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The Good Wife Review: Determination

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The Good Wife occasionally will feature cases based on current events, while putting its own spin on them.

During The Good Wife season 4, the topics have included: the NATO summit protests in Chicago, hazing and spousal privilege for same-sex spouses. In "Rape: A Modern Perspective," three separate headlines were integrated into the hour, including "Anonymous" helping uncover evidence in a rape investigation, Bitcoin and the Justice Department's investigation into Aaron Swartz.

There was so much going on in this episode that it would have been easy for it to become cumbersome, but that never took place. Instead, the numerous storylines were well-written and integrated together in a cohesive manner.

Anonymous Attention

Alicia and Will helped a young woman, Rainey, sue her rapist in civil court when he made a plea deal that kept him out of jail and freed him to attend Princeton. Similar to real cases, "Anonymous" took an interest and hacked information to support Rainey in her suit. 

Since the case was in civil court instead of a criminal trial, the focus was on Rainey and her resolve to get some sort of justice for what happened to her. I admire her strength to not only go through the trial, but to stand strong when she was found in contempt of court. She shouldn't have violated the gag order, but she also wasn't going to apologize for tweeting the truth. As Will said, "I don't think I'd have that determination." How many of us would?

The trend of anonymous sources searching for and finding evidence on social media or through hacking phone records isn't going to go away. Anyone can be "Anonymous." For Rainey, it started with Dylan Stack, "the Bitcoin guy," who alerted some of his hacker friends about the situation. It extended beyond them to others and ultimately to Kalinda. She posted the confession video online in order to get Rainey out of jail.

For Rainey, her case ended in a mistrial because of "Anonymous." Is that what the future holds? Or, will the legitimate evidence they uncover be used to put criminals anyway? It's certainly going to be a balancing act between the rights of the accused and the quest for justice. While I doubt The Good Wife will show the re-trial, I'd be intrigued to see if they are able to get the videos and photos into evidence then.

Dylan got involved in Rainey's case, but he was meeting with Alicia about hiring the firm in response to what happened to Aaron Swartz (who was from the Chicago area). The Justice Department has been accused of overly aggressive prosecution which led to Swartz committing suicide. Initially, the firm agreed to join the cause and work for Dylan on the case. While Diane was being vetted for the Illinois Supreme Court seat, this case became a sticking point.

Her firm couldn't be seen as a adversary to the Justice Department if she wanted to get the nomination. Ouch. Diane was willing to risk the nomination to marry McVeigh, but she put herself above the firm when it came to this case. Will agreed to drop the case for her, but now that the rest of the partners know about her potential nomination, will this case come up again? I hope it does because it would be a groundbreaking case to see the The Good Wife address.

The path to Diane being nominated isn't guaranteed. Peter needs to win the election and she has to overcome the vetting issues. The biggest roadblock appears to be her partnership with Will. She was surprised when Chief Justice Ryvlan shared his concerns. Will she stick by Will? It's a tough decision, especially since her nomination isn't a sure thing.

David Lee and the other partners were not happy that Diane kept this a secret from them. Through the bankruptcy, the decision to spend money instead of save it, and the debacle with the 4th year associates' partnerships, the firm's partners could easily turn on each other. Plus, they may have a mass exodus on their hands if the 4th years all leave to work for their own firm. That's crucial talent that they can't afford to lose.

Alicia's reaction to Cary's plans was distressing to see because she's a partner. She used the firm's investigator and then instead of revealing the plan to the other partners, she kept it to herself. Why? She has some loyalty to Cary, but could it be that she's thinking of leaving Lockhart/Gardner? She's had a few rough spots with them, but overall they have treated her well. 

I suspect it's all about Will. Alicia has been obsessed with him. It started as dreams, but then progressed into full-on gazing at him in the office. She's in love with him, but won't act on it. Her indecision was getting annoying, until she had the talk with Grace. Alicia isn't acting on her feelings for Will because of her kids. Whether it's the right or wrong thing to do, she's trying to do what's best.

Zach and Grace are old enough that they would understand if she loves Will, but for some reason she's not willing to recognize that. Perhaps, she's afraid of being hurt or not living up to the high standards that she sets for herself. She wants to have the perfect family, but that's an unachievable goal. With Peter's election coming up, she will be forced to make a decision. Will she go backward and stand by her estranged husband? Or, move forward with the man that she currently loves?

