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The Good Wife Review: "Taking Control"

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The Good Wife kicked off its second season with new characters, a new case, but the same awkward love triangle.

And that's where this review of "Taking Control" should begin, with Alicia and Will. The set-up of Eli erasing the latter's heartfelt voicemail was a bit soap opera-ish, but it was a necessary, welcome move. I don't wanna spend every episode wondering whether these two will get together.

I'm content to move their in-between relationship to the background for a bit, especially if it gives us a chance to see what makes Alicia and Peter work. In any good love triangle, we need to actually believe that the person at the center could end up with either suitor.

Alicia with Will

Last season, Alicia couldn't bring herself to leave Peter due to a feeling of obligation to her marriage and her family. Last night, however, we got to see her enjoy helping with his campaign speech - and really enjoy what he did to her in the bathroom.

These two did get married for a reason, remember, and it's clear their professional lives play a key role in their personal connection.

But the episode was about far more than just Alicia and her men. The Good Wife threw a great deal at us in its return. Let's dive into each new development/character below:

Getting Cary-ed away. Cary was my favorite character last season, and I'm excited to see him on the opposite side from Alicia and company this year. But I do fear the show will make him into too much of a one-dimensional, scorned villain. The guy has always been somewhat of an arrogant prick, but we also saw many shades of humanity and sensitivity in the past. Let's hope we have similar moments going forward, despite his desire to exact revenge against the firm that fired him.

His name is Bond. Derek Bond. I'm a big fan of Michael Ealy and am happy to see him in such a prominent role. On his introductory episode, his character served as a solid contrast to Will, who is a very nice guy, but also a cutthroat boss who is all about the bottom line at work. He didn't even know how to react to Bond's suggestions that - gasp! - the underlings review one another and use the boss' office space to gather socially.

Kalinda vs. Blake. Yes, her name is Kalinda. And you really don't wanna mess with her, new guy. Consider yourself warned.

Overall, a solid start to season two, but I do worry that the show is tossing too many balls in the air. It drew such critical raves throughout season one for being a simple, well-written drama that didn't require gimmicks, special effects or stunt casting to create intrigue and interest.

Now, we have many new characters and the first case back for Alicia involved some wayward government conspiracy. It was a lot to handle in one hour. Here's to hoping the show doesn't lose track of what makes it great: an incredible leading lady and focused storytelling.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (102 Votes)

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

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Mmm. After watching the first episode of season two, I'm not sure Alicia has gone for a reconciliation. She has been "obliged" to stay next to her husband, but she knows there's something wrong with the message Will left on the cell phone (his words do not correspond to what he does: feet in front of Alicia, new mentor -it was supposed "anything is going to change" according to the voice mail, right?). And she doesn't seem to really enjoy what her husband is doing (she tries to stop him!). By the way, don't think the scene is inappropiate; they don't show us anything! Yes. Definititely soap opera-ish.They want us to keep watching and they have kept all options still open. But Peter still needs to do something really really good for his family. He still seems to be more worried about his professional life (and he only likes his wife when she's good at work, what a kind of relationship is this one?). Mmm.

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No confrontation between Alicia and Will? What I think you mean is you were disappointed they didn't sleep together in the first epi of S2. Did you really think the Kings were going to have that happen right out of the gate in S2. No way. However, I think we will see several things occur this season that affect the Alicia/Peter/Will love triangle. Somehow, Alica is bound to find out what Eli did and the content of Will's second voice mail. How she reacts to it, besides obviously hating Eli even more than she already does, is hard to call. Also, from what has been said by the Kings, Peter will find out about the romantic feelings his wife and Will have for each other. Other than Peter probably being very saddened and angry (at himself?, Alioia? Will?), I'm not sure what else may develop from that revelation. It is also clear to me that Peter and Alicia are actually starting to make some very cautious moves toward reconciliation. Up until now, I don't think Alicia has given any indication whatsoever that she cared about saving her marriage, other than the fact she hadn't filed for divorce. I know many fans are disgusted by the possibility of Peter and Alicia sharing a bed together again. I am not one of them. Does Peter deserve a second chance after what he did. Definitely not. Do I hope that Alicia really gives him one? Yes. I have seen people change and learn from their mistakes. I have seen marriages survive against all odds and grow even stronger. To me that is a more interesting and inspiring story than seeing someone leave their spouse and start up a romance with their boss, a recipe for dissaster if there ever was one.

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"Look at the success of Law and Order and no obligatory sex scenes (for the most part)." Yeah just a lot of brutal,disturbing crimes and violence.Thats so much better than kissing and sex between consenting adults.

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"Last season had the obligatory lesbian scene with Kalinda and the FBI lawyer, now this?." The Kalinda/FBI agent scene was just kissing, not sex, and we didn't even actually see them kiss, just their feet. It was pretty lame. Most shows would have shown them kissing. The bathroom scene wasn't that explicit either. It was mostly suggestion. We didn't see much at all.

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Season 2 has started off the way I wanted to, Eli was perfect in the voicemail delete we don't need another season of Wills BS. We need to see more of Alicia and Peter and their family she will see down the road how much the good old boy from Georgetown is a lying backstabbing person.
The bathroom part was a little out of a bad choice of morality, people don't want to watch that kind of stuff. And by the way that kiss I get a better kiss from my grandmom, lets beef it up like the kiss episode in season 1.
So come on Kings the people want a family show not a soap opera.

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It was a good episode and I agree with your review. It was good to see more of Cary and I trust the writers will continue making him a layered multi-dimensional character. I am starting to have a problem with the legal cases though. Once again a guilty client either gets away free or gets less penalty than is deserved. If they don't have Alicia and her firm start losing some cases in court, by jury verdict, it will become cartoonish. Make it real. Alicia can't win every case.

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After watching season 1 my wife and I and our teenage daughter were looking forward to season 2. That was until the bathroom scene between Alicia and Peter. How totally inappropriate and completely unnecessary. Last season had the obligatory lesbian scene with Kalinda and the FBI lawyer, now this?. If this is what we can come to expect there are three viewers that will tune in to something else. Look at the success of Law and Order and no obligatory sex scenes (for the most part). Clean it up.

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Seriously, what is with the actresses eyebrows. They are so distracting. I was hoping they would fix them this year.

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@judy vaughn: why they are married, they did what all couples do (at least normal couple)

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After last night and the bathroom scene I am sorry to say good by to what was a wonderful show.
Judy