'The Good Wife' recap: Sex, secrets, and radical politics

The Good Wife, the show that lasts one hour but crams in enough entertainment for two, had a particularly thick, juicy episode this week. From the courtroom to the bedroom, the episode called “Silly Season” addressed just about every subplot, worked in every major and minor character, the series has developed this season.

Alicia defended a prison inmate accused of murder who turned out to be a lieutenant in the drug empire of Lamont Bishop, whom we haven’t seen for a while, but he’s back and being courted as a client by Lockhart, Gardner partner Derrick Bond. The murder case was highly entertaining for a number of reasons, the first being that the judge was played by Jane Alexander, who breezily admitted from the bench that she’s often accused of being pro-defense in many cases “because I pal around with Bill Ayers and the like.” (That sound you heard was CBS entertainment president Les Moonves sprouting a gray hair upon hearing that one of his prime-time dramas just favorably name-checked a former radical.) Another nice moment in the courtroom: Alicia’s opponents, Cary and Geneva, spotted Kalinda giving the defense some new info she’d dug up, and Geneva muttered, “Whenever I see that bitch, I know we’re in trouble.” (That sound you heard was hoots of approval from Kalinda fans across the nation.)

On the political front, Wendy Scott-Carr went to Glenn Childs. (What’s up with his dark hair? He must be dying it and/or applied a toup, because Geneva, queen of the mutterers, also muttered to Cary, “Don’t mention the hair.”) Wendy showed Childs a creepy racist flier, and she wanted to know which of her two campaign opponents, Childs or Peter Florrick, distributed it. Childs denied it, then they colluded against Peter. Cut to Wendy going to visit Alicia at Lockhart, Gardner with a different inflammatory flier, one that accuses young Zach Florrick of impregnating the Girl With the Faraway Eyes, Becca, and arranging for her to have an abortion. Zach denies this. Oh, and Peter turned to Alicia as soon as Zach left the room and said he wanted to “share the bedroom again.” Sidebar, your honor!

Who has to clean up the campaign mess? Eli Gold, of course. He ascertained that Peter’s PAC was behind the racist flier, which posed a moral/financial dilemma for his candidate. Eli also figured out what was behind the abortion flier. In a fabulous scene — every scene between Eli and Becca is fabulous; it’s like watching Margo Channing eat Eve Harrington alive, or vice versa — Eli confronted Becca with the knowledge that she’d had an abortion, but not due to Zach: She’d had sex with her tutor. Two scandals were thus squelched, but the racist flier came at a cost: Peter divested himself of the PAC’s money and thus, Eli said, Peter’s campaign is now bankrupt.

As if we didn’t have enough interesting private investigators in this show — Blake was busy this week digging up info about Kalinda’s past and facing down Cary in a heated macho exchange — we were also introduced to Andrew Wiley, a busy Mr. Mom dad who moonlighted for Carey. A fun character (lovingly paternal to his kid, ruthless with everyone else), Wiley gathered information that helped Carey put away the prisoner/drug lieutenant but seriously messed up his office’s bigger case against drug lord Bishop. Carey also proved he possesses the good qualities we know he usually tries to hide by betraying Childs in telling Kalinda that Childs is having her past investigated. Can it be that her real name is something like “Lela Tahiri,” as Blake suggested to her? She said, “I think you need to find that out for yourself.” I think we’re going to find out more about Kalinda’s secret past before the season is over, don’t you?

Me, I wish this season of The Good Wife would never end. The show accomplishes so much with such quick, precise scenes: There was an entire debate about “the N-word” that would dominate a lesser series, and made the character of Geneva a three-dimensional, complex creation. There’s nothing the show can’t handle deftly… except for the marriage that gives the show its title. Because the folks behind The Good Wife know that nothing is more complicated, juicy, agonizing, and unknowable than the relationship between two people trying to love each other.

