The Good Wife “Restraint” Review (Season 7 Episode 8)


In an odd instance of television scheduling coincidence, The Good Wife happened to air a ripped-from-the-headlines episode tonight riffing off the infamous Planned Parenthood controversy from earlier this year, and it was only three days after Scandal aired an episode with a very similar focus.

Not only that, but both episodes were the first episodes of their respective shows (as far as I can tell), that began with a “viewer discretion advised” notice. “Restraint” didn’t appear to do or say anything more controversial or offensive than usual, but I guess if you talk about or show abortion procedures than you have to put a warning up. I don’t want to get too political or anything, but it’s a little funny how much bad language, violence, and sexual content you can show on network TV without a warning but if you so much as discuss a specific medical procedure you’ve got to slap up a warning. Anyway, take that as you will.

The case was very well presented, but was definitely one of the more political and “soapboxy” episodes. Whenever Diane has to go toe-to-toe with RD or Ethan and their conservative beliefs you just know they’re going to give Christine Baranski some great scenes and material, but her viewpoints aren’t going to be for everyone. That was also the case for the newcomer judge tonight, Judge Margovski, played by Richard Portnow. That was really my only problem with the episode, which was that I feel like it really wasn’t affecting any other characters except for Diane. This judge was one we’d never seen before, she lost a client we’d never seen or heard of before, and even this Ethan guy is a bit of a non-starter. I do like Peter Gallagher, but he just feels like a poor man’s Oliver Platt. I would much rather have RD debating Diane, because Ethan’s conversations with her don’t hold a candle to the great scenes RD and Diane shared together.

I was a little surprised to learn that Krause is still working for Lockhart, and I was a little disappointed that he seemed to be the only tie between Alicia and the rest of the folks at Lockhart, Agos, & Lee. However, that was only until Grace came out of nowhere and really threw a wrench into the works! Grace has really just been a cute addition to the season as the over-eager receptionist for Florrick and Quinn, but she really entered the fray in a big way when she snagged all of the liberal clients that Diane pissed off. This was a genius way to set Alicia on a collision course with her old colleagues, and also include Grace into the story in a believable way. It’s been a little strange basically seeing Alicia in a totally separate place from the rest of the crew, so this should be interesting. It looks like Diane’s abortion case is still going on, and she hasn’t heard where her angry ex-clients are going quite yet, so this episode has a few dangling plot lines that I can’t wait to get resolved.

Speaking of which, where did that kiss between Eli and Courtney come from? Have I been totally missing the signs? I don’t know if it was just a spontaneous thing or if this is really gonna be a romance, but it definitely came out of nowhere. We’ll see!

Random Thoughts:

– Did anybody else notice the really awkward edit between Lockhart talking to Bea and then Jason walking off the elevator?

– Kelly Bishop, the lady who played Bea Wilson, was an uncredited voice of Mrs. Kent in a season two episode of this show, “VIP Treatment”. Weird.

– For those of you keeping track, if you figure out Grace’s math, she booked $7.7 million worth of business for Alicia! That’s not bad for a day’s work!