The Good Wife “Alienation of Affection” Review

The Good Wife

Back from the Christmas break and, it would seem, back to form for my favorite procedural on television. The Good Wife was off to a shaky start this Fall, there’s no denying that. From episodes which were strangely mediocre for such a good show to episodes which were downright awful this episode, “Alienation of Affection” brought the quality of the episode up to the standard of the fantastic season two: who knew that I’d find myself on the edge of my seat hoping that Lockhart/Gardner would find a piece of paper?

The episode was highly technical: it was all about loopholes and clauses and legal technicalities which ground The Good Wife. I don’t need to know what they’re talking about to enjoy the battle of the minds going on in the firm. Any episode featuring extra dosage of David Lee instantly brings the episode to an upper level. He is still what Eli used to be. Before the writers stopped giving Eli a purpose, and instead relegated him to cat in the corner (they basically said as much through Diane, who berated Eli and told him-and by extension the audience-that his job at Lockhart/Gardner was merely a placement one until the govener’s election).

I loved it when a show engages in world building. There’s nothing worse than a show with character walking in and out through an ever open door, never to be seen again-okay, there’s plenty worse, but that sort of thing really bugs me when it doesn’t happen, and it rewards longterm viewing and commitment when it doesn happen. The case is from the show’s first season, but even better was the whole Wendy Scott-Carr angle of the episode, where Will, thanks to Alicia’s advice, engaged Elsbeth, a lawyer whose main character trait is “quirky” without being downright annoying. She’s a bit of an airheaded genius when it comes to the law, able to navigate the murky tanlges of the legal system and sure to offer both some supreme entertainment and a challenging opponent for Wendy Scott-Carr.

Not only was this a very good episode of television, but it provided plenty of setup for the rest of the season, and it also gave all of the brilliant characters who inhabit the world a little bit of quality screentime, from Cary’s redemptive maturity to Diane’s new rugged love interest.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.