Twitter: @kentucker


Comments (160 total) Add your comment
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  • Judith

    Am I the only one who doesn’t care about Kalinda and her mysterious past?

    • P.

      Yes

      • chase

        OMG she OOZES SEXUALITY!!! There are too many great actors on this show. My question to everyone is are the writers of this show connected in anyway to HBO’s “The Wire”. Several actors who starred on The Wire have guess starred on TGW and the story line about the drug lord, Lamont Bishop seems similar to the characters Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell. Just curious?

    • Fluff

      Yes.

    • rob

      probably.

      • Judith

        Ha! Well,thanks for clearing that up.

    • Valerie

      yes

    • David

      How could you possibly not care about Kalinda? She’s the most fascinating character in the entire show and that’s saying something because the entire cast is fantastic.

    • Dylan

      Kalinda Rocks – just hope this storyline doesn’t ruin her.

    • fg

      definitely!

    • Varris

      Actually, I think I know where you’re coming from… There’s a whiff of “futile exercise” in the whole affair.
      Here’s where I feel the show relies too much on the fact that the audience loves Kalinda.

      I don’t think that whatever comes out from Blake – who seems to be going the personal, tawdry route – is going to be earth-shatteringly interesting or get her into that much trouble, ultimately.
      There could be more danger from Childs, who’s investigating her from a legal standpoint.

    • Jen

      Ha! Judith, I’m with you — I mean, I don’t not care about Kalinda’s storyline, but I think it’s getting a little too drawn out and for a short time was taking over the show.

    • DW

      That’s up to you but I sure do.

    • Scott

      I think Kalinda needs her own spin-off. I’m obsessed.

    • sally1018

      Yes. I love Kalinda…she’s the best character on the show.

  • c

    absolutely love the the good wife fantastic show best show on television in my opinion

  • elena

    I loved that this episode had a stronger focus on Cary, but you’re so right, Ken, I didn’t even notice the deftness TGW utilized tonight by somehow tying in ALL the major storylines from the previous episodes. TGW constantly surprises me not only with its beautiful acting (the showdown between Alicia/Wendy stood out) but how strong episodes are. No fillers, no one-shots, everything contributes to a larger picture in some way. And making Alan Cumming a series regular was the smartest move in prime time. He’s a god.

  • Kit

    Ken, Glenn/Titus’ hair was so dark because he was filming a movie at the same time where he had to have a dark dye job, and the show had to just go with it.

    • Sarah

      I think it makes him look older.

      • Kit

        I agree. Silver hair was much more becoming on him. Hopefully now that he’s done filming the movie, it’s back to it’s original color.

    • Mark

      That’s interesting, Kat. I didn’t know that about the actor, and I just thought is was perfectly in character for Childs: in a tight three-way race with the handsome Peter Florrick and the much younger Wendy Scott-Carr, it seemed perfectly right for him to make a change in his appearance. Ridiculous? Hey, it’s Chicago – part of the state that gave the world the well-coiffed Rod Blagovich!

      • lesliemd

        Had a feeling Titus’ hair was due to another part, since he isn’t a regular on TGW. Loved that they made mention of it in a light manner. Reminded me of The Chief on Grey’s Anatomy dying his hair to look younger, then went back to his natural silver-foxiness.

        Love this show – it packs twice as much story/chatacterization into an hour than any other drama, and at 11:00, I always wish it were twice as long! This show makes you realize how much time is wasted in those procedurals doing long takes in the labs, with some music playing over. So lazy. Major props to TGW writers!!!

  • Mel

    I hate how the episode ended. Alicia’s reaction to Peter’s expression of love was rather cold and unsatisfying, especially after his sacrifice to protect his family by getting rid of his PAC. Even with such a small role (Chris Noth is only featured as a “Guest Star”), Noth’s ability was acknowledged with a Golden Globe nomination. I want more Peter and Alicia scenes, is that too much to ask?

