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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"What Went Wrong" for The Good Wife?

     CBS ends the fall run of The Good Wife with "What Went Wrong." A Lockhart/Gardner case is lost, but Judge Dunaway (Kurt Fuller, Psych, Better With You) thinks the verdict is unfair, and encourages the firm to find evidence to help him overturn the decision before sentencing. Wendy Scott-Carr (Anika Noni Rose) smells some of the corruption she is investigating, and threatens Dunaway, making him more reluctant to overrule the jury. But Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) learn that the judge friended a jury member, and a mistrial is indeed called. In the process, Alicia discovers what Kalinda did for Grace (Makenzie Vega), and the ice between the pair begins to thaw. Good thing, as Alicia suddenly realizes she has no friends.

     The big shocker of "What Went Wrong" is Wendy Scott-Carr's hidden agenda. The investigation that Peter (Chris Noth) originally orders is against Lockhart/Gardner for their ties to a drug kingpin. But then he shifts things to Will (Josh Charles), whom he believes is involved in illegal gambling and corruption, and Peter must remove himself, lest he look like it's a personal vendetta. Hence, he nominates his nemesis, Wendy Scott-Carr, to do the dirty work for him. Wendy tells Will this week, though, that she is really after Peter. In response, Will lawyers up. This whole thing is couched in murky and changing motivations, with betrayal coming at every turn. This cannot end well for Peter or the State's Attorney's office. Guess one should never trust their enemies, huh?

     But Will and Peter have always been rivals of sorts in The Good Wife, and Will refuses to turn on Peter. When the chips are down, and Wendy is blustering, Will doesn't reveal anything he knows. Instead, he clams up, and won't cooperate. It's a smart move for himself, and could earn him Peter's gratitude, which, if Peter isn't taken down, might mean something. Plus it leaves the door open with Alicia, should Will try for a reconnection.

     Which he might very well do. Alicia dumps Will because she isn't in love with him and wants to focus on her career, which she definitely does in "What Went Wrong," accepting Diane's (Christine Baranski) friendship and mentorship. But Will is a different story. He shows many signs of being in love with Alicia, and despite his best efforts, things are now very awkward between them. Apparently Alicia just wants him for sex, and he wants something real. How this new balance will shake out is still anyone' guess.

     That Wendy chooses now to go after Peter is unfortunate, given that he has set aside corruption in his new office. Or has he? Peter seems to be playing by the rules, but a very private meeting, where he bullies a private school administrator to get his kids in, tells a different story. And if he acts this way there, what else is he doing that viewers have just not been privy to? With The Good Wife, it's impossible to tell what is really going on until the writers choose to reveal it. Which means the whole case against Peter and Will, as flimsy as it looks now, could be perfectly valid in the end.

    It is awesome that Alicia is warming back up to Kalinda in "What Went Wrong." Their friendship is a driving force in the series, and in "What Went Wrong," emotions finally seem to be reversing. For good reason, of course. All isn't forgiven, as Alicia has drinks with Diane at the end, not Kalinda. But Alicia is accepting her company again, and not treating her like a pariah. Given all that Kalinda is doing to make up for her betrayal, which happens long before they actually form a friendship, she deserves a second chance. Thank goodness she will get it.

     The Good Wife will return to CBS in January.

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     To buy The Good Wife DVDs, please click here.

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