Wait, and that same "judged on your performance" doubletalk thing has come up at least twice too, once definitely in reference to Alicia's possible defection. So you have five conversations, actually, all centered on or mirroring the Alicia/Diane dynamic, coming harder and faster as we near the end of the season, all of them about Alicia's necessary-but-dubious, the stark ethic of loyalty but also the confusion of a family with a business... I feel like I'm almost there but we're missing a piece of the puzzle. The women present L/? as a Family of the Future, and the men fight that idea as a matter of course, acting on the conservative impulse that they benefit from how things have always been. And who's stuck in the middle? The personification of that disconnect, Mommy Wars incarnate, the only person on the show with both things on the line.
You've got David Lee positioning himself as Regan to Eli's Cordelia, warning everybody of the madness of Queen Lear. And Peter was only too happy to benefit from Cary's disloyalty to Diane, et. al., that's part of it. Until he demonstrated his disloyalty to the family of the SA, just like Alicia would have predicted. Or maybe we're looking at the whole season at once: Kalinda was family, too, until Blake and Andrew Wiley introduced us to Leela. That was the first time the family theory fell apart, and we still haven't recovered...
...Nope, still not quite there. I feel like maybe all the pieces actually are there, but it's not forming a picture yet. What's the endgame for that? Loyalty vs. good business. Emotion vs. the bottom line. Any decent show -- and this one's far better than simply decent -- would project out into a synthesis, the fact that you can and should have both, but I can see this show going even farther than that. Somehow. That, and then a new antithesis.
If Peter jumped from the SA to the gubernatorial race, he'd leaving behind three years of premise: Maybe Alicia will have to do the same, to keep the energy going? Can she enter the media sphere without it being about politics? And would that kill Eli dead, if she did? And would we get Cary back, if Peter left office?
You know, I think maybe it's just confirmation bias, since giving Alicia a political career would indulge my every obsession at once -- taking control of the Spectacle, the public/private narrative stuff, any unvoiced person sitting at the Big Boys' table -- but I can't help but think about that image of the table, how you get a seat at the table but the table is also where the family comes home. That balancing your feelings about your home and work is just as difficult and necessary as balancing your expectations of other people, in both places. She didn't invite the world in, but she may have to learn to set a place for it anyway.