    • Orac

      I’m with you Ken. I don’t want this season to end. So many wonderful scenes tonight. Eli and Becca. Will and Diane! And Cary was the man. I wonder if he’ll stay at the DA’s office when Childs loses? And what more can be said about Kalinda? The only thing missing there is her future relationship with Geneva… sorry, my fantasy, not part of the plot. ;-)

      • Orac

        Sorry Mel, don’t know why this was attached to your post.

    • Liz

      Ditto!

      • Liza

        At last, someone comes up with the “right” anwesr!

    • peternalcia

      likewise…i think Peter is trying and trying to redeem himself for his past actions and its being utterly ignored. Im hoping Alicia not shutting the door at the end is positive sign cause i realy do think thee two need to make it work. I trul believe Will is no saint. For staters going after a married woman when shes vulnerable doesnt say much does it?

    • Jim

      Alicia’s reaction was *not* cold. She said “I know”, smiled, and then went to the bedroom, deliberately leaving the door open behind her. It was a tacit statement that Peter was allowed to come back and sleep in the bedroom again.

      Scenes like these are what distinguish TGW from lesser shows. Having Alicia slap a big wet kiss on Peter and saying, “I love you too!” might make the show easier to understand, but it would not be in line with Alicia’s reserved and undemonstrative character.

      • Gwen

        I think Alicia is still dealing with her feelings in the aftermath of Peter’s infidelity. She may not be ready to trust him totally. And she may be conflicted about what she is feeling for Will. That’s what makes this show so interesting!
        The scene between Eli and Becca was my favorite moment from this episode. Once the election is over, I hope the writers find a way to keep Eli…Alan Cumming does such a wonderful job.

      • Sparky

        I thought her leaving the door opened at the end was an invitation to Peter to. Little things like Peter turning down the money from the PAC for the sake of his family and when he told the interviewer that his marriage was none of his f-ing business on TV has helped to slowly show Alicia that he has changed and is nt completely consumed by politics this time round. I like the way that the writers are slowly showing that he hurt her and it will take time for them to get past it and for her to be the good wife again. To make it all better would be lazy writing and thats not something that we could ever accuse these guys of. I think I read that an upcoming episode (either next week or the week after) that Alicia talks to Will about the phone call so I guess its not going to be happy familys with Peter and Alicia just yet.
        Really like that Cary got more screen time this week – he gets cuter with every episode. Also liked how they brought up the condoms from last season that caused Peter to think that Alicia was cheating – nice continuity…

      • Mel

        Ohh thanks for bringing that to my attention. I had no idea she normally closes the door on him. I just immediately thought when she walked away after his expression of love, that she kind of gave him the cold shoulder. But alas, there is much more subtlety that I did not catch.

      • Maria

        Amen…you’ve nailed it!!!

    • ivory

      i personally don’t think peter’s suffered enough. sure he’s sure, but isn’t everybody sorry only AFTER they get caught? he embarrassed her on a public front with no regard to her feelings or those of his children. then he serves a little time, apologizes, then thinks she’s taking too long to come around? while i love scenes with the two of them together, i admittedly only love them because she makes him squirm so much. giving up campaign money after the fact is small consolation considering he could’ve ruined his entire career and his family in the first place. i’m still holding out hope that alicia ends up with will. she owes peter nothing but the chance to have a good relationship with his kids. his sense of entitlement makes me ill.

      • ivory

        oops, meant “sure he’s SORRY…” in that second sentence

    • anikitty

      Her reaction was perfect. She doesn’t directly address any of the emotional stuff in her relationship. But she left the door open which was a clear invitation for him to follow her.

      I was actually more upset about the obvious plotline..I knew right away that when he siad he wanted back in the bedroom, that Peter would choose between political gain and his family. And that choosing to get rid of his PAC support would get him back in the bedroom.

