The fourth-year associates' plan to start a new firm is still going strong -- in fact, we rejoin the story at the precise moment we left it, with Alicia and Cary having their first real discussion of how it'll all work. David Lee's instincts ("I'm psychic," he explains to Kalinda) mean the brewing civil war is on the table from day one. While Kalinda has no plans of leaving for Florrick & Agos she's still completely sympathetic to their cause, which adds one more dynamic to the incoming storm. (Also, there is a remote employee buzzing about the place in a Segway-shaped robot, to whom Alicia is characteristically kind and whose existence rouses some of David Lee's most vicious ire yet.)
Ironically, the case of the week -- a death row appeal high on stakes but low on drama -- reminds Alicia of all that she loves about working for (and with) Diane and Will, and it's true that they're both at their best over the course of the case. (Staying a man's execution by using him as "evidence" in a separate class-action case about the ins and outs of lethal injections.) But in the end, Cary's enthusiasm -- "we are the new Will & Diane!" -- is just persuasive enough that she stays committed to the cause, and eventually lies to the faces of the senior partners about the project and her own involvement.
Eli helps Peter get his staff together as Illinois' new Governor, immediately seizing on the beauty of his inherited ethics counselor (Melissa George) as a danger zone. Smoothly getting her moved out of Peter's office -- but having accidentally planted the seeds of Peter's attraction to her -- they follow her first and final directive: Dumping the Chief of Staff they'd originally chosen because of the usual complications that come from everyone having hired Eli at some point for crisis management, and in a sweet but also worrisome twist, Peter decides Eli's the man for the job. Because when you want someone squeaky-clean with no skeletons in his closet your first thought is "Eli Gold."
It's interesting to see where the pieces go. What with Peter and Cary both settled elsewhere, the State's Attorney's office has become a considerably less fraught location, and pretty much the domain of Geneva Pine (and presumably Matan, and maybe Amanda Peet?) -- who provides some excellent drama before eventually helping Diane and Robyn Burdine (who's still planning to defect) with the death row case. While it's Will who ends the back-and-forth in his usual last-second Odyssean fashion, it's nice to see so many possible dynamics for L/G proper, moving forward. Diane's Supreme Court stuff barely comes up at all, but between David Lee's souped-up role and the coming civil war, it seems likely to be a huge factor.
So all in all, pretty low-key. Alicia's disappointment that Kalinda isn't coming is downplayed but sweet, and there's an intriguing subplot about Grace's burgeoning womanhood that could go some crazy places -- she's on a list of Hottest Politicians' Daughters that includes Bristol Palin and Meghan Cain -- but so far things are pretty normal on the homefront too. Mostly it's a lot of character work, with the fast-paced dialogue and seriously funny acting that you always forget is a big part of the show until it actually happens.
We won't really get the seasonal lay of the land until we see Peter and Alicia interact, I think, but even then we still have plenty of pieces to get in position. In the meantime, Alicia's privileged (and frankly unethical, as she notes) position at the center of the L/G shitstorm should provide more than enough of the angst, compromises and St. Alicia-versus-reality negotiations that continue to make the show so compelling. Next week is Bitcoin (Dylan Stack is always good) and then it seems like the fifth episode is when it all goes down, in what Graham "Zach Florrick" Phillips has described as the Good Wife's version of the Red Wedding. Quite a comparison to draw, but considering how many fingers are clearly about to get burnt, it seems likely pretty apt.
L/G is a big enough business that their managerial methods can seem a little inhumane. Nobody knows this more than Cary Agos -- who is used to having everything handed to him because he is perfect, and thus has never heard the word no before -- unless it's Alicia Florrick, who was used powerfully and callously by the partners to scare and manipulate the shit out of their entire fourth-year cadre of disappointed youngsters in a variety of ways. Diane Lockhart still hasn't formally accepted Governor Florrick's offer for a State Supreme Court, but the fact that it's out there is only making things upstairs weirder and more hostile -- and seeing as how David Lee is now a cast regular and "weirder and more hostile" is the Latin on his family crest, that probably won't change.
Cary: "So, hey. Like, what are you thinking?"
Alicia: "I'm in."
Cary: "Really? Agos/Florrick is a go?"
Alicia: "Ha! You are too young to know what an old joke that is! But also in all seriousness, Florrick/Agos."
Wine, because of course wine. Wine now, wine always. Wine with Cary Agos in your gracious open-concept kitchen. What else is there in this world.
Cary: "We have Carey [Other Carey, Less Obviously Hot But Give It A Minute Carey, Carey-with-an-E, "the entire reason Jacob has seen every episode of Outsourced" Carey] in Litigation [even better], Jeremy for Family Law, Andre in Acquisitions..."
Alicia: "You are like a one-man rush chair. What about Kalinda?"
Cary: "Mmm. Robyn Burdine."
Alicia: "No I mean what about Kalinda, when is she joining our firm."
Cary: "She isn't, Robyn is."
Alicia: "I don't get it. I don't understand what you're saying to me."
Cary: "I know, I feel the same way so I'll go slow. Kalinda is staying at L/G, Robyn is coming with us."
Alicia: "But that SUCKS."
Cary: "You know all you'd have to do is drop a handkerchief and she'd come with us. Literally before you finished asking her, that ninja girl would have her shit packed."
Alicia: "More wine?"
Alicia: "Everything's ending. Or starting to. So like how do we -- hang on, I have to ignore Will phoning me after he kissed me, speaking of weird, and I disappeared on him to come meet with you at my house -- how do we tell Diane and Will?"