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'The Good Wife' recap: Reunited and it feels so good

March 19, 2012 | 10:00 am

It was a night of reunions on this week's episode of "The Good Wife"

I'd like to begin this week's recap by raising a (metaphorical) glass in honor of Diane Lockhart, the biggest player east of the Mississippi. And all this time I thought Kalinda was the office heartbreaker.

In recent weeks, I've grumbled a bit about the lack of an overarching narrative this season on "The Good Wife," but on the bright side, that's allowed the writers to spend more time with characters such as Will and Diane. This week marks the return of not one but two of Diane's paramours -- rugged process server Jack Copeland and equally rugged ballistics expert Kurt McVeigh. After Jack stands her up for a date, Diane impulsively calls up old flame Kurt, then surprises him by stopping by unannounced at his manly wilderness homestead. When we last saw Kurt, the gun-toting Sarah Palin enthusiast, Diane was defending him in a wrongful-conviction case. The attraction between them was still potent, but Diane had too much going on at the office to get distracted by romance.  

This time around, the attraction is still very evident, even if Kurt seems to have taken up with his much younger "protegee," who shares his right-wing politics. Although the late-night booty call seems uncharacteristically needy of Diane, she's also wonderfully unthreatened by Palin Jr. Sure, Diane is twice her age, but she knows she can make Kurt putty in her hands.

And so she does. Kurt invites Diane to join him on fishing trip to the extremely unsexy-sounding Horsetail Lake. When he calls, it just so happens that Diane is on the other line with a contrite Jack, who's asked her out on Friday night. So, like a character from "Saved by the Bell," she lines up two dates for one weekend: Friday night dinner with Jack, Saturday morning fishing with Kurt. I'd give anything to see Diane in her outdoorsy gear, sharing a cooler full of Miller High Life with Kurt. Alas, I'll probably have to rely on my imagination.

To their utmost credit, the writers avoid treating Diane's romantic adventures like some kind of curiosity. She's neither a man-eating cliche a la Samantha Jones, nor a lonely, chaste working woman who's traded her personal life for a career. I do wonder, however, what effect, if any, her brisk dating schedule will have on the ongoing civil art at the firm. Diane hardly strikes me as the type to let her personal life distract her from her job, but it doesn't take long for Will to notice that something's up with his partner.

Speaking of the drama at Lockhart-Gardner, this week Alicia represents a former professional hockey player in a lawsuit against a snowmobile manufacturer. The case, which includes at least three surprise twists and an entirely superfluous guest spot by Fred Thompson, mostly exists to bring yet two more recurring characters back into the fold: Louis and Tammy. 

Louis has tried to woo Alicia to the dark side before, but this time, disappointed by her measly raise and with visions of suburban living dancing in her head, she's willing to let him make an offer. Alicia brings the offer to Diane, who is -- unfairly, I thought -- angered by her employee's hardball negotiating tactics. As much as I love Diane, her reaction -- threatening to fire Alicia if she doesn't give her until the end of the week -- seems more than a little ridiculous. After all, if anyone should be able to understand tough business dealings, it's a partner at a large corporate-law firm.

My guess is that Diane's overreaction is merely a reflection of her desire to keep Alicia at the firm. To wit, she invokes an obscure bylaw and overrules the rest of the equity partners in order to grant Alicia her enormous raise. In another moment rich with hypocrisy, Louis accuses Alicia of "using" him to get a raise out of Lockhart-Gardner. Even if that's what she was doing, isn’t that, to borrow his words, "the American way"?

Of course, all this means that Alicia is one step closer to being able to buy back her old house in Highland Park. Personally, I hope she puts her cushy new salary toward a sweet $1.9-million loft in the heart of the city. Whatever her feelings for Peter, the symbolism of returning to the home she shared with him is simply too loaded. And after three years on her own, I'd really hate to see her take a step back.

Tammy's return isn't quite as explosive as it might have been, largely because her grievance with Alicia is so irrational (if anyone was in the wrong, it was Will, not Alicia) -- but it also serves its purpose. As an exasperated Alicia sits in her office, getting berated by Tammy, she looks at Kalinda like an oasis in the desert. The subtext: Alicia could really use a sympathetic ear these days. This is hardly news to regular viewers of "The Good Wife," and I'm thrilled that Alicia finally decides to reciprocate Kalinda's peacemaking gesture. Their friendship is back on, with one large and potentially juicy qualification: "I can't be the only one being forthcoming. I can't be the only one being honest. Can you do that?” Alicia asks her former BFF. With tears in her eyes, Kalinda says the she can.

Could this mean we'll finally get to the bottom of the "Leela" mystery? That would certainly be nice, but for now, I'm content -- possibly even a little giddy -- just to see these two back on friendly terms. A round of tequila on me!


"The Good Wife" recap: Power grabs

"The Good Wife" recap: Fishing expedition

Complete Show Tracker coverage of "The Good Wife"

-- Meredith Blake

Photo: Archie Panjabi as Kalinda. Credit: David Giesbrecht / CBS