    • Thinker

      Yes. Why should she resume her marriage with him? Because HE loves Her? Puhlease. She’ll resume when she feels like it, IF she feels like it. Julianna M was on Ellen yesterday and she hopes that Alicia picks neither guy. I agree.

    • skg

      Peter doesn’t deserve the reward of Alicia’s love by doing the right thing and protecting his family. That’s his job. It doesn’t require payback. It should just be done. Since he was so bad at it previously, it’s time he stepped up and did the right thing, not for the reward of moving back into the bedroom, but because that’s what he should have been doing all along.

      • Gabi

        I am so glad you brought that up, skg! Protecting his family/putting his family before himself is what Peter is SUPPOSED to do – you don’t get cool points for doing what you should.

    • soz

      I actually love that whole story line. I feel like I really love the complex angle the show takes with their marriage, where even though he wronged her, he’s the one who seems to be the most invested in restoring the relationship, whereas I feel like her attention is pretty much elsewhere, but she’s the one who feels obligated to stick it out.

      That wasn’t very eloquent. It makes sense in my head.

    • Kathy

      Peter and Alicia’s sticky, hot/cold relationship is the main reason (out of many good ones) that I watch this show. Love them together.

  • Tiff

    Normally she closes the door, this night she left it open. It was subtle but I liked the way it worked.

    And yes this show is sublime. I wish it was two hours! Or on every night!

    • girlie

      The door, loved the door! I have enjoyed this show from the beginning, but now I’m devouring it! The cast, perfect! Finally Carey has his Matt hair! He looked like a child in the beginning finaly he looks like an adult!

    • Sheila G

      AND she walked slowly towards the bed. Very subtle. This is a great show because it assumes the audience is smart. I wish it would go on forever, too.

  • Sarah

    Love this show. Every show wants to be the next must see event like Lost, and they try to do it with sci-fi, but The Good Wife has already become my must see TV. (Love Fringe too, of course.)

  • VLh

    Cary was beyond sexy when he didn’t back down from Blake.

    • Rock Golf

      Cary is quickly becoming my favorite character on the show. He’s possibly the most moral.

      • Sarah

        I agree. Matt Czuchry is awesome as Cary. I was a big Gilmore Girls fan and couldn’t stand him as Logan on that show, but every scene he was in last night he did a great job. So charming and well acted.

      • Jen

        Love Cary. I’m so glad he’s getting some screen time.

    • Varris

      It actually was kind of hot, but I was kind of distracted by the Friday Nights Lights mini-reunion

      • ChrisB

        Who else besides Blake was on FNL?

      • Varris

        Matt Czuchry (Cary) was on FNL for season 3.
        I don’t think he had any scenes with Scott Porter, but he played the Chris Kennedy…
        Who was the good religious boy dating Lyla before she went back to Tim Riggins in season 3.

    • soz

      He is sooooo much better on this show than he was on Gilmore Girls. God I hated Logan. Cary’s great though. And am I the only one who’s very entertained by his adorable little crush on Kalinda? Can’t wait for him to find out she’s a lesbian. Poor thing.

      • Varris

        Kalinda’s bi-sexual, so something could happen between them…

    • Nancy

      That Cary scene with Blake and The one with Eli and Becca were 2 of my favs scenes of a great episode.

    • mkaffeine

      Cary is turning into such a fascinating character — especially now that the writers have him conflicted about joining the Dark Side. I kept waiting for the newly Just for Men-ed Childs to say, “Join me … “

  • porno

    This show is very interesting and Alicia looks like very sexy.

    • Babs Anthony

      I agree. I could not take my eyes off of her.

  • penny

    needs more will!!!

    • Fluff

      Didn’t miss him! Anytime we have more of him, Alicia takes a backseat and he becomes central character and everyone else disappears. We saw nothing but him in two episodes in a row.

      • penny

        you speak the truth…but i need my josh charles fix

      • soz

        Me too penny. Me too.

