I need to start praising Julianna Margulies for her performance as Alicia Florrick. Sure she IS The Good Wife, but her depiction of Alicia is transcendent work. With a simple facial expression, Margulies is able to enhance the story and carry a scene. That my friends, is quite an impressive feat considering the talent she works with—Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, Chris Noth, Alan Cumming, Mary Beth Peil, etc. In particular, “The Material World” highlights all of Margulies’ strengths when it comes to being Alicia.
The series’ first, post-Will installment opens with the “Two mistresses at an Irish funeral” Alicia and Diane Lockhart sipping martinis in honor of Will Gardner. Of course Diane meant they were metaphorically mistresses, but Baranski’s delivery was perfect, so it was truly innocent and harmless. Amidst their drunk chat, Diane proposes, in an attempt to make peace, they merge firms. Alicia agrees.
Sadly, this week’s case was a divorce between Florrick/Agos’ client and, of course, a client of Lockhart/Gardner. That meant Diane’s efforts to combine firms were vehemently impeded by the always ruthless, David Lee (Zach Grenier). While a fiery Alicia owns the trial, David and Diane embark in a battle of their own. To the point where Diane makes an executive decision over David in the divorce case. Diane: 1, David: 0.
David teams up with sleazy Damian (Jason O’Mara) to try to push Diane, the sole managing partner, out. According to David, without Will, Diane is vulnerable. Kalinda wasn’t going to let David pull his typical antics, so she finds a way to get rid of Damian. (So long, Irish hunk.) This further angers David to tell Diane she’s no Will and will only end up hurting herself. “Well then fasten your seat belts, we’re heading for a lot of hurt,” shot back Mrs. Lockhart. Diane: 2, David: 0
Speaking of Kalinda, she appears to be channeling her grief over Will into her work. In a halter-top bra, no less. But throughout the episode she sees random blood cells when thinking about Will. She also seems to not be able to get romantic with Cary. Poor guy, she always plays with him.
Now, back to Alicia. By the end of the hour, the typical collected, emotionally in control Alicia Florrick, was bed ridden mourning the loss of her ex-boss, and sometimes lover. A lot of people asked how she was holding up and she did well, until Peter asked. It was a quick but effective battle of the spouses that led to Alicia doing something that should have been done: kicking Peter out and ending their marriage.
Sidenote: Matthew Goode's Finn Polmar, who gets more adorable in every scene, is venturing into a very interesting territory with Alicia. It's not quite romantic, nor is it platonic yet. I think he'll serve as a medium/vessel for being the last person who saw Will alive. It might prove to be therapeutic for Alicia.
Next week: Michael J. Fox returns thanks to David Lee.
(Images from CBS)