The Good Wife: Alicia's Next Chapter...Back to the Basics?

Alicia started down a new path thanks to a trip down memory lane

By Chris Harnick May 04, 2015 2:29 AMTags
The Good WifeCBS

Did you want answers about what Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) wrote to Alicia (Julianna Margulies) that devastated our hero? Well this episode of The Good Wife, "Don't Fail," didn't provide them. However, what the episode did provide was some insight into the mind of Alicia Florrick. Yes, it felt a little like a filler episode, but once you remember that The Good Wife, at its heart, is about the education of Alicia Florrick, then you can truly appreciate this episode. Flashbacks to 2009 served to remind Alicia about when the law was "something good." For viewers it was insight into how far along the education of Alicia Florrick has progressed.

The episode opened with a wonderfully comedic (but not over the top) sequence that had Alicia meeting with a ghostwriter to get the ball rolling on her memoir. When he asked her if she had friends he could talk to, well…"Can I have a think on that?" Alicia has no real friends. Kalinda was her friend, but she's gone. Diane and Cary were work associates, but now…Now Cary's her friend. More on that later. To keep herself busy, Alicia did chores, including refinishing a door for some reason. She also walked around in a hilarious baseball cap and watched the clock until it was an acceptable time to crack open the red wine. You are Alicia. Alicia is all of us. Another insight into her mindset: her bachelor-esque fridge situation that was mostly liquids and some pickles. Oh, Alicia.

She snapped out of her funk when an old client approached her for help. Well, when her client asked for help and Finn (Matthew Goode) gave her a reality check.

"You're not that important. People aren't staring at you…stop thinking about yourself and think about him," Finn told her.
"I can't take another failure," Alicia said.
"Then don't fail," he said.

Boom. And something was awoken in Alicia: The old Alicia. The old Alicia who wasn't wrapped up in office politics or regular politics. The old Alicia who used to get drinks with Kalinda. Yes, viewers did see Kalinda in this episode via flashbacks. There's even a flashback to the two of them in the same frame together…but it's from an old episode. The new flashback to the two of them at the bar where they addressed each other/the camera did not have them in the same frame. Sigh. However, when present day Alicia remembers their drinks together, the look across her face became sickness. She's upset. WHAT DID THE LETTER SAY?


The outcome of the case—Alicia got the charges dismissed—is inconsequential. What was so enjoyable about the flashbacks was seeing how far Alicia has come as a lawyer. As a human. Flashbacks also served to remind Alicia that she has a son in college with whom she has lost touch. Oops.

Earlier this week I expressed some concern about Alicia and Cary in an interview with Matt Czuchry. This episode proved those concerns were unfounded. Their relationship has evolved over the years to something completely new and dare I say endearing? Of course they talked about Kalinda. Kalinda loved both of them. Their simple, yet appropriate convo:

Alicia: "You know what? We're better lawyers now."
Cary: "Makes sense, we were young."
Alicia: "There's still something I miss about it."
Cary: "What?"
Alicia: "Looking at the law as something good."
Cary: "Do you think it's not good?"
Alicia: "No…I think it's neutral."
Cary: "Kalinda's gone."
Alicia: "I know."
Cary: "Did you see her?"
Alicia: "No. Did you?"
Cary: "She's not really one for goodbyes."
Alicia: "I know. I'm sorry."
Cary: "Me too."

Because despite everything, Kalinda love(d/s) Alicia.

During her trip down memory lane, Alicia came to a realization: She wants to help people. And she wants Finn Polmar to join her at her new firm!

Gasp count: 1 (When Alicia told the judge Kalinda is the one who told her about the investigation into the detective)

Something other things:

The use of the tape recorder audio in the flashback scenes was a very nice touch.

Diane's 2009 flashback pantsuit and brooch made me giggle.

How freakin' great was it to see Alicia back in court?! It's been AGES and it was SO enjoyable to see her there. As she said: "Back to basics."

The Good Wife airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on CBS.