The Good Wife: “Restraint”

(Episode 7.08)

TV Reviews The Good Wife
The Good Wife: “Restraint”

Okay it’s definitely time to stage an intervention on The Good Wife because this Grace nonsense has got to stop.

I like Grace. I like the actress who plays her. But enough is enough with this story line. Shouldn’t Grace be in school or doing homework or something? This Veronica Mars/paralegal stuff doesn’t even make sense. It reminds me of the original 90210, when suddenly Kelly Taylor had her own public relations firm. I never thought there would be occasion to compare Beverly Hills 90210 and The Good Wife, but, we have fallen on desperate, desperate times.

No matter how distraught clients are with Diane, would they really jump to Alicia’s new firm on the basis of a phone call with Grace? Come on. The show is so much smarter than this.

The Good Wife has always thrived on cases that are ripped from the headlines, but this week’s case was much less subtle and nuanced than is typical for the show. A doctor is filmed discussing harvesting fetal organs during an abortion and a pro-life advocacy group (backed financially by conservative millionaire R.D.) wants to release the recording.
Diane is staunchly pro-choice, but to her this is a First Amendment free speech case, so she agrees to argue the case. Both sides were portrayed as fairly one-note. The pro-life side as religious zealots, and the doctor who performed the abortions as being casually callous.
The bigger problem for Diane is that all the women’s groups she represents are furious with her, thus giving Grace the opportunity to swoop in. Eventually the judge on the case reveals his bias, telling Diane in an ex-parte communication that she “shouldn’t be pursuing this.” Diane calls for the judge to remove himself from the case. He refuses to, which gives Diane the opportunity to tell Ethan Carver (Peter Gallagher) that now she’s a liability to the case. She can walk away from the case, but remain on good terms with R.D. and his people.

Typically, when The Good Wife takes on a hot button issue like this, they enlighten the viewer and force us to consider perspectives that perhaps we hadn’t before. That didn’t happen with this episode.

Elsewhere, Louis Canning pursues Lucca, only to have Lucca and Alicia try to poach his clients. Alicia discovers that Jason is working for Diane. Eli romances Courtney, proving that a romantically flummoxed Eli is as adorable as a generally flummoxed Eli is amusing.
The episode ends with Grace telling her mom she owes her $35,800 for landing the new clients. But I would think that would come once the clients actually start paying. Maybe the next story line will tell us what Grace plans to do with the money.

And I can’t tell you how upsetting it is that Cary has been a character in search of a story line all season long. He didn’t even have anything to do in “Restraint.” What is happening?

Stray Observations:

Last week ended with the cliffhanger of how Alicia would vote on the election board. This week Alicia explains it all away as almost an afterthought to Eli. So she punted the vote by ordering a study? Good to know I guess. I don’t get it.

Even though it’s beneath him, it does crack me up that every time we see Eli now he’s eavesdropping through the vent.

The show’s leaps in logic are starting to get distressing. Would Courtney Page really use the wife of the candidate she’s supporting as her lawyer?

I welcome any opportunity to see the fabulous Kelly Bishop.

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.

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