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?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

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


As the SA he also comes under a conflict-of-interest, but there is nothing in the law rules that mention this practice. He owed her for all the crap he's put her through, plus Alicia would get that as part of a divorce settlement. I don't think so she has now a dark past that the courts will seem down on regarding an affair with her BOSS (A VERY BIG MISTAKE) was made. She is still married but separated it is still the same in the eyes of the court.


"You all have seen the episode where the firm decided to upgrade 5 associate's to junior partners, now when it came to them coming up with the big $600.000 who step up and who didn't ? Now does this tell you a very bigger story of who cares and who doesn't." Nobody is saying that Peter doesn't care. In actuality, Peter is the only person who could have given Alicia the money; Will could not because it would have been a conflict-of-interest. Peter giving Alicia the $600,000 is the very least he could do; he owed her for all the crap he's put her through, plus Alicia would get that as part of a divorce settlement. Diego said, "Real love is not selfish, but sacrificial and considerate of each other..." My question continues to be what sacrifice has Peter made. Money is not a sacrifice. And the only thing Peter has given up that I can see is sleeping with other women.


You all have seen the episode where the firm decided to upgrade 5 associate's to junior partners, now when it came to them coming up with the big $600.000 who step up and who didn't ? Now does this tell you a very bigger story of who cares and who doesn't. PS...Personally I would have given my notice and moved on from this firm do to the underhanded way they were screwing them only to reverse their minds.

Drea xoxo

Sigh so Cary and Kalinda are leaving LG!! no!! don't trust the new girl, she seems dodgy and i want to know more about her story. alicia needs to move on and accept it now, no one forced her to stay with peter. she loves the privileges it gives her. this episode had a real deep meaning/moral about the use of social media, despite the evidence out there not all the time it can be used in court. it's similar to all the murder crimes we hear about. diane, i don't think she should go for it, it's not guaranteed, and will cause long term damage to the firm.


I like to know where in any of the seasons where Alicia is in love with WIll ? It has been from the start that she is deathly afraid that her kids will find out and blame her for the breakup.
As for Alicia in court yes Peter has been a help to her, but when it comes to Will he seems to always have her there as second chair (junior partner). When Dianne or Alicia are there they have associates as second chairs, Will is using her as a crutch so when he makes big mistakes she goes down also.
I don't see this as a strong relationship I hope she goes with Cary and the rest when they leave, also she will revow with Peter.


I think next week we'll see the turning point in whether she decides to renew her vows to Peter. I, for one, am hoping she doesn't renew her vows, because I don't feel it would be honest of her at this point. She clearly has unresolved feelings for Will and she needs to either sort through them or let them play out before she can truly go back to Peter if she decides she wants that. I'd be lying if I said I'd support her going back to Peter, but I can see that as a potential option. While Alicia and Will do love each other, Peter is the family man. He's proven to be stable and, lately, loving. He clearly regrets his choices, but I don't think that makes up for them. Will isn't without flaws either, but I think trying a real relationship with him will give them the closure they need at the very least (hopefully more!)


"The relationship is about so much more than these two characters sleeping together. It's about a real friendship and a real love--two imperfect people finding each other and becoming better together." Will and Alicia's friendship started in law school and has never wavered. Their love (which I also believe started in law school) is now blooming because of the actions of a third party. If that third party hadn't committed their acts, Will and Alicia wouldn't have even thought about deepening their relationship. I also find it fascinating that outsiders seem to all see chemistry/connection between Alicia and Will.


Alicia and Peter Diego you write, "Real love is not selfish, but sacrificial and considerate of each other..." I know the sacrifices that Alicia has made, but what sacrifices has Peter made? Yes...he gave her the money for the equity partnership, but he would have had to give her that money in a divorce settlement--it was the least he could do for her. As for who has supported Alicia more, we will just have to disagree. Because I didn't see Peter giving her advise as to how to handle cases in court; I saw Will doing that. I saw her and Will sitting in the office going over cases late at night. I see Alicia going back to the office to help Will celebrate the end of his suspension (she didn't stay because Diane beat her to Will). I see Alicia and Will always asking if the other is ok. I see Will giving Alicia cases that challenge her because he knows that she is better than she thinks. So I think Stana Katic's comment (about Castle and Kate) fits Will and Alicia:
"The relationship is about so much more than these two character sleeping together. It's about a real friendship and a real love--two imperfect people finding each other and becoming better together."


I feel like I'm watching a different show than some of the people here. Diego you write, "Will and Alicia's relationship. If their clandestine relationship has made Alicia better, why is she feeling so guilty about pursuing it." The show directly contradicts your statement. In "The Dream Team" (Season 3, episode 22), Alicia states clearly that she neither regrets her "affair" with Will nor feels guilty about it. If you don't believe me, go watch it. Also, if Alicia were feeling guilty, why was she jealous of his moving on with Laura in "The Wheels of Justice"? Why did she call Will in that same episode? I have a comment but about Alicia's relationship with Peter, but it's too long to put here.


Did I miss an episode? I remember that Alicia, Cary, and the other 4th year associates were all offered partnerships because the firm needed the money that new partners were required to invest. Now I see that Alicia was the only one who became an equity partner. What happened? Did the firm no longer need the money to avoid bankruptcy? Or was it that Alicia was the only one who was able to come up with the cash - a loan (almost a gift) from her husband.

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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]