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The Good Wife Review: Not So Graceful

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The Good Wife concocted a bit of drama on "Parenting Made Easy," as it stretched the bounds of believability and strong storytelling with the case of Grace gone missing.

Because Grace was never missing, of course. She was simply getting baptized, a fact she conveniently didn't tell her mom; or her sibling; or her good friend at school. Something she didn't bother to say over voicemail and something made to look a lot worse when her phone "butt-dialed" her mother 12 times in just a few minutes.

Do misunderstandings such as this occur? Sure. But there were a few too many contrivances in this storyline, especially considering how it only existed to serve as fodder for Alicia and Will's break-up.

Where is Grace?

Granted, the show had to pick a direction. Will and Alicia couldn't go on for much longer in a secret relationship, not when that secret was out to Diane... and Kalinda... and Eli... and Alicia's kids, it's safe to assume... and even Peter himself. This couple could have gone public, which also would have meant making Alicia's divorce final, which would have caused extreme financial and personal headaches for her, while also making life awkward for everyone at Lockhart/Gardner.

So I get why Alicia wasn't prepare for that option. I get why this courtship had to end if for no other reason than it's a very bad idea to date your boss. I just wish it had been handled in a more organic manner, not via a false-alarmed abduction plot that felt yanked from beyond left field. We're talking outfield bullpen here.

To ignore that for a moment, though, and focus on the basis for the split itself, from Alicia's point of view? It makes total sense to me. Where, exactly, does Will fit into Alicia's life right now? As a fun distraction? sure. As a hot sex partner? That's been made apparent. As someone she could potentially love? I think so. But with teenage kids in need of attention, and a job that requires crazy hours and commitment, and a separated husband with the power to cause serious professional problems for her... not answering Will's call during the height of her worry over Grace said it all.

What could she have told him? How could he have helped? Alicia is a grown woman and the mother of two. If she's gonna be seriously involved with someone, that someone can't be relegated to the sidelines when she needs him most - and for numerous personal and professional reasons, there's really nowhere else Will could be right now.

I also need go give the full amount of props to Julianna Marguiles. I can separate a wayward storyline from an outstanding performance and this Emmy winner nailed every scene of a mother on the edge of a true breakdown. Great stuff all around.

Michael J. Fox also returned, of course, as Louis Canning; while investigator Andrew Wiley - and his adorable daughters - also showed up again, and Jennifer Carpenter guest-starred as a conservative professor and John Michael Higgins played an arbitrator (not as arbiter, people!) and Kalinda and Dana continued their overt, quasi flirting.

In other words: there was a lot going on throughout this hour, maybe a bit too much. I haven't even gotten to Eli's humorous attempt to make professional friends yet, something that led to Will's revelation that Peter was investigating him, further clouding the relationships on this show. (It took me a minute to even remember Eli still worked with Peter, he's become so ingrained in his law firm office.)

I actually would have enjoyed seeing more of Caitlin versus Martha, as well as more of a focus on the unusual arrangement of the only-liberal Lockhart/Gardner defending an openly-conservative client.

Alas, that darn butt of Grace and its dialing capabilities put a halt to everything else this week. As I've outlined here, it felt contrived, but it did lead to the official end of Walicia (Aill? Seriously, these two were doomed from the start without a strong nickname...), while also placing Alicia front and center during a season where she's mostly played an ancillary role. We'll see what ramifications, if any, come of the split on next week's 2011 finale.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
  • 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (210 Votes)

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

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I agree with Calgal completely! Love the Hamlet analogy. Someone please show me when Will let Alicia down because I don't see it. And, Eli - tell him you were the one to erase the message please. I still think that Eli's role in all of this could prove to be very interesting. That could play out in a very interesting way for sure.

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Redrav, you really think that Peter has made amends??? How? She supported him through his campaign including doing the interviews and speaking to the reporter to save the campaign, she supported the family financially and she kept the family together. What has he done to make amends? Lie about Kalinda, go after her firm and boss and...???? I can't think of one thing that he has done for her. Will Gardner has been a good friend and boss, hired her many most firms would not, provided support and friendship during trying times and the possibilities of a relationship. Just don't get what there is to criticize there.

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Another new name John (Blindfolds off.) You know this broken record needs to be used as a frisbee, we are so tired of you with this oneway outlook. You mean like Will the rat who was out banging his co-worker, you know a long time playboy never changes his stripes he jumps from one to another and nobody knows. I'm glad she dumped him, now she needs to change firms to.

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"a long time playboy never changes his stripes" You mean like Peter, the rat who was out banging hookers and co-workers, while his "good wife" waited faithfully at home? Peter cheated on her AT LEAST nineteen different times, all while he was married. Take off your blindfold. It's time you got a clue.

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@CalGal
I don't want to throw dirt on your opinion but they don't love each other, Alicia is only playing around to find out what went wrong in her marriage. plus I know from experience lawyers mated don't make good couples to much interference and messing around at the office.

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No please, Will is the romantic love, Peter is just a conservative past. they have to speak each other, but that's real love and natural sexual relationship. I agree, I will not see the fiction anymore, without that love! Ciao Paola

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@T.H.Press. Get a grip on reality and real life. You're going to stop watching the show if Peter and Alicia gets back together, or if Will and Alicia don't get back together? Why? Peter cheated, yes, but he has since made amends, and they can have a good life together. Alicia is only going to have problems being with Will, problems with Diane and the firm, problems with Peter, problems with the kids, and all she and Will are doing is sneaking around and having "chemistry-less" sex. Man, I felt more chemistry between her and Peter when they were in the room hugging and crying because of Grace, than I've felt between her and Will since they got together. You can stop watching if you want, but this show still has lots of fans and I'm sure we'll do okay without you. It's not always about what one wants; sometimes it's about what is best, and for now, it's best that Alicia and Will not be together.

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I was very disappointed and surprised that Alicia chose to quit her romance with Will. Having started this, I'd hoped they'd do well. Clearly, Will and Alicia love each other but have bad timing since their law school days. This couple could make a mature (and very hot!) married life together, and I like happy endings. Bad drama; good life. Will Gardner is the "Hamlet" of the show -- introspective and thinking over this way and that way. Will's longing for Alicia is part of his longing to be a better man than he's been -- to never again "feed the rat," in the stinging words of one of his exes. For Alicia, ending the affair is her "Dr. Laura" moment, putting her kids first. To Peter, Alicia has only been a political prop, camouflage, part of the political candidacy package. I hope when Alicia realizes that Will both loves her and needs her in order to be that better man he wants to be, she will resume their love affair -- but this time without the deceit, hiding, subterfuge.

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No please, i am Paola from Italy and I can't stand the brake up between Alicia and Will! Please, Kings, think about it! Paola

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Alicia realizing her affair has taken over her ability to focus approaches Will and states “I’m sorry. I can’t, that was the best part to see her dump this guy who was leading her down the dirt road with no return. I know alot of people think he's a prince but a long time playboy never changes his stripes, I know I once had one who played on my emotions and told me all that love crap and still found time to tap somebody else on the side. Oh ya he also was my boss, I got fired !!!!