'The Good Wife': Fuzzy vengeance
Here's a question, dear readers: Does Alicia have any girlfriends? Based on the evidence, I'd say no. We've only seen her unwind with Kalinda, and that was months ago. But if ever a woman could have used a sympathetic ear and a nice glass of Pinot, it was Alicia on last night's episode of "The Good Wife."
Why do I say that? Oh, just for several zillion reasons.
There was, of course, the matter of Alicia's husband, Peter, who came perilously close to starring in his own remake of "The Fugitive" last night. Whether he's motivated by over-the-top romanticism or pure ego, I'll let you decide (you know where I stand), but he caused quite the headache for his wife. When he ran after her onto the street, in violation of his house arrest, he set off deafening alarms. His poor kids, Zach and Grace, had to stall when the police called, then Zach pulled some sort of Tony Hawk maneuver to disable the monitoring system. Alicia dragged Peter back inside just in time to beat the police, but it was hardly a relaxing evening. Zach was hurt as a result of his kamikaze skateboarding, Grace was a distraught mess, and worst of all, Alicia had to bail on her date with Will. Crisis was narrowly averted when Daniel Golden's partner, the oddly named Elsbeth (Carrie Preston), showed up and suggested that the police were liable for Zach's non-accident. Even by television standards, it was a pretty extreme deus ex machina, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing Elsbeth again soon -- hopefully by which time her name will have picked up a few more vowels.
Then there was the matter of Anil (Sanjit DeSilva), the son of Alicia's building manager, Simran (Sarita Choudhury). Under pressure (the silent, bulge-your-eyes-while-the-cop's-looking-away kind) from Grace, Anil played along with the totally preposterous story about Zach and the skateboard. (Question: Why didn't anyone ask Peter why his hair was dry even though he just got out of the shower? It doesn't take Miss Marple to figure that one out. But I digress.) Anil sympathetically played along, but his kindly fibbing came back to haunt him. The police ran his ID and he was implicated in an identity-theft operation. Even worse, the authorities discovered that his mother, Simran, had been in the country illegally for 27 years and she faced deportation.
Alicia is racked with guilt: If Anil hadn't been roped into her domestic drama, his mother wouldn't be in trouble. She decided to represent Simran in her hearing, arguing for "adjusted residence status," but the judge -- who's not even physically present at the trial and presided by closed circuit -- briskly sentenced her to deportation. It was a brutally effective scene, especially in light of Arizona's new immigration laws. In a matter of seconds, Simran's entire world was turned upside-down by a judge who couldn't even hear Alicia's arguments. Lest "The Good Wife" get too preachy, Kalinda's lack of sympathy for Simran provided another interesting facet to the story. Alicia expressed surprise at Kalinda's apathy toward Simran, but as is her wont, she has her own perspective. "Because my parents immigrated legally, you thought I'd be more sympathetic to someone who immigrated illegally?" Kalinda said. There she goes again, refusing to be predictable! Ultimately, Alicia's only chance of keeping Simran in the country was to push Anil to turn over his crooked bosses and, eventually, his sister. It's all a little convoluted, but the point is: A little Alicia guilt goes a long, long way.
Then there's the whole Will mess. After she bailed on their dinner date, Alicia called Will to clear the air. He's busy presiding over a mock trial at DePaul (the case is Hansel and Gretel, a true legal watershed if ever there was one), but they eventually had yet another brief, inconclusive conversation about their relationship. In his maddeningly vague fashion, Will told Alicia, "We're good." Alicia looked befuddled and was about to say something but stopped. Adding to my frustration, it looks like Alicia may have some serious competition on her hands. One of the DePaul students is a sexy, assertive and young (though if she's 25, then I'm 16) woman named Giada Cabrini (Karen Olivo). After a stormy mock trial, she showed up at Will's office and asked him out, a development I saw coming a mile away after their icky legalese flirtation; I have to say I'll never think of the word "recuse" in quite the same way. Something tells me Giada is not going anywhere, and that we might have a repeat of the Ross-Rachel-Julie triangle from "Friends" on our hands very soon, especially if Alicia changes her mind about "giving it a try" with Peter.
How long can Alicia and Peter's truce really last, especially under the circumstances? Peter admitted to Alicia that Kozko lent him money to buy her a bracelet and that, in terms of legality, it was a "fuzzy" thing to do. He even acknowledged that he steered investigations away from Kozko but hedged a little bit. "Everybody has friends, everybody has enemies. I did things for Kozko, a friend," he tells Alicia. That's about as fuzzy as it gets (we're talking Tom-Selleck-chest-hair levels of fuzzy), but Alicia was thrilled that Peter was finally telling her something straight-up. It's the little things, I guess. She was less thrilled when Kozko turned up missing later in the episode.
As if her emotionally distressed children, a morally "fuzzy" husband, Simran's deportation, Will's new lady friend and Kozko's apparent suicide weren't enough to deal with, next week Alicia's up on the chopping block at work. Will and Diane finally have to make a decision about who will get the junior associate position - -Alicia or Cary -- and it looks like things might finally get ugly between these two.
Someone get this woman a drink.
What we learned: The way to Will's heart is through his stomach, specifically with a giant gingerbread-man cookie. Peter wants to run again (duh), he was probably steering investigations away from Kozko "as a friend," and he used Kozko's money to buy Alicia a bracelet.
New questions: What else did Peter buy with Kozko's money? Did Kozko kill himself? If so, why? And what does his son have to do with any of this? Who's going to win the Great Battle of the Junior Associates 2010? And is the Will-Alicia fling going to be put on the back burner until next season?
-- Meredith Blake (follow me on Twitter@MeredithBlake)
Photo: Peter (Chris Noth) and Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) attend to their son Zach (Graham Phillips) after a self-imposed indoor skateboarding accident. Credit: David M. Russell / CBS