The Good Wife Review: Martha, Martha, Martha!

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The Good Wife made like a fascinating circus act this week, juggling numerous storylines and characters in a tense, taut episode that actually made me care about the fate of a wife killer; combined the world of fiction with the world of real life politics by teasing a Peter Florrick keynote address at the DNC; and gave Alicia more insight into the inner workings of both Will and Lockhart/Gardner.

It also gave Lisa Edelstein a tremendous send-off as Celeste Serrano, and introduced Anna Camp (True Blood, Mad Men) as a first-year associate.

Celeste and Alicia

Impressively, "Marthas and Caitlins" pulled all this feats off without feeling too crowded or confusing. It was a well-paced hour of television that kept me in every moment and also planted a few serious storyline seeds. Consider:

$45,000?!? I'm really gonna miss Celeste. Her and Alicia downing tequila and trying to out-cool each other was my favorite scene of the season. Celeste managed to be both honest and duplicitous, simply telling Alicia the truth about herself (she hates women) and about Will (something about a past embezzlement)... while admitting that her goal was to split the secret couple up.

HA, she sure did a terrible job accomplishing that mission, didn't she, Alicia? Didn't she, Alicia?!? No? Might there be a kernel of truth in how Will will end up disappointing you because he plays the type of games you hate? Even using you in the process when need be?

Will lives in the grey. Alicia, despite her inebriated attempt to state otherwise, never will. She's all black and white at her core. Let's see if she actually makes Martha's life a living Hell.

Peter for President! First, let's appreciate how The Good Wife is the only show on TV that would make a crack about Obama getting the keynote address because he's black. These current event references are as important to the series as its rich characters and back-and-forth professional machinations. They make the characters come alive and feel real. People in these professions really do talk this way.

I'm not sure how I feel, though, about last week's focus on Will as MLB Commissioner and this extended arc about Peter running for governor and, it's safe to say, in Eli's eyes, president one day. It's a little hard to take seriously, seeing as election season is pretty much upon us and Peter Florrick's name isn't on any ballot.

What will happen when the 2012 DNC comes around? Will the show have selected some fictional character as the speaker, while we're simultaneously watching someone else give the address in real life? I'll gladly hand it to the series for trying to walk this fine line between art and reality, at least, especially because Eli in campaign mode is endlessly entertaining. I'll also take it back if Peter Noth is on the Democratic dais next summer.

So we got a glance into Will's past and Peter's future this week. Why do I have a feeling they will converge at some point? With Alicia in the center? That's why the Martha/Caitlin situation/metaphor was so important at the close of this episode. Alicia grew sick of Peter using her for his election, and likely won't respond well when Eli makes a similar pitch. But now she's being used by Will, too?!? In a very dissimilar manner, no doubt, but it's still disconcerting.

Perhaps it would just be easier if she were Celeste, getting drunk, making flippant remarks, sleeping around. Then again, Alicia is too good for that, even if she hates to admit it. Other quick notes from a great installment:

  • Poor Grace. The dancing tutor feels like a random way to make us remember Alicia has children, but I still felt terribly when Grace admitted she had no friends.
  • That was definitely a convoluted way to bring back Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney, but the show managed to actually tie it in to Eli's DNC push. Well played. And VERY well played by Baker, of course. What a great actor and character.
  • Yes, Edelstein had only been signed to three episodes. But Baker, Michael J. Fox... The Good Wife is known for bringing back popular players. I bet we'll see Celeste again.

Marthas and Caitlins Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (110 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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