The Good Wife Review: Blowing an Election

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This was one of the more uneven episodes of The Good Wife. None of the storylines really came together for me.

Considering the title ("Death Row Trip"), let's start with Alicia and her questioning of the death penalty. Definitely an interesting subject, definitely worth exploring the idea of Alicia having to deal with a client she despises... but it was all a bit heavy-handed and predictable.

It was obvious the killer would essentially spit on his relatives near the end, while we barely spent any time with the actual client or case. It all felt like the show just wanted to touch on the controversial question of state executions without really giving us anything of substance.

A Concerned Eli

Similarly, Eli's excursion into the world of oral Santa sex didn't really go anywhere. We got a cameo by Chris Matthews, and the risque use of a "Here comes Santa" pun, but why, exactly, did Eli say he liked that candidate? Guy seemed like a lying tool to me. 

I'm also not buying that Eli's ex-wife would still enter the State Senate race. It's not a major plot point, I know, but she slept with a bin Laden family member?!? While married, no less? Pretty sure any aspiring office holder would understand why these facts would preclude her from entering the political realm. Not even a PR guru such as Eli Gold could spin them in her favor.

So, what did work? We've often debated the use of Alicia's kids in our Good Wife Round Tables, but I could get behind a Zach/Marissa pairing, if only to keep watching how panicked Eli grows over the possibility of his daughter dating. This potential young couple certainly has more promise than Grace's foray into religion or her continued friendship with Weird Tutor Girl. Jackie had the proper reaction when opening the door and staring at... that.

Is the show actually going someplace with her snooping? I doubt it. It's not new for Jackie to disagree with Alicia's parenting methods, and even if she found evidence of an affair with Will, would that even mean anything at this point? Peter may not have wanted to say it last week, but the guy knows. This mini storyline just felt like an attempt at humor - and it worked I suppose. I did laugh at Jackie's computer ignorance.

Finally, we arrive at Kary. Calinda? See, I already have a problem with this pairing: no sustainable couple nickname!

Simply put, I don't want to see these two together. I actually think Cary has far more chemistry with Dana and I also don't want The Good Wife to become overly lovey-dovey. It's done a solid job of not focusing too much on Will and Alicia (that was another scene I enjoyed this week, their brief discussion and acknowledgement that there's no point in pausing; they're still gonna find time for the occasional quickie) and/or of tying in this secret relationship with broader firm storylines.

But Cary and Kalinda? I don't see it. They both flirt, they both use almost any means to achieve their ends, but are there really true feelings here? Kalinda really was just talking to Dana about the case. Why would Cary think the two of them pairing up would have anything to do with him? Talk about narcissistic! And just random, in my view. If Kalinda engages anyone aside from him at the State's Attorney's office, she's just using that individual to get to Cary? This came across like a stretch, like a contrived way to push these characters together.

Do you want Cary and Kalinda to date? Chime in now:


Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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


@John--is full of crap. The Kings, who actually WRITE the show, have made it clear they see Alicia ending up with Will, you have been reading the reviews they have said she will definitely not end up with Will. Nobody sensible would ever want Alicia to get back with that lying cheating rat she once made the mistake of getting laid by. She's not that stupid or self-destructive she will Open her eyes and Peter is back on track again.


I don't get the low rating for this episode. This is classic The Good Wife. Every story was engrossing. The previous episode was a whole lot more boring than this one. Can't wait for the next one though. I love when Diane gets all tough!


@ballon buster: Your "under cover friend for the show" is full of crap. The Kings, who actually WRITE the show, have made it clear they see Alicia ending up with Will, although there will be some drama before then. They've been amazed at how many simple souls STILL haven't figured out that the title of the show is meant to be IRONIC. (Do you even know what that means? Looks like not.) Nobody sensible would ever want Alicia to get back with that lying cheating rat she once made the mistake of marrying. She's not that stupid or self-destructive. Open your eyes. Peter is history. Your "under cover" friend is feeding you a line of bull.


@Rubiefooz----Don't want to bust your bubble but in the end Will goes down the river says my under cover friend for the show. Will is going to sell her out for the firm, he can't afford to lose it. About fighting for her he is a pussy cat and he knows Peter has all the muscle he needs to drive him into the ground. PS--The Good Wife role is not dead and will continue at the end.


