The Good Wife Review: A New Day...

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Following the conclusion of "Ham Sandwich," I need to clarify my complaints about The Good Wife over the last few weeks:

I may not care about Kalinda's ancient past and the fact that she fled from a marriage in Canada. But, holy crazy twist, am I on board with the shocking reveal that she slept with Peter. I did not see that coming.

Taking on Childs

I don't watch this show anticipating significant storyline development. I'm taken enough by the references to 9/11 that no other series would make; the complex, mature way it tackles a topic such as race; the way it can stop in the middle of a conversation between two professional antagonists and give us a touching moment between former acquaintances.

But then it goes and proves it can churn out surprising melodrama with the best of any primetime soap opera.

Yes, the one aspect of storytelling in which The Good Wife has failed has been anything related to romantic relationships. The Alicia/Will back-and-forth played out like high school hijinks for the most part - and I'm worried this secret will be drawn out in a similar, frustrating manner.

I don't need Kalinda to just spit out the truth next Tuesday, but considering the intelligence with which this series treats its professional setting, let's hope we also aren't stuck with a number of unrealistic events or conversations that serve as transparent ways to delay the reveal until the closing moments of the season finale.

But let's also save any fears about the future for another day. For now, I'd just like to revel in the impressive build-up to this shocker.

For awhile, Bond and Blake seemed like mere storyline fodder. They didn't serve any real purpose other than to manufacture problems at the firm. But this episode proved how the show has had an end game in mind all along. It involved the truth coming out about Kalinda and Peter, as well as the fact that Will possesses a secret of his own. Have we ever seen such a panicked, angry look on his face as when he confronted Blake at the gym?

What separates these issues from something as random as Kalinda's ex-husband and her past life is how they are based around relationships the show has spent so long developing. The exchange between Alicia and Kalinda at the bar didn't feel forced, like some kind of set up just to make the latter's secret that much more painful when it came out one scene later. It felt well-earned because we really have seen these women grow close over the last year.

You have to trust me, more than you normally do, Alicia told her friend earlier in the episode. But when has Kalinda ever asked for Alicia's trust? When has she ever discussed anything truly personal with her pal? We now know why.

You know it's a tremendous episode - the first to which I've given a perfect rating - when the fact that Lemond Bishop killing his wife is scarcely even a focus. Will he come back around to Lockhart/Gardner as a client? Will he be accepted again, if so? Will has always been one to simply follow the law and the bottom line - but perhaps his sketchy past coming back to haunt him this week will give him pause about representing such a man going forward.

Juts great stuff from start to finish on "Ham Sandwich." I've always cared mostly about the professional world on The Good Wife. Not heading into next Tuesday night, though. It's gotten personal, for Kalinda, for Alicia and for this fan.

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

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

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The Good Wife Season 2 Episode 17 Quotes

A Chicago grand jury will indict a ham sandwich.

Alicia

Kalinda: Ever get the feeling something bad is going to happen.
Alicia: All the time.