The Good Wife

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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 ESPN.com 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?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (127 Votes)

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

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To answer a few questions for the future of the show. 1. Alice and Will will not be back together. 2. Kalinda is hiding something and it has nothing to do with Peter (her husband will show shortly). 3. There won't be any tequlia shots going on and does Kalinda have any secrets with WILL ? 4. Yes there was a small raise like all 3yr associates get, the bonus was a way to hold her in there place no one there knows about the house she will buy. 5. And she didn't put one over on L.canning he put one over on her for future class action suit. 6. Her track record on cases is more lose than win, she is still the firms doormat and doesn't have the nerves to fight in fear of dismisle.

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It was Diane Time , yesterday night .She was gorgeous, and amazing.
Will & Alicia were miserable and they felt painfully .
Soon , kalinda & Alicia will get a drink together . I really miss my favorite team : Wil& Alicia : Writers , don't burn them.

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It was Diane Time , yesterday night .She was gorgeous, and amazing.
Will & Alicia were miserable and awful .
Soon , kalinda & Alicia will get a drink together . I really miss my favorite team : Wil& Alicia : Writers , don't burn them.

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I liked that Alicia stood her ground and asked for a raise. She is the one who is winning cases, and yes they are using her because of being married to Peter. I thought it was a raise and a bonus that she got. As far as the house. I don't think she needs that big of a house either. I'm assuming she is over the "I want more children age", the ones that she has will be going off to college soon. I think Kalinda is hiding something else. I'm not sure it has anything to do with Peter, but I guess they are setting up something for the finale. I am glad to see that they decided to re-new this show for another season.

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I always feel bad for Alicia when she gets stepped all over but then she stands up and fights her way back. She a lion in sheeps clothing....Roar!!

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I find I can't wait for the episodes each week...when it's not preempted or running late(like last night again! so annoying)I love everything about this show. All the characters are really starting to "flesh out". i like that Diane has a life outside of work and that she is paying attention to those needs. Alicia is fabulous and really starting to come into her own as a litigator and single woman. And I adore Will Gardner and whether or not he and Alicia end up together in the future I still like his character and want to see stories about his "trials and tribulations". Kalinda is also a favorite of mine as is Eli and his antics! I'm spellbound each week as a new episode is there for my viewing. Who I don't particularly like is Cary in the DA's office...he's a slimball and gives lawyers a bad name.

Martinelli

I want more Will in the show and less Peter.

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First off I don't see Will back in Alicia Life again she has seen his secret side with Tammy and can't trust him. Second she didn't get a salary increase it was a bonus one time. Third she is going to buy the house and down the road there will be a reconcile wait and see. Four there will never be another Peter/Kalinda hook-up again so drop it. Five Alicia told Kalinda that they would have to be honest and everything must be on the table in order to work in a friendler envirement. Six Alicia didn't pull anything over on the firm about her offer, if I were her after Diane's remark about cleaning out her office should have been a light bulb going off that her that they only need her to keep Peter off them. Seven she doesn't need Will to play on the edge

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The thing with Alicia is she is a "good" person. She can be hard in the courtroom but she isn't hard in life. She needs Will. She needs his ability to play on the edge. She still sees things in black and white and they never are. If she allows herself to go back and buy that house for the sake of her kids she will make a huge mistake. There is no real reason for her to want to go back there. There were good times but the reason she left the house and how she left the house sylhet should be foremost in her mind. Her kids are in high school. They are about to go off to school. Why buy such a big house that needs a lot of work? Tammy could have stayed gone. Tammy knew that Will was not in love with her. She knew if he went with her he would have been settling and Alicia would always be in the relationship. I would love to see the writers let us see Will and Alicia actually talk to each other. They still give those long looks at each other so why not move the relationship forward or let us see them tell each other the truth and move on? I think Diane hurt Alicia when she said, "How quickly we forget!" Diane and her men were funny last night but Will had this odd look when she walked off and continued a phone conversation. Diane is having fun and yet I feel like, in the end, if she has the chance to find romance, she'll take it and all of the advice she has given Alicia will go out the door. No matter what, Alicia is not willing to be alone at the top.

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I am on the fence about the house as I do not think one can always go back/however the kids seem to be taken but will this over extend Alicia even with her salary increase? I get the presence of Will's ex as it opened Alicia's eyes to something that she too was quick to jump into something that she wanted with no thought to anything else that may have been going on. That is why for me Will has never been the great prize over Peter that many believe. Was Peter horrendous yes however Will is no angel. Frankly I prefer her with Peter for all of his sins. I hope this gets her and Kalinda back on track. Not excusing it but the Peter/Kalinda thing was not all that different IMO than the Will/Alicia thing turned out. I think it was an eye opener for Alicia.

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