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The Good Wife Review: Making Her Choice

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"Death of a Client" was unlike any other episode of The Good Wife. It was St. Patrick's Day in Chicago and craziness ensued everywhere.

Instead of focusing on a legal case or matter, the hour revolved around the death of Alicia's litigious client, the political campaign and ultimately to the past and present of Alicia's love life. It was a whirlwind of activity and even when it got rather convoluted it was still entertaining. 

Alicia & Mike

The murdered Matthew, played by the brilliant John Noble, was seen only in flashbacks through Alicia's memories of her client. While he drove her nuts with his numerous lawsuits and repeated Bach tune, she had a friendly relationship with him. The lawsuits provided his life with purpose and a much adored relationship with Alicia. Unfortunately, it also cost him his life. 

Initially, the focus of the inquiry was on Matthew's police harassment suit, but in the end, Kalinda speculated that it was the seemingly harmless dog barking case that led to his death. The investigator's treatment of the case from the beginning was suspect. Why would Alicia need to go down to the police station that night to answer questions? With all that happened at the police station and getting Kalinda involved, the timing didn't come across as realistic. The unbelievable set-up is forgiven because of the story that it was able to tell.

Alicia's flashbacks of Matthew and Laura's inquiry about Will provided the links she needed to work through her relationship with her former lover. The viewers never got to see much of Alicia and Will together romantically and her memories showed that they did love each other and had amazing chemistry together. And, that closeness was still there when they were in the interrogation room together. 

Even Laura saw something between the two of them. Regardless, Alicia made it as clear as she could that they both needed to move on. Even if their hearts didn't want them to, it was what was best for them both. Plus, she said she was with Peter again. What? That was a shocker. Sure, she and Peter had hooked up a few times, but the last time she rejected his invitation for a date.

Later St Patrick's Day evening, Alicia had to deal with her mother's big mouth about her children's conceptions. It was no surprise that Alicia loves her children. She shows that every single day, but it was a shock to hear her say she loved Peter. This statement on the surface makes sense, but the depth of meaning behind it was as out of nowhere as when she told Will she was back with Peter. 

I have a difficult time believing the Alicia that we saw here. There was absolutely no basis for her actions and I blame it on poor writing. The transitions between Alicia's actions have had little basis throughout this season. She's pined for Will, while having quickies with Peter. And, now she proclaims she's in love with Peter. I've never been a fan of her getting back with her husband given what little regard he has had for her.

If he wanted to win her back, he should have made a grand gesture and earned her respect back. Instead, Alicia acted like one of the floozies that Peter had affairs with and that's not the basis of a successful relationship or marriage. If Alicia does love Peter, they have a lot of work ahead of them to make the marriage work. 

While Alicia was pondering her relationships, Peter and Mike Kresteva were battling each other for a hug from the Cardinal. Politics is a dirty game and this one evening showed just how low the candidates would go. Mike was willing to sully Zach with a well-place lie in order to better his position. There was no way for Peter to out the lie because it required telling a horrible truth. The dirtiness of politics.

If anyone deserves getting punched then Mike did for his actions. Peter cracked me up the way he punched him, busted the glass, and taunted him. Peter went all in just like Mike. Way to play the game! Ultimately, the Cardinal didn't hug either man. They both disgraced the other leaving neither of them worthy of the subtle endorsement. I give the Cardinal credit for seeing them both for the relentless politicians they are.

Even though I have issues with the way Alicia's character has been written regarding her love life, I love this new spunky Alicia. Her interaction with Mike at the beginning of the party was hilarious. She just laid it all out there no holds barred. And, as always, she is one of the best mothers on television. She demonstrates how it's possible to be a hard-working woman, while loving and mothering her children.

Odds and Ends

  • The potential threats to Matthew were quite far-reaching with 18 pending lawsuits and even Mossad mentioned.
  • Even though it was St Paddy's Day, there is no way that police station would have been like that. It was insane and rather creepy. And, the music. It was too much.
  • Alicia's mother proved again that she has a big mouth. How could any grandmother think it's okay to tell your grandchildren about their "unfortunate" conception. Despite her horrific behavior, Alicia handled it perfectly. She's an admirable mother.
  • The fake GPS move by Detective Young was despicable. Why in the world would he make her think her family was in danger? It was not worth it and he should be reprimanded for his action. I'm not sure if this story is over or not, but I hope we get some resolution about this.
  • Peter asked Diane to consider being a Supreme Court Judge. Wow. That would definitely shake things up on the show and at the firm. It's an amazing opportunity. If she decides to take it, I wouldn't be surprised if something comes up to prevent her from actually taking it. 
  • Kalinda was out on a date and left to help Alicia, but then when she saw Cary he grabbed her hand. What's is the story between those two?
Do you buy that Alicia is in love with Peter and over Will? Or is she just fooling herself about her true feelings? Was Mike or Peter worse with the lies and manipulations? 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (107 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Peter, since his return to "power," has been depicted as fair and balanced in the conduct of his office, but there have been episodes when Alicia or his kids were vulnerable to attacks from or by other people, so he would go to the extent of placing his career on the line by weilding the authority he holds to protect and shield them from harm or embarassment.

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Another important aspect to consider is that since he regained his freedom and position, he has never been linked romantically to other women, and that he is focused solely on Alicia, the kids and his career. There has yet to be an episode that would suggest -- obviously or subliminally -- that he is an incorrigible skirt chaser. In fact, this seems to suggest that he has resolved that phase of his life and is fully committed to keeping his family intact.

