'The Good Wife': A Marriage Saved by a Skateboard

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Last week's startling finale left us fearing the worst. Alicia's marriage seemed about to go bust, and Peter seemed certain to go back to jail. Not so fast. Alicia, hearing the security alarm confirming that Peter had violated the terms of his home leave, deep sixes her dinner date (which, we have learned, is with Will, her opportunistic boss) and returns to her apartment with the chastened Peter. Their fast-thinking children concoct a tale involving indoor skate-boarding gone awry, forestalling their father's immediate return to penal confinement. In one of those fortuitous accidents of fate so irresistible to script-writers, the teenagers' improvisations are witnessed by the young adult son of the building superintendent, an Indian woman, a single mother, who finds herself the object of interrogation by immigration officials, who believe her son may be involved in an identity theft scheme as well as jewel smuggling.

The mother is threatened with immediate deportation (for a technical paperwork violation), unless her son decides to confess his crimes and incriminate his employers, who run a travel agency and appear to be both furtive and dangerous. The case is made to order for Alicia, who, with the usual savvy involvement of Kalinda, her all-purpose legal assistant, save the terrified super—though only after the woman's young daughter admits that she, rather than her mother or brother, has been a participant in the crimes that interest NIS. She faces jail time, but accepts her fate as the price of rescuing her mother.

Peter and Alicia decide to have a serious conversation (something we've been waiting for since early last fall), and decide that they'll keep working on their marriage. The ever-hopeful Will is momentarily distracted by a comely De Paul University law professor, as well as by one of her students, and Alicia's children learn more than they need to know about Will's interest in their mother, and about Alicia's brief willingness to encourage it. Peter, saved by his family's inventiveness and daring, remains at home, though in a separate bedroom.

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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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