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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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There are three reasons I loved this episode but I can sum it up with two words: THE WIRE. This episode featured 3 guest stars who are alumni of the best show ever made for television - The Wire. We had: 1. Pastor Isaiah - he played Chris Partlow, Marlowe Stanfield's enforcer and right-hand man. 2. Lemand Bishop's guy (the one who testified at the arbitration meeting re: Bishop's "meagre" finances - he played Bodie, a drug-dealing teenager. 3. Mrs. Bishop's lawyer - he played Nick Sobotka, a smuggler and drug dealer. I was wondering what these have been up to since The Wire. For me, they definitely added the cream on top in this episode of The Good Wife.

Nicky79

amazing! i absolutely loved this episode!! and the end OMFG was perfect... i wonder if the writers did this because they want to give alicia an excuse when she'll go with Will without make her be the bad one. anyway the conversation between kalinda and alicia was so sweet... :)
(sorry for my english but i'm spanish)

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Delicious review Matt, thanks.
The episode deserved the perfect rating. I like what kind of intelligent comments are posted on this site thanks to the greatness of this show and its viewers.

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I remember wondering if Kalinda had slept with Peter after watching some scenes last season. It seemed that they subtly alluded to it but then dropped it until this episode. It has so much more emotional impact now that she and Alicia have become friends. Alicia is going to be blindsided when she finds out and it should make for a great episode. And Eli has become a stand out character. They have to keep him on for next season.

Tilly

Loved, loved this episode. Really liked the phone conversation between Carey and Alicia reminded me how much I loved their dynamic in Season 1. Loved the exchange between Pastor Isiah, Grace and Eli. Honestly I just adore Eli I hope he stays around for next season. Now that we know Kalinda slept with Peter it does make her friendship with Alicia a little suspect or at least the start of it because I think she really does care about Alicia now. Will did look very upset. All in all a great episode.

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I was more shocked by the revelation of Will stealing money. I wonder what for? I was not surprised by the affair between Kalinda and Peter. In the first season there were many signs including her visiting prison and Alicia questioning why she would visit her husband. I was more enamoured with the following and how the witers portrayed it. 1. They (LG) kept warning the other lawyer to take the settlement and not push it. Especially when they hypothesised his real agenda. They overtly were trying to help/warn him 2. Alicia and Kalinda's 'friendship'. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer comes to mind and knowledge is power seems apt as well. Also, the conversation of Alicia's old life and the people in it with Kalinda who is one who made that life even more if a lie than Alicia knows it was.

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I was a good episode.I cant wait though,for the next one.Is Alecia going to find out what slut slept with her husband?How will she react though?

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The Bishop thing was well handled: for the entire episode, the guy wears a suit. He speaks intelligently, articulately, almost humbly. He negotiates through lawyers. He speaks lovingly of his son. Then, at the end, just as we're accepting him as a responsible adult, he reminds us of what a stone-cold thug he really is. The Kalinda line interested me much less. I was hopelessly confused by trying to figure out Blake's angle.

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There was an allusion to Kalinda's relationship with Peter early in the series, so I was not at all surprised by the revelation they had slept together.

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Oh this is such a sweetie of a show for me! Surprises, stellar writing and acting and delicious secrets to be thought about all week long until next Tuesday! I am happily addicted and hope to be for long! ;)