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'The Good Wife': Peter crosses the line

April 27, 2010 | 10:45 pm

PeterCrossingLine It's been a long, lonely, miserable three weeks without you, my beloved Show Trackers, so it only seems appropriate to begin this post with a few words from Lionel Richie.: “Hello. Is it me you’re looking for? I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile, you’re all I’ve ever wanted, my arms are open wide.” In other words, it’s good to be back. It’s especially good since Alicia’s spine seems to be growing with every passing week. At the beginning of this season, she was basically an amoeba. OK, maybe that’s a bit too harsh; Alicia’s always been more of the strong, silent type, but she’s evolved rather quickly into the strong, outspoken type, and the change is lovely to behold. Could it be that Kalinda is rubbing off on her?

Exhibit A:
  Alicia walks into her kitchen, where her estranged husband is commiserating with his team of handlers about surprise witnesses. Suddenly, they go quiet. Alicia’s sick of the subterfuge. “You’re standing in my kitchen. You have anything to say, you can say it in front of me,” she tells them.

Exhibit B:
  Peter drags Alicia to the South Side church he’s all of a sudden attending in order to curry favor with Chicago’s black, female voters. Alicia is disgusted at the idea that he’d use religion as a political ploy, and maybe even more perturbed by the fact that he seems to be getting into it, but she accompanies him anyway. When Pastor Isaiah (Gbenga Akinnagbe) tells Alicia he admires how she stood by Peter — “a lesson in forbearance,” he calls her — she brushes him off. “Well, it’s a lesson in something.” Zing! Alicia’s new backbone apparently comes with a healthy dose of cynicism. However, it should be noted that Alicia’s new-found chutzpah hasn’t come at the expense of her sensitive side: She’s still the empathic one at Lockhart-Gardner, the one who can reach out to an angry widow and tell her that it’s not about the money (even though it is).

Exhibit C:  After Alicia catches Peter in a scuffle with Gerry Kozko (Terry Kinney) — at church, no less — it’s clear that she is officially over it. Peter catches her in the middle of a phone call with Will, but she doesn’t hang up, or abruptly change the topic of the conversation. Instead, she hangs up the phone and tells Peter how to cook a frozen pizza for dinner, which is now my new favorite kiss-off.  “Why don’t you just go make yourself a frozen pizza?” I’ll yell the next time someone cuts me off in traffic. As if the pizza diss weren’t enough, Alicia tells Peter in no uncertain terms “It’s over.” When she heads out the door — presumably to her long-delayed dinner with Will — Peter comes running after her. He pauses for a moment, then leaps out the front door, in brazen defiance of his court-ordered house arrest. In other circumstances, I might think it was a romantic gesture, but let’s face it: This is all about Peter’s ego. And not to get all English major-y on you (some things can’t be helped) but didn’t you love how Peter, the once-public figure, is now trapped inside his home? Just the way Alicia used to be? And now Alicia’s the one who gets to go out into the world and have affairs with whomever she wants?  

Lest you think that all I care about is the Alicia-Will-Peter saga, I should at least mention this week’s case that involved just about the only timely topics that “The Good Wife” has so far neglected: terrorism and (my personal favorite!) the death of the newspaper. Lockhart-Gardner was representing newspaper editor Charles Clay (Jack Gwaltney), whose decision to run a controversial cartoon of the prophet Muhammad may have incited a terrorist bombing (side note: Did anyone else wonder if we’d get to see the entire cartoon?). The widow of an employee killed in the blast is now suing Clay, alleging that the editor put his employees at risk for the sake of drumming up much-needed profits. Alicia already has her work cut out for her this week, and the situation is made worse by the fact that Jonas Stern is not only representing the plaintiff but also trying to poach Lockhart-Gardner’s remaining employees. Luckily, Alicia stumbles on a solution. Stern, who is secretly suffering from the onset of dementia, gets discombobulated each time she interrupts with an objection. The ever-observant Alicia quickly figures this out, makes a few petty objections in a row, and just like that, Stern blows his examination of a key witness. See what I mean about the spine? Before the trial is over, he's negotiating a settlement with Diane on a scrap of paper -- but, on the downside, we still don't know who the bomber is.  

So, what did you think of this week’s episode? We’ve only got a few weeks left in the season. It's sure going to be a long summer, isn't it?

What we learned:  Leave the frozen pizza in for 15 minutes, not 10. 

New questions: What dirt does Childs have on Peter? Why can't Peter just tell Alicia what's going on? How much can he possibly have to hide? After prostitution, what's the big deal with a few shady real estate deals? Why did Will decline to represent Kozko? Was it really because of Alicia? Or is Will also connected to all this? 

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


Complete Show Tracker coverage of 'The Good Wife'

'The Good Wife': Twelve Angry People

'The Good Wife': The moment we've all been waiting for

'The Good Wife': Alicia and the alpha males

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

Photo: Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) crosses the line, and yes, I mean that in both the literal and the metaphorical sense.

Credit: John Paul Filo / CBS