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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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I agree wholeheartedly. I love Alicia and Will together. The screen chemistry is magnifiicent. I don't see that will Peter. Plus, when is with will I think we see her true personality. With Peter she seems to shrink.

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The Good Wife has become The Weak Wife. This show has become a soap opera with so many subplots that the case of the week, which Alicia was great at winning, is pushed to the sidelines. She is oblivious to everyone and everything that is going on around her. She should have divorced Peter; should have made it known they were separated; should have gotten her mother-in-law out of the picture; should have been honest with her children. She was a strong woman and a good lawyer when this show started. Now she is being protected by everyone and knows nothing. Even in court she is not effectual anymore. This was a good show when it started. Right now the only character that has stayed true to form is Kalinda, a great role done by a great actress.

Runlikemad

I feel like Alicia's kids are old enough to not to need her watching them all the time. She's already been the housewife I hope she doesn't take the job to be at home more, this is her time to have some fun. Poor Will, when Diane said "she'll get over it" I'd bet he was thinking yeah, but I won't.

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This is hopefully not the end of Will and Alicia but the distraction of it and the fact that she is keeping something from her kids made for a pressure cooker for Alicia as a mom. When she finds out that Peter is going after Will she will rethink her role. And, he needs to take some initiative and let her know that he is not interested in a casual relationship but a committed one. The sadness that she conveyed he felt and he knows why she is stepping back and needs her to given the stakes at work and with the investigation. Lots ahead there. Still think Wendy Scott Carr is going to reveal some footage in the elevator from last season and Andrew Wiley same. Andrew Wiley also knows about Peter, though, so that should make for some interesting dynamics......sure to put Peter in the hot seat and out of running....Liked the episode and Will's gutsy move with Eli and think that something will heppen soon between Alicia and Kalinda including Kalinda encouraging Alicia to give her relationship with Will more time. The writers will ruin the show if they have Caitlin play any type of romanitic role with Will Gardner. That would end it for me for sure.

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as a response to some coments: Alicia and will loved each other but the conditions they were separated them. its heart breaking but when you have children and whole your life, your children's life and your lover's life destroid, you have no choice but to stop everything and go back to your first chosen life. its wrong in many ways, and I wish it were more easier for everyone to start a new life but the reality speaks differently to all of us. Great acting from everyone but especially from julianna, she deserves an EMMY. great writing too. Love this show.

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No, no, nooooooooooo. Alicia don´t say goodbye to Will, you cannot live without him..... I hope they get back together again :-)

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I am really tired of the story line with Grace and her regligious beliefs. I guess it shows how she is seraching for something because of the break-up and her parents and her life dramatically changing. But I think the 'missing Grace' story line was contrived and it served only to break up Alica and Will. But really, what other reason would she break up with Will for? Only her children. She's trying, like so many working mothers, to be the best mother and the best lawyer. I don't think she'll go back to Peter. She's so moved on from him. I do think she will maintain a good relationship with him because he is the children's father. I remember the end of the first season when Will called her and she told him she need a plan. Because of Eli she never got his message, but it wasn't a plan. Realistically she needs a plan, she can't afford to have just hot sex for long. And she will give up everything for her children. I wish she had known it was Kalinda that found Grace. (And she wasted no time using all of her resources to do it.) But next week she tells Cary she wants him to turn over Kalinda to her so maybe in the final episode they will work out their differences. They both needs a friend.

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Hated that Alicia and Will broke up! I love them together and wanted to see more. Hopefully this isn't realy the "end:" for them!

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Alicia splitting frm WIll is a mistake...instead the writers could have had her entertaining a split from his firm, i.e. accepting Michael J. Fox's offer, in order to separate her love life from ehr professional life. It just looks like Alicia 'used' Will and never gave the relationship he thought she'd entered into with him a chance. He no-good husband does not deserve her - they need to rethink this - show Alicia missing Will [as she told him she would when they embraced] and he mssing, yearning for her - that's the way to keep the show going. If something along the romantic lines between them is not revived, I prophesize losing loyal fans!

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When Diane said "she'll get over it" Will said "She will". The look in his eyes meant "but I'll not get over it". He wasn't going to break up with Alicia, he was taking to Kalinda about commitment, about wanting something more than work, about kids. In previous episodes he asked Alicia to introduce him to her kids and was very disappointed with her response. He wanted a real relationship with her and now he's really hurt. I don't understand Alicia. She is mother- I know, children come first- I get it. But does this mean she should sacrifice her life, go back to cheating husband that she doesn't love, break up with the men she cares for. Is this some bible idea of womens life- sacrificing everything for the family. If this is where the show is going- I hate it.

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