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Plot Analysis: The Impact of Will’s Suspension, The Good Wife “After the Fall” 

Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS

The Good Wife’s “After the Fall” depicts a series of maneuvers, schemes and general viciousness that was pretty awesome to behold. It is all deplorable yet so very juicy. It is like train wreck TV only classy and sophisticated. Just try to turn away from watching the soulless antics and strategies that develop in the wake of Will Gardner’s suspension. His forced exile yields so much great material; it is one of the most significant moments of the season because it immediately has a huge impact on life at Lockhart & Associates:Will spends a week doing his own thing at home. He could go into the office but he won’t. His plan is to take this time to think about his life. He doesn’t want to date. He doesn’t want to do any taxing work. He wants to wake up at 9 in the morning instead of 5 a.m. Kalinda isn’t buying Will’s quick acceptance of his new life one bit:

Kalinda: “Will, when I leave, you aren’t going to crawl up into a little ball and cry are you?
Will: “Tears of joy and relaxation.”
Kalinda: “You really think you can do this for six months?”

Will refusing to go into the office — despite Diane’s insistence — means the vultures are circling his office and that elusive name on the masthead. The schemers:

  • Vulture #1: Julius Cain. Will’s gone for about two seconds before Julius is in front of Diane demanding Will’s office and the right to rename the firm Lockhart & Cain. The body isn’t even cold and Diane knows it. She lets Julius know she’s waiting for Will to come back and reclaim everything he had to give up. Julius isn’t having it.
  • Vulture #2: David Lee. Julius and David have always butt heads. They each have an air of entitlement that isn’t attractive. He sees his nemesis in Diane’s office and begins to enact his own plan of attack. He puts offers Diane his bid. While Lockhart & Lee does have a certain ring to it, he presents himself as this selfless man who simply wants to take one for the team. Unlike others, he’ll hand it over to Will once he returns. Diane knows better. Although, to be fair, a child wouldn’t buy what Lee is selling either. His transparency is, well, utterly transparent. Sorry, David.
  • Vulture #3: Eli Gold. Eli has only been part of the firm for a few months; but not only does he get drawn into a shaky alliance with Julius, he has even bigger ambitions. He feels he’s entitled to have his name next to Diane’s. After all, according to Eli, Lockhart & Gold sounds positively regal. While Eli was slow to play the game at his new law digs, he’s learned the lay of the land quickly. He lets Diane know that if she doesn’t name Will’s successor, a decision may be made for her. Eli and his allies can outvote her. This is so Survivor. All that’s needed is Jeff Probst so he can snuff the loser’s flame and send them packing to make one final confessional.

By the end of the episode, the schemers face a big obstacle: Will’s return. Here’s how it happened: Will’s two sisters arrive to keep him company even though he has no need for them right now. The two pretty much make his business their business and nag him to no end. Thus making his decision to go hang his hat back in the office an easy one. He’ll only be able to consult on cases he already had in play but it’s still something. And on the plus side, it’ll get the vultures to stop circling — for now. It’s going to be fun to see how Lee, Gold and Cain will get around this latest challenge.

Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS

Will’s suspension turns out to be a good thing for Caitlin. Will had to reassign his cases. He not only lets Alicia handle Kalinda’s tax matters, he also gives her this suicide movie lawsuit. That means Alicia’s currently in court fighting what seems like a losing battle considering the shallow judge has no time for Mrs. Florrick and is smitten with her opposition (none other than Mamie Gummer‘s fantastically quirky Good Wife alter ego, Nancy Crozier). Alicia’s strategy is a right on the money. She brings on Caitlin to fight the good fight because she’s just as blonde and pretty as Nancy. And it works. Diane sees Caitlin in action and likes what she sees. In fact, she decides to promote the young attorney immediately. She’s now a full litigator and has had as fast a rise as Alicia did. Alicia definitely feels threatened. And this all goes down because of Will’s suspension.

“After the Fall” is an excellent episode featuring some magnificently ferocious office politics and a wealth of great guest stars (Gummer, Josh Hamilton, Jack Gilpin, Merritt Wever and Nadia Dajani among others). Plus, there’s a whole other set of scheming and manipulating going down at the State’s Attorney’s office in the wake of Peter going for the keynote speech at the Democratic Convention. It’s all going to make for a suspenseful and turbulent end of the season for sure.

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.

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