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The Good Wife Review: All About Love

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"The Wheels of Justice" moved quickly on this week's The Good Wife, as Alicia expedited a trial for her infamous client Colin Sweeney.

When we last saw Sweeney, he was being charged with sexual misconduct with Isobel Swift in "Long Way Home" after previously getting away with murdering his wife. Now, he's engaged to Isobel. 

While the fast tracked trial was the case-of-the-week, the overriding theme of the episode was all about love and its various incarnations. 

Defending McSweeney

Instead of a normal trial involving Colin Sweeney (if there is such a thing), Alicia demanded that the trial start within the 160 days required by law at a defendant's request.  That meant the trial needed to start the next day. This maneuver was all about protecting Sweeney from a potential life sentence in prison. Sweeney already had two strikes against him and with the coming Supreme Court ruling and a third strike in this trial, he would be sent away for a life sentence.

While Sweeney probably deserved that sentence for killing his wife, he was found not guilty in that case. Alicia needed to do what was in her client's best interest to keep him out of prison. In the end, Sweeney's case ended before the Supreme Court ruling came out. He was found not guilty of the major charge and guilty on the lesser charge of Disorderly Conduct, which meant 30 days in jail. Not bad.

The more entertaining aspect of the episode was the revelations about love however messed up the situation may be.

Messed Up Love After accusing Sweeney of sexual misconduct, Isobel continued a relationship with Sweeney and they got engaged. Even though Isobel knows that Sweeney killed his first wife, she still continued a relationship with him. In an oddly funny moment, Isobel asked Alicia if Sweeney would kill her too if they got married. The lawyer responded that since she didn't have any money probably not.

Then, Isobel purposefully hurt Sweeney's case by lying on the stand about where they were when the shots were fired. Why? To get him to agree to marrying her without a pre-nuptial agreement. Wow. She forced his hand and made their relationship about the thing he killed his wife over. Isobel is one manipulative and risk taking gal. But, they love each other, right?

Love for a Father Before putting herself out there for the Supreme Court nomination, Diane had Kalinda do a background check to see what issues she'd have to face under scrutiny. When Diane found out that her father had betrayed his best friend, she was devastated. Instead of seeing her father's name tarnished, Diane considered declining the offer. That's a special and true kind of love.

Opposites Attract Diane and Kurt are about as opposite as two people can be. They are like Newton's Cradle kinetic balls that keep bouncing together and then apart. Despite their differences, they love each other. When Diane asked Kurt to marry her, it both was a shock and made sense. They aren't young teenagers in love for the first time. If they love each other, they should just be together.

During Kalinda's investigation, she found a reason for Diane to stay away from Kurt. And, then Kurt responded to her proposal by asking for time. Even though, it was in her best interest to wait too, she again decided to put love before career. She would take the man of her dreams and protect her father over being a Supreme Court judge. I hope they elope! It would be a fitting wedding for both of them. I've never appreciated Diane more than I did in this episode, she showed her true heart for the first time.

Unrequited Love ... Maybe Alicia and Will have an odd romance. Neither of them have been completely honest with the other, so it's unclear what's in their hearts. They both push the other away for fear of being hurt or rejected. Is it unrequited love? Or, is it stupidity? Even though Alicia said she loved Peter, she definitely is still smitten, if not, entirely in love with Will. He hasn't revealed his true feelings, but it seems he still has a think for her too. 

Alicia needs to look inside herself and decide who and what she wants and go for it. Rejection would be better than what she's going through now. If Laura can see the love between Will and Alicia, why can't they?

Odds and Ends

  • Alicia has a new gorgeous office with a $10,000 decorating budget, while Cary gets a new office with folding chairs as a couch. Will he get Alicia's old couch? It's still a step up in office for him. No more sharing. Will Diane follow through on Cary's partnership even if she doesn't leave? 
  • Robyn is proving to be just as capable an investigator as Kalinda. Though her "mean face" isn't nearly as intimidating as Kalinda's though it's close. And, her con on the lawyer at the bar was very convincing. It was hilarious that he tried to ask her out even after he knew what information she was after. Nice job, Robyn!
  • The Vampire Diaries fan fiction will go down as one of the oddest, but funniest moments in The Good Wife history. Poor Kalinda having to read that and Diane having to listen to it. Would Damon and Elena ever do it in a pick up truck though? That sounds more like something Diane and Kurt would do, right?
  • "I'll just kill her." Oh, Sweeney. I really hope Isobel doesn't end up dead. That would be horrible and a stretch for the show. 
  • I've liked Laura since the beginning, but she earned a bump up in the respect department when she ended it with Will. She may have lied, but she did it with good reason. She's friends with Alicia. Even if Alicia can't acknowledge her feelings for Will, Laura knew it was best for the friendship and for herself to get out before things got more complicated.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (89 Votes)

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

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Excellent point, Ms. Hampton, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. That particular scene was one of the highlights of the early episodes of the entire show. I liked that particular exchange it was written well. Peter's reaction which you refer to and choose to base your conclusions about Peter's character on was so realistic, since it is exactly how a guilty person normally reacts when confronted about his "crime." First is to deny, deny and deny -- and then make a poor and miserable attempt to justify the erronous act. But, you see, the story did not end there, succeeding episodes and four seasons have passed that suggest a reformed "criminal" -- Peter.

