I’m torn. I thought Lauren Graham nailed an Emmy nod with the last 2 episodes of Parenthood this season (especially the season finale.) I may have to rethink that after watching tonight’s The Good Wife. For this particular review, I am going to break it down by the characters since that is really what interested me. If it wasn’t for all this Alicia/Peter insanity, the case would have been more appealing to me, especially with Martha Plimpton back as Patti Nyholm. Unfortunately it is going on the back burner this week so I am going to focus mainly on Alicia and Peter and the fallout from the revelation from 3 weeks ago about Peter and Kalinda.
Julianna Margulies was beyond perfection. Anger, devastation, confusion, quiescence, firmness….she ran the gamut of emotions. This is a much different Alicia than what we saw when the series started. At that point, she was lost and unsure of herself and how she would move forward. Now, she knew exactly what to do because there were only 3 people she cared about protecting….Grace, Zack, and herself. In no time at all, she moved Peter out, severed ties with Jackie (thank God), focused on her career, and discussed with her children how things were going to be with the information she had at that time. It was striking. Her strength never ceases to amaze me. But what’s important is that she isn’t a robot with no heart. Her heart is broken and she is doing everything she can to hold herself together because she has to for her children. She has to be numb and distant to some degree other wise she would probably fall apart and burst into tears at the sheer mention of Peter or Kalinda’s name. Alicia Florrick is a strong, loving, kind, fierce, loyal, good woman. I hate seeing someone so incredible be torn down so completely. If this was any other character, I don’t know how she would bounce back. For me, it’s not a matter of CAN Alicia bounce back but how much stronger and bolder will she be WHEN she does.
I have always been supportive of Alicia and Peter’s marriage. I believe that deep down they really love each other and genuinely like each other. They were moving back towards building their lives together again and both parties seemed very happy about that. It seemed like that is what they both wanted. Then this news comes to Alicia. So I have to ask the question….if it came out that Peter slept with anyone other than Kalinda, would Alicia have reacted this way? What happened was in the past. It didn’t happen recently and it didn’t happen over and over again….it was a one time thing between them. Alicia had to know that if Peter was sleeping with a prostitute that chance are, he probably slept with someone else. But it appeared as if, regardless of his past, she was ready to put it behind them and move on. Until that past included her current BFF. Just because it’s Kalinda is it really any different? At that time, she didn’t know Kalinda and they weren’t friends. So Kalinda wasn’t betraying her. Peter at that time was a known philanderer so news of him cheating, shouldn’t be a shock. So is Alicia’s reaction justified? For the most part, I would say yes and to some small degree I would say no. Hear me out. Alicia has been put through the ringer more times than I can count. She has finally gotten to a good place in her life and she was completely cut off at the knees with this news. Leading up to the election, she had some hesitation worrying about her life returning to what it was before. This news confirmed her worst fears. Even though this happened before. Even though this was not recent. It still brought all those feelings and all those fears front and center. Alicia’s had enough. She feels as though she deserves better and I would agree with her. Plus, how could any person not react the way she did? Also I think she is furious at him for destroying her family and hurting their children. How could you forgive him for that? He never seems to think about how his actions affect not just Alicia but his children? So with all that said, Alicia was absolutely justified in her reaction. However, there are two huge parts to this that make this different…this happened years ago, before they reconciled and Kalinda and Alicia were not friends at that time. Now what I am about to say is easy for me to say because I wasn’t betrayed by my husband and best friend. So take it for what it’s worth. If I were Alicia and I was just confronted with this news, here is what I would do. I would sit Peter down and have a come to Jesus discussion with him. I would tell him that he has the next 10-15 minutes to tell me all the people he slept with since we had been married. It won’t be held against him. But this is his one chance to come clean. That way, no one else can come to me and surprise me anymore with these revelations. We are being open and honest and I will know everything. Once that conversation is had, the rule is, no more whores! If he slips even a little, I will leave him and take the kids with me and never look back. But if the past is the past and it stays there, then we can move forward. But if I find out you lied and held something back or you cheat again, you’re dead to me and your kids. Because regardless of WHO he slept with, it doesn’t matter. Kalinda was not her friend at the time so it wasn’t as if this was a worse cheat than any other. She was nothing to Alicia at that time. So Peter didn’t sleep with her BFF back when it happened. He slept with a random woman. So isn’t he owed the chance to explain and talk through it?
Having said all that, I still understand Alicia’s outrage and heart crushing actions. It will be very interesting to see how it goes down with Kalinda next week. Anyone that has a best friend (especially a best girl friend) will understand that the betrayal you would feel from her would be worse than the husband. Especially in this case where it isn’t shocking that Peter would cheat but to know your BFF kept from you that she slept with your husband (again, before she knew you.) WOW! I just know that no matter which direction Alicia decides to take her life in, I will ALWAYS have her back and support her 100% (just don’t sleep with Will!)
Oh Peter. Do you know how hard it is to defend you when you act the way that you do? I have been so proud of the progress you have made and really felt like you have turned a corner. And deep down, I think you and Alicia will find your way back to each other. Even though this happened a while ago when Alicia and Kalinda weren’t friends (didn’t even know each other) I am still a little disappointed over how you handled this situation.
