be the final vote to remove Alicia. Even though it was Diane that brought all the betrayal to light, she was hesitant to vote against Alicia. She’s got her own career to worry about, and getting in bad with the governor’s wife would likely hurt her judgeship. But she eventually gave the go ahead.

Then, the pink slips started to come down fast. Carey Zepps? You’re fired. Cary Agos? Bye to you, too! Diane gave Cary a piece of her mind about the betrayal. As his mentor, she took the news extremely hard. But Cary reminded her that this was not the first time he’d been fired by Lockhart/Gardner and that starting his own firm made sense. (And I wanted to remind Diane that someone so highly offended by betrayal might want to remember her own act of betrayal against Will a few weeks ago. These things are cyclical, I suppose.) The best part of this scene was that Diane demanded that Cary give her a list of everyone he was working with. Instead, he supplied her a list with the office’s protected classes, knowing it would buy them some time, and that Lockhart/Gardner couldn’t fire those people.

Will got the votes he needed to remove Alicia, and so the security guards escorted her out of the offices.

Alicia: “This was never meant personally.”

Will: “I don’t give a damn.”

Ugh! So heartbreaking. Once again, it’s definitely personal. And regardless of where you stand on the Team Will/Team Peter front, you can’t deny the tug on your heartstrings as Alicia cried during her elevator trip. Did she make the right decision? I tend to think yes. But Alicia clearly had a moment of doubt as she said goodbye to the firm that jump started her career.

Before Alicia was sent packing, she had time to call Zach to see if he could help her access files from the firm’s cloud. And one of Alicia’s clients, Candace (Tonya Glanz), found out her case had taken a backseat to the firm’s inner turmoil. This story line took a backseat in the episode as well, but served as a connection for Will and Alicia when Candace reached out to Alicia after Will had to take over the deposition that he clearly didn’t have time for.

Will finally met with Kalinda to get all the information she had about the exodus. She gave him the impression she knew less than she did, but promised Will she was on his side. In the meantime, Will organized a mass calling of the clients to ensure they weren’t leaving. And he decided to get a restraining order against Cary and Alicia from pursuing any new clients. He knew he probably wouldn’t win, but at this point, it was a race against the clock for both sides. They knew they needed all the time they could get, so both teams worked to slow the other down.

UP NEXT: Will vs. Alicia in court….

The Florrick/Agos teams split up responsibilities, and worked to get all their ducks in a row since they were starting a week early. While they tried to confirm the new client list, the team at Lockhart/Gardner tried to make sure their top dogs were staying put. This, of course, consisted of a little embellishing, courtesy of David Lee. He told clients there were issues with Alicia’s performance, and it worked. Florrick/Agos lost a huge hedge fund client and the losses continued.

After promising Will her loyalty, Kalinda went to speak to Cary about joining the rebels. (Double agent!) Cary should have recognized her as a sheep in wolf’s clothing. She had no intention of leaving Lockhart/Gardner. She learned where the Florrick/Agos office space was located, and David Lee made a phone call to the department of health, which in turn shut down their offices for fumigation. They’d be kept out of their new work space for at least two months. Uh oh. And the hits just keep coming. Kalinda finally told Will that Robyn was with the rebellion. See ya later, Robyn! Alicia’s apartment served as the temporary Florrick/Agos headquarters for the duration of the episode. But we all know that can’t last.

With the client list up in the air, Florrick/Agos had to make sure that their No. 1 moneymaker, Neil Gross and Chumhum, would make the move with them. Alicia and Cary went to talk with Gross to quell his hesitations about making the move. Unfortunately, a restraining order courtesy of Will, kept Alicia and Cary from meeting with anyone at Chumhum.

So off to court they went. It was Alicia vs. Will, and you’re going to have to get used to this dynamic. Because that’s where things are headed. And while it’s hard to watch these two at odds, it was kind of awesome to see them go head to head. Will & Co. called Beth (Victoria Mack) to testify for them, after Diane changed her mind. Beth was one of the fourth years who originally planned to leave with Alicia and Cary. But after Will offered her a partnership, she decided to stay. Alicia tried to use this testimony to their favor—obviously the promotion came within the last 12 hours. But it didn’t matter. The judge decided the restraining order would remain in place, saying that if the clients were intending to leave, the would leave. The status quo would hold.

But Alicia decided that she wouldn’t let a little setback get them down, and delivered this awesome call to arms to her now-opposition: “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.” Throughout the duration of the series, Alicia has consistently taken the high road. So I kind love this new side of her, and I hope it’s a taste of things to come.

UP NEXT: Alicia and Peter, um, reconnect….

Perhaps inspired by her own “we’re coming for you” speech, Alicia decided to give Lockhart/Gardner a taste of their own medicine. Judge Winter, one of the judges who was burned in Will’s bribery scandal, was on the schedule. So they got him to issue a similar restraining order against Will. It made it impossible for either side to get in to see the folks at Chumhum to garner Neil Gross’ support.

