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The Good Wife Review: Not So Graceful

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The Good Wife concocted a bit of drama on "Parenting Made Easy," as it stretched the bounds of believability and strong storytelling with the case of Grace gone missing.

Because Grace was never missing, of course. She was simply getting baptized, a fact she conveniently didn't tell her mom; or her sibling; or her good friend at school. Something she didn't bother to say over voicemail and something made to look a lot worse when her phone "butt-dialed" her mother 12 times in just a few minutes.

Do misunderstandings such as this occur? Sure. But there were a few too many contrivances in this storyline, especially considering how it only existed to serve as fodder for Alicia and Will's break-up.

Where is Grace?

Granted, the show had to pick a direction. Will and Alicia couldn't go on for much longer in a secret relationship, not when that secret was out to Diane... and Kalinda... and Eli... and Alicia's kids, it's safe to assume... and even Peter himself. This couple could have gone public, which also would have meant making Alicia's divorce final, which would have caused extreme financial and personal headaches for her, while also making life awkward for everyone at Lockhart/Gardner.

So I get why Alicia wasn't prepare for that option. I get why this courtship had to end if for no other reason than it's a very bad idea to date your boss. I just wish it had been handled in a more organic manner, not via a false-alarmed abduction plot that felt yanked from beyond left field. We're talking outfield bullpen here.

To ignore that for a moment, though, and focus on the basis for the split itself, from Alicia's point of view? It makes total sense to me. Where, exactly, does Will fit into Alicia's life right now? As a fun distraction? sure. As a hot sex partner? That's been made apparent. As someone she could potentially love? I think so. But with teenage kids in need of attention, and a job that requires crazy hours and commitment, and a separated husband with the power to cause serious professional problems for her... not answering Will's call during the height of her worry over Grace said it all.

What could she have told him? How could he have helped? Alicia is a grown woman and the mother of two. If she's gonna be seriously involved with someone, that someone can't be relegated to the sidelines when she needs him most - and for numerous personal and professional reasons, there's really nowhere else Will could be right now.

I also need go give the full amount of props to Julianna Marguiles. I can separate a wayward storyline from an outstanding performance and this Emmy winner nailed every scene of a mother on the edge of a true breakdown. Great stuff all around.

Michael J. Fox also returned, of course, as Louis Canning; while investigator Andrew Wiley - and his adorable daughters - also showed up again, and Jennifer Carpenter guest-starred as a conservative professor and John Michael Higgins played an arbitrator (not as arbiter, people!) and Kalinda and Dana continued their overt, quasi flirting.

In other words: there was a lot going on throughout this hour, maybe a bit too much. I haven't even gotten to Eli's humorous attempt to make professional friends yet, something that led to Will's revelation that Peter was investigating him, further clouding the relationships on this show. (It took me a minute to even remember Eli still worked with Peter, he's become so ingrained in his law firm office.)

I actually would have enjoyed seeing more of Caitlin versus Martha, as well as more of a focus on the unusual arrangement of the only-liberal Lockhart/Gardner defending an openly-conservative client.

Alas, that darn butt of Grace and its dialing capabilities put a halt to everything else this week. As I've outlined here, it felt contrived, but it did lead to the official end of Walicia (Aill? Seriously, these two were doomed from the start without a strong nickname...), while also placing Alicia front and center during a season where she's mostly played an ancillary role. We'll see what ramifications, if any, come of the split on next week's 2011 finale.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (210 Votes)

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

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The nickname you're looking for is WILLICIA. You're welcome :)

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@Get real
Hi John still at it,you somehow think Will is going to cheat on her (YES)
haven't you been paying attention. he has been the one who was banging a coworker repeatedly and didn't have the balls to tell her it was over per Dianne.
I don't know where you come from but you're pathetically deluded with a perverted mind to think a woman at her age with kids would keep this hidden secret going with a person who only wants one thing and it is not love but lust. That doesn't lead to a happy life.

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"Anyway the botton line is she ends up with Peter and lives happily everafter." Happily "everafter"? With a guy who thinks it's appropriate to bang hookers and coworkers repeatedly while he's married to her?? You're pathetically deluded. You somehow think WILL is going to cheat on her? Haven't you been paying attention? PETER is the only one who did that. Jeez, get a clue....

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@SuzyQ & Paola Silvia; I would like to see where you see Will as the boy wonder, Alicia is on a self and destroy mission if she stays with him. I have been out in the legal world for sometime now and could write at least 20 best sellers on the infidelity that goes on in these offices, she would get caught up in the same with Will playing around behind her back after a short while together.
Alicia is only playing around to find out what went wrong in her marriage, she still has a deep love for Peter that we haven't seen, I don't know where everybody got the idea there was a love connection from college with Will. Wasn't there an episode where he called her cell phone at home and Grace overheard the converstation where she told him that back in college they wouldn't have lasted a week.
Anyway the botton line is she ends up with Peter and lives happily everafter.

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You know why it feels wrong that Alicia ended her fling w/Will? Because it came in contrast to how Alicia stood her ground w/Jackie in the previous episode. She changed the locks, bought her son a car so he wouldn't depend on Jackie for transportation, and summarily kicked the woman out of her life. But, w/this episode, that Alicia didn't seem to exist. It's like we're back to last season's Alicia - so confusing. It's good that a couple can see eye-to-eye on the kids' welfare like Alicia & Peter can, even when estranged. But, that doesn't mean she isn't capable of having her own life. She was on her way. The only direction this can take that would have it make sense is if she filed for divorce immediately. No more procrastinating. Peter won the election. What's the point of continuing the charade? File for divorce if for no other reason than to make Jackie her EX-mother-in-law ASAP.

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My God, I think Alicia and Will love each other, but is too difficult for them to be together: Peter could destroy them and all their new beginnings. It's a fact of power, kids, and bad timing, as usual. But I hope Will is gonna grow up, stopping his Peter Pan life. Now, he could be able to fight for his dignity and for his love, and I don't know what Alicia will do when she will know what's happening to Will..anyway, for me Willicia for ever! She is smart, sexy, beautiful and strong, and will is sexy smart, equal and very sweet, at the end.
But may be this is the point of view of a middle age woman, still veeeery romantic ...ciao
Paola

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I wouldn't want to bust anyones bubble but from day AF has not shown me any strengh but plenty of weakness, she is unable to control her own life and people around her see that.
All during the last 9 episodes all we saw was her being lead down road by Will who thought he had overcome her even going so far as a few words with Peter about balls. In the last episode where she had words with L.Canning was probably a little sense came in. She is always crying with the kids about her life but keeps the big secrets out and telling them about her distactions she is having, it took the daughters words to put her on a better path of getting rid of tem.

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so disappointed with this latest development. Being of similar age to AF, with same age children and being in pick up the pieces mode, was really enjoying her emergence as a woman in her forties; sexy, savvy, intelligent and I thought she would confront the complications and deal with them one at a time. Obviously it wouldn't be easy but she seemed to be growing in strength and confidence like so many of us and really thought she would take on the challenge. Instead she seems to have run away at the first hurdle and doesn't even know about the WG investigation yet. What on earth are the script writers up to? AF has become something of a role model for women trying to regain their identity post motherhood and this is an enormous let down.

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I found this episode to be crowded...I was expecting a full one hour episode about Alicia worrying over Grace. I think they shouldn't have combined the two story lines together or at least do a minor story line and about a missing Grace. I wished Kalinda and Alicia would make up...I think Alicia would have given her a second chance if she knew about Kalinda's help, but I understand why Kalinda is keeping everything quiet.

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