'The Good Wife' Fan Columnist: The Hole in the Wall Gang
'The Good Wife' Fan Columnist: The Hole in the Wall Gang
Alison Stern-Dunyak
Alison Stern-Dunyak
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
As Alicia says, things are certainly "in flux" at Team Lockhart, as Kalinda's past comes back to haunt her in a big way, and our favorite attorneys learn you can be too successful at your job. 

Did you feel that way about the third season finale, too? Was it as successful as last year's closing arguments?

The Case Before the Court

In "The Dream Team," Lockhart and Associates (still weeks away from reverting back to Lockhart-Gardner) wins a case against a pharmaceutical manufacturer for a whopping $25 million -- more than they asked for. They can pay their bills for the next quarter with their share of the settlement. 

Unfortunately, opposing attorney Louis Canning (a return by Michael J. Fox) doesn't come to settle, but to sue. In league with another TGW fave, Patty Nyholm (Raising Hope's Martha Plimpton), they plan to take the firm down. Apparently, all those successful lawsuits against big pharma over the last few years have made Diane and Co. a target -- a $50 million one. Just like the special posse in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,Canning and Nyholm have formed a legal "dream team" to make an example of firms that go after big business.

They accuse the firm of using Will's connection to the judge to their advantage. It's basically a rehash of Wendy Scott-Carr's unsuccessful grand jury case against Will. Though Canning and Nyholm's tactics come perilously close to violating grand jury secrecy rules, Diane fears they have a strong case. But Peter, of all people, saves the day. When "the dream team" accuses him of visiting the judge to influence him on Alicia's behalf, Peter admits that he and Alicia are separated -- big news to everyone. He was seeking the judge's electoral support, not support for his (estranged) wife.

With the evidence lacking, Canning and Nyholm agree to drop their suit, but seem strangely at peace with it. And indeed, basketball fan Will should have recognized a head fake when he saw one: While the lawsuit distracts everyone, the devious duo steal away Lockhart & Associate's biggest client -- software mogul Patrick Edelstein. 

Hostile Witness

Alicia informs Kalinda that the IRS is willing to negotiate a settlement for her tax issues. The mysterious PI seems grateful, even feeling the need to share with her once-and-future gal pal that she's not gay, she's "flexible." (Oookay.) As part of the deal, Alicia goes through several uncashed checks from K's past, hoping to recoup some money to pay the government.

Alicia contacts one of the companies, a construction firm in Toronto. The gruffness of the man who answers ring bells in Alicia's mind, and her instincts tell her to let this one go. But the man calls her back, knowing more about her than she's told him. When she questions Kalinda about his identity, she finally fesses up that he's her husband! (Think back: Remember how Blake Calamar knew her as "Leila"?) It's pretty clear she's not on the run from the law, but from her past.

Time to run again. Putting on her cooler-than-Cruise sunglasses, she stalks through a hardware store, buys a sledgehammer, heads home, and starts knocking a hole in her bedroom wall. (Second "hole in the wall" reference of the night!). She pulls out a load of cash and a cache of guns, stuffing everything into a duffle bag.

But something makes her change her mind: Enough running. She returns to her apartment, wordlessly placing a chair in front of her door. She sits, armed and dangerous, waiting for the knock. It comes soon enough.

A Civil Action

Peter tells Alicia that Jackie made such a large down payment on their old house that he feels compelled to go through with the deal, intending to flip it a few months from now. She seems agreeable about it, but she can't let Jackie win.
Before she can get to her at the hospital, however, Eli visits Jackie, advising her to apologize to Alicia. She balks, but he insists that Peter needs Alicia's cooperation to win the election. When Alicia stops by, she grudgingly apologizes, but the younger Ms. Florrick will have none of it. In fact, Alicia recommends that Jackie get a lawyer -- She's going to sue her for taking money from the kids' trust fund to make the down payment on the house. She'll drop the fraud charge if Jackie puts the house in Zach and Grace's names. Take the deal, Jackie -- Take the deal!

Something must have gone right because by the episode's end, Peter and the kids are in the old homestead. Though they ask Alicia to stay for pizza, she begs off, saying she has an early morning ahead. "Things are in flux," she tells Peter. When aren't they?

Nevertheless, she looks wistful as she watches her family through the picture window. As the episode ends, the scenes cut back and forth between Alicia's domestic blues and Kalinda's domestic showdown. 

Effective Evidence

Plenty of moments worth savoring in "Dream Team":

  • Best elevator moment #1: When Peter comes to the office for his deposition in the lawsuit, he rides up with ... Will. Awkward banter ensues. Not exactly like the sexy ascent of Will and Alicia in last season's finale.
  • Best office moment: When Peter and Will disembark from the elevator, they're joined one after another by Alicia, Eli and Cary. Each person struggles to keep the conversation from growing more strained, until Kalinda steps off the next car. The tension is finally broken when Patty Nyholm's toddler rolls by, and Will introduces her to Peter as "one of our new associates." (And please, someone confirm for me: Wasn't that one of the Cregut twins from Raising Hope playing Patty's youngest?)
  • Best elevator moment #2: After Peter does the Lockhart team a solid by admitting to his marital discord, Will and Alicia take the elevator down together. When he asks her if they made a mistake last year, she doesn't hesitate to say no. They then part -- as friends, yes, but they part nonetheless.
  • Best Blink-and-You'll-Miss-It Moment: When Alicia and the kids are enjoying movie night in, they watch last year's indie darling Take Shelter, about a family whose home and lives are under threat by sinister forces.
Summary Judgment

Though lacking the emotional high of last year's Will-Alicia hotel liaison, "Dream Team" found plenty of power in the interactions between the core players: Alicia and Peter. Alicia and Jackie. Alicia and the kids. Will and Diane. Will and Alicia. Alicia and Kalinda. Kalinda and her guns. 

If anything, the lawsuit didn't have the punch I expected, despite featuring star-quality guest turns (not only from Louis and Patty, but also from investigator-dad Andrew Wylie). I admit I can't wait for Will to get his license back, not only because they need him but because maybe the firm won't be on the knife's edge of bankruptcy every other week.

But I quibble. This has been a season of growth for Alicia -- an affair with Will come and gone, a raise fought for and won, a negotiated peace with her not-quite ex and a return to friendship with Kalinda. As both Peter and Cary remark on seeing her deluxe office digs, she's really made it -- at least when it comes to her job. Whether her personal life is where she wants it to be remains to be seen. In the finale (still can't believe it's here already), we got to see that evolution in several satisfactory forms.

So -- an imperfect episode, but don't you want to see who's behind that door? How "flexible" will our favorite mystery woman be when the show finally reveals her husband's identity? Will The Good Wife be The Good Shot come this September?

(Image courtesy of CBS)

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