As much as I hate to admit it, I think I enjoy The Good Wife more when Alicia and Will are apart. It’s because love triangles are always more interesting when the suitors are equally worthy of the person torn between them. This show is at its most complex when Peter, the man we were originally supposed to hate, is decent, and Will, the man we were supposed to root for, isn’t ideal. Just because Alicia ended things with Will doesn’t mean she’s closer to getting back with Peter, of course. But it keeps that possibility alive, which is tension the show needs. Going back to my fondue reference in the last recap, this series is at its best when that core relationship heats up and you have truly delicious characters like Alan Cumming’s Eli, Michael J. Fox’s Louis Canning, and Tim Guinee’s Andrew Wiley to dip into it. Let’s dig in.
This episode was about bringing Alicia’s anxiety to a boiling point so she’d have to press pause with Will. It began with her hearing Grace’s voice in her sleep. “Mom. Mom. Something’s wrong,” she said. After seeing the promo for the episode that suggested Grace was abducted, I wondered how The Good Wife producers would handle that. It’s a plot twist we’ve seen a million times, and they’d have to make it different and real. They planted the seed early in the episode that Donald Pike, the incarcerated white supremacist that Lockhart/Gardner and the state’s attorney’s office had wired prison pal Colin Sweeney help prove was having witnesses killed, was at it again. If there was to be retribution, going after the daughter of the state’s attorney and Sweeney’s favorite lawyer would be a good payback. What was brilliant: Grace didn’t go missing until two-thirds of the way through the episode, which had you thinking we were in for a cliffhanger. (Granted, that would have been too melodramatic for this show.) It never occurred to me that Grace would have butt-dialed her mother 12 times while she was on her way to get baptized by that kid she’s been seen watching preach online. We’ve all butt-dialed someone, but how do you do it 12 times in an hour? Was the ride in that kid’s car that bumpy? Does his baptism service require a lot of sitting and standing? What’s your record for most consecutive butt dials?
Grace’s disappearance did more than give us another reason to dislike her (Alicia angrily tossed her lingerie for nothing!). Now more than ever Alicia is confused about her job. She found out she’d missed all those calls from Grace while she was dining with Louis, who’s still trying to woo her to his firm. Unlike Will and Diane, he’s a parent too, he said, so he doesn’t treat the office as though it’s his home. She’d get to spend more time with her kids if she worked for him. (Maybe then, and if she wasn’t wearing lingerie for Will after hours, she would’ve known Grace was still passionate about religion before asking her to cite anti-gay Bible passages that Grace doesn’t understand because of gay Uncle Owen. Ah, there’s a reason to like her.) The way Louis insisted on his driver taking Alicia to the school and helped question Grace’s friend before accompanying Alicia back to her apartment to see if Grace had left a note, was so kind. It wasn’t like Alicia called anyone from her firm for support, or even took Will’s call when he got worried. Zach, who was in Alicia’s office fixing her computer again, told Kalinda what was happening and she ultimately tracked Grace’s cell phone to a church, which apparently the police Peter made jump on the case hadn’t thought of yet. I guess we’re supposed to respect Kalinda for not using the situation as a way to win back Alicia’s friendship – she told Grace not to tell her mom she’d found her. Can you imagine if Kalinda would’ve walked in with Grace while Peter was there with Alicia? That’s a layer of drama we just didn’t need this hour.
In the end, Alicia tearfully told Will it was all too much, and she’d miss him. Of all the distractions in her life, he’s the only one she can control. If she ends things with him, the fallout is contained to the pain the two of them feel. If she’s honest with the kids and Peter about Will, they, Diane, and the media get involved. It would be easier for her – and probably Will – if she left the firm and went to work for Louis. But Louis had to go and rifle through her purse for evidence that would win the case they were arguing. (More on that later.) He’d waited until after she’d found out Grace was okay, he insisted. His firm may be ruthless, but he gets you home to see your kids. So which is more important: Spending time with your family, or being someone they can respect?
NEXT: Eli attempts to be… friendly