Respectfully, I would disagree with several aspects of this review. I enjoyed the episode. I think this review also surprisingly missed offering observations or even remarking on several interesting moments that could prove significant for the future of the relationships between certain characters. Nonetheless, the posters here seem to be offering some useful counterpoints to make up for things. However I think the intense focus on the debate over Cary, Kalinda and Dana is overstated by the posters here. Certainly, people aren't wrong for bringing up the Kalinda-Dana notion as it was evident that the show was making their scenes together quite suggestive (the intense looks they kept exchanging, the subtle but intense (possible) flirtatious edge to their exchanged dialogue, etc.). Nevertheless, I would consider that all a sidebar. I don't think Cary's comments to Kalinda that "called her out" on her questionable exchanges with Dana were silly and self-indulgent, I think they were probably spot-on. However, as other posters have noted, given Kalinda's track record it's quite possible that was her objective all along: to stir Cary's interest and regain his attention (which notably had waned considerably for some time). As for Cary and Kalinda, he certainly has put himself "out there" for her in the past, seems to have made it clear enough (as things go between the two of them) that he cared for her, had feelings for her, and she sort of quietly rejected that through her actions (as in, no follow-through). The reasons for that appeared complex, and not a simple matter of not being interested in or attracted to him. In fact, Kalinda's prior effective rejection of Cary appeared motivated by actual care in return for him, and in recognition of the fact that Cary's feelings were likely to get hurt if Kalinda gave in to him because she is not a typically emotional, feeling or loving person. I think Kalinda let Cary down easy precisely because she did not want to hurt him. But Cary has always intrigued Kalinda, too - and not purely and exclusively because of the professional advantage she gains from being able to snoop through documents on his desk. I think that based on more recent events this season (the destruction of her friendship with Alicia and its entire backstory, the realization that her lesbian lover was married, several brief conversations with Will to this end, etc.) Kalinda has come to face her own loneliness and her lifestyle on several occasions in ways that caused her to pause and reconsider. Whether she actually "changes her ways" is another story, and frankly would probably spoil what has become a really standout, unconventionally-developed character on network TV. In short, it's probably very unrealistic to expect the writers of this show to place Kalinda in any traditional romantic relationship with anyone. Frankly, what Will and Alicia have going at this point is probably far more the realm of a regular relationship than we will ever see Kalinda have with anyone, including Cary (although if she were going to, I think Cary would be the only real choice, and what Alicia and Will have now is probably as much as it would ever develop with Kalinda - as in, behind the scenes, passionate, but uncertain). One last note: I am happy to see Alicia and Will on the same page about what they "are" at this moment, even if the discussion was a fleeting one. The past few episodes has given us pause to consider whether Alicia really returns Will's evident feelings. Although most of us are inclined to believe she does but simply is afraid to "realize" them yet, or acknowledge them openly - it left the sad possibility open that such candor would push Will away for fear of being hurt. Her admission to him that "pausing" wouldn't work clearly validated him. I think that Will's love for Alicia runs far deeper than the show has truly shown us yet, and I believe he will fight vigorously and valiantly against Peter (and Diane and whomever else) when this relationship gets challenged. I don't believe he will be willing to walk away from what he feels for Alicia for the sake of appearances, or convenience, or anything else ---- UNLESS Alicia asks him to. And if she does, then he will, but it seems he will be completely crushed. More than anything, I hope that does not happen because I believe it would push his character into a very dark place, and it has been such a pleasure seeing him in his happy, cute and vulnerable moments interacting lovingly with Alicia. Interested to see what happens next week, and how my theories hold up.


Call me stupid but I already mark 5 stars for this eps. I dont care about what matt wrote. I just know that I love Kalinda's storyline. why? because she's able to control everything she wants. and she plays great, no one can deny her fake smile.


It has already turned into a soap opera, as for granny and the kids they have a major part in this show. This show is about being a GOOD WIFE AND MOTHER which she has not, it isn't about being the office slut with the boss while still married.
As for the main characters everyone are OK but the Will part just makes me sick that the writers continue with the same lines, they should a good line in for Peter and put Will out on his ass.
The name of the show has nothing to do with the office scenes, it has to do with what will be the end of the series.


This show has so many subplots going on, it's hard to follow what the case of the week is. I'm fed up with the kids and grandmother. Is she trying to get something on Alicia so that she can get custody of the kids? The show is better with just the main characters at the firm and at the State Attorney's office, and the current case. If Peter has plans for further election to higher office, it doesn't make sense to go after Will and hurt Alicia. I like Kalinda, she's an excellent actress, as are Eli, Will, Alicia and Cary. I hope this show doesn't turn into a soap opera!


TGW does jump the shark!


I think Kalinda cares about Cary...almost like she cares about Alicia. She's an enigmatic loner who is and never was used to having friends because of her propensity to use people. Alicia is the only real friend she ever seemed to least that was what was implied, and despite her ways of using Cary she genuinely seems to care about him. I don't think that has to be romantic though. Cary likes Kalinda because his viewpoints are very linear on things like that. Kalinda on the other hand doesn't seem to know how to be in love with anyone...she's good with people, good with using them, good with reading them, but not good with relationships. She's all but said that before. I think because she cares for Cary,she's willing to do things for him...that may involve sex, if he wants it. She does protect and is willing to do a lot for people she cares about. I think she'd be willing to sleep with him just because he wants to and because she cares about him, but that would be the extent of their relationship because she doesn't do relationships and doesn't know how to. And yes, I also think because she does seem to care about Will, she'd also be willing to sleep with Cary and flirt with Dana if it helps out the firm. It's no secret that she uses her sexuality and will go to whatever lengths necessary to get what she needs and wants. I do find it annoying how every person she comes into contact with seem to end up flirting with her. Her moments with Dana were suggestive...and it makes me question how often they'll go there with implying that at least every female out there is either lesbian or bisexual. Because if we base it on every non main female character that comes into contact with kalinda it appears to be that way. Jackie's snooping isn't cute anymore. It's annoying. The kids just suck...what the hell is with this bloody tutor? She's bonkers and it's unncessary to even show her. Zach and Marissa could be interesting but only mildly so. As outrageous as Eli has become and as stupid as some of the stuff was I did laugh. I cannot lie.

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The Good Wife Season 3 Episode 8 Quotes

You fellating Santa. I have to be blunt, sir, because that's how TMZ is gonna report it, Fox is gonna repeat it, and Jon Stewart is gonna finish it. 'Here. Comes. Santa.'


Dana: I am not a lesbian.
Cary: I know a lot of people who weren't anything until they met Kalinda.