The Good Wife Review: Good Doesn't Always Triumph

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The moral of "The Art of War" was that you can't win them all. Alicia learned that in court and in her personal life on this week's The Good Wife.

Even in a big city like Chicago, there are only so many lawyers and judges, so it was nice to see the return of both Judge Abernathy (Denis O'Hare) and Judge Kuhn from the military court. 

In Defense of Amanda Peet

This season has been more cohesive than others because storylines seem to be carrying over more than in the past. There's a new case each week, but several story arcs are holding the show together. It gives the series an authentic feel. Rather than moving from courtroom case to courtroom case each week, we are learning more about the characters' lives in general.

For example, I hate Nick. And I don't like the Nick-Kalinda relationship at all. Although this week, I didn't mind it as much since we didn't have to see the two of them together. Wasn't it awesome for Nick to lose the city contract? He was so angry, but it was satisfying to see him fail. And then disappointing to find out that Alicia and Cary could fight for him to win the bid after all.

Alicia tried to drop Nick as a client once for Kalinda. She can't fight for him to win it now, especially after getting the full scoop from her friend. It was heartbreaking to hear Kalinda talk about her relationship with Nick. She knows it's bad for her, but she can't stay away. As her friend, Alicia should do whatever she can to make it such that Nick is forced to leave town. 

Losing the city bid could be looked at as a good thing. The bad guy lost, but in court it was just the opposite. In the end, Alicia proved that Ricky assaulted Captain Hellinger, but he and the military contractor were let off without any punishment.

It was awfully convenient that he was activated at midnight that night. I thought perhaps Alicia would have still won based on time zones or something, but it wasn't meant to be. Though, why can't he be court-martialed for the incident now that it has been shown he was active military at the time?

And why wasn't that known at the time of the criminal case? It's inconsistencies like that annoy me on The Good Wife and other law shows. They always try to pull some last minute fact out of the air to prove one side or the other's case, but often it destroys the integrity of the storytelling.

The premise of the case was intriguing, though. Military contractors work side-by-side with the government military. They get paid more and don't have to abide by the military command structure, yet they want the protections afforded the military. They want the best of both worlds and that certainly causes some conflicts. 

This duality played out in Alicia's life as well when her "friend" Maddie Hayward decided to run against Peter. She said that she didn't plan it, but I don't buy that for a second. She had never supported a male candidate before, so why now to only turn around and run against him? 

The donation she made, if she even turned over an initial one, was worth the price to get secret information from Alicia. It's possible that Maddie won't use that information in the campaign and it would be the right thing to do, but I doubt it will happen.

If nothing else, Maddie will use the intel behind the scenes to help her campaign. She's manipulative, rich and will probably beat Peter. Despite his 97% straw poll result, she has the means to take him down. It will be intriguing to see if the Lieutenant Governor position comes up again. Though, it doesn't make sense that she would want him to run with her any way.

With the exception of a few small issues with the episode, it held my interest and provided a few surprises along the way. So much story was packed into this one hour, but none of them felt slighted at all.

Odds and Ends

  • Nice play by Eli to use Peggy Burne (Kristin Chenoweth) to bring down Mandy Post. Too bad Mandy lost her job, but she did leak the story to the blog even when it was proved to be fake.
  • Is that the last we've heard about the alleged affair? If it is, it's been a bit of a let down. So much time spent on it with little reward to the story.
  • The Trustee continues to wreak havoc at the firm, but he does have good intentions. Hilarious that he was attempting to use management methods from the Steve Jobs' biography.
  • Kalinda brought up a good point to Eli. Which one of them is under federal investigation? Could it be a legitimate case that Lana is working on? Scary for one or both of them.
  • Loved that Judge Kuhn used her power of her investigation panel to get the witness Alicia needed to prove her case. 
  • Jackie and her male caretaker were a riot to watch. The flirty was a bit creepy, but hey if it keeps her occupied then that's a good thing.
  • Peter's up for a fight. His "Let's get started." comment to Eli is definitely just the beginning.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (98 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Kallie, why would we want to see less of Alicia in court and more on the family? This is also a court/lawyer/legal show. I want to see her in court. I also want to see more of Will and Cary in court too.
@Bill, love your response to Esq. I can't understand some people's unforgiving attitude towards Peter. He has repented so many times, and you can see he has changed and wants his marriage to work But the same people who hate him for his cheating, want Alicia to be with Will even though she and Peter are not yet divorced. Talk about double standards. I can't wait to see Peter and Will in bed together. I don't want her going back with Will even though I like Will. Let him get another girlfriend.


