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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
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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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Finally an episode where there was no gutter crap, its about time Alicia grows up and takes responsiblity for her family and not the office BS. Get as far away from Lockhart&Gardiner firm and don't look back, put all the pros and cons on the table then decide what you want to do yes or no about your marriage. Peter might have let you down in the past but how about since, there is no future with the old college dude he doesn't have the gonags or backbone.
Its your life make the right decision !!!

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Two weeks was a long time to wait for this episode and it disappointed a little. As others have said, it was contrived in many ways - Eli with nothing to do, Kalinda finding time to look for Grace, the fundamentalist Christian academic (if those aren't all contradictory terms) in the same week Grace gets baptised, Michael J Fox doing his nasty lawyer bit, pretending to sympathise and help but just looking for an opportunity to root around in Alicia's bag. Will is in turmoil. Maybe he is realising just how immoral and unjustifiable his work is and so his life. Hope he devotes himself pro bono. Alicia isn't going to find happiness ...
Still ultra watchable.

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I love this show because of the amazing acting. The Grace storyline was a bit much. Ship her of somewhere ... anywhere. I love the ending when Diane tells Will to get over it and he answers.. "she will". He realizes he loves her and his face said it all. That's what makes this show so great. However what I love most is that there are so many gray areas that relate to life. Even though my preference would be for Alicia to stay with Will because it's who has the most chemistry and you can tell their feelings for each other. Peter on the other hand made his mistakes as many men and women everywhere can relate to or else their wouldn't be so much divorce. Even though they are just characters on TV we still have to see some mirroring of real life or we wouldn't be sucked in to watch it every week. It's still my favorite show to watch every week because of the gray area problems they face. You don't know what you would do if your spouse slept with a hooker or someone you considered your friend. I miss Alicia and Kalinda being friends and Alicia need to get over it because no one I mean one would be like "hey I know we work together but I slept with your husband" or even have admit it when Alicia asked because they were barely getting to know each other and both were in severe need of a friend.

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Love this show.........I think Alicia finally needs to close the book on her and Peter and get a divorce.......of course, they'll always have some sort of relationship because of the kids.......just not a romantic one...... I do agree that the case plots are taking a back seat a bit this season.........

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Good call on "contrivances" and "concocted drama." But it wasn't just this episode. It's what The Good Wife is all about. This show, which is filled with talented actors, is horribly written. And it is a damn shame, because The Good Wife should be as good as people pretend it is.

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LOVE, love. love this show. Although the Grace story line was a bit over the top, and I am tired of the religion story line, the acting was incredible.
Heart stopping and moving.
I think Will and Alicia have hot chemistry, but for all the reasons stated in the review probably not best for them to continue the relationship... at this time. That sexual tension is not going to go away and will continue to make all of their encounters interesting.
So much to say about this episode, and the characters and actors who play them.
Kalinda rocks as always. Eli is so damn good in all his scenes. Diane has all the right sharp edges. Smart multifaceted characters. Looking forward to the next chapters! (and yeah- send Grace to boarding school!)

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So Alicia needs a break! Dialog re it's too much does not necessarily mean Alicia is out of touch with her feelings for Will. I believe the writers will regroup the situational conflicts and issues in Alicia's life environs. The river of love between Will and Alicia has been made too strong to subside.....only the cource can be diverted now. Their love has an ongoing force of its own. Hang on Will.

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Alicia's character is amazing. A smart, liberal women that is trying to do the best for her family. I'm glad the relationship with Will is over at least for now. It doesn't seem like they have much chemistry to me. She has far more chemistry with Peter which seems to be the villain of the story. He maid a big mistake and is paying for it. I understand if Alicia never forgives him as the smart modern woman that she is, but I don't think Will is the right choice. Doubt that the writers will give up on this relationship but in my opinion it doesn't work. It has made the show dull ever since it stared in season 3.

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Willicia.

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Finally the writers got the message and broke up the office trash, after reading all the reviews I didn't hear anyone say Will broke it off with Alicia. She broke it off he didn't have the gonags to tell her the spineless liar, the talk she had with Lous Canning (micheal J Fox) made alot of sense to her regarding her life and not who everyone thinks it should be. I hope she goes with his firm before the train wreck of Lockhart&Gardiner goes under and people end up paying the ultimate price. My hats off to her now she might start to be a mom again and also a person of high morals.

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