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'The Good Wife': Alicia and the alpha males

March 9, 2010 | 10:57 pm
Though it may have lacked romantic subplots worthy of a Nora Ephron film, last night’s episode of “The Good Wife” was but a solid if not enthralling installment. A little heavy on the courtroom drama, perhaps, but it all served a purpose. And what was that purpose, you ask? 

Alicia’s big ol’ crush on Will, that’s what.

Yes, last night boyish-looking Will proved himself to be quite the alpha male, and Alicia did not mind it one bit. Take, for instance, the scene in which he stood up to Judge Lessner (Ana Gasteyer).  He lambasts the rather impartial judge for not ruling on his objections -- a tactic Judge Lessner used to avoid appeals in the past (can any legal experts tell me if this is a real thing?). Will's outburst was a risky, maybe even reckless, display of aggression, but Alicia ate it up. I’m going to read between the lines here and guess that our heroine has a thing for powerful, confident men. Let’s just hope that self-assurance is all that Will has in common with Peter. Speaking of romance, I was sad to see that Diane’s love interest, McVeigh (Gary Cole), was not back for round two. Here’s hoping that he returns in time for May sweeps.

Already sensing the growing attraction between Alicia and Will, Peter completely wigs out when he finds a few condoms in his wife's bedside drawer. That's when he decides to get a little territorial -- and a whole lot hypocritical -- by confronting Alicia about the mysterious prophylactics.  Alicia is understandably enraged by Peter's double standards, but even more so by his invasion of her privacy. Instead of caving into his demand that she stay home, Alicia stuffs the condoms into her purse and defiantly walks right out the door. Surely it was more of a symbolic gesture -- I doubt Alicia put the rubbers to use -- but even so, it was delightful. 

Elsewhere in the episode, Peter and company are all worked up about a flurry of mysterious tweets.  An anonymous but prolific Twitter user by the name of “Upriser7”  has been dishing intimate details about the Florricks' family life, and Eli (Alan Cumming) is determined to find out who’s behind them -- especially when they’re picked up by real-life political blogger Ben Smith (who, I'm guessing, probably wouldn't care that much about the estranged wife of an Illinois state attorney, but I could be wrong). 

So it is that, once again, “The Good Wife” goes right past timeliness straight into the discomfort zone.   This week, the trenchant subject matter was how Twitter fuels the gossip that in turn drives the blogosphere.  It was all very "now," but did anyone else feel a little weird hearing Chris Noth say “tweet” over and over again, like he wasn’t even sure what it meant?  No? Just me?

All the tweets did have one positive side effect, which came in the form of a deliciously nasty scene between Eli and Becca, Zach’s precocious (read: skanky) girlfriend.   It turns out that she is responsible for the incriminating tweets: Becca is Upriser7. She's also pretty savvy for a high schooler, and for a second, it appeared she was going to outwit Eli in the game of manipulation.  As a cop car drove past, she screamed, pretending Eli was a perv. Too bad the cops are pals with Gold. “I have a lot of friends.  I’m sure you do too.  Only difference is my friends are not in homeroom,”  Eli says, with evident glee.  Then he tells her “If you tweet, I will know you tweet.  Have you seen ‘Drag Me to Hell?’  It will be just like that.”  The scene was so satisfying, I may have watched it twice.

Another pinch of uncomfortable reality: Cutbacks are looming at Stern-Gardner. The episode opened with an amusing but painfully familiar scene in which some sort of efficiency expert counsels Diane and Will in cutting costs.  He doles out euphemistic suggestions like adopting a “self-policing hydration policy” (no more paper cups) and downgrading season tickets from the Chicago Cubs to the Red Stars (women’s soccer, in case you’re wondering). The scene established the financial desperation of the firm -- and thus their willingness to represent murderous but deep-pocketed drug dealers -- and it also made me wonder what will happen to Alicia if she doesn't beat out Cary for the permanent job at Stern-Gardner.  At this point, could Alicia be a housewife once again? Would she go to work somewhere else? What do you think?

One last thing: Is it just me, or is Alicia dressing a little sexier these days?  Last night she wore a fabulous, form-fitting black dress that almost showed some cleavage.  Not exactly racy, but it was a far cry from her usual buttoned-up look.   What's next, messy hair? I for one welcome the change, so long as she leaves the leather jackets to Kalinda.

What we learned:  Not that much, other than Alicia’s preferred method of birth control.  Oh, and Will and Diane are going to be shopping around for a new partner.

New questions:  Just why is Becca tweeting about life in the Florrick household?  Is she just a mean girl, a shameless gossip?  Or is she spying for someone?  And what was really going on with the condoms in Alicia’s drawer?

-- Meredith Blake  (follow me on Twitter @MeredithBlake)


Complete coverage of 'The Good Wife' on ShowTracker

'The Good Wife':  Coming home and 'Going Rogue'

'The Good Wife': Tattoo You

'The Good Wife': A PG-rated conjugal visit

Photo:  While wearing a fabulous pair of heels, Alicia (Juliana Margulies) talks tweets with Eli Gold (Alan Cumming).

Credit: David M. Russell / CBS