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The Good Wife Review: Welcome to Bizarro World

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The Good Wife entered Bizarro World on "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," as Eli was not the smartest lobbyist around; Kalinda was not the sexy, smooth operator getting close to Cary; and Alicia was not the one standing atop the moral high ground when the hour concluded.

It was fun to watch an episode that placed various characters outside their comfort zones, and especially fun to watch Diane simply own the installment with a pair of speeches.

Diane vs. Will

First, she laid it out as clearly as possible to Will: stop sleeping with Alicia. Why? Hmmm, let me think: her husband is the State's Attorney. You are her boss. It's wrong and, perhaps even more cutting to her partner, it's simply not smart.

Game, set, match, Diane. Will was left with no counter to this demand - because there is no counter to this demand. It's obviously a terrible idea for Will and Alicia to be carrying on. At the very least, she has to divorce Peter and, even then, all the hot hallway sex in the world won't make up for the awkward, unprofessional fact of the matter at work: Will is Alicia's boss.

Meanwhile, how certain are we that Will is innocent? The show does an unparalleled job at setting up morally grey individuals and it would be naive to simply dismiss the notion that there could some truth to the bribery allegation. Will does love his basketball, his gambling and his relationship with judges.

Diane then set her straightforward sights on Eli. If only we all had someone this level-headed to talk us down (okay, tell us off, really) every time we felt an urge to wallow. Take a few hours, get drunk, get over it and then get even. Diane managed to simultaneously mock, praise and inspire Eli, all while setting the stage for an upcoming showdown with Stacie Hall (played by Amy Sedaris, awesome as always) that already has me smiling in anticipation.

We've never seen a defeated Eli before. It was enjoyable for a week. But it will be even more enjoyable to see a vengeful Eli.

Elsewhere, has Kalinda finally met her playful match? Dana might be a bit taken with Kalinda (she did purchase a matching jacket, after all), but not to the extent as most of those who Kalinda can manipulate. Our favorite leather-wearing bisexual investigator is at a loss for once, unable to seduce her way to the information she needs and failing Will in her mission to either prevent an investigation or, at least, keep him one step ahead of it.

Just like Eli, this is new territory for Kalinda, and props must be given to The Good Wife for aligning its characters in settings that force them to scramble and react. Lockhart/Gardner can't win or be in control all the time, which was also proven in the Case of the Week.

It was an odd one. Alicia and Will defended a client who really was just... guilty. The officer in question may not have been a bad person and mistakes do happen, but the verdict simply had to come back against her. Based on the evidence, she committed a crime. It was a bit far-fetched to have Alicia wait for the judge, as if the show really needed to hit us over the head with a message about scape-goating.

Whether or not her client was singled out for her gender, that doesn't change the facts of what happened. I was with the judge all the way in dressing down an unusually unprofessional and immature Alicia. Was this speech meant to reflect something more than the case at hand? Is Alicia now worried that she's treating Jackie as a scape goat, for instance? I don't see how. That nosy grandmother really was snooping around her computer and deserved to be locked out.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into the scene. It's just uncommon - albeit welcome - for the firm to lose a case and, like everyone else on The Good Wife this week, I'm not sure how to handle the result. We all have two weeks to let it sink in, however. The show returns on December 4 with a new, extra personal episode. Enjoy your holiday weekend and ponder the following question:

DO YOU THINK WILL IS GUILTY OF JUDICIAL BRIBERY?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (128 Votes)

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

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Enjoyable episode that shows the characters as humans who are not perfect and can fail. One note to the writers, please stay away from stories about the military. It's obvious you know nothing about the military and even less about the military justice system. It's a TV show and it's best to overlook reality and just enjoy the show. But in this episode they did't just overlook reality they threw it under the bus. Will and Alicia needed to be in Chicago to be in the other story lines, so somehow the court-martial of this sergeant who was stationed in Nevada ended up into Chicago. They wanted to bring back that same Army judge that dislikes Will and has quirky ideas about what is a fair trial(the defendant is on trial for 12 counts of murder and she won't give her lawyers a 5 minute recess?)So this Air Force sergeant is tried by the Army? Doesn't happen except as the reviewer said in Bizarro World.

Matt-richenthal

@April: What other examples are there of women being punished for having a sex life?

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This dream is heading down the hill. I dont' think Will's cutting off his relationship with Alicia will make Peter back off. Don't let next week be punishment for Alicia sleeping with Will. I am so sick of women being punished for having a sex life. What's wrong TGW? Where are you going?

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Matt, I think you made a Freudian slip at the end of paragraph four. I think you mean that at work, Will is Alicia's boss.

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This episode sure turned up the pressure on all involved. It was a nice change to see everyone at LG run into obstacles they couldn't best. I
thought the writers of this episode did a particularly good job of showing the grayness of most trials. A lot of evidence comes forward at trial and it's usually not a smoking gun. I particularly liked Juliana Margulies' reaction at hearing the verdicts read. Beautifully played-Alicia would give comfort to a client that qualified as the most -tightly-wound ever.
I loved seeing Diane at her incisive, articulate best. Great wordplay with Wendy and in her tough-love exchange with Eli.
@Melissa I felt the same thing: Diane had her opening to confront Will about the relationship. She was right and timed her conversation for maximum impact. If they stop the relationship now, the firm may escape intact. She sacrificed a lot for her career and doesn't want to lose her firm to this situation.

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Enjoyed the case of the week-interesting.
Thought Amy Sedaris's character was sort of grating. And I know that someone must be invested in that subject matter in Congress, but I thought the whole vegetable/fruit/dairy thing was sort of ridiculous. Love Diane's conversation with Will and Eli. She is a great strong female character. But I was a little confused over her deduction from her meeting with Wendy that Peter is investigating Will because of his and Alicia's affair. I'm not denying he is but nowhere in their conversation was that alluded to. Was that just her excuse to confront Will about the affair? I'll be curious to see how Willicia proceeds. Knowing the Kings, it will not be black and white.