The Good Wife recap: Iowa
It's caucus time for Peter, and all Alicia can think about is Will
Well, get me some headphones and some fabulous sunglasses because, much like Alicia, I just CANNOT with all these emotions. Eli’s confession has put Alicia on a very dangerous, very emotional path: She’s rethinking her entire life. What if she’d said yes to Will when they were at Georgetown? They’d be living happily ever after and he’d be alive, that’s what!
Okay, so maybe not. But the point is that Alicia will never know … and neither will we. And that’s why it’s acceptable for all of us to throw on some sunglasses, blast some music, and tune out the world. But before I do that, I promise to finish this recap. I just can’t promise that I’m writing this from a place of emotional stability.
Here we go…
We pick up right where we left off with the words no Good Wife fan will ever forget: “Six years ago you got a call from Will Gardner on your voicemail and I erased it,” Eli tells Alicia. He proceeds to tell her that Will’s voicemail said that he loved Alicia and “would give up everything” to be with her.
As we saw in the show’s midseason finale, Alicia’s reaction is to tell Eli to “get out” of her apartment. Except, that’s only the beginning of her reaction. When Eli refuses to leave without explaining, she stands so quickly that she knocks over her chair and nearly throws her dining room table at Eli. But he still won’t go.
Calmly, Alicia begins pulling plates out of a hutch. She separates them — the ones that she likes and the others? — and then begins chucking the latter at walls that are very close to Eli’s head. She does this until he gets to the front door, where she shatters all the remaining plates, beautifully mirroring the shattered pieces of the life she could’ve had.
With Eli gone, Alicia returns to packing in her room. Finally breaking down, she screams, sobs, and then gathers herself. She has to pack for the Iowa caucus. She has things to do.
That’s when Jason knocks on her door. Before he left, he wanted to give her some information he’d found on Jackie and Howard’s prenup. Apparently Howard has $2.2 million hidden away in a company. From the instant he sees her, Jason knows something’s off with Alicia, but what he doesn’t realize is that any chance he had with her might’ve just evaporated — at least temporarily — because right now, all she can think about is Will.
Next we see, Alicia is on Peter’s campaign bus in the middle of Iowa. But she’s found her coping mechanism: Wearing sunglasses, listening to loud music in her headphones, and reading Jane Eyre so that no one will bother her. Even her children — yep, Zach’s here! — have trouble getting her attention.
When Ruth and Eli begin debating whether Peter should attempt a Full Grassley — visiting all 89 counties in Iowa by 5 p.m. — he asks his wife’s opinion. Alicia simply says to do what Ruth wants. And when Lucca calls Alicia asking for advice on how to handle the Jackie-Howard prenup situation, Alicia, once again, shows no interest. Translation: She just had her world turned upside down and she doesn’t care about anything.
NEXT: “I think if I could go back…”
With Ruth getting her way, Peter has until 5 p.m. to finish the Full Grassley, which takes them to Rock Valley, Iowa, where they meet the No. 1 Florrick Fanatic. (And you know it’s true, because I don’t think there’s another human being who would describe him- or herself as a “Florrick Fanatic.”) He’s even got a rap prepared! And it’s a good thing, because if it weren’t for this guy, it would look like Peter has zero momentum. (In reality, Peter seems to have very little momentum.)
As for Alicia, she spends her day watching from a distance, avoiding Eli, and just generally, giving zero you-know-whats.
It doesn’t take long for Ruth to realize something’s up with Alicia, but she has no idea what can of worms she’s about to open when she starts a conversation with her. Quickly, Ruth is pulled into Alicia’s thought process of rethinking every decision she’s ever made. (Or at least one very important one.) Alicia’s wondering if she’d have been happy if she’d taken a left instead of a right. Ruth doesn’t think you can control fate, that at the end of every fork in the road there’s a cliff, so even if you take the road less traveled, you still find that cliff.
But that doesn’t stop Alicia from wondering. “I think if I could go back to Georgetown right now, back to Criminal Law 101, seat 35L, that was my seat … I would’ve said yes.” I WOULD’VE SAID YES. It’s the sentence that Willicia fans have always wanted to hear, and yet, never wanted to hear, because, of course, it’s an impossibility.
