The Good Wife Review: Passing Judge-ment

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Forget who you would take on a desert island for a moment. This week's episode of The Good Wife left me asking a different question:

"The Penalty Box" was the penultimate installment of season three? Really?!?

Alicia, Cary and Diane

It was a quality hour of television, I'm not saying otherwise. Cary is back, which opens up a number of avenues, starting with wondering just why Peter called near the end.

And the standalone case of the week was one of the best in awhile. David Paymer stood out as the veteran judge who lamented his life as a poor father and, in order to clear his own name, a disloyal friend/colleague. It made Alicia question the morality of the occupation she has chosen, certainly an interesting tact for a show about attorneys to take. Diane and Will, and Cary for the most part, have accepted that it's necessary to do whatever one can to win a case.

But Alicia still struggles with the outcome sometimes. If you win for your client by destroying the life of a seemingly good man, did you really win?

But, overall, I felt far more of an anxious pull following last week's episode of The Good Wife than this one. The sight of Peter and Alicia back as a team, fighting against that meany Mike, left me dying to see what happens next.

So it was surprising to see the answer, when it came to the Gubernatorial race, was... nothing. No mention of it at all, no interaction between Alicia and Peter, no Mike sighting. (Semi-spoiler alert: next week's season three finale promo doesn't make it look like a focus, either.) It was definitely disappointing.

Instead, the show is shifting its season-concluding drama to the issue of Kalinda and Lamond Bishop. And while Mike Colter is downright scary as the latter, and while we were treated here to another sexy Good Wife scene (Kalinda and Lana followed in the hot footsteps of Alicia and Will, and Alicia and Peter, in their pin-you-against-the-wall-and-make-you-writhe maneuver), there hasn't been a great deal of build-up to this storyline.

One minute Kalinda has tax problems... the next we see her confront Lana... and then suddenly Bishop is involved, threats are made and the series latches on to this arc as its main cliffhanger. I'm not loving it. It feels a bit rushed/contrived just to get Kalinda in the spotlight.

So, yes, I'm glad Cary is back. And, yes, it was fascinating to watch Kalinda's steely demeanor broken for a change, as tears welled up in her eyes when facing off against Lana, actual tears, not ones used for any kind of manipulation. And I'm always happy to see Stephen Root guest star on any series.

But I can't say this episode made me especially excited for next Sunday's finale. What about you? Are you all in on Kalinda's arc? Or would you prefer the crux of the finale to return to Peter, Alicia and the race for Governor?


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

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


i don't think Lamont Bishop would think twice about knocking off Kalinda and also try also Alicia to cover up, he has too manny people to handle his dirty work. Remember he had his wife knocked off during their divorce proceedings and never turned a cheek and got away with it (good alabide).
In the promo for the finale Alicia gets a call from someone who is dangerous and Kalinde goes home to break open a wall in her apartment to get a gun she had hidden (why was it hidden).
Season 4 will be a total different from 1,2, and 3 we will have to wait till Sept to find out.


IT's over d (you don’t really think it’s over, do you?) When she said its over its over. Alicia doesn't want her children to find out what their mother has been doing while still married to dad, the word separated is way out of the question to them plus she knows what they would say and think of her regarding what she told them about trying to work it out and didn't.
Plus good old insecure Will has no intentions of making it permenent he has to manny others on the line for a johnson thrill.
Plus you don't think Peter would let him try HA HA.


Lamont Bishop is not a stupid man. It wouldn't be smart for him to touch one hair on Kalinda's head after the FBI have already questioned him about her. Talk about looking guilty! He knows they're watching him *and* Kalinda now. So, why harm her? In addition, Alicia was a witness to the conversation he had w/Kalinda. They may have attorney-client privilege. But, if you go around threatening the lives of your lawyer & their staff, they WILL find a way out.


Does any one know the song/artist that was playing during the "sex" scene between Juliette Nicholson & Will?


Yes, it is realistic that Lamond Bishop would threaten Kalinda - remember he had his wife killed last season because of the divorce? - he does not want any attention directed at him and the FBI situation would cause him to do something drastic - but I absolutely hate the Lana/Kalinda mess - let it be Cary/Kalinda and I'm on board - the scenes with Howard and Eli were so funny - that's what this show does so well - every type of emotion is brought to the fore.


lana and kalinda might as well do it.
i mean come on, everytime some case comes up, lana makes her moves on
finish what they may have started, in the storage room.
cary has returned, great. go back to working with alicia, diane and will again. shame he had to be sent to another law firm.
i am rooting for alicia and peter to get backtogether.
lana and kalinda make a great couple./what was with lamar, or what ever his name was, talking to kalinda about lana? was he saying realistick, or does he know that lana wants kalinda, and that was the only way to get them together?


All I can say is Mike Colter is fantastic. I was absolutely terrified of him!!!


For all of those who spit on Will, all these shady things we were to discover, all the secret maneuvers all the women, really, we are left with a sad portrait of a person who deals with his past, both in love life and in career and comes to terms with what he is: a great lawyer and an insecure man. He did not fight or do a thing for the woman he cares for. Smart move or not, again we’ll see in season 4 (you don’t really think it’s over, do you?) I said a bit sad just because he didn’t really shine this season but for now, a part from Diane, he really is the smartest and truer to himself.
Magnificent Diane, except again... story-lines fell flat, again and again. I’m beginning to think there were too many things that I found interesting, eventually some of them had to fall short. Except.. did we really need Dana? Or Lane? Or Eli’s competition, what was her name again? So much air time reduced time for our favorite characters, for what? What did they add that we didn’t already know?


What we really care about is that it took Kalinda and Alicia (again) a whole season to make up and be friends again. Alicia: they promised we would see her growing, and we did. Work work work. Kids almost out of the picture, just like the fans requested. Maybe it’s because this season was often interrupted, every thing seems far away, it seems like a year has gone by between her secret love life, her doubts and her final resolution. The whole house deal/ordeal, IMHO, as an excuse to revive the precedent life.. bit too much.


Hmm. Sometimes you get a feeling that the authors room is crowded and the person in charge to keep everything in balance is missing.
I don’t know what to make of this episode, looks like we will have more than one cliff hanger.. it took Peter a whole season to figure out if he will run or not. He is, Alicia by his side, how/what it will mean, for season 4 I guess. As much as I think Cary was badly used during the season, it feels like he made a bad call: you work for a guy that really trusts you, was about to compromise his standards to keep you on and is running for a bigger and greater office and you drop out because you can’t stand working in a cubicle? Sounds foolish, for someone as smart as Cary. It had “temporary occupation� written all over it.
As for Kalinda... of course a tax problem would develop in action and sex except, she never looked scared to me, just scheming and I had a deja vu with the Blacke situation.

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