I have to say, it was brutal watching him walk into that apartment because he had no idea what was about to hit him! He was so excited after the election and I really think he was thrilled to be moving into the next phase of their lives. Then Alicia dropped the bomb. This isn’t their place….it’s HIS place and all of his things have already been moved in. When he turns and looks at all his boxes and tells Alicia he is truly confused, she clears it up for him “you slept with Kalinda.” And his head drops over what she now knows.
I didn’t like the way he handled this scene. He really came across as “what’s the big deal? It happened, it’s over, you didn’t know her at the time so let’s forget about it.” He was very cavalier about this and if I were Alicia I would have slapped him. He gave the impression of smugness and ambivalence. It was not a good impression at all! But when she left, after he asked what he could do to make this right and she said nothing, he really looked devastated.
Later, when Alicia gets home, he is at the apartment and he insists they talk. Alicia insists they do it outside so the kids won’t hear them. This is the part where I really liked him. He tells her that he called a marriage counselor and that he is going to start seeing her next week and that if it takes him leaving the State’s Attorney’s office, he would do it to save their marriage because he loves her. I believed him 100%. Alicia….not so much. She tells him it’s a no…to counseling, explanations, basically any word that comes out of his mouth. The next part is where Peter goes downhill all over again. “You’re sleeping with Will aren’t you?” Oh boy, you went there didn’t you? He tells her he thinks that this is what all this is about, the fact that there have been 3 people in this marriage the whole time. She is incensed about the fact that he is trying to put any blame on her and she asks him if that is why he came to talk to her. Then he asks if she is divorcing him and she says she hasn’t decided yet (yeah hope for us Peter and Alicia fans!!!!) He walks away and tells her to let him know when she’s figured it out. “Yep, you and Kalinda, I have her number too.” Ok, I have to say that sounded like something a high schooler would say.
The last part of this conversation is what I found most interesting. As he gets in the elevator he tells Alicia that “she’s blameless in this” meaning Kalinda. “Oh really. Did you rape her?” Alicia asks. OUCH, WOW!!!! Now the fists are coming out!!! “She didn’t even know you then” he says. “She knew you were married” (and I’ll get into this more in Kalinda’s section and probably after next week’s episode.) Peter’s next line is what really had me thinking…”it’s ok, it’s alright Alicia. Have at it. You’re the injured one. No one else. There’s nothing anyone can say right?” So what on earth did that mean? Does that mean there is much more to this story than we are lead to believe? Is it not as simple as Peter and Kalinda having a one night stand? Blake made it seem as though Kalinda slept with Peter to get his help to change her identity. What if it wasn’t that simple? She had to change her identity for a reason….why? And was someone threatening her or both of them and it led to them sleeping together? Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but that seemed to be a very loaded statement. Alicia then tells Peter to say something to her that will make her fall in love with him again. He simply says “good-bye.” “You got that right.” But again, the look on his face in the elevator says something more is going on. We shall see.
I have always hated the character of Jackie. I think she is a nasty old woman who lives vicariously through her son’s life because she has no life of her own. Did she actually give Alicia grief for leaving Peter? How dare she!!! Whatever issues are going on with Peter and Alicia are none of her business and her main concern should be how this affects all of them personally not politically. And did she ever once think to ask about her grandchildren? Of course not. She only cares about her golden boy, her meal ticket, Peter and his political career. As usual, Alicia was the epitome of class by not revealing to Jackie that her son couldn’t keep it in his pants again. Because, again, none of her business.
I found it appalling that she would just walk into Alicia’s office, without an appointment, and start badgering her about her relationship with Peter. I can understand a mother seeing her son hurt and in pain and wanting to find out what is going on. I get that. What I don’t get is her tactics and utter lack of respect. When discussing how Grace and Zack will find out Alicia tells her that she will discuss it with them after they get home from school. “So you can poison them with your bias.” WHAT!!!! If I were Alicia I would have thrown her out right then and there. I also like how Jackie tells her that she has come to admire “certain aspects” of Alicia. Oh gee thanks lady. I bet Alicia can now sleep at night! She continues by saying how her son is hurting and he should be happy but Alicia destroyed him. Alicia reminds her that it’s private and she should stay out of it. Then she tells Alicia that she watched her children for 2 years. Oh so that entitles you to berate your daughter-in-law because you don’t like their current situation!!! Alicia kindly tells her that she appreciates it and moving forward it won’t be necessary because he children are older and don’t need her. Touche!! Jackie is appalled at Alicia’s tone ( I think it’s fantastic) and she tells her that her son made her this way. Alicia then thanks her for being a life saver when she needed one and tells her that she will still be able to see her grandchildren. “Damn you to hell” is Jackie’s classy response. Back at you bitch (is what I would have said!)
Grace and Zack
And this was the scene that got me. Alicia having to tell the kids that dad is out of the house and they are splitting up. And I want to commend all three actors in this scene. They did an amazing job making me see both sides and empathizing with all of them. Alicia handled this with such grace and composure. You could see all the times she wanted to break out into tears but held it together to be able to tell them what is going on.