Ruth then asks what Alicia would’ve said yes to, and Alicia tells her, “There was a young man in love with me.” YOU ASKED, RUTH. Realizing what she’s done, Ruth quickly ushers Alicia back on the bus as the rest of us sob uncontrollably. (Just me? Cool.)
But that’s only the beginning of the Alicia drama. When Eli tries to approach her about what a nightmare it is to see her like this, she responds by telling him that the real nightmare is being on a bus in the middle of Iowa when she wants to be home. And of course, the on-bus journalist — or rather, his producer — films the moment and broadcasts it, offending Iowans everywhere.
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To save face, Alicia agrees to do an interview where she states that it’s only a nightmare because Grace is sick and, as a good mother, she wants to be home taking care of her child. It’s total crap, but it seems to do the job. As for what Alicia said earlier, even Ruth can’t stop thinking about it. She tells Alicia about the last time she was in love and how he wanted kids and she didn’t, so it didn’t work out. For a long time she wondered what would’ve changed if she’d said yes … until she saw he’d gone to prison for mail fraud. (Okay, suddenly this example isn’t so relatable.) Regardless, Ruth says “Whatever you think you could’ve changed in your life or in his, you couldn’t have.”
But Alicia isn’t letting go of the idea that easily. As she puts it, “I don’t know if that’s true.”
NEXT: Peter’s presidential fate is revealed…
After finishing the Full Grassley with five minutes to spare, everyone shifts their focus to tomorrow’s caucus. As Ruth says, winning would be taking second place. Losing would be taking third. But after a video surfaces of Peter spitting out his last loose meat sandwich — an Iowa staple, apparently — things aren’t looking good.
The next day, the caucus is a circus. Peter’s team essentially has half an hour to convince 29 people to stand in Peter’s corner if he’s going to be considered a viable candidate. At the last minute, it’s the No. 1 Florrick Fanatic who saves the day, pulling people together with the power of a very cheesy song and getting Peter enough votes to not only be viable but to win the day. Sadly however, it’s not enough to get him second or even third place in the caucus. Coming in fourth, Peter’s presidential dreams are crushed.
And if that weren’t bad enough, he asks Alicia about her fight with Eli, about which she tells him, “I think you’d prefer not to know. It’s about the past.” Immediately, he knows. (Looks like Peter isn’t anyone’s first choice today. Harsh, but true.)
Not surprisingly, Eli blames Ruth for the loss, claiming that she overreached by going for the presidency. But more than anything, he thinks she missed the most fundamental thing about Peter. “Peter Florrick is not number one. Not nationally. She is.” No, he’s not talking about Hillary. He’s talking about Alicia. (Please don’t ask her to run next, Eli.)
Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Cary and Diane are dealing with an investigation from the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Agency. It seems they’re being investigated for discriminatory hiring practices after receiving a complaint. Naturally, they head straight to Monica, who admits to filing a complaint at one point, but she withdrew it. But now that the investigation has already begun, there’s no going back, even after Monica tries talking to the rep.
And that’s not the day’s only problem: When Lucca mentions Howard’s hidden $2.2 million in the prenup meeting, David Lee’s ears perk up. It seems David hid the money from Alicia when they were negotiating her exit package. I’ll let Cary take this one:
Cary: You committed fraud!
David: No, I committed selective depositing.
To take care of it, David tells Howard about the situation. Of course, Howard is willing to play along … for the price of $1.1 million. Long story short, a lot of lies float around the room until Howard tells Jackie the truth. Only, at this point, she thinks he’s losing his mind. Leave it to Jason, all the way in San Francisco, to solve the problem and inform Lucca that it was David who moved the money.
Sidenote: We have not gotten nearly enough Lucca-Jason this season.
After Lucca tells Jackie that Howard wasn’t lying, Jackie and Howard agree to forget about the prenup. Now that Peter’s lost the election, Jackie doesn’t think he’ll push it anyway.
As for FEPA, Diane tells Cary to apologize, to which he blames the “racist culture” in the office on Howard. Cary proposes to move Howard to emeritus status, which will satisfy FEPA. Just like that, the firm is safe, and Cary wins the war.
What did you all think of the episode? Have you stopped crying? I mean, she would’ve said yes!!
Hit the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.