The Good Wife Review: Missing the Big Picture

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Alicia's mother was back on The Good Wife this week, interfering in her daughter's work and personal lives.

In "A More Perfect Union," Veronica volunteered Alicia to help a newly widowed woman and her co-workers with a work contract problem at a computer company, Blowtorch. During negotiations with opposing counsel, Nancy Crozier, the employees were all fired for not agreeing to the contracts, which turned a Alicia's favor into a full-fledged court case. And it was a case the firm didn't want Alicia to work on in the first place.


Nancy Returns

The usually annoying lawyer, Nancy, wasn't quite as over the top as she has been during previous cases, but her style definitely works on the judges. The Good Wife provides authenticity by using a recurring cast of opposing counsel, which is appreciated even when the lawyers themselves are annoying. As usual, each side tried to outwit the other through both legal and questionable means.

The Blowtorch case itself wasn't all that interesting, but the trouble it caused at the firm added to the overall story. Lockhart/Gardner came out of bankruptcy with a bankroll of money to expand, yet they didn't make good for their employees. That's quite intriguing. The assistants claimed they were being paid 10% below market wages for Chicago. This was just another sign that the firm doesn't get it.

The partners have been looking out for themselves and even more after they got out of the bankruptcy. Just like when they rescinded the Fourth Years' partnership agreements, the partners missed the big picture and instead only looked at their own bank accounts. With no consideration for their employees' happiness, they looked for a quick fix that will cost them the least financially when they made deals with the two ringleaders of the assistants' protest.

When the Fourth Years banded together, the partners gave Alicia a partnership in an attempt to end the mass exodus of Fourth Years.  While they believed taking Alicia out of the picture quashed the plan, it only made the other associates more determined to leave. Cary and the others were given time to better prepare for their new firm, while getting commitments from more Lockhart/Gardner clients to leave with them.  

The partners' arrogance and short-sighted thinking could bring about the downfall of the firm. The assistants, like the associates, may have lost their leaders, but the complaints still exist and that will hurt company morale and production. Plus, the disregard for their employees could continue to spread causing more departures. The experience of those employees will be difficult to replace, plus the firm will have to pay at least market wages for new employees.

If Cary and the others leave and take the top five clients, what will Lockhart/Gardner have left? The associates will definitely be taking other employees with them as well, including assistants, paralegals, and even perhaps an investigator. In contrast to the assistants, I found it difficult to take Kalinda's side in her complaint. While Robyn is a full-time employee of the firm, Kalinda has chosen to remain independent, plus she recently negotiated a huge pay increase.

Will's offer to Kalinda seemed fair. She could give up her freedom and work exclusively for the firm and in return she would get a higher salary and benefits for that. Kalinda has a choice to make. Does she want to stay at Lockhart/Gardner? Or, go with Cary? At this point, the decision shouldn't be about money, but where she would prefer to work. And, with her, it's difficult to know what she is thinking.

It could very well come down to Alicia. Despite their troubled friendship over the years, Kalinda has a loyalty to Alicia unlike anyone else. If Alicia goes, then I could see Kalinda leaving too. But, Alicia's decision could become even more complicated given her mother's conversation with Will. Though, if Alicia picks Will, Cary's plan to leave could cause a divide between them even if Alicia stays. Secrets are dangerous to relationships.

Though, at this point, Will's not even in contention, since Alicia agreed to renew her marriage vows to Peter. I really don't get Alicia and Peter though. How can they renew their vows when they don't even live together and barely meet outside Peter's campaign bus? He asked her on a date and they have pizza in the bus? That's not really much of a date. If they are serious about their marriage, they should experience the real world together, not just the small isolated space on wheels.

And, even more annoying, they are renewing their vows, but they never once discussed what that actually means. Will they move back in together? And, where will they live? What about the kids? Given the concern that Alicia usually has for their feelings, she should have talked to them about it. Alicia is acting out of fear for her feelings for Will, rather than from seeing a future for her and Peter.  Just like the Lockhart/Gardner partners were missing the big picture by taking the quick fix approach to their problems ,the same is true of of Alicia and Peter. 