She never “poisoned them with her bias.” She never told them the real reason for the break. Just that it was time. So from Grace and Zack’s view-point, I can understand why they are heartbroken and confused because everything seemed to be going so well and they were on a path to being a real family again. And it was true. Zack asks if this whole time of being a family was just to get their dad elected and Alicia tells him it wasn’t. She wanted to see if the marriage would work and it hasn’t. Both kids are tearing up and are so baffled by this and Alicia can see it. It is crushing her. But she never blames Peter and in fact takes some of the blame and even protects him. She tells them that this was her decision. Also, because of their public status, she wants them to not say anything about their situation to anyone else. It must stay in the family. “But that’s lying. We’re being hypocrites” Grace says. And her mother tells her that is true but they are old enough to understand why it has to be this way and that sometimes, when people want to hurt you, it’s alright to not tell the full truth. But that they should never lie to each other. Then Grace says something that unglues her mother (and me)…”Mom you need to protect us more.” Oh Grace if you only knew how much and to what lengths your mother is protecting you!!!! Alicia then completely breaks down and loses it and Grace is horrified at how she made her mother cry and apologies to her. Alicia tearfully tells them how much she loves them and that they are going to be alright. Group hug!
I love Cary and would really like to see more of him on TGW. But is anyone else as confused as I am over why he still hates Alicia as much as he does? I know she “beat him” for the associates job and he blames her for that. But he landed on his feet with a great job at the SA’s office so I don’t know why he’s still so pissed. With the change over of SA, Cary asks Kalinda for her help in getting a new job. She recommends him for LG. Diane and Will meet with him and make him an offer that will make him a 2nd year associate but be compensated at a 3rd year level. His biggest hangup with that? He will be a 2nd year while Alicia will be a 3rd. Are you kidding me? Get over it Cary!
Still scrambling, at the end of the show, he goes to see Peter and Peter blows him off saying he isn’t making any changes or decisions at that moment. This is all happening after the showdown in their apartment hallway so Peter is not in the best mood. He even made a comment to someone on the phone about how they must be confusing him with the old Peter Florrick and he wasn’t in the mood to grant favors. Cary doesn’t leave and starts to tell Peter that he hopes their won’t be any bias against him because of his differences with Alicia in the past. Now all of sudden Peter’s ears perk up. He wants to know how he knows Alicia and Cary tells him, LG. Music plays and all we see is Peter offering Cary a seat.
Now this could be taken one of two ways. Number one is he will keep Cary on board to make Alicia’s life a living hell. Number two, he is going to use Cary to get dirt on LG and more specifically Alicia’s relationship with Will. I’m going to go with scenario #2. As upset as Peter is right now and he may even be angry with Alicia to some degree, I really think he wants his wife back. So making her life a living hell wouldn’t be the most romantic approach to winning her back. I think he is going to do whatever he can to get her back. Unfortunately Cary will be used as the pawn to make it happen.
Not much to say about Kalinda because she wasn’t very prominent this week. Understandably so since her big episode (Kalinda-centric if you will) is next week. All I will say is that Alicia has been different with her and she knows it. Do you think she already suspects that Alicia knows? Kalinda is very good at reading people so has she already figured this out? I’m not sure.
I don’t know what Kalinda’s best move would have been. Alicia is going to be pissed that after becoming such good friends, Kalinda never told her what happened. To some degree, it isn’t fair. Why would you tell her? If the only people who knew were Peter and Kalinda and telling would only hurt her, what is the point? To satisfy your own guilt by destroying a marriage and friendship as a result? That’s selfish to me. So it wouldn’t really be fair for Alicia to hold that against her. Understandable but not totally fair. However, once it was determined that Blake knew and told someone at the SA’s office, then Cary found out through that same person at the SAs office, it’s not just Peter and Kalinda knowing anymore. Many other people now know and it wouldn’t be unheard of for that information to get back to Alicia. Which it did. In that instance, it’s better that she hear it from Kalinda or Peter or both than having her find out the way she did.
This week Peter was the recipient of Alicia’s ire. Next week, it’s Kalinda’s turn. This should be tough to watch. Alicia hasn’t been able to trust many people and Kalinda is one of those people she finally let in and trusted. Well that is now all out the window (for the time being.) We all keep saying how Kalinda didn’t know Alicia when she slept with Peter and therefore you can’t really use the “you slept with my best friend” slant. However, as Alicia pointed out and I mentioned in my last blog, whether Alicia and Kalinda were BFFs at the time or not (they weren’t), Kalinda still knew Peter was married. She knew it and still slept with him anyway. So what does that say about her character? I’m sure Alicia will ask her that question. Or shout it at her or maybe just throw her computer at her head. Regardless, it should be quite a showdown and I am VERY curious to see how this affects the working environment at LG.
I know this was long but there was much to discuss. I would like to hear your thoughts if you haven’t fallen asleep from boredom at the 900 page review!