A review of last night’s “The Good Wife” coming up just as soon as I leave the baby monitor on…
So when last we left Alicia Florrick and company, she had gotten the devastating news about Peter and Kalinda, and I was a bit irked that Chris Noth had been so absent this season that I barely had any idea what the state of the Florrick marriage was. Were Alicia and Peter little more than roommates? Was she genuinely trying to give things a go? Somewhere in between? As several of you pointed out, production has had trouble working Noth in because he’s been busy on Broadway with “That Championship Season.” I can appreciate that difficulty, but the reason doesn’t matter when the season has been building to this big moment in a marriage where circumstances have conspired to render the marriage itself a complete abstraction. If the Kings knew that Noth’s services would be so limited this year, they should have either pushed back this storyline until they knew they’d have enough time to build up to it, or they should have made sure that most of Noth’s infrequent appearances this season focused on where he and Alicia stood.
Having said that, Julianna Margulies still acted the hell out of all those scenes this week – Alicia’s conversation with the kids was particularly rough/great – and if I still have no idea what Alicia’s expectations were for the marriage going forward, I can tell exactly how hurt she is by this news. And the final Alicia/Peter conflict was marvelously ugly. Even though we know Alicia hasn’t done anything with Will, we also know how much she’s thought about doing things for the last two years. Lust in your heart isn’t as egregious as actual adultery, but if Eli doesn’t delete that voicemail, who knows what Alicia might have done?
Still, I have higher hopes for the inevitable Alicia/Kalinda confrontation, because that’s a relationship the show has serviced early and often this season, and where the betrayal (even if, as Peter points out, it was a betrayal of someone Kalinda didn’t yet know and like) cuts deeper. This week focused on the Florricks (including a very good scene between Alicia and Peter’s mom); now it’s time for the other shoe to drop.
Given the seismic shift in Alicia’s personal life, it would have been easy for the case of the week to get lost in the shuffle. The producers, no doubt recognizing this, wisely brought back Martha Plimpton’s cunning Patti Nyholm to liven things up. (Though Plimpton’s now a regular on “Raising Hope,” many network series regular contracts have a provision for one or two extra-curricular guest spots on another show.) The hospital case was a familiar “Good Wife” blend of shady ethics, unanswerable moral questions and six or seven plot twists – who thought Will and Patti would stay on the same side for very long? – and Plimpton’s enthusiasm for the part was infectious. Plus, Aaron Staton from “Mad Men” played her co-counsel, proving that Kenny and his haircut work just as well in 2011 as the mid-60s.
What did everybody else think? And are you glad to see Peter and Cary teaming up in some kind of Axis of Evil, or would you have rather seen Cary back causing trouble at Lockhart/Gardner?