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October 27, 2010 at 08:05 PM EDT

Image Credit: Jeffrey Neira/CBSThere are many reasons to love CBS’ The Good Wife. At the top of the list, right next to that look on Eli’s face when Peter’s new opponent said a fountain was her reason for entering the States Attorney race, is the writers’ ability to keep storylines gray in a way that feels true, not melodramatic. Spoiler alert for those who haven’t watched last night’s episode. For instance: It’s tough to not like cheating Peter when he respects Alicia’s work enough to turn down the endorsement of a Nobel Peace Prize winner whose lawyer wanted Peter, in exchange, to get Alicia’s firm to drop the sexual assault case being brought against the humanitarian by a massage therapist. Of course, that Nobel winner was smart enough to endorse Peter anyway, so Peter would have to choose between asking Alicia to turn down the case or being backed by a man with a scandal worse than the one Peter has survived. The massage therapist ended up dropping the case herself because she got a taste of the scrutiny that was to come as Kalinda and Blake investigated her claim before the firm would commit to representing her. We don’t know what Peter would have done if she hadn’t. The writers made you believe that the massage therapist was the kind of person who could live with her decision not to prosecute, so the ambiguity with Peter didn’t feel like a copout. The woman’s decision may have been tough to take, but I wasn’t as upset as I would’ve been had Diane chosen not to take the case at the urging of the Nobel winner’s wife. Diane had to decide whether the man’s work for women was more important than his actions against one woman. There are some things I never want to see Diane compromise on. That’s one of them.

Other characters that continued to operate well in the gray zone last night include Cary (did he send Alicia that case because he truly felt Childs was wrong not to prosecute, or because Childs saw how it could play out and asked him to?) and Blake (did he trash the victim’s apartment and steal her money because he had to make it look like a break-in, or because he’s a bastard?). But there’s one character, Will’s date Tammy (guest star Elizabeth Reaser, pictured), that’s frustrating me. Dating a guy that your sister dated, even when they were young? Kind of strange. Though I suppose Tammy needed to be someone from Will’s past who Alicia wouldn’t know, who could let it slip that Will came home from college and told her sister that he’d fallen in love with someone else (Alicia), and later tell Peter that Will was currently in love with someone else (Alicia). So let’s give Tammy an out there. Tammy says she likes Will, but not when he’s “serious.” Was she talking about him having romantic baggage or in general? He’s not Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were, Tammy. He’s a lawyer, who plays in a basketball league. She said she’d stay with Will as long as he kept it fun — the minute he falls in love with her, she’s out of there. That’d be fine with him, of course, because even though he’s suppressing his feelings for Alicia, they’re still there. But Tammy’s conversation with Peter about whether or not you can change who you love could mean she actually does want Will to fall for her. (If she didn’t before that steamy kiss, she may have afterwards.) What’s your take on Tammy? A rep for the show tells EW Reaser has at least two more episodes to air: “The hope is for many more.” A love triangle (or rectangle) works best when you like everyone involved — that way you don’t lose respect for the character who’s torn. I like Reaser, but I’m not sold on Tammy yet, even if she does eat two desserts and checks sports scores at dinner. Watch a clip below. 

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.
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