The Good Wife Review: A Mess, Indeed

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The legal world is manipulative and unkind. Indeed, Clarke Hayden had it right when he said, "This is a mess."

"The Seven Day Rule" proved what a twisted situation this was all around. The bankruptcy extension hearing was a web of manipulated facts, personal interests and painful realities.

Back at the office, the prenuptial negotiations were an even worse bigger mess, with the lawyers screwing with their own client. And why? For their own professional gain. Clarke was right to question whether he wanted to join this profession.

Fighting the Creditors

Wouldn't every judge in Chicago be familiar with Louis Canning's "disability antics" by now? Or do the judges really buy into it? It's difficult to believe that it wouldn't be a topic of conversation in the judges' social circle and even with other lawyers. I know I'm getting tired of seeing it. Get a new act, Canning!

When it was first revealed that Canning bought Lockhart & Gardner's debt, it was quite surprising that Will and Diane had no clue about it. We didn't get to witness their shock when they found out, but the big face-off in court over the bankruptcy was a doozy. Other than Canning's continual medical ploys, it was an entertaining back and forth between the sides. In the end, Canning's less-than-ethical methods got the better of him and he lost.

Lockhart & Gardner's impressive results in court scared a company enough that they were willing to front Canning the cash to buy the firm's debt. Take out the firm, shut down the lawsuits? That seems unlikely, but they must have seen it as a smart and lucrative business move. I hope we see the firm go more forcefully against that corporation in the future. They must have something fear or they wouldn't have played the game.

Diane and Will's decision to offer partnerships to five fourth-year associates made good financial sense given they are convinced they can save the firm. It's definitely a risk. Will the associates have enough confidence in the troubled firm to commit $600,000 to it? That's a tough professional decision. If they make the wrong one, it could haunt them for the rest of their career. 

Alicia's irritation that she wasn't special in getting the offer was understandable, but Diane made a good point that it doesn't matter why the offer was made. The confidence they have in her work is evident every day, so whether others were offered a partnership too shouldn't matter. Yet ... it does. Even though Alicia put on a fake smile and thanked the partners, will she go through with it? Or will she consider Canning's offer? 

As often as Lockhart & Gardner bend the law in its favor, it doesn't go to the same lengths as Canning has. I don't see Alicia being comfortable working for him given his style and ethics. Though, the prenuptial case pushed the boundaries beyond the limits.

David Lee will do whatever it takes to win a case and get the business. It's a miracle that his actions didn't force the wedding to be called off. How could either the bride or groom trust each other after being given manipulated information about their future spouse? Deena was naive by agreeing to the original prenup, but should her lawyers have lied to her even if for her own good?

It's a tough call, but I'd say they went too far by twisting the lifestyle issues' requests. That was messing with her future happiness and marriage. In the end, they basically blackmailed a good prenup out of Neil. If all else fails, that's a way to get what you want. However, it was clear he gave in because Neil cared more about Deena than he cared about his money.

Even though this hour made the law look despicable, good was accomplished. The firm got its five-month extension and Deena will be taken care of if/when her marriage falls apart. Still outstanding is whether or not Alicia and/or Cary will become equity partners.

Were Diane and Will wrong to offer the partnerships to help the firm? Should Alicia join the firm or call Canning? Did David Lee go too far in the prenup negotiations? Or was he doing what was best for his client?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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


If they don't stop showing a new episode every three weeks then two till another one will knock the ratings way down and there won't be a season 5.


@Caro I agree about Neil giving in due to the threat of having his secret illegitimate child revealed. It was interesting how both Alicia and Deena were so naive in this episode. Deena believing that 'love is enough' and Alicia that she is so special to deserve the partnership after just 4 years. I think Alicia needed that dose of reality, she is no victim she manipulates the system when she needs to and Will did her a HUGE favor to even get her foot in the door at that law firm.
I like how in this series you can love or hate all the characters at different times, it's not all roses and rainbows which is refreshing for a series primarily targeted at women? (or maybe a series watched by mostly women)


It was clear Neil didn't budge because he loves Deena so much, it was to prevent her from finding out about his illegitimate love child!
But I agree with you on the other comments. It's getting old that Canning is pulling the disability card, I would have guessed judges be more smart and see through it. But on the other hand, I think judges might feel obliged to sympathize with the disabled, as they should, so therefore it's hard to spot fake antics like Cannings. It was fun to see him get kicked in court, though!
I really like Peter and Alicia growing together again, I hope they'll really get back together. But that takes time and I like that they're not rushing it.


This episode made the law look despicable???? When has it ever not been???? I know this episode should have made everybody complaining about the lack of Cary happy...................


This season has been on fire. TGW always know how to naturally develop the characters along with the story in the most natural way, and except the hit-and-miss plot-line Kalinda's husband, it's been a superb season. The guest stars doesn't come in as a gimmick (unlike so many shows), they come in because they're good. As for the episode: I hope she leaves LG at the end of the season, it would be such an (interesting) change of dynamic and would develop her character considering Canning would be her boss and she would go up against both her husband and her old firm. J.M and Baranski knocked the episode out of the park!


MJ Fox has a new show in the works. I hope he's gone from TGW for good.

Drea xoxo

back to my review. the case this week was entertaining and i too was annoyed with canning's tactics. do want alicia to join there so that she can appreciate how much LG sheltered her against the world and how she will forever be seen in the corporate world as Mrs Florick and nothing more. i still see her quiting law altogether and we then see her resume the role of the good wife....but still have the LG dynamic....... overall the content in this episode gives the writers options to explore and i hope they explore it correctly and how alicia's character would.
hayden is a funny addition and i hope that he applies for LG when he passes his bar........

Drea xoxo

@Ga Viewer. will didn't give up on alicia, she did. she never wanted him to be permenant he was there to spite peter nothing more nothing less. he realised she never loved him and was forever in love with peter. please read between the lines. she the way she is with peter and you realise why she stuck by him and alienated herself from everyone.
will never returns to a lady except that oe lady who had to leave for the uk i think..(correct if wrong) either way that ship sailed and i don't think she deserves him. she's like mellie, power hungry.

Drea xoxo

this episode was fantastic! i absolutely loved it 5/5 bravo writers. now lets get to reviewing. 1) shame alicia! finally they gave her a dose of reality, did she really think she was that special to be the only one to receive an equity partnership! glad my cary finally got something too. she finally seen what the real world is like and her bubble has burst. the scene where she called the loan company was the most important of the episode if not the series. 'who else is signed' 'oh yes my husband'. bravo there writers. she's happy to use her connections when it suits her but when things get real she forgets she's still married and thats why she is where she is smh. 2) her comment about being a atheist is also telling. its similar to when her mum visited and they discussed peter for her to go into the bathroom and now because she needs to be the ironic 'Good wife' she does the opposite because she feels she's loosing control again. i sense a mid life crisis soon or a breakdown


To complete my comment below... I want a Will and Alicia moment out of this, directly or indirectly addressing this issue because no matter how "right" he may have been as Partner of L&G, he did let her down as a friend, and that has got to hurt, especially after their romantic relationship, however brief. I like the fact that we get to see Alicia's sensitive side. Of late, I've felt she's a bit too much of snark... people morph for sure over time, but they don't completely change. Deep down we always are the same.

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The Good Wife Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

They're just handing out partnerships like Popsicles.


She's in love.