It's interesting that the Office of Public Integrity is waging a full war against Peter Florrick... but he's not even being attacked.
All efforts in the battle are being focused on Will Gardner, and in The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 14, the history of his relationship with Alicia was further explored, ending with a promise that will likely be called into play before this war is over.
Using Alicia's keynote speech at the American Bar Association as a way to examine how she landed the job with Will and Diane worked extremely well. The symbolism of the elevator, so prevalent in their relationship, was even more important, given it's where they found each other years after law school.
Alicia spent weeks preparing a speech that Cary had to report was too dry. He reminded her just how special her story was and that's what people would want to hear. As she recalled her reemergence in the field of law, always she flashed back to Will's hand in the elevator, literally opening the door to her new life.
Will didn't just offer Alicia a job when nobody would touch her because of her connection to Peter, he also went to bat for her knowing her past law firm would have eventually fired her if she hadn't gotten pregnant. Despite the dozens of cases she had won, they thought she didn't have that killer instinct.
Alicia was concerned about asking Will for a position because of how her mother-in-law would perceive it -- an imaginary Jackie accompanied her to her appointments calling her a slut and a whore. Knowing Jackie now, she could have been in the room with Alicia and things would have gone the same.
So many great touches -- the look on Kalinda's face when she learned the applicant was Alicia Florrick, Alicia and Cary meeting in reception and Cary later admitting to Alicia he would have hired himself and she would have hired him, too.
While all of this played out and Alicia worried about her speech, both Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner were competing to get the business of Rayna Hecht. At first she brushed off Florrick/Agos, until she realized Alicia was that Florrick.
Nelson Dubek was also on hand and after Will, trying to force his hand and make him sweat. It wasn't working, especially after Will chose Elsbeth Tascioni to represent him in the matter. As always, she was a force to be reckoned with and shut down Dubek quickly.
It seemed right odd that Jim Moody (otherwise known as the stool who moved the ballot box for Eli) was at the ABA Convention, and even more that he followed Will trying to get him to talk. That's because he made a deal with Dubek. He can be ticked off the going to prison poll. While there was no audio, it sure looked bad for Will to be seen talking with him in a deserted hallway, even if he was telling him to back off.
During Alicia's excellent speech, a giant bit of news poured in and the audience began to pour out. She chose to drown her sorrows and met up with Will in the coffee shop across the street after she had downed some beers. She was certain she couldn't get drunk, but she was doing just fine.
The liquid courage allowed her to ask Will why he hated her. He said he didn't hate her, and that's true. Alicia pushed that it was their relationship that made him so angry she left the firm, and he denied it. That's not true. They agreed their new relationship was going to be adversarial. It was a rare moment where Alicia was herself, without walls. She more often puts them up, doing what she believes is expected of her.
When she got a phone call that Rayna Hecht wanted one more meeting after catching her speech, Alicia's a little tipsy. Cary and Clarke were worried and loomed over the meeting. They shouldn't have. Tipsy Alicia had interesting, soul searching things she could have said that would have been of interest to Rayna. What she really wanted to know was what Alicia wanted, but she got a trite answer when she hoped for an answer as genuine as the speech.
That became obvious when Elsbeth excitedly told Clarke she's starting a new partnership -- with Rayna Hecht. Rayna wasn't looking for someone smooth and in control, but someone real and honest. Trying too hard to be who you think people want you to be rather than who you are can be detrimental.
When Alicia took the job with Will, they had an exchange:
Will: Alicia, when I'm broke and lying in an alley somewhere, do something nice for me.
Alicia: OK. Promise.
- Permalink: OK. Promise.
At one time it appeared as if Will might be the one to look out for Alicia in this business with Peter, but with what Dubek is building against Will and given that somewhat prophetic quote, it seems more likely that Alicia will have the opportunity to pay back everything that Will helped her build by doing something about the case.
It was a brilliant way for the past and present to meet. Alicia wants to be happy and to control her fate, but while we have some say in the former, there's little we can do about the latter other than make the best decisions possible and hope the tide turns our way.
Hopefully Alicia will follow her own lead and not worry about what others think. She doesn't need to play it safe. Elsbeth has a horrible voice but still sings as loud as she can because she's inspired. That's a really strong sense of self to emulate.
You can go back and see all of the elevator references when you watch The Good Wife online. Hit the comments, take the poll. Start talking!
Will the time come for Alicia to make good on her promise to Will?