Realizing they’d been backed into a corner, Diane went to see Alicia to organize a truce. Both sides would drop the restraining orders. Each team would then get an hour with Neil Gross. They would both pitch their firms, and let the best one win. They agreed to these terms, but Alicia and Cary were met with some unfortunate news when they went in for their Chumhum meeting: Neil Gross had already made a decision. He’d be staying with Lockhart/Gardner because of Alicia’s connection to Peter and his governorship. Peter had promised to run the most ethical administration in Illinois history, and Gross was worried about the implications for his company. “Politics leads. The law follows.” And just like that, Florrick/Agos was down the drain.

Will and Kalinda had a heart to heart late in the episode. He told her he’d offered Alicia Diane’s job, and Kalinda admitted that she knew more than she had originally let on (and even defended Alicia). And just like Alicia was ready to fight to the proverbial death for her new firm, Will gave his own call to arms: “Kalinda, I’m building this firm into the biggest in the country, starting today. And I need to know who I can trust…. I’m going to destroy the competition.” Kalinda pledged her loyalty to Will. Again. But it is Kalinda, so one can never be too sure.

Over in Peter’s world, he learned from a phone call that Alicia had been fired. So what did he do? Call Will, of course. It’s a good thing these two fought over the phone. Had it been in person, I’m pretty sure a punch or two would have been thrown. But the tension between these two was palpable. Will is obviously a sore subject between Peter and Alicia. So the minute Peter learned Alicia had been fired, he lashed out at Will, ready for a fight. This testosterone-fueled argument was very telling: Just because Alicia may not be at Lockhart/Gardner doesn’t mean the complicated Peter/Will/Alicia triangle is taken care of. Peter, now a man with extreme political significance, will stop at nothing to protect his wife. And Will isn’t going to just sit back and let Peter attack him. The moral of the story? We definitely haven’t seen the end of a fighting Will and Peter.

Speaking of Peter, he stopped by Alicia’s temporary office (a.k.a. her apartment) to make sure she was okay with her recent loss of job. Instead, he found a reinvigorated, ass-kicking wife. And unsurprisingly, he was turned on. (These two are attracted to power.) So naturally, they had a quickie in the bedroom…with all of Alicia’s new co-workers in the other room. After she was, um, satisfied, Alicia went back out to join her new firm. But not before realizing she forgot to put her underwear back on. She may have been going commando trying to get Florrick/Agos off the ground, but not when it came to wardrobe choices.

UP NEXT: Diane’s complicated career and the episode’s best lines….

I mentioned earlier that Diane was hesitant about pushing Alicia out. She’s been put in the awkward position of having to balance her complicated career. She’s got one foot out the door at Lockhart/Gardner, ready to take on new role as judge. But by involving herself in the drama with Alicia, she knew she’d put herself in a vulnerable position. She went to see Eli to talk about her concerns, and he assured her that Peter wouldn’t let anything personal effect the professional decisions made about the judgeship. But Eli was wrong. By the episode’s end, Peter was asking Eli for a new short list of Supreme Court nominations.

The episode concluded with Peter giving a press conference about the pension problem in Illinois. And he tacked on one more issue: taxation on Internet commerce. And you know who would care about taxation on Internet commerce? Yup. Neil Gross. Peter’s statement was enough to get Gross to change his mind, and make the switch to Florrick/Agos after all. Remember, that governorship has to work in Gross’ favor.

Whew! You made it through. As a reward, check out this cool Florrick/Agos announcement, and enjoy the memorable lines from “Hitting the Fan”:

++ Alicia: “I need all my company contacts and files saved from the company cloud onto my cloud. My personal cloud. Can you do that?”

Zach: “You have no idea what any of those words mean do you?”

++ This brilliant moment of anger and comedy:

Alicia: “Go to hell!”

Will: “No. You go! [Pause] Oh, your daughter called. She needs you to call her school to let her go on a field trip.

Alicia: “Oh, when was this?”

Will: “About 40 minutes ago.”

Alicia: “Oh, okay. Thanks.”

Will: “You’re welcome.”

++ “Okay, thanks for the advice, jackass.” —Peter, to Will

++ Alicia’s blah-blah-blah hand gesture during the courtroom scene

++ Alicia: “You heard [Kisses Peter]”

Peter: “Yes. I heard. That’s not the reaction I was expecting. I thought you’d be out on some ledge somewhere.”

Alicia: “Oh, no. We’re too busy kicking ass!”

What did you think of this game-changing episode? Did you think it lived up to the hype? (Answer: Yes.) Will the ogling of Grace ever stop? It’s getting creepy! In other news, the cast and crew of The Good Wife decided to do something a little different to celebrate their 100th episode. Read all about it here. Now it’s time. I know you’ll have a lot of thoughts about this crazy episode. So sound off in the comments and talk “Hitting the Fan”!

Episode Recaps

Closing Arguments

The Good Wife

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.

  • TV Show
  • 7
  • 156
  • TV-14
  • Off Air
  • CBS
stream service