Glory

Mar. 30th, 2012 08:54 pm
swatkat: (the good wife: kalinda wins)
[personal profile] swatkat
For sale: a pair of defective lungs. (Or, I'm really, really tired of coughing and being generally sick.)

That said,this episode was right up my alley, because it gave me righteously angry Alicia. I love Alicia in all flavours, but especially righteously angry Alicia—like when she growls at Cary to get off Kalinda's back, or when she blasts Peter for his indiscretions, or when she walks out of Wendy Scott-Carr's court because she knows WSC is out of line. JM plays righteously angry marvelously well. So you can imagine my joy when we got righteously angry Alicia multiple times in the episode—first, on Kalinda's behalf (glorious, glorious angry!stompy!Alicia—did you see Kalinda's little smile?), second, on behalf of the victim (in a muted-but-still-righteous Alicia way), and third, finally, for herself (fade to black).

It is interesting, however, that Alicia's righteous anger, here, is not quite the same as, say, her righteous walk of glory out of WSC's court. In the first instance, Alicia is defending Kalinda against charges of being ~shady, which, well, she is. In fact, if Kalinda did not operate in her usual shady fashion, L/G would not win half the cases that it does. And even with the revelation that Agent Sexy was using this as leverage in a harebrained scheme to get to Kalinda, it does not change the fact that Alicia's righteous anger is in defence of something that is almost as shady. In many ways, it anticipated the shady move that Alicia herself would pull at the end of the episode—sticking by Peter at the cost of justice for the victim and her own moral integrity (and yes, I maintain that she stuck by Peter—Mike pretty much implied that they would go for the second report only if Alicia stuck to her guns about the investigation; after Alicia recused herself, there is no way he would still go after Peter—Peter is, after all, a privileged white dude, just like him and the rest of the blue ribbon panel). How the mighty have fallen.

This is the storyline for Alicia the Kings and JM were talking about right at the beginning of the season—the 'good' protagonist and her goodness; a descent of sorts. I can't wait to see where they're taking it, because that's the story I'm interested in most: Alicia's personal journey.

Date: 2012-03-30 04:23 pm (UTC)
monanotlisa: Kalinda looking at Alicia, both of The Good Wife (kalinda & alicia - tgw)
From: [personal profile] monanotlisa
I feel oddly vindicated in using the whole Mighty Have Fallen phrasing. Because, yes, as you say. Oh, Alicia. I live Kalinda, but I can for obvious professional reasons see Alicia's story more clearly.

Date: 2012-03-31 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] randomizer
I'm also fascinated by Alicia's "descent." I'm seeing the second half of this season as setting up a kind of ethical triad: there's the loyalty that one feels toward family; there's doing the "right" thing in the abstract; and there's doing the "smart" thing for a pragmatic end (career, election, whatever). We've seen the question of loyalty come up over and over this season: Canning believes that loyalty is something exclusively reserved for family, and the whole idea of whether loyalty makes sense in a workplace context is the underlying serious issue beneath the comedy of Diane's fending off of the equity partners' attempts to take Will's seat away from him. For the first two seasons, Alicia didn't have to deal overtly with the "doing the smart thing" part of the triad; now that she *does* have to deal with it, things are getting even more ethically murky for her. I think Alicia was always completely capable of separating loyalty toward family from ethical absolutes: she's said many times that you tell the truth in your home, but there might be good reasons to lie to the outside world. (And remember that in "Another Ham Sandwich" she told Peter that his problem wasn't that he did things that were wrong--his problem was that he did things that were wrong against his family.) "Blue Ribbon Panel" was a great, explicit example of Alicia attempting to balance loyalty, doing the right thing, and doing the smart thing. She stuck by Peter, but she also stuck by the "smart" thing and her own career. Throwing in the "smart" thing as a concern drives home the point that, indeed, nothing is simple. (It should also be noted, because I never want to miss an opportunity to say exactly why Diane is awesome, that Diane is probably the ideal blend of personal loyalty, doing the right thing, and doing the smart thing. She's the grownup in the show, and the moral center of the very complex ethical world that's emerging there.)

I also see this season as in some sense a response to what Alicia said to Kalinda during their breakup episode last season (2:22). She said that, after sleeping with her husband, Kalinda would not be permitted to put a single thing into context: the implication there was that Kalinda's breach was absolute, and that "context" would make no difference. This whole season has been about teaching Alicia that context *does* matter in the ethical choices made in the world of grownups. I have no idea what's going on with Alicia's house, how much loyalty she has left to Peter (quite a bit, I think), and where that's all going, but I'm sure impatient to find out!

Date: 2012-04-01 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] randomizer
The loyalty question really fascinates me, because the L/G gang really *does* show loyalty to one another. Diane and Will's conversation in the last episode was kind of a charade, and they both knew it: that is, they both knew that Diane was *really* just being loyal to Will, and that the guise of its being the "smart" thing was just a cover story so they could both live with it. They understood each other perfectly, as they always do. And, of course, the *only* reason Will wiggled out of his potential indictment was because his people were loyal to him, much more loyal than anyone in the States Attorney's office had counted on.

The other point I want to make about this triad of doing the right thing, doing the loyal thing, and doing the smart thing is that not every character on the show worries about the "right thing" part of it. Will doesn't: for him, life is a balancing act between his personal loyalties and making the smart move. I don't believe abstract ethics enters into it. And that's mostly been true for Kalinda as well, although seeing her kick Sophia out of her bed last season means that at least a niggle of the idea of the "right thing" was starting to occur to her. Oddly, the other character on the show who's also trying to balance all three points of the triad is Cary. They've actually shown some interesting growth with Cary this season, especially since he's had so little screen time. But he's learning what doing the right thing is, at the same time that Alicia is learning about doing the smart thing. Fun stuff!

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