        Is it wrong that I desperately want Alicia and him to just tear off each others clothes and go at it every time they’re in a scene together, regardless of whether or not anyone else is in the room? Probably.

      • bobbi

        I do so want Will to say he loves Alicia again.

    • tfan08

      I agree! Every TGW needs more Will!! I think Alicia and Will are the heart and soul of this show and when they’re not together defending their client I think the show loses. But I loved the Kalinda storyline. Blake is going down – no question. And should Cary trust Childs? He’ll use Cary like he does everyone else. Cary will learn a lesson the hard way I’m sure. To Robert & Michelle – PLEASE give Will more lines every show!!

      • Marsha

        I agree, Cary should never trust Child’s. I predict a falling out with him over Kalinda and a move back to Lockhart Gardner in the future.

    • Jenny

      Yes, only a couple small scenes with Josh Charles–not enough!

  • DW

    Really liked this episode. It was good to see the case from the States Attorney’s Office view. Everything was great. Cary was terrific. Looking forward to more Cary & Kalinda in future episodes.
    Also really liked Geneva who is always a welcome guest. And Blake. a total creep. Hope he gets his in the end.

  • rob

    i cant believe how good this show is. oh did anybody get the impression something is going on with cary? i got the impression childs has some assignment for him. like maybe he “fires” him and cary acts as a mole at locvkart-gardner…or i watch too many spy shows.

    • megan

      Oooo–I like this idea! I definitely felt like something was going on since we didn’t get to see the proposal made by Childs to Cary. And your idea makes sense–the episode resonanted with the idea that the prosecution was really suffering due to their lack of a competent investigator, so to plant Cary in Lockhart-Gardner’s office would definitely make sense! Especially since the episode showed us that the prosecution is definitely not immune to questionable, unethical tactics as a means to an end (ex., Cary and Geneva’s coaching of the witness and their statement that they “COULD NOT put in a good word at his parole hearing.”)

    • DW

      I don’t know about Childs planting Cary as a mole at Lockhart-Gardner. It does sound interesting but I think Childs is just trying to keep Cary at the S.A.’s office because of his success. But you never know with this show. One thing is certain: Cary is terrific no matter where he works.

    • Mel

      Geneva was fantastic!

  • Mandy

    so much covered in so little time. Amazing! I love Kalinda and Carey is really growing on me.

  • veronica

    bloody hell, this show! so good! but am i the only one who was upset to see alicia leave the bedroom door open for peter at the end of the episode?!

    • Rebecca

      nope

    • tfan08

      NO! You’re not the only one!! Definitely an open invitation. I think her heart is with Will but she IS married to Peter so as the saying goes “you’ve made your bed now lie in it.” Let’s just hope another past hooker/girlfriend shows up soon to get him kicked out again.

      • Mel

        Clearly there are a lot of Will/Alicia fans out there…

      • bobbi

        count me as one of Will/Alicia fan.

    • popnotes

      Nope. While I like Peter a lot, I would be skeeved out if I were Alicia – esp on his whole “I want to share a bedroom”. She may be opening up over time, but a jump forward to full reconciliation? I don’t think so.

    • Samantha

      Peter’s actually growing on me. It proves how good the show is that my opinions with the love triangle is starting to shift. Peter keeps trying to redeem himself, and he sacrificed his career for his family. I started out loving Will but he is definitely not as nice as I first thought. He’s done some shady things for clients. And can anyone tell me why Josh Charles is constantly unbuttoning his jacket in court?

      • Melanie

        lol at that last bit. totally agree wiht you about the quality of the show is seen through the shift in the love triangle. the fact that I can’t decide if I like Will/Alicia or Peter/Alicia more just shows how amazing the show is. I’m just trusting the show to take me on an incredible ride without having to fear that they will mess the whole thing up.

  • Kiki

    Oooo man this show is just TOO good! Why cannot it be two hours long??
    I think the door thing worked, it was great! Hope she gives Peter a second chance :D

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