The Good Wife Review: Determination

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The Good Wife occasionally will feature cases based on current events, while putting its own spin on them.

During The Good Wife season 4, the topics have included: the NATO summit protests in Chicago, hazing and spousal privilege for same-sex spouses. In "Rape: A Modern Perspective," three separate headlines were integrated into the hour, including "Anonymous" helping uncover evidence in a rape investigation, Bitcoin and the Justice Department's investigation into Aaron Swartz.

There was so much going on in this episode that it would have been easy for it to become cumbersome, but that never took place. Instead, the numerous storylines were well-written and integrated together in a cohesive manner.

Anonymous Attention

Alicia and Will helped a young woman, Rainey, sue her rapist in civil court when he made a plea deal that kept him out of jail and freed him to attend Princeton. Similar to real cases, "Anonymous" took an interest and hacked information to support Rainey in her suit. 

Since the case was in civil court instead of a criminal trial, the focus was on Rainey and her resolve to get some sort of justice for what happened to her. I admire her strength to not only go through the trial, but to stand strong when she was found in contempt of court. She shouldn't have violated the gag order, but she also wasn't going to apologize for tweeting the truth. As Will said, "I don't think I'd have that determination." How many of us would?

The trend of anonymous sources searching for and finding evidence on social media or through hacking phone records isn't going to go away. Anyone can be "Anonymous." For Rainey, it started with Dylan Stack, "the Bitcoin guy," who alerted some of his hacker friends about the situation. It extended beyond them to others and ultimately to Kalinda. She posted the confession video online in order to get Rainey out of jail.

For Rainey, her case ended in a mistrial because of "Anonymous." Is that what the future holds? Or, will the legitimate evidence they uncover be used to put criminals anyway? It's certainly going to be a balancing act between the rights of the accused and the quest for justice. While I doubt The Good Wife will show the re-trial, I'd be intrigued to see if they are able to get the videos and photos into evidence then.

Dylan got involved in Rainey's case, but he was meeting with Alicia about hiring the firm in response to what happened to Aaron Swartz (who was from the Chicago area). The Justice Department has been accused of overly aggressive prosecution which led to Swartz committing suicide. Initially, the firm agreed to join the cause and work for Dylan on the case. While Diane was being vetted for the Illinois Supreme Court seat, this case became a sticking point.

Her firm couldn't be seen as a adversary to the Justice Department if she wanted to get the nomination. Ouch. Diane was willing to risk the nomination to marry McVeigh, but she put herself above the firm when it came to this case. Will agreed to drop the case for her, but now that the rest of the partners know about her potential nomination, will this case come up again? I hope it does because it would be a groundbreaking case to see the The Good Wife address.

The path to Diane being nominated isn't guaranteed. Peter needs to win the election and she has to overcome the vetting issues. The biggest roadblock appears to be her partnership with Will. She was surprised when Chief Justice Ryvlan shared his concerns. Will she stick by Will? It's a tough decision, especially since her nomination isn't a sure thing.

David Lee and the other partners were not happy that Diane kept this a secret from them. Through the bankruptcy, the decision to spend money instead of save it, and the debacle with the 4th year associates' partnerships, the firm's partners could easily turn on each other. Plus, they may have a mass exodus on their hands if the 4th years all leave to work for their own firm. That's crucial talent that they can't afford to lose.

Alicia's reaction to Cary's plans was distressing to see because she's a partner. She used the firm's investigator and then instead of revealing the plan to the other partners, she kept it to herself. Why? She has some loyalty to Cary, but could it be that she's thinking of leaving Lockhart/Gardner? She's had a few rough spots with them, but overall they have treated her well. 

I suspect it's all about Will. Alicia has been obsessed with him. It started as dreams, but then progressed into full-on gazing at him in the office. She's in love with him, but won't act on it. Her indecision was getting annoying, until she had the talk with Grace. Alicia isn't acting on her feelings for Will because of her kids. Whether it's the right or wrong thing to do, she's trying to do what's best.

Zach and Grace are old enough that they would understand if she loves Will, but for some reason she's not willing to recognize that. Perhaps, she's afraid of being hurt or not living up to the high standards that she sets for herself. She wants to have the perfect family, but that's an unachievable goal. With Peter's election coming up, she will be forced to make a decision. Will she go backward and stand by her estranged husband? Or, move forward with the man that she currently loves?

Whatever she does, I hope she finally makes a decision. Her indecisiveness is getting grating to watch. She's an intelligent woman with a loving family. They will stand by her whatever she decides, but she needs to make a choice and stick to it. Rainey had the determination to fight for what was right and even go to jail for it. Can Alicia find the determination to fight for what she wants?

Should the judge have allowed the "Anonymous" evidence into the trial? Was Alicia wrong to investigate Cary and then keep the information to herself? Should she leave Lockhart/Gardner? Should she pick Peter? Or Will?

Rape: A Modern Perspective Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (82 Votes)

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

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The Good Wife Season 4 Episode 20 Quotes

I don't think I'd have that determination. So we have to win this.


We've watched you climb. You've arrived. This is the top. This room. That desk. You can either stay or slide back down.

Justice Ryvlan [to Diane]