After watching the The Good Wife Season 5 premiere, I've determined these network teases shown prior to the first episode are a very bad idea. It sets up an extraordinarily high expectation for the first episode. Too high, in fact.
Case in point would be "Everything is Ending." I waited the entire hour for Will to get angry and sweep all of the contents of a desk to the floor. Never happened. That's a season preview moment. Oops!
The case of the Week
If I am ever convicted of murder, or already convicted and looking for a firm to represent me in the death penalty phase, please remind me not to use Lockhart/Gardner. They've proven to be quite incompetent unless directly affected by the case in some personal way at the last moment, as we witnessed in Season 2's "Nine Hours" and again tonight.
Had Alicia and Diane not been witnessing the execution and discovered the way in which the execution was being carried out for themselves (and also witnessed the accused's impassioned, tearful final words of innocence to the family), they wouldn't have been given the shot of adrenaline that eventually lead to his stay of execution.
It's an overarching theme at the firm that things wait until the very last minute, and I would hope the discovery of that same signature on all four documents - leading to a prison snitch feeding information to witnesses - would have come out during the murder case rather than just before (rather, just after the first unsuccessful attempt) to end my life. All the feel good music in the world didn't make the timing of how he was spared any less jarring.
Lockhart/Gardner vs. Florrick/Agos
This whole scenario is very interesting. The idea of Alicia and Cary starting a firm and taking Kalinda with them makes sense. They would be successful and would likely hire a very dedicated and passionate team to work with them. But that isn't what's happening. Cary and the fourth years started the movement, Kalinda is too expensive and Alicia is jumping on board, seemingly, just to get away from Will.
Alicia clearly enjoys working with Will and Diane. She respects them and appreciates the opportunity they have given her as a partner in their firm. She also respects her marriage and knows what the constant temptation of being around Will could mean to her personal future. She chose her marriage over her professional career.
Things at Lockhart/Gardner are weird. The oddities occurring during the execution were nothing compared to the robotic attendee that's begun wheeling around the office in a beta test work-from-home model. 'Monica' was on some sort of video Segway, making a mockery of what should have been a serious look into a man's grossly mishandled rights.
David Lee, who was one of the main reasons the fourth years wanted to bolt in the first place, continues to do nothing except worry about money, go behind people's backs and wonder whether the fourth years are out to get him. YES, they are! If he'd take the time to look at his own work habits (or find even an ounce of work to do), perhaps he'd understand why they felt cheated. He is one of main causes the firm is being torn apart, but he doesn't have the capacity to see beyond his own nose to comprehend it.
Yet, Alicia throwing her lot in with a bunch of kids who are so indiscreet they're congratulating her for making the decision to join them in the middle of the hallway at a firm at which she is a partner is a frightening prospect. They want to stick around and wait for bonuses, but don't have the ability to stop a high-five or a gleeful stomach-bump in front of a partners meeting. Yes, an exaggeration, but can it be far off?
Alicia and Cary should throw down the gauntlet. If they want to wait for bonuses, they have to use some of that money to pay Kalinda what she wants and bring her along. She's necessary to the success of their start-up venture. They need to stop behaving like idiots and start acting like the successful lawyers they expect to become.
The partnership seems to have disaster spelled all over it, and I can only hope that Alicia and Cary, as the new Will and Diane, can provide the leadership the fourth years need. So far they seem happy to talk back to their metaphorical mommy and daddy, and that won't fly for long. Waiting out the weeks until the bonuses should give be a big indication as to their future success.
The Florrick Family
Peter met up with is first genuine temptation in quite some time - and dealt with it swiftly. He promoted Marilyn Garbanza as soon as he liked what he saw and realized how the two of them would look together in photographs. Good call, but Marilyn will be back. She made Alicia bristle with her ideas on the First Family of Illinois, and that should prove fun, so they have to keep her around.
Meanwhile, being first family is also providing some other interesting benefits. Grace was getting a lot of attention from the boys at school, and Zach finally had to show her the website she had popped up on with other "hot" political daughters. Grace was number four. Not too shabby. Her face was rather stoic, but I daresay she was hiding the slightest hint of a smile.
There is so much promise awaiting us in Season 5, we just have to wait for the story to unfold to find out what, exactly, it will tell. Friendships and relationships - both personal and professional - are going to be stretched and tested. It's been described as an all out civil war. In wars, people change sides, so what happens may surprise us.
For The Good Wife Season 5 spoilers, check out this exclusive interview with the shows creators, Robert and Michelle King.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.