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The Good Wife Review: "Doubt"

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Just when we thought The Good Wife couldn't get any better...

On "Doubt," the show took us inside the jury room, giving viewers a chance to see what deliberations look like. We've never been on the jury for a major case of this nature (has any reader been?), but it's safe to assume the producers did their research.

We've always wondered how questions or pieces of evidence that the judge tells the jury to dismiss or ignore can actually be dismissed or ignored. The answer, according to this episode? They can't be. These are just human beings, after all. If a lawyer poses an inquiry, just to cast doubt in the minds of the jurors, it's likely to be successful, even if an objection is sustained.

Which brings us to Will. He's a great character because he's so multi-layered. This is not your ever-ethical attorney. He believes in the law and he fights for his clients. Even if he doesn't know if they're innocent. The tactic he used this week - of trying to soil the reputation of an officer - might come across as unseemly on a show that's trying to paint its characters as simple, always-do-what's-right individuals.

But that's not what The Good Wife is about. Even nice, decent people can walk into a court room and play dirty, if that's within the boundaries of the law.

The conversation with Alicia, in which Will said he still can't discern the guilty from the not guilty after 15 years because "everyone is a mystery" was meant to illuminate the awkward dynamic between these two characters following their kiss. But it also gave us insight into Will.

He knows the legal world, but he can't read people very well - and that's typically okay with him. It's gotten him to this point in his life professionally. But personally? We're still waiting to see what happens with Alicia.

Diane and Kurt McVeigh

As for Kurt and Diane, pictured above? Great stuff. You've gotta admire a show that isn't afraid to have a character refer to Sarah Palin as "evil incarnate." People clearly feel that way, Diane's political views have been well-established... why worry about taking a side or coming across as neutral? Just trust your audience to understand the characters.

That's what The Good Wife does so well. It never panders, it never talks down to us. A witness referenced the "Tiger Woods thing" on the stand and then went about his testimony. It may not say anything good about Woods that his "thing" is such public knowledge.

But it says everything positive about this drama when it brings up current, pop culture situations and doesn't stop to explain them. It assumes viewers are in on the joke and moves on. Isn't that refreshing?

Below, we've listed a few of our favorite quotes from the episode.

Diane: There's a selfishness to the silence of the cowboy. It forces others to carry the conversation. | permalink
Juror Lady: College today, a threesome doesn't mean anything.
Another Juror Lady: I'm getting old.
Juror Guy: I'm going back to college. | permalink
Will: You worried about Peter?
Alicia: I'm worried about everything. | permalink
Diane: Thank you for the Sarah Palin bio. The chapter where she brings big oil to heal? Just gripped. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I love this show. Excellent multi-layering of the characters.. you think you know them and the next they surprise you. Honestly I can't see Alicia's character forgiving Peter -though I hope they make it. I know I couldn't ever forgive such an offense (and didn't in a past life). I love Chris Noth (have since L&O), but I don't expect that he will stay since he is always as a guest star and not really included in the credits. Christine Baranski is so talented. Josh Charles pretty much looks the same when he was in Dead Poets Society. Anyways, so looking forward to another season.

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Thank you Blah! I was wondering who played the Juror in the red hat. For a minute I kept thinking of Karen Lynn Gorney...

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Absolutely ADORE this show, and always like to read your grown up reviews. So thanks for that!
Also, I hope Alicia won't cross the line any further with Will...!!! It wouldn't do justice to her character if you aks me.

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Can this show get any better? It was pretty riveting, the jurors were a hoot and so was the excellent David Paymer..'fluff" indeed LOL But I liked most the `ships that was afloat in this... wazzup with Kalinda & the Michael Nouri lookalike detective with those meaningful looks & barb- trading,(everybody as a history with each other), Cupid or his alter-ego Lust shooting pretty hot arrows at the sexiest middle-aged ship on telly AKA DJ Midnight Caller flunky & Ms "Hilary is the next President" ... and Will & Alicia, ooh man things is looking decidedly dodgy ahead for our fave couple since that lip smacking eppy...and even Carey had great chemistry with the poor hapless defendant... The Good Wife, 40 min +ads well spent in Lalaland!

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Of Sarah Palin---"evil incarnate" says Diane! Thanks producers of "Good Wife" for allowing your great show to tell the truth!

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The juror in the red hat was played by Tovah Feldshuh.

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It's one of the gut wrenching sickening episodes where you see how fear wins in the end even when you yourself knows you are innocent you also know the evidence isn't that great. It's the knowing that your legal system while better then some is still seriously flawed in the end, and for that you now get to spend the next 10 years in jail as a drain on society because no one can seem to figure out how to fix seemingly simple errors.

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Who played the juror with the red hat?