What an oddly shaped version of The Good Wife we got last night. The cliffhanger from last week had Chris Noth’s Peter setting off his house-arrest ankle-bracelet alarm to punch the hall elevator button, hoping to catch Julianna Margulies’ Alicia before she went off to dinner (or is that “dinner”?) with Josh Charles’ Will.
But what felt last week like a pivotal point in the series was settled in a few opening moments last night. Peter’s son and daughter covered for him with the arriving police, and we were off to a new plot.
A plot that we very quickly realized was just a one-off tale that had almost nothing to do with the characters we care most about. Alicia got involved in a neighbor’s deportation case. I’m going to skip over the details, other than to note that, once again, Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda proved the show’s secret weapon.
Pushed to the edges of the hour was the significant stuff. Delayed when Peter ankled the apartment, Alicia left Will alone in the restaurant of their assignation. He cell-phoned a fresh companion, a comely law professor, setting up a fresh round of the ambivalence Alicia does so well. (She’s kinda relieved she didn’t go through with it, kinda mad and jealous that things didn’t turn out the way she and Will had planned.)
We saw, briefly, Terry Kinney’s Kozko — the guy who wore the wire during last week’s meeting with Peter. Kozko, guilt-ridden and under threat by States Attorney Childs, has likely committed suicide, according to news reports. Pause for a very brief moment while Alicia recalls him whimpering, “Help me.”
Will, for now, seems turned off by the idea of getting together with Alicia. Between the law professor and that rather creepy 25 year-old law student (excellent performance by Karen Olivo) who invites him to dinner — “dinner” seems to be The Good Wife‘s code for “sex” — Will is trying to play the field. Sorry, Alicia: your home life is just too high-maintenance for our laid-back Will.
Kalinda warned Alicia not to get involved with the deportation case. (If only she’d listened, we’d have had a juicier hour.) The warning comes with the reminder that Will and Christine Baranski’s Diane will soon be deciding between Alicia and Matt Czuchry’s Cary for the associate position. Alicia needs to keep her “eyes on the prize” and step up the office politics.
And that, my friends, is where the action is next week. I’ve already seen that episode, readers, and I implore you: Do not miss next week’s Good Wife.