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Ms. Hampton, is Peter, based on the flow of events from the first season to the recent season, beyond redemption? I don't think so. What developments do we see? let me try to fit in, if space permits, some of them. First, after being convicted and imprisoned for his crime(s), he is able to gain his freedom and win back his old position - SA. This implies he also has regained his stature in society. Next, during his return to a second stint as SA, he conducts himself above board and runs the department fairly and judiciously, implying that he is earnest in regaining the confidence of the public he serves and restoring dignity to his family. Another depiction of a change in Peter is how he conducts himself during their separation -- not pushy, but respectful, responsible, stable and considerate of Alicia's material and other needs. There have been episodes that suggest he has kept abreast of Alicia's career and was always ready to help when he was needed. An important aspect to consider is that since regaining his freedom he has never been linked romantically to other women and has focused fully on Alicia and the kids.

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@Diego you write, "but considering several developments these past four seasons, there is still hope that they could reconcile -- or not." You keep talking about "several developments these past four seasons", what developments are you talking about? Peter lied to Alicia about sleeping Kalinda in episode 21 of SEASON 2. Then he turned around and said, "It was before she was your best friend." SEASON 2!!!!! So these developments haven't been over four seasons if Peter is lying in season 2. I do know what legal separation means. But I also know that couples that are truly thinking about reconciling actually spend time together. Do Alicia and Peter spend time together outside of campaign events or having sex on the campaign bus? Have they gone on that "date" yet? Do they spend time at each other's house/condo? Do they talk about anything other than campaign matters or their children?

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Ms. Hampton, you are so right in describing the current situation Peter and Alicia are in -- its called separation. It is a provision of the law that was instituted to provide married couples the time and space to really consider deeply whether to finally go their separate ways or decide to save the marriage. It certainly looks bleak at this point, but considering several developments these past four seasons, there is still hope that they could reconcile -- or not. That is what gives high drama to the series. Will their final decision be right or not? We viewers wait with bated breath about the outcome. But you will have to agree it is not over until it's over.

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Let's look at Peter and Alicia's marriage.
-they live in the same city, but do not live together.
-Alicia never spends the night at Peter's house.
-Peter never spends the night at Alicia's condo.
-the only time they spend together is at campaign events. (have they gone on the date yet?)
-outside of Thanksgiving, they only have sex on the campaign bus.
-if Peter wins the governorship, Alicia has already said that she and the children will NOT move to Springfield. At what point do you call a marriage over? Because from the outside looking in, Peter and Alicia's marriage is long over and all they have is a partnership that will end with the end of the campaign. Not every marriage is worth saving. Is there any evidence that Alicia and Peter's marriage has anything worth saving?

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I totally agree with comments which Pinkytoe made some weeks back. Marriage is not something you just discard when problems arise. Relationships become more meaningful and bonds become stronger when both parties undergo trials and are able to rise up and resolve them together as adults. Everyone who has messed up like Peter deserves a second chance to make right what he did wrong. The key is that the person wanting that second chance must be genuinely contrite/repentant and willing to do everything in his/her power to restore that which was lost. Peter messed up and so did Alicia -- so they both need to work at it not only for the sake of their children, but also for each other. I remember Peter begging Alicia not to give up on their relationship. And for most of the episodes that followed his incarceration and return to power, Peter has been characterized as true to his word -- a real human being.

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Well, that was a fun episode. No, I'm not being sarcastic. It was a change of pace. Guess I'm the only who is interested in Alicia as an individual and doesn't care about her romantic life. Has the partnership made Alicia more bold? She's certainly not mincing words anymore with Kresteva, which is refreshing. Season 1 Alicia would never have said anything like that. TOTALLY CONFUSED about the case, and agree with whoever said that John Noble was underused. Seriously, *this* is why you asked him to fly all the way from Australia? The dog owner did it? WTH? Why were the police making Alicia jump through all those hoops? Evidently, they didn't even care about the murder and just wanted her away from her condo? Why? How callous & cold is that to make you fear for your children's lives, & make them leave their home on St. Patrick's Day after 8pm, when it can be crazy & dangerous on the streets.

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I like KO's comments. What I would want to see in future episodes is Peter finally removing the gloves and coming after Will full steam to destroy him professionally and expose him for what he really is – a user, manipulator and the real cheat.
I look forward to episodes where Peter’s skill and wisdom as a legal luminary through wise maneuverings and strategic actions are displayed and he saves Alicia from situations that could ruin her career. I even look forward to Alicia taking full control of the law firm with Eli Gold as partner when Will is finally removed from the firm after being demolished and shamed by Peter. I also like to see Diane finally becoming a judge and settling down with her Marlboro Man.

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Will Gardner is the real scoundrel and user in this series. He got Alicia to fall for him during her most vulnerable moments – having been freshly devastated by Peter’s error. Even when he claimed to love Alicia, he never had the drive or nerve to put a real plan into place regarding their relationship when Alicia challenged him “I get the romance…but what is your plan?�
He could never get a plan into place because based on how Will is portrayed in the series he is fearful of commitments. He knows full well that Alicia’s kids are a responsibility he does not want to have. Sex is his only aim – getting in between the legs of the women – whether they be sisters, which he both plugged, students with whom he has influence over, opposing counsels, clients and a host of women characters he continues to pursue while claiming he loves Alicia. Running true to form Will goes on his merry way screwing women whether they be too young to be his daughters or old enough to be his mother. He’s really sick. This is one area in which Alicia becomes a dumb fool not to recognize that Will is more disgusting all around than Peter was when he fell. For someone who is supposed to be principled and intelligent she should really weigh the pros and cons about being with Will and/or keeping her family intact.

The Good Wife Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Alicia, you are saint Alicia. I know you don't like that, but you are. For tonight, go for it.

Eli

I swear if you start clocking my alcohol intake, I'll start doing shots.

Alicia
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