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?

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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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