Whatever she does, I hope she finally makes a decision. Her indecisiveness is getting grating to watch. She's an intelligent woman with a loving family. They will stand by her whatever she decides, but she needs to make a choice and stick to it. Rainey had the determination to fight for what was right and even go to jail for it. Can Alicia find the determination to fight for what she wants?

Should the judge have allowed the "Anonymous" evidence into the trial? Was Alicia wrong to investigate Cary and then keep the information to herself? Should she leave Lockhart/Gardner? Should she pick Peter? Or Will?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

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

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Let me correct the first sentence of what I sent earlier: "There have been some scenes and dialogue that would imply that Peter certainly apologized to Alicia."

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There have been some scenes and dialogue that would imply that Peter certainly has asked Alicia for an apology. There have been episodes that have showed Alicia warming up to Peter and constantly seeking his advise for family and professional concerns. That is why somebody even asked why Peter is Alicia's pep up person not Will. There have been episodes that hint Alicia is beginning to rediscover the spark she shared with Peter to the point that Peter is wonderfully surprised when Alicia suddenly seeks after him for a romantic interlude. Alicia wouldn't do that if an apology hadn't been made and there wasn't an opportunity for the couple to take that particular issue off of their chests.

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Ms. Hampton, this is why I've always stressed the need to see the details in context to the whole. The character Peter is the unifying thread of the series. Don't you notice that in episodes where he doesn't appear at all, somehow there would be something alluded to him. So far the character Peter has been portrayed and presented as someone who has realized his mistake and has been very stable, caring, patient, protective and always ready to step in when his wife and kids need him. He has also been portrayed as one not forcing himself on Alicia, but patiently working to convince his wife that he is earnest in his desire to save his family.

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Ya got me. It's completely possible that the writers didn't think they needed to show us Peter apologizing.
It's also possible that I am green with purple spots.
Neither one of these situations seems likely. We have seen Kalinda apologize twice. Wouldn't Peter's apology warrant the same on-screen treatment? Especially since we are going to hear Peter say "I love you" in tomorrow's (April 21) episode? I know we don't see everything that goes on in a story on television. But we do see the important things. My argument is that if it was important for the audience see Kalinda apologize, it is just as important for the audience to see Peter apologize. And I conclude that he has not apologized because the audience has not seen it.

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Who says he didn't, that was behind the scenes with the writers.

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I feel like I'm repeating myself and getting nowhere. Peter is repentant? Really? Then why did he lie about sleeping with Kalinda in SEASON 2? (let's not forget that the reason Alicia finally kicked Peter out was because he lied to her and she had to find out about it from someone else) Why has he never apologized for sleeping with Kalinda? If a person wants forgiveness, they need to repent for everything; not just part of it. And until Peter repents for Kalinda, I will continue to think he is the real sleaze on the show.

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Ms. Hampton, you seem to only refer to the early episodes wwhere Peter did err. The succeeding episodes and seasons have portrayed Peter as regreting his error and trying to from where he had fallen -- struggling as much as he can to turn things around and fighting for what he has realized he cares for and values the most -- his wife and family. Unless the writers decide to turn his character into an unrepentant person, the Peter character by far has been one who has been a patient, caring and loving family man who would also go to the extent of protecting Alicia and the kids when threatened by others, providing counsel, money, morale support, etc. as much as he can.

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I appreciate MrsMorgan's balanced critique, since it considers all possible options for the show's characters in context with what facts can be gleaned from the episodes, although I slightly differ in opinion with regards to how Peter and Will are characterized in the series. Except for the first season that focused on his miserable blunder,succeeding seasons have presented Peter's character, which were often fleeting appearances in most episodes, as one who deeply regrets his error and has been "fighting" real hard to redeem himself to completely win back his wife and complete his family. Will who has had more exposure in most episodes, to me, has been presented as a cowardly and indecisive man when it comes to making a commitment. If he had early on acted decicively to ask Alicia outright to divorce Peter and marry him, during Alicia's most vulnerable phase, he would not have turned her into a dishonest woman. Four seasons have come and gone -- he's still on the fence.

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Oh really, how do you know ? Are you a lawyer ? I am and you would be surprised what would come from these situations.

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Peter as SA would not have a conflict-of-interest with Alicia being a partner in a law firm. Peter couldn't be a partner at a law firm and SA, but there is no inherent conflict-of-interest with Peter being the SA and Alicia being a partner at L/G. Happens quite a bit in lawyer-lawyer marriages. And in the eyes of the law, there is a difference between Alicia's relationship with Will happening after separating with Peter and Peter's sexual assignations before separation. But, since Illinois is a no-fault state, it really wouldn't matter either way.