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The Good Wife: Free Speech and Dirty Tricks

Things were busy on The Good Wife last night, with two major cases that tested Alicia’s patience, her faith in the law, and—of course—her ability to multitask.

The writers took a page from Law & Order's Ripped from the Headlines! handbook and tried their hand at roasting Glenn Beck. OK, not Glenn Beck exactly, but a conservative commentator with Beck-like, er, charm. Popular talk show host Duke Roscoe (Craig Bierko) was being sued for his role in the death of Cheryl Willens, a woman who killed herself after Roscoe accused her of murdering her daughter and faking a kidnapping. Heavy stuff, made heavier by the fact that Roscoe said he was just exercising his right to free speech. Straight from the headlines! Or at least, straight from other legal dramas, who took it straight from the headlines.

But I can’t fault The Good Wife too heavily for a derivative plotline, especially since it was handled deftly. Besides, the show gave us an equally intriguing B-plot, with Alicia representing Carla Browning in her divorce from Glenn Childs. Yeah, that’s Glenn Childs as in the DA who helped put Peter Florrick behind bars. I’m no legal expert—shocking, right?—but the conflict of interest seemed pretty glaring. Actually, that was the point. Carla wanted to use Alicia as leverage by threatening to air Glenn’s dirty laundry unless he agreed to a fair settlement. I wish Alicia had shown a bit more backbone here: I can’t really imagine a worse husband than Glenn Childs, but exploiting our heroine that way was pretty unforgivable.

I guess Alicia had other things to worry about. In order to prove Roscoe was liable for Cheryl’s death, Stern, Lockhart, & Gardner had to show that he recklessly disregarded the truth. Meanwhile, Roscoe went into attack mode, lambasting the firm on his show. A photo of Alicia and Will at a hotel together? Scandalous. When Roscoe threatened to reveal more secrets about the firm, I’ll admit I felt conflicted: Boo to sensationalized journalism, but can I help it that I wanted to know the gossip?

While Will wasted time flirting with the defense attorney, Kalinda tried to pinpoint Roscoe’s sources. It wasn’t difficult to find the woman who falsely reported Cheryl’s attempt at a late-term abortion, then recanted. The trouble was proving that Roscoe knew his source had made it up. The jury ruled against the TV host, anyway, but Judge Abernathy (the perpetually awesome Denis O’Hare) overturned it. Ah, well. Grieving husband Tim was reunited with his kidnapped daughter, which was about as happy an ending as I could have hoped for. Free speech cases are rough no matter how they turn out.

And more good news: Carla got her divorce from Glenn Childs. We didn’t learn much more about Peter’s imprisonment, but we do know that Glenn was responsible for those photos slipped under the Florrick door—you know, the ones of Peter smoking crack, which his precocious kids dismissed as Photobooth trickery. I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of Glenn as we finally discover what Peter did and didn’t do. Though, frankly, I’m less concerned about the drug use than the rampant cheating. Hey, if Alicia can forgive him—and last night it looked like she was headed that way—then maybe I can, too.

What did you think of the episode?

Comments (13)
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OK everyone i was only saying its television.. Anything on tv can offend someone but in the end it can be forgotten about. Just like this episode.
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great episode.
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I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell ya that the far left wing fanatical media would caricature a Conservative. Eureka, could you please show me all those episodes on different shows that slam liberals? You can't really blame half the population for getting a bit fed up with the political bias in television these days. When was the last time you saw the "bad guy" being an abortion rights activist? A gun control fanatic? A socialist health care advocate? A death penalty opponent? An atheist?
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very good episode, i love the show!!
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i dont get how CBS can create a show that souns boring as hell and bring in 15 million viewers for it, the same goes for their other shows like CSI and NCIS
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while I don't necessarily agree with Cathie50's methods of choosing shows, I hope you realize, Eureka45, that your argument that its only a tv show makes Cathie50's reasons for not watching as valid as yours for watching. Either way I don't care about the good wife.
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KDHMHE I wonder if you'd name a couple of those shows that "take nice long stabs at liberals"? I haven't seen any of them.

Cathie50 - We just deleted The Good Wife from the DVR. In the past, we gave shows a pass if the smear wasn't too awful or too often, but no more. It's one strike and they're out.
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I loved the acting on the show and it was a fun way to end the episode. Also the Judge needs to learn how to not be so wishy washy with his ideas. Can't wait to see more of the show. And to all you people who get all up in arms about politics on a show, let me repeat it is a show, and there are plently of shows that take nice long stabs at librals and yet teh librals don't seem to take as much offense as the conseveratives.
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wow cathie50, chill, it's a tv show.......
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Cathie50 it people like you who ruin a show. Its only a tv show tht might have similar events to things happening in the political world but its still a tv show. Its just actors playing the role of a fictional character, and for u to say my family and I will never watch this show again because of this episode is the most rediculous thing ive ever heard.... Uve been watching up till last nights episode (only One episode) and now ur freaking out and saying ur not going to watch it. Well cathie50 u do wht u do and the rest of us will do wht we have to do and im srry if this sounds mean trying not to make it but to give up on a show just like tht makes u a failure for all u know the show culd have even more great success to come.
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Episode was adequate
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Three cheers for Cathie50...hurah...hurah...hurah!
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I hope it was worth it to you to attach the right. I loved this show until this. When are you people going to learn that alot of your viewers are conservative. Oh by the way, in response to the slam against Bush and Cheney and the psuedo-republican on the stand making remarks about the "President" and the black remark, this is why you (liberals) are the reason for the division in this country, along with the moron in office. I and my family will never watch your show again.
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