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The Good Wife Review: "VIP Treatment"

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The Good Wife set up a fascinating scenario and an interesting moral debate on "VIP Treatment."

It then let its characters off the hook by speeding through a cop-out of an ending. Wouldn't it have been riveting to watch Dianne suffer through an actual lawsuit against Joe Kent? Or to see how this Nobel Prize winner's endorsement of Peter would be affected by the latter's wife making Kent out to be a sexual deviant?

The show did a wonderful job setting these dilemmas up... only to drop them in a rushed final scene that didn't feel true to the accuser. She started the episode fully aware of the weight of her allegations. So what made her finally realize that she'd essentially be placed on trial if she pursued a lawsuit?

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The only conclusion I can draw: the writers needed a way out of the corner they had boxed themselves into.

Up until these final moments, the episode was classic The Good Wife. It handled a complicated issue with intelligence and maturity, never needing to stop and explain why various individuals would react in various ways to the possibility of Kent on trial.

Diane was disgusted by it, Eli delighted by a possible endorsement, Bond and Will focused on the bottom line for the firm. All these reactions rang true to the characters the show has established so well. I also loved that Cary recommended his former company to the masseuse, seemingly without an ulterior motive, considering her story was valid.

He's not a bad person. He's just an understandably bitter man and a very good lawyer.

We can't say the same for Blake just yet. The series is painting him as a slimy investigator, as he took no care whatsoever in making his break-in of Lara's apartment clean or subtle. He actually went out of his way to create a mess. It would be nice to give this character some depth, as opposed to just making him the anti-Kalinda.

It was also fun to watch Peter act like spurned high school boyfriend, unable to resist cycling through Alicia's phone. Could anyone out there have possessed the willpower to leave Will's messages alone? The romance between Will and Alicia has been placed in the background this season, but it looks like Peter may drag it back up.

For about 99% of this installment, I was riveted and excited to see how the case would play out. I was then disappointed by the climax. But it does say a lot about the quality of this drama that it could create such a situation that I'd be letdown by not having it play out longer.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

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

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I was happy to see Fred Weller guest star as the slimebag's lawyer, however, I too thought the ending was too abrupt. I was expecting this plot to extend to a second episode, and then was disappointed by the last minute drop.

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I thought this was a brilliant episode...as usual. Perhaps the ending was a bit abrupt, but it was very realistic. Many women face issues like this and are initially intent on justice being served only to come to the conclusion that they would be targeted further if they pursued a case against a "saint". Wonderfully written and I am very excited to see how the rest of the season will pan out. I do feel for Diane, it is always very shocking to realize that heroes are just mere humans

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Excellent episode. Good review too. Although I didn't find the ending to be rushed. I felt the way everyone came to realize that Kent was actually guilty of assualt was enough payoff, especially from Diane. Loved Cary. I always felt Cary was a good guy...just driven and ambitious. There were some eps last year that also showed his caring & honesty. The show is the best at showing that everyone is neither all good or all bad and this ep proved it for Cary. This is the best show on tv.

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I especially enjoy Kalinda's lines and dialogs with Alicia, but sometimes she speaks so quickly and softly that I miss a word or two. So, I am still in the dark about what Kalinda said to the other investigator in the scene in the parking garage, in the very CLOSE ending line....... I've replyed some clips, but still can't tell exactly what she says. Help?
I too am disappointed about having to wait 2 weeks. Thank you, fellow Tuesday nite TV watchers.

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Tremendous writing and acting but not sure about the direction given for the Kent lawyer-Will fight. It appeared that the overly aggressive Kent lawyer was acting as if he had been instructed to instigate the altercation. So then the viewer asks himself why would he want to purposefully antagonize Will so that he might be doubly determined to nail his employer. The answer seemed to be forthcoming when the sleazy lawyer meets with Eli to reveal Kent's endorsement of Peter in return for Peter influencing his wife's firm to drop the suit. A perfect ethical violation that Cary might use to discredit his boss's adversary. But we don't get to see the fireworks that might have exploded between the Good Wife and Peter because he snubs the endorsement offer.
When the litigant learns of others who may have succumbed to unwanted sexual harrassment, she seemed to unpredictably retreat from her initial brazenness and her change of heart seemed to say she never intended to bring the suit but wanted to put the Firm through the motions for some ulterior motive.

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Loved Diane last night.

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excellent review! thoughtful and nicely written. I agree so much with you - I have been enjoying this show tremendously since it first began, and I believe a big part of what makes it great is how intelligent the show is. As you said, they don't take the time to explain the nuances of every character's reaction to things. I too was wholly disappointed (and surprised to be disappointed with the show altogether) by last night's abrupt and off-course ending. I also think the potential client's last-minute about-face was completely backwards from what the entire episode seemed to be building. I believe the episode toyed with the viewer to give you alternating reasons to believe and doubt her story throughout, so that you felt along for the ride that the partners took, as they weighed their options. Only to have it fall apart into seemingly nothing at the episode's conclusion - after the possibilities raised were so juicy ("Kent is linking his fate to Peter's") - was a poor kind of surprise. But perhaps we will be proven wrong? (Unlikely, but you never know) Perhaps this story will revive later on. One storyline I do think will revive sooner than later is the Will-Alicia romance. The Good Wife writers are too good to ignore that central driving issue for too long. Besides, I'm sure the huge majority of viewers crave more of that story, and want to see what happens between them (my vote: hopefully something positive). Of course, the show is still too young and there's far too much to lose in terms of the also-interesting plot of Peter's political career, if Alicia were to suddenly choose to be with Will and leave her marriage now. So as much as we might like to see that happen, it might actually spoil the show in other ways (much as I hate to admit that). One final note: I am also a huge fan of the character of Cary - I think Matt C. (the actor who plays him) does a tremendous job of the subtle, smug, smoldering-beneath-the-surface type of emotion that makes the character of Cary so rich. Of course, he is not a bad guy - and in fact I could see Bond eventually suggesting to Will and Diane that Cary should be brought back on board - perhaps such a move will be faciliated depending on future disagreements he may have with Childs, or depending on what happens in the election! With so much to continue to look forward to on this show, I'm more upset that the next new episode won't be for two weeks, than I am with the less-than-stellar ending last night.

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