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You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. Forget for a moment that Peter slept with the prostitute 18 times. When confronted about sleeping with Kalinda, Peter's reply was, "It was before she was your best friend." This is not a "moment of weakness" wherein Peter "succumed to his sexual appetite." Peter made a choice to abandon his vow of fidelity with someone who he had direct authority over. That is abuse of power. Where is Peter's acknowledgement that he did something wrong with Kalinda? When did he apologize to Alicia for it? Peter is a sleaze because he seems to think that since he slept with Kalinda before Kalinda and Alicia knew each other, that he has nothing to apologize for. I might think Peter less of a sleaze if he actually acknowledged what he did caused harm.

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Ms. Hampton, you argued: "Will told Alicia in that message that got erased, "So phone me. I will meet you anywhere and TOGETHER we will make a plan." He was willing to make a plan (with her), but he thought Alicia turned him down." That was how that episode ended. But if taken in context with the succeeding seasons and episodes that followed, Will actually got Alicia alone and in bed not once but several times. Did that result into his so-called vaunted plan. They were TOGETHER lots of times but no plan materialized because Will, as portrayed in this series, never had the courage to commit fully to Alicia.

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Ms. Hampton, no one denies the fact that Peter at a moment of weakness succumed to his sexual appetite. But, you have to take the entire situation as a whole and not be blind to the fact that everyone, including you or I,can make big blunders in life. It is how we pick ourselves up from where we have fallen and strive to correct ourselves that distinguish us from animals. Each one must be given the chance return to his/her own center. I believe the past four seasons have portrayed Peter as a fallen human being striving to get up and rebuild his life back altogether.

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So, Ms. Hampton, if Will is free to have his fill of sexual pleasure from a variety of women because he is single, what is the point in entering into a more exclusive relationship? Why should he bother at all? He has had a good run throughout all the seasons with sexual conquests left and right -- and these were no ordinary women -- Alicia included. Even if we qualify this lifestyle by saying, "Oh he didn't lead them on." I thimnk it still stinks. I think he should be content to remain as he is-- a very happy sexually fulfilled single man without the complications marriage brings. You know, let him share himself with all those lonely women.

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Have this hypothetical boyfriend and I crossed over to EOM (expectation of monogamy)? If we haven't, then I can't stop him from sleeping with other people. If we have crossed over into EOM, then if he slept with someone else, it would be over.
However, if you look at Will, the only person he was in a "relationship" with since the show has started is Tammy; who decided to move to London for her job. The other 2 women he has had casual affairs with had not crossed over into EOM, especially as neither of those lasted long. Will told Alicia in that message that got erased, "So phone me. I will meet you anywhere and TOGETHER we will make a plan." He was willing to make a plan (with her), but he thought Alicia turned him down. My argument the whole time has been that Will and Peter cannot be equated. Will has never made a commitment to forsake all others. Peter did. And he violated that not once, but twice that we know about. If that is not sleaze, then I don't know what is.

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Ms. Hampton, if we were to follow your line of reasoning then I presume it is alright for you to have your single boyfriend sleep around with other women while you and he are trying to build intimacy and a binding relationship together. You ask were are Will's victims? These are the women he bedded in the various episodes several of whom are still waiting for a definite commitment and action on his part to make their relationship more binding -- Alicia included. He never had a plan...that was a come on to get her to drop the pants. If he really loves Alicia he would have acted already on his so called plan on episode 2.

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Maybe we are working off of different definitions of sleaze.
I believe that a SINGLE man acting like a SINGLE man, and not lying about it, does not a sleaze make. So who are these supposed victims of Will's? They would be victims if he had lied to any of them, but he didn't.
OTOH, a MARRIED man acting like a SINGLE man, and lying about it, does make a sleaze. And we can count Peter's victims; Alicia and their children. I just don't see the change in Peter. When confronted about his sleeping with Kalinda what he told Alicia was, "It was before she was your best friend." Does that sound like an apology? So where's this great repentance that you all talk about?

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Ms. Hampton, your very statement: "He (Will Gardner) doesn't use slick lines to get women to go to bed with him. He tells them he's attracted to them. If they choose to read feelings into that, that's on them," exactly demonstrates what a sleaze is. Slick Willie is so cool with the gift of gab so that the poor victim cannot tell that she has been had. I'm amazed that you first say he doesn't use slick lines, but at the same breath you say "He tells them he's attracted to them." That's one of several classic subtle approaches sleazeballs use ("I am attracted to you! or "You are so beautiful!") to get the unwitting victim to lower their guard and eventually spread their legs willingly. Then you stress that "If they (the poor victim) choose to read feelings into that, that's on them." Really??? Sleazeballs can make lies sound like the truth.

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Ms. Hampton, I think you miss the point entirely -- what Will continues to do with the women he has casual affairs with and what Peter did with the prostitute and Kalinda are acts of sleazy men. There is a slight difference though. Peter, based on the how he is presented in four seasons after his miserable fall has shown he has realized his error and is trying though not perfectly to absolve himself of his past mistake. Can you cite an episode after Peter served his sentence and gained his freedom that hinted he was unrepentant and still "could not keep his penis in his pants?" Will on the other hand, has as far as I can remember somehow always had his penis hanging out plugging away at almost every woman in sight -- corrupting the young and "servicing" the old. There is definitely a great difference between one who accepts the error of his ways and wants to change over one who doesn't realize he is a sleaze.