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



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. . . "