Somehow, I’m always surprised when I hear about a politician behaving badly. The naïve part of me wants to believe these men (and women) are in public service to help make the world a better place. But some get distracted by the money, the power, the access. And quite a few of those cheat on their spouses, thinking the wronged party will never find out. Peter Florrick is one of those men. But he’s much more than a caricature.
Peter Florrick is a disgraced Chicago state’s attorney who spends most of the first season in jail or on house arrest. We learn that Peter cheated on Alicia during the first few minutes of the pilot during his press conference (a la Eliot Spitzer). That and the allegations of corruption land him in jail but his new team (amongst them political strategist/campaign manager Alan Cumming) are able to eventually overturn the conviction. During Peter’s incarceration Alicia is forced to go back to work to support her family. She’s hired as a junior associate at Lockhart Gardner where partner and boss Will Gardner is someone Alicia went to law school with. There’s definitely something between them.
Will Gardner, former class mate and possible former flame, is a change for Alicia. He’s exciting and new and relatively uncomplicated compared to all the baggage and mistrust Alicia’s husband presents. He did have a relationship with that law student during the flirtatious stage of their courtship but I think it burned itself out when things started looking more serious between him and Alicia.
What’s the most attractive thing about Will other than their history? Probably that he’s succeeding at what they had both planned for themselves years ago. Alicia’s law career was derailed (in a good way) by marriage and kids. Will has made a name for himself, even though the law firm is now struggling. He presents possibility and renewal while I think Peter is just a reminder of the bitter recent past.
I’m not sure I want Alicia to make a decision anytime soon but I also don’t want her to continue her emotional cheating with Will. Even though they haven’t done the deed, emotional cheating (especially for women) is a very big deal. If Alicia wants to be with Will, she needs to choose him. If she wants to stay with Peter and rebuild their family, she needs to choose him. I’m leaning towards Will but I want to see Alicia’s struggle with this and make a decision with real weight; there have to be serious consequences. Whichever man she chooses will tell us even more about this complicated, conflicted, and infinitely interesting woman.
Who do you want Alicia to end up with? Or should she try to make it work with someone new?
Alicia takes control of her own destiny in Season 2.
We delve deeper into the character’s backgrounds.