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 Just like when they rescinded the Fourth Years' partnership agreements, the partners missed the big picture and instead only looked at their own bank accounts.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?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (70 Votes)

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


Whatever happens, hey it's TV, but I have to tell you, when she beds down with Peter it seems as though she does it "because she can" it seems a control thing because she knows, that he knows he wronged her. On the other hand even kissing will you can feel the heat between them. Potato Potahto, if there weren't children she would be on the Will ride and take it for as long as it rolls. Peter broke something in there marriage and it will never be what it was before.


@Illinoisgirl--well put with regard to Owen...I think you are right, because he seemed so savvy about "politicians asking to do something for them when they really want something from you"!


I think that Alicia and Peter belong together. Will has many other agendas work and personal so he and Alicia can never be equals. Will has done many things in his past, some of which we know and others we do not know, for them to be equals and work out, he needs to come clean. If he does, will she still accept him? I don't think so. With Peter we pretty much know everything, there isn't anything being kept in secret. If Will was such a stand up guy he would have given the fourth years what they wanted.
The good wife may be an ironic title, but it has summed Alicia up. She's doing what she is doing not because she is good or anything, she really does love Peter, she also loves Will. It is a matter of putting everything into perspective and deciding what will be right for her.


I don't for a minute belive that Owen was taken in by Peter. He knew exactly what Peter was selling & he (Owen) wasn't buying it. His comments in the kitchen were, I think, reverse psychology. He was trying to shut Veronica up because he knew that Alicia would do the opposite of whatever her mother said. After Alicia left and Veronica said she wouldn't talk to Peter, you knew she was going to talk to Will. Disclosure here, I'm on Team Will so I'm hoping that the epi 22 promo is just another tease!


The title "The Good Wife" is meant to be ironic, as the creators of the show repeatedly say!!!!! Excellent points made by the reviewer about the gaps of understanding between Alicia and Peter...I am at a loss to understand how Owen was taken in by Peter so easily. Good point about Kalinda's situation also. I love Veronica as a character!


@delphincik, I too, always hated David Lee. I get why Alicia would go back to Peter. After all, the show is called The Good Wife. He's the father of her children and they have a past. She remembers the good times they had together and Will can't compete with that. And Peter is a good father, not sure what kind of father figure Will would be to her kids. They might be growing up, but to Alicia family is everything.


First, i didn't like this episode at all. Second, when are they going to get rid of David Lee, i find him extremely unpleasant!

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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.