‘The Good Wife’ – ‘Feeding the Rat’: An innocent man

Senior Television Writer
10.17.11 23 Comments


A review of last night’s “The Good Wife” coming up just as soon as I’m in line to be the next baseball commissioner…

Even in weeks when CBS doesn’t have the NFL double-header, New York’s CBS affiliate usually has a 4 p.m. Jets game, which means all of CBS’ Sunday primetime shows get bumped a half hour or so, which means I have to pad my DVR recording – and which means if I forget to do that, it takes me a while to get to seeing the full episode On Demand.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that it was so nice to not have the J-E-T-S playing yesterday so that I could watch an episode in pattern, on the night it actually aired. And the parts of the episode dealing with Will and Celeste(*), and Diane being inspired to make a grand gesture with Legal Aid(**), and Eli trying to figure out how to win powerful friends and influence the right people at Lockhart-Gardner were all very strong. Office politics has always been a sweet spot for “The Good Wife,” and bringing Eli in-house, so that Diane and Will are dealing with a character we know well (and who will be sticking around, unlike Derrick Bond), has proven to be a very wise idea.

(*) As an old “Sports Night” geek, I kept waiting for Celeste to bring up that time she and Will had sex in Spain, and for Will to not remember it. 

(**) I’m especially glad that this seems to be setting up Romany Malco, by far the best part of last year’s mediocre “No Ordinary Family,” to have a recurring role. Love that guy. 

On the other hand, Alicia’s case was pretty forgettable. I know “The Good Wife” isn’t generally structured like a whodunnit – this isn’t like “The Practice,” where it was always meant to be a surprise when you found out that a client had actually committed the deed – but showing us the crime in progress not only made it very clear that the initial witness was the real perp (since we had seen what actually happened in the store), but took away any of the usual moral ambiguity that makes the cases of the week so interesting. This was just Alicia, Diane and Julius doing a good deed for a man who absolutely deserved it. And I suppose you could tie that into Diane’s desire to do a bigger deed for Legal Aid, but I could see her getting that inspiration even if we didn’t know the client was completely innocent. (After all, Diane wasn’t in the store the way we were; she was just taking it on faith, too.) 

What did everybody else think? Are you continuing to enjoy the Eli/Kalinda team? Did you like Cary’s new watchdog partner? And where would you put Harvey Fierstein’s character on the scale of wacky “Good Wife” judges? 

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