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+.


I really hope Alicia doesn't buy the house. I just don't know why she would want it, both from a practical and emotional standpoint. Buy her apartment, if anything. I thought it was an ok episode but it didn't excite me. I was expecting the return of Tammy to be more eventful, I wonder if she is coming back for additonal episodes?


I will take whatever direction the writers lead me. This is such a great show with a great cast and every week is a surprise. The guest stars last night were terrific and yet the usual characters all had a chance to shine also. the boardroom scenes with the bickering is hilarious. Diane is outstanding and the dual personalities is so well done.


One of the reasons I like this show is that it portrays a real grown-up woman. It isn't a romantic comedy and it isn't a "fight for your rights and win" show. Because standing up to the boss rarely works in real life. Yes, there is a lot of dramatic license taken with "real life," but please don't rob the show of its complexities. Peter isn't any more of a mess than are real people in his position. People aren't "good" or "bad." They are a much more interesting mix of both. My preferred outcome would be Alicia and Peter getting back together with a more nuanced understanding and appreciation of each other. Have no idea where the others are/should be heading. Just make it interesting.


I think Kalinda is definitely hiding something............... Alicia just needs to make up her mind already........I don't think she should go back to Peter or the old house............. And how long before Will's presence at the firm REALLY backfires..............


Isn't Alicia's temptation re buying that same house more her yearning for less complications and good times in life which she thought she once had when living there in the past years? Her balances and time/energy are so different now and soon will be even more so with the kids off to college. I can't see her in that house or being without Will. Peter is just not much in her realm of values. Surface power players don't ring the bell of real hearts and minds.


I loved this EP! Was so freakin amazing!
I think that Alicia buying the house is a step closer for her to end up with Peter at some point. I've always thought that they will end up together for as much as she loves Will, its far more complicated than with Peter.
I'm glad she stood up to Diane as she was always meek and let things happen in the past esp in S1. Loved all the guest stars esp MJ Fox but I can't believe that EVERYTIME he appears to have lost, he somehow twists it so he wins @ the end. He needs to be properly duped asap!


I think I'm the only who felt Alicia was more greedy at this episode. In my opinion she made Canning give an offer, used that offer to make Diane give more...which makes Diane see "wow she changed". Plus when Diane said "clean out your desk by the end of the day", I thought that Diane wasn't scared of her threat even though she ends up giving a bonus. But really, if she wanted the house so bad, the kids doesn't even need private schools...they were fine with public schools in past episodes and I agree that she should just buy another apartment with the raise she got.


How on earth could anyone think Alicia would go back with Peter? My God, with all of his cheating, he had no respect for his wife, some things can not be forgiven. No way.. They do need something to happen with Alicia's personal life, isn't she kind of the star? i.e. The Good Wife? It's great that Diane is so confident with her love life, but don't we want more Alicia? Kalinda is hiding something, yes, I believe that's true and possibly with Will, but I sure hope not.. I love Carey, the guy is such a natural actor, while some are a bit over the edge. This last episode was a bit of a snoozer, really.. they need something to happen, hopefully Matthew Perry will pick up the pace a bit..


Sorry, I disagree , Alicia is not a doormat at the firm . Could you count on your fingers , how many housewifes after 13 years staying at home, raising children , being the housekeeper,, and found a good friend who offered this opportunity to return on the work market as a lawyer . Wil is a very good and loyal friend for her and he has always protected her in all circonstances .If Alicia is a good lawyer now , she owes it to Wil & Diane.
Peter is a mess.


This is not the truth . Wil did not lie to Alicia, Afther the episode of the closing arguments ,when they were sitting at the bar, she asked about Tammy , he told her , my girfriend , she is in london . he didn't lie to her. I do not understand the secret side of Wil.
Wil is not an angel an Peter also. Peter likes power and glory. do not forget Alicia has never get the message from Wil on her voicemail, when he declares his passionate love for her .the writers dropped out.
By the way I love Josh Charles and he is a wonderful and great actor.

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