The Good Wife Review: Cunning with Canning

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Is fighting essential to professional hockey? This is a question many sports enthusiasts often debate.

But is fighting essential to a quality episode of The Good Wife? Oh yes, there's no controversy there, as "Gloves Come Off" so aptly proved.

Louis and Alicia

Tension continues to reign inside the offices of Lockhart/Gardner - or should I say Stalin & Associates? - with an equity partner supposedly ratting out Will to the disciplinary board; Alicia leveraging her relationship with Louis Canning into a major bonus; and the return of Tammy causing personal strife for this no-longer-so-good wife.

The latter development was my least favorite part of the episode, seemingly thrown in simply because the show felt a need to remind us about Alicia's love life. I can't say I care that much anymore, partly because the Will/Alicia relationship was poorly handled, but mostly because the professional aspects of the show are just so much more intriguing.

There are times when The Good Wife perfectly combines its two worlds, with professional smoothly spilling over into personal (case in point: "After the Fall"), but this was not one of those times. Tammy's presence really wasn't needed on the episode.

But Michael J. Fox's presence? That of Gary Cole? Even Fred Thompson? Always a pleasure. These guest stars helped flesh out both a relevant case and the fun set-up of Diane juggling two men.

First, the case: Can action between the lines of a sporting event ever be considered criminal? This is a topic for debate these days because the New Orleans Saints took part in a "bounty" program in 2009 that involved payment for players when they injured an opponent so badly that he would be carted off the field. It's also been a legitimate issue within the world of hockey for years.

At first glance, it seems ridiculous. These are violent sports. And they have a set of rules. If those rules are broken, the sport punishes accordingly. But is that always the case? Across the board? No matter what? There do seem to be times when an act so clearly exceeds the boundaries of a sport that the law almost must get involved. If a baseball player charges the mound and uses his bat as a weapon, is that really not an illegal assault just because it took place during a sanctioned game?

That, of course, was not the case here, as the use of one's fists is actually perfectly acceptable in the NHL. (Or in whatever league name the show gave professional hockey, for real-life legal reasons.) But Alicia was right in stating that isn't true in college or in the Olympics. Non-sports fans can tell me whether this case held your attention, but for someone who often has open alongside TV Fanatic, I was riveted.

Elsewhere... you go, Diane! Will's quasi absence has given this partner a chance to step up, and it's been a pleasure to watch her try and take charge of an unruly office. She's completely in control at work, which just makes it all the more fun to watch her loss of control in her personal life. The Diane Lockhart we see setting straight the egos of Julius, David Lee and Eli stands in contrast to the one we see sadly sitting alone with a glass of wine, being stood up by a date... but isn't that the way it often is?

Almost all of us are different people in different circumstances, and it makes sense that Diane would be confident in the law but not nearly as confident in where she stands with the opposite sex. This should be fun to watch play out.

Finally, the episode closes with Kalinda, another personal touch that felt a bit forced; the offer of beer, the overt talking about their friendship.

But at least it does look like this will open up more regarding Kalinda's tax case, which will bring back her FBI pal Lana on next Sunday's episode. What is Kalinda hiding? Will she be truthful about it to Alicia, her new/old friend and also her attorney? And how jarring was it to see Alicia stand up to Diane and for Diane to fight right back, while later supporting her protege?

Indeed, the lines remained nice and grey on The Good Wife this week. Isn't that how we all like them?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (128 Votes)

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


Kind of amused by all the comments bouncing Alicia between either Will or Peter, like she's a ping-pong ball. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe she wants the house for herself & the kids only, without Peter? She invested a lot of herself in that place and she was happy there. She had to give it up because of practical considerations. But, now, why not buy it back - especially if she can get a good deal on it. That's the big question for me. The house costs $2 million dollars, before interest! I can see Diane Lockhart affording it as a named partner. But, Alicia - a 3rd year associate? Boy, lawyers do make a lot in Chicago! She really should just buy her condo, and put 50% of her bonus in a retirement account.


Hey Dirtbag go back into your cave and repent your still in the past on a oneway street---right JOHN


"Peter from the start has been a perfect person who brought the truth out about the past" Gawd, Sandra, did you miss all that part about Peter betraying Alicia with hookers and a co-worker at least NINETEEN different times?? That makes him "a perfect person" to you? What warped values you must have! All you fools who think Alicia should ever go back to that dirtbag who degraded and humiliated her in public really need to have your heads examined. She should have divorced him three years ago.


You are both wrong on the Will issue he isn't demonstrating any real interest and he wouldn't commit to. He knows that Alicia isn't about to give in to his hidden past her family means more to her, also there is a deep fear of Peter and friends.
Don't believe everything you read from writers and producers, they tell stories to get a large following and ratings.
The bottom line in the end will be Peter and the old house with the kids all having life again. Will will be gone either prison,new flame,or who knows. LOCKHART&GARDINER will be nomore.


I disagree with the statement that Will won't commit to anybody. The Kings said in an interview after Will and Alicia's breakup that Will was ready to ask Alicia for a more serious relationship when she dumped him. From what I have seen she is the one woman he WOULD commit to.


I agree with Carol - the writers need to resolve the Alicia/Peter relationship. People don't remain separated and not discuss their future in this manner. However, Peter knows that scandal will ruin his chances so it is in his best interests to avoid that. But, having him become interested in someone else would make for interesting material. So, Cary was demoted. Who is the new deputy and how will that go? Will Cary leave? Rejoin Lockhart/Gardner? I think the idea of the house is just that - an idea, a metaphor for what Alicia left behind and what is within her grasp to do on her own and for her kids. Will is demonstrating real interest and I hope she addresses that soon. Work is volatile for sure. Very complicated terrain. Kalinda as her ally will help.




I think once and for all Alicia needs to decide what she wants and if she wants to be back with Peter. If she doesn't, so be it and move on already. This has drug out for 2 seasons now and it's time for it to move on. As for as Will/Alicia....Will isn't going to commit to anybody.......that's obvious.........


My thoughts on what will happen in season four. It will be Deja vu. All election with Peter winning of course.Eli Gold will continue to defile the names and honour of his opponents.With a snap of his fingers Peter will have Alicia jump to attention and we will again see the rather stupid,niave, doormat of a wife we met in season one.
Why Alicia would even think of buying that house just because her brain-dead daughter wants her to is ridiculous.Burn those bloody photos and get on with your life.KINGS- make the show more interesting by having Peter meet a woman he gets interested in.They don't have to fall in love but lets see a reaction from Alicia. Am a big Will/Alicia fan and am still smarting over the way you treated their storyline.You have to the end of the season to put some tension into this show or I will be changing the channel.


Barb I agree with you that Alicia AND Peter schould get back together, she has never been in love with Will and never will be. Peter from the start has been a perfect person who brought the truth out about the past and didn't tell Alicia about Kalinda because we haven't found out the truth about why she was let go and changed her name. I still say there was no affair but that Peter helped her and people labeled it as an affair, we will see in the coming episodes her problems with the IRS and a husband shows up--opps. Yes she will but the house, so get use to it.

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