The Sunday, Oct. 27 episode of "The Good Wife," season 5 episode 5, "Hitting the Fan," was one you wanted to watch live, not merely because of spoilers, but also because of how good it was. Not only was it the series' best episode yet, it was also the best episode of a TV show thus far this season, and when this season is said and done, it may very well still hold that title.
"The Good Wife" had been building up to this episode for some time now, and the time for Alicia and Cary to finally leave Lockhart/Gardner and officially begin Florrick/Agos finally arrived, just not on their own terms. Instead, they were pushed out, fired, and the competition for clients—especially Chumhum—began—and it all started as the firm's potential publicist told Will, "You're stable. That's what I'll sell as your publicist: stability. You don't know how many firms I work with where it's just constant screaming and backbiting. Here, you're all just one big happy family." Then Diane told Will about Alicia and Cary's new firm and, well, "Hitting the Fan" was a very appropriate episode title. Overall, the episode was very satisfying, and we couldn't have asked for a finer hour of television.
Everything about Will confronting Alicia was perfect (and the best scene of the episode), from the flashes as he walked to her office to the confrontation itself, as Will went from almost quiet and calm to furious, sweeping everything from her desk. "I took you in. No one wanted you. I hired you. I pushed for you," he yelled at her. "You were poison! This firm got you back on your feet." She argued that he and Diane started their firm the same way, but with that, she was fired and he took her phone, even as she argued it was her personal one. She fought her removal, buying them the time they needed to try to download client files, as the executive board and the full board had to vote. However, they were on the clock, and it all began to "hit the fan." With that, the episode took on an intensity, a heightened level of urgency that was felt in every moment, every conversation. Word spread, access was cut off from files, and the firings continued. As Carey Zepps was escorted downstairs, Cary walked in, and the other man was able to get him the message that they didn't have the files yet. If there was one quintessential moment that showed the urgency of this, it was Cary so eager to get upstairs and get all the information from Carey he could that he leaned too far forward and the elevator door reopened.
If the Alicia/Will scene was the best of the episode, the Diane/Cary one was the second best. "You know what offends me most? The fact that I stood up for you. I got you hired," she told him as she waited in his office. "I was your mentor." He too brought up Will and Diane's past as he said he needed to start something new, just like they had. But he did make one mistake: mentioning the fourth years and Chumhum. And like Will fired Alicia, she fired Cary. As Candace showed up for her deposition—and asked if she could go with Alicia to the new firm—Will interrupted, informed Alicia she had been removed from her position, and had her escorted from the building. "This was never meant personally," she told him as she got in the elevator. "I don't give a damn," he replied.
But Alicia, unfortunately, only had those few moments in the elevator to break down because that was just the beginning. Once Kalinda arrived at work, she assured Will she wasn't leaving with them, and he enlisted her to find out which associates and clients were leaving. The fourth-years were fired, and the partners began calling clients and getting a restraining order against further pursuit of their clients to slow them down. Meanwhile, the new firm had to call clients from the nearby café, and it was a race to see who could contact which clients first. Kalinda went to Cary and offered to be their investigator for their last offer, and he told her to get them the Chumhum files and bring them to the new office. Alicia called Candace to check on the deposition, making her a distraction for Will. They did take a brief reprieve from their argument for Will to deliver a message from Grace, one of the more light-hearted moments of the episode. But Cary made a mistake in telling Kalinda what he did because she was on Will's side, and not only did they now know where the new office was located, but they also found out Robyn was leaving.
Cary set up a meeting with Neil Gross to assure him of why switching to their firm was a good idea, but when they got there, they were served with a restraining order. Once Peter found out Alicia was fired, he called her phone, only for Will to pick up, yet another spectacular scene as Peter let him know that he was handling this situation as Alicia's husband as Eli stood by, clearly not very happy with how the conversation was going. "You don't want to make me your enemy, and you certainly don't want Alicia and me together," Peter warned him. The problems continued for Florrick/Agos as their new building was closed down for fumigation, and all they could do was work out of Alicia's apartment.
Diane went to see Eli to make sure it wouldn't impact the judgeship, and he assured her personal business wouldn't affect professional. The two sides then faced off in court over the restraining order, and Judge Chase had to use his gavel to stop the bickering. Diane surprised Will and David when she refused to take the stand as a witness, but they did have Beth testify after Will offered her Alicia's position. The restraining order remained in place, but Alicia warned Lockhart/Gardner as she left, "We're coming after you. All your clients. Every single one we worked to make happy while you swept in at the last minute to take credit. We're taking them, and then you know what you'll have? A very nice suite of offices." Then, when Will and David went to speak to Neil Gross, they received their own restraining order. While business continued in her apartment, Alicia still managed to find a moment for a quick private celebration with Peter in the bedroom, and they finished just in time for Alicia to join everyone in the living room as Diane offered a proposal: each firm got an hour with Neil Gross to pitch their side.
But it didn't matter what Alicia, Cary, and Carey had to say, as Neil told them he wasn't going with them—and it was because of Alicia. He wanted the Governorship to work for him, not against him, and Peter had promised the most ethical administration in Illinois history. He didn't want his law firm jumping at every ethical shadow that came down the pipe, and it didn't matter how much she protested, they had lost. Or had they? Just as they thought that was the end of Florrick/Agos, Peter made a move that gave them Chumhum: taxation. He was always open to dialogue, but he would have to be convinced for why massive social networking companies didn't carry their own weight. Florrick/Agos got Chumhum and celebrated their new firm with champagne. But that wasn't it for Peter. He also told Eli to put together a list of other Supreme Court Justice nominees. "Are you sure?" Eli asked. Yes, he was.
"The Good Wife" season 5 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 5 "Hitting the Fan"?