The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 5, "Hitting the Fan," was the one they've been hinting at all season long.
Would Alicia and Cary really make the move? Would it all go down with as much drama as the previews promised? Would Florrick/Agos & Associates make it off the ground?
Oh yes. And that gesture of Will sweeping the contents of Alicia's desk was nothing in the scheme of things.
The best of the best were up against each other, throwing everything they had at what was before them, trying to keep clients or trying to steal them away. It turns out, hell hath no fury like a husband scorned.
Was that an action packed episode, or what? The execution was absolute perfection. From the moment the words of Alicia's betrayal came out of Diane's mouth, everything changed.
The choice for Will to flash back to his most personal moments with Alicia - under the sheets, a private smile from her in a meeting - while he walked down the hallway to confront her was the perfect way to tell viewers what he was feeling. It also made Alicia's reply to him that it was a business decision so much more effective at pushing him over the edge - because to him it was the ultimate personal betrayal.
It was interesting how much Alicia had learned from Diane's recent issues with regard to her own termination about the need for a quorum and a full board vote before she had to leave the building. She's also learned enough by listening to her son that she may have gotten him into some legal trouble by hacking her files via the Cloud.
Much like Zach, listening to Alicia talk about the Cloud in any manner was funny. How can somebody so accomplished know so little about computing? That's also two weeks in a row she has done things that I would consider illegal. Surely. she has had cases wherein her clients have stolen proprietary material via hacking. Just because you can get in and have a password doesn't mean it's okay to do so when you know you've been told you are no longer allowed access.
Alicia was concerned about not telling Robyn what to do as they would likely be deposed about what happened in her office, but she had no problem telling her son to steal her files in front of Robyn. Not only did she tell him to do it on Robyn's phone, but she had a witness. What?
One of my favorite scenes was between Diane and Cary. It showed how far from what Diane thought she was about she had actually become to those below her. She felt she was always there for Cary, but he had a rebuttal for every point. He was also genius for giving them only the names of protected class fourth years to throw them off for a while. He was fired for a second time - why would he give them anything at all?
As everyone was racing around, Diane started to have second thoughts. She almost didn't raise her hand to vote Alicia out of the firm - not that anyone would have known what happened behind those closed doors. Her attempt to reach out to Peter to explain what was happening was met by Eli. Hr was thinking with is head and assured her Peter won't make any decisions for his administration based upon his personal feelings.
Eli did ask the right questions to make Diane squirm. If she's not involved with the firm any more, why was she representing them at the hearing later that afternoon about the Chum Hum restraining order? She bristled as she told him it was a formality, but that bristle gave her away. She was more involved than she wanted to be, or she wouldn't be there defending herself.
Kalinda let her feelings about Cary leaving her behind work to her advantage, and there shouldn't be any questions in the future about where her loyalties lie. Robyn is going to have to step up her game to stay on equal footing with Kalinda's moves because they are plenty.
Peter's plans for Hawaii are off for now, but he might find his wife's distance from Will and invigorated passion for her work enough to keep his eyes on the game. They sure turned him on upon first glance. There is no denying the chemistry between Juliana Margulies and Chris Noth when they can do more in 30 seconds with their clothes on than any other couple on television.
Since both firms were under a restraining order not to talk with Chum Hum, Diane came in with an offer, likely knowing which way the firm she was leaving was going to use the opportunity before it was given, that would allow both firms to compete for Chum Hum's business. Peter has promised to run an ethical administration like no other Governor in the history of Illinois. Lockhart/Gardner used that to their advantage.
It was interesting to see both sides playing dirty because neither side is as good as the Governor elect. He had already been to prison. He gets the game better than any other. He also has connections. He is a connection, as was witnessed when he dropped a little hint about Internet taxation during a press conference.
Peter knew what he was doing, as did Neil Gross, and the business that he had promised to Lockhart/Gardner was turned over to Florrick/Agos. Eli stood, mouth agape as he realized what Peter had done. He was just as shocked when Peter requested a new list of candidates for supreme court justice.
The good wife stood by her husband while he cheated on her multiple times, while he committed crimes and went to prison. She strayed with one of the named partners of the firm she planned to leave. The good husband was going to do whatever he had to do to repay her for her loyalty. He's going to hurt anyone who tried to hurt his good wife. He hasn't even been inaugurated yet.
It appears Lockhart/Gardner will be intact. They haven't signed Diane's exit package yet. Will the show of Peter's power keep them from filing any charges for files taken by the former employees, if they even wanted to go that route? The start of the firms is definitely adversarial. If at first it seemed it might not go that route with little things - like Will passing on Grace's phone message to Alicia - those niceties won't likely continue.
There was so much about this hour to like, but mostly that it serves to completely change a show that has been on the air for over four seasons. The Good Wife Season 5 proves that a show can take a chance to shake things up, do it well and make it so compelling that you cannot wait for the next move. Perhaps more long-running series will follow in their footsteps.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.