I know I am the ONLY ONE, but I thought the scenes between Kalinda and Nick were HOT. I miss them.
Don't really like Maura Tierney too much. Her scenes feel awkward and wierd to me.
And what about the supposed one night stand Peter had with the campaign worker? Why would she put out such a complicated lie? That story can't be over.
Love Amanda Peet- wish she had more to do in episode.
Nathan Lane is SO good.
Great episode as always.


Kallie - More family life on The Good Wife? This isn't Mike and Molly or Modern Family.


When are we going to see the writers put together a series of episodes that make sense, this yes maybe or not every week is working for poor ratings down the line. First off this is about a wife who is still confused with her life as which way to go ( and Will is not the answer ) she has been to the top of the mountain and liked it. So lets see more of a get together of the family life and less of the office which has become boring week in and week out. If we need to see more court action put Diane in it Will couldn't win a case in kitty court and Alicia doesn't need to be in manny of those parts.


Esq. - you sound like a woman scorned. And what does the fact that you are an attorney have to do with anything? You practically spew venom talking about Peter, yet he has shown countless times the last two seasons that he is trying to protect his family from the spotlight of the political arena and has made it clear to Alicia that she can say the word and he will get out of politics if it means saving his marriage. Time and again he has tried to prove to Alicia he is not the same person that stupidly and selfishly cheated on her two years ago. Marriages have survived infidelity. And what has Peter said or done to indicate he wants Alicia to be less independent? On the contrary, I think that is one of the traits he most admires about her and she is obviously turned on by his polictial ambition. So I look forward to a possible reconciliation between Peter and Alicia. I find it refreshing that there could be at least one example in TV Land where a marriage whethers the storm of betrayal and repairs itself. If Peter strays again, I hope Alicia divorces him in a New York minute, but otherwise, I would love to see them become the ultimate power couple and all the mutual repect that often comes with that kind of relationship.


You want the alleged affair to be true because your hatred of Chris Noth's character has no bounds. And just as much, you don't want Will and Alicia's affair to become public (I know you don't consider her relationship with Will an affair because Alicia had kicked Peter out of the apartment a few days before it started, but she knows the public would look at it otherwise, given the lengths she and Will went to to keep it a secret while she hilarioulsy pretended - as she has always has - to work on her marriage.


I am a married attorney. I really would hate to see Alicia and Peter reconcile. I see that as a huge mistake for her and her new-found independence. Peter is a cheating, power-grabbing manipulative man. A relationship once broken in that way can never be fully mended. At least Will loves Alicia.


The show is keeping everone guessing and that is good. Wondering why alicia/will interaction is missing is disappointing to some viewers but why. Are any of the will/alicia fans married? You can't be a good wife during adulterous thngs can you? Reconciliation should work!


Alicia's interveing with Kalinda about Nick: People can knock themselves silly telling a friend how bad their lover/husband/wife is, or wrong for them, but the wronged one has to see it for themselves. Been there, done that.


In case everyone forget, Chenoweth got hurt on set while filming and then quit so I'm guessing last night will be the last we see of her on the show. As for Matthew Perry, he is on another series, so I doubt we will see him........but I guess anything is possible. Really, who couldn't see what Maddie was going to do? I am glad Nick didn't get the contract but somehow I don't think he's going anywhere. I am wondering too just WHO Lana is investigating and why? The case this week, in my view, wasn't one of the better ones. It had it's moments, but definitely wasn't one of the best. Can't wait for the Lemond Bishop trial.....

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