Alicia's emotional turmoil will be compounded with the election, her decision regarding Peter, and then the forthcoming discussion with Will. There's no way that Will won't approach Alicia about his feelings now that he knows the truth about her's. It's sure to be a fun and emotional ride to the end of The Good Wife season 4.

Are you surprised Alicia agreed to renew her vows to Peter without much consideration about what that means? If she's given the choice to be in a committed relationship with Peter or Will, who should she chose? Are the Lockhart/Gardner partners destroying their own firm by looking out only for themselves?


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


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Let me know when season 5 airs. Can hardly wait. Best show ever!

Beverly brooks

Are you surprised Alicia agreed to renew her vows to Peter without much consideration about what that means? If she's given the choice to be in a committed relationship with Peter or Will, who should she chose? Are the Lockhart/Gardner partners destroying their own firm by looking out only for themselves? Yes, I was surprised. Alicia generally thinks, then reacts.
I like Will, but feel he is not right for Alicia.
Yes I feel the partners may find their firm sinking.


A few pointers 1)I do hope the writers dare to let Alicia and Cary to start their own firm. It will be a BIG change but I think that is what the show needs. Kalinda can joined them too. 2) David Lee is the funny villain we all love to hate. He has to stay. 3) I am like Owen, I just want Alicia to be happy. Whoever she chose, as long as she is happy. 4) Nobody mentioned this but Mamie Gummer as Nancy was really good. She is so good to watch in this show that I watched Emily Owens because of it. Well, I could not go beyond 2 episodes for Emily Owens but I am really happy she is back to TGW !


She may love Will in a fantasy way but in real time he will destroy everything she has accomplished, Peter made a mistake and she knows he has made very good on his promise that is why she said yes to the vow renew.
I am waiting for her to find out that mom talked to Will then the fireworks will blow the roof off the place, this would make the love charade come to light and we won't see it till season 5.


@Lanore..... this you? Why didn't you tell me that you watched The Good Wife? I have a book we should talk about the next time. If you are not Michelle, thanks for the compliment. I hope my employer continues to be satisfied with, and proud of, my work.

Anna maria

how could they make such a good episode followed by such an awful one! The only good thing in this ep was Cary, I love him, I hope Alicia goes with him to the new firm! The rest of the ep was dull and only showed how the world is really unfair, I felt awful for the workers and the assistants, I was totally behind Alicia on that. What I don't get is why she insists on making the same mistakes, just so that she won't be like her mother! It's so annoying! I swear that if she goes through with this I won't watch this show anymore! I like Peter as a politician and as a father, but not at all as a husband. Alicia knows she loves Will, why deny it??




@Lanore...yes, I have a life which I love. My job affords me the opportunity to work from home, so I can watch television and work at the same time. And since computers allow for having multiple windows open at the same time, I am not taking away from work to comment on these pages.


In this episode, especially at the end, the Lockhart Gardner partners were presented as self-serving and unlikeable-mainly out to enrich themselves. They definitely were not the good guys in this week's case; nor were they the good guys when they paid off the ringleaders of the staff rebellion instead of meeting the going rate for their services. This may have been to pave the way to Alicia's deciding to leave the firm and go with Cary. What we don't know...has "The Good Wife" definitely been renewed for another season? And if so, will CBS require the show to cut costs? Are any of the major actors without a contract for Season 7? Pending issues of this type can influence the direction of the plot. ("House" lost Lisa Edelstein, "Law & Order SVU" lost Christopher Meloni, etc)

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The Good Wife Season 4 Episode 21 Quotes

All I know is that I love you. Say yes.


Owen: You're tempted.
Alicia: It's not a good thing.
Owen: Your body is telling you something.