'The Good Wife' Returns, and She's Not Happy

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The Good Wife aired a new episode last night, after a hiatus. Alicia finally gets tough, though her stated reasons seem a bit contrived. With Alicia and children in tow, Peter attends a church service led by his new-found confessor, a black minister thought to have influence in the black community.

Midway through the service, Peter absents himself to huddle with a building contractor being pressured by Peter's nemesis, the new state attorney, to reveal embarrassing details of past involvement with Peter. Alicia, puzzled by her husband's unexpected absence from their pew, investigates, and sees the contractor making a swift exit from the church, with Peter in the van.

After a huffy evening, Alicia presents Peter with a frozen pizza and tells him she's having dinner with an old friend. Peter, she says with indignation, had said he would "change," but he hasn't "changed at all."

"It's over," she says. "You and me are over." Peter, in anguished pursuit, steps across the electronic barrier he's agreed to honor as a condition of home release, setting off an alarm bell and leaving his television audience to contemplate his immediate return to jail.

On the legal side, Alicia smartly badgers the firm's departed senior partner, now returned to the legal wars and determined to ruin his old firm. He proposes to extract from their client of the moment, an idealistic newspaper publisher responsible for publishing a cartoon likeness of Allah that seems to have inflamed Muslim believers into bombing the newspaper's offices.

The result of Alicia's psychological warfare is an inept prosecutorial effort that will limit damages in the case to well under the newspaper's maximum insurance coverage. A win for Alicia's side, but for reasons both mystifying and arbitrary.

Will Alicia stick to her guns vis-à-vis Peter's unchanging ways? And, if so, why is this the first time we've heard of her objections? "Had we world enough and time. . . "

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C. Michael Curtis has been an editor at The Atlantic since 1963. Under his direction, the magazine has won numerous fiction prizes, including the National Magazine Award for fiction. More

C. Michael Curtis"Writers crave the intelligence and ardor of this magazine's editors and readership as well as the privilege of inclusion in its pages," says best-selling author Louise Erdrich, who, like so many young fiction writers, was introduced to national readership and subsequent success in The Atlantic Monthly.

Under the direction of senior editor C. Michael Curtis, The Atlantic Monthly's fiction has been nominated for a National Magazine Award virtually every year; in 1988 The Atlantic won this prestigious prize. Year after year short stories from the magazine are chosen for inclusion in the important annual prize collections. Curtis himself was the editor of American Stories: Fiction From The Atlantic Monthly, which was published in 1990. A second volume came out the following year, and 1992 saw the publication of Contemporary New England Stories. A companion volume, Contemporary West Coast Stories, was published in the fall of 1993. A fifth collection, entitled God: Stories, was published in December, 1998, by Houghton Mifflin, and a companion anthology, Faith: Stories, was published in 2003, also by Houghton Mifflin. His own essays, articles, reviews, and poems have been published in The Atlantic, The New Republic, National Review, and Sport, among other periodicals. Curtis is also renowned for his teaching: he has taught creative writing, ethics, grammar, and other subjects for more than thirty years at Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Tufts, Boston University, Bennington, and elsewhere, and now teaches writing at Wofford College, in Spartanburg, SC, where he occupies the John C. Cobb Chair in the Humanities.

Curtis earned a B.A. in English from Cornell in 1956. He came to The Atlantic in 1963 after four years of study toward a Ph.D. in government, also at Cornell. Previously he had worked as a reporter for The Ithaca Journal, and as an editorial assistant at Newsweek. While he was a graduate student, The Atlantic Monthly published three of his poems and employed him briefly as a summer reader.

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