That wasn’t just the best episode of TV I’ve seen all year, it was one of the best hours of television I’ve seen in my life. This ladies and gentlemen, was a masterpiece.
Watching this episode, I was reminded of Alias‘ season two masterpiece: Phase One – an episode that shockingly flipped the premise of the show on its head – producing an astounding hour of television in the process. Hitting The Fan is just that – a jawdropping, expertly-realized and riveting hour that takes five seasons worth of storytelling, and brings it all crashing down in a marvelous symphony of brilliance.
The teaser alone is one of the most stressful sequences I’ve ever watched. The direction is flawless, the staging impeccable, and it’s packed with powerhouse performances that elevate the show to whole new level. I’ve never been Josh Charles’ biggest fan, but Will’s attack on Alicia is a thing of beauty. Yes it’s harrowing (especially when he manhandles the desk), but it’s also tremendously gripping. Josh’s performance is incredibly layered, and the betrayal and hurt on Will’s face is palpable. Margulies is also exceptional in the scene as she struggles to adapt to the onslaught. I don’t know what it is about Julianna’s charm that makes me root for her no matter what, but she’s just one of those people who ooze likeability no matter what they do.
The teaser is bookended by that heart-wrenching scene of Alicia being officially fired and escorted out of the place she called home for so long. And then, she enters the elevator – a location that’s been extremely pivotal to the show’s DNA – and in one terrific moment, breaks down. Yes, when Alicia cries, we all cry.
Simply put, Alicia Florrick continues to be one of my most favorite characters on television. Her growth over the course of the show’s run can not be overlooked, because Alicia has morphed from a reserved woman into a confident, headstrong litigator. The new Alicia was perfectly showcased during that particularly epic moment where she completely obliterated David, Will and Diane after the hearing. It’s going to be an utter thrill to watch her use every trick in the book to turn the tables on her mentors. Bring it on.
Also remarkable is the fact that the entire debacle provides Peter with a wealth of fantastic material to tackle for the rest of the season. I was practically giddy with joy during that phenomenal phone-call with Will which felt like a culmination of five seasons worth of tension. It was downright glorious to watch Peter get so protective over Alicia. And now that Will has fired the Governor’s wife, Peter can openly hate (and attack) the guy without restraint.
But it’s not just Will who’s bound to suffer Peter’s wrath, because the latter makes it wonderfully clear in the episode closing moments that he’s looking for Diane’s replacement as Supreme Court Justice. On top of everything else, the Governor purposely appeals to ChumHum so Alicia can win one over Lockhart/Gardner. Yup, not only does this signal a full-on war, it means Peter’s ethical dilemmas are going to be simmering at the forefront, and that’s going to be fascinating to watch.
Interestingly enough, Kalinda looks like she’s going to be our wildcard this year. I felt betrayed myself when she ended up taking Will’s side (I pretty much swore at the TV screen as she divulged the office location). However, I also feel like she could be playing some long-term con. She couldn’t possibly turn on Cary and her ex-bff so easily right? Whatever happens, it’s bound to be more engrossing than that traumatic subplot with her husband (yes, I’ll never forget).
Altering all the dynamics and nuances that have been carefully forged in the show’s DNA, Hitting The Fan ultimately transforms The Good Wife into a completely different beast. This felt like a series finale, and we’re still only five episodes into the season. Suffice to say, the possibilities are endless, and I feel like a kid in a candy store.
Bits & Cases
– Beautiful touch: as Will walks towards Alicia’s office, he flashes back to them in bed together. Damn.
– I genuinely felt like Will was about to hit Alicia as he spouted off that she was “poison” and reminded her that he took a chance on her when nobody else did. Not cool dude.
– Carey accidentally revealing ChumHum to Diane was cringeworthy yet so very realistic. But giving her fake names of protected classes? Genius.
– Funniest moment of the hour: David Lee firing people as he hops from room to room. I swear this guy kills me.
– I must commend composer David Buckley for one heck of a gorgeous and affecting musical score. It did an outstanding job of complimenting the episode’s various peaks. Kudos.
– Further proof that David Lee is the sleaziest slimeball of all time: his telling clients that Alicia was messing with financials.
– Absolutely adored Alicia distracting Will with Candace and her deposition.She learned from the best huh?
– Amazingly realistic touch: Alicia getting irritated by the coffee-shop’s various distractions as Florrick/Agos struggles to come up with a plan.
– As Will and Alicia bicker and tell each other to go to hell, he remembers that Grace needs her (and relays the message). It’s a lighthearted moment that does a splendid job of breaking the tension.
– My God this episode title is perfect.
– Seriously, Peter outright telling the “jackass” that he slept with his wife was thoroughly satisfying. “You don’t want me and Alicia together.” Indeed he doesn’t!
– Diane was pretty pathetic, coming in to Eli and making sure her judgeship wasn’t going to be affected.
– I absolutely loved how Alicia and co fired back with their own restraining order preventing Lockhart/Gardner from entering the ChumHum meeting in the same manner. And the fact that Alicia obtained it by using a judge who has a grudge against Will? Well that’s deviously delightful continuity.
– As evidenced by that insanely hot quickie, Alicia and Peter’s marriage is now better than ever. I really have started to root for these two.
– The other Carey flirting with Grace – pervert much?
– Was anyone else really happy to see Alicia and the gang celebrate with champagne? It’s scary how much I’m Team Florrick/Agos. Also, will they all be working from Alicia’s house until the fumigation claim is done with?
Alicia: 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.
Peter: I thought you would be out on a ledge somewhere.
Alicia: Oh no, we’re too busy kicking ass.
Perfectly paced and across-the-board exhilarating, Hitting The Fan is a singularly perfect hour of television. This is the medium at its finest.