The Good Wife: “Two Girls, One Code” (Episode 4.03)

TV Reviews The Good Wife
The Good Wife: “Two Girls, One Code” (Episode 4.03)

Ever since Alicia and Will had that steamy hotel elevator scene in the season two finale, viewers have known that Alicia’s relationship with Will could cause trouble for Peter’s political career. And it almost did in “Two Girls, One Code.”

Reporter Mandy Post (guest star Miriam Shor) tells Eli that she has a hotel receipt that documents an affair. Eli believes the affair in question is Alicia and Will and proceeds to have a delightfully uncomfortable conversation with Alicia.

A panicky Alicia asks Will to check his receipts. Although Alicia and Peter were separated at the time of her relationship with Will, her reaction is completely believable. She’s been on one side of an affair as the wronged woman, semi-standing by her man. It’s why, after all, the show is called The Good Wife. If suddenly it becomes public that Alicia had a relationship with another man while married to Peter, she will no longer be the good wife. She will be a cheating wife, and her life and her children’s lives will be the subject of tabloid scandal.

But it wasn’t Alicia and Will the reporter was talking about. One of Peter’s campaign workers is claiming she had an affair with Peter. Peter denies this, but that’s of little comfort to Alicia. “Do you remember what you said the first time? ‘It’s not true,’” Alicia says to him. “The problem is, Peter, I don’t give a damn.” The series is doing an excellent job of continuing to develop Alicia and Peter’s rocky alliance and precarious marriage.

The campaign worker tells Kalinda that Alicia caught them one time and said it was totally fine as long as nothing happened in Alicia’s apartment. That’s when we, as an audience, know that what Peter said is true: he didn’t cheat on Alicia. We all know Alicia would never tolerate that. Eli then asks Alicia, “Do you and Peter have an open marriage?” which leads to another hilarious exchange between the pair. Honestly, I would watch The Eli and Alicia Show anytime.

Peggy, the reporter played by Kristen Chenoweth in the premiere, is referenced but not seen. Chenoweth couldn’t return to the series after being injured on the set. It was definitely an inspired and entertaining casting decision to have Shor, Chenoweth’s former GCB co-star, take over reporting duties.

The case of the week featured several fun returning guest stars including John Benjamin Hickey as internet billionaire Neil Gross, Rita Wilson as cutthroat attorney Viola Walsh and Jill Flint as Kalinda’s sometimes-girlfriend Lana Delaney. Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior on The Sopranos) was a hoot as a judge who was hard of hearing but knew exactly what was going on.

But, alas, this was also the episode where the Kalinda storyline went from disturbing/annoying to laughable. Honestly, the scene where Nick smears egg on her? What was that? Are omelets supposed to be a metaphor for something I’m missing? Last week it was ice cream, this week it’s eggs. Many fans are calling the story line 50 Shades of Kalinda, but now it’s becoming 50 Shades of Food Products. And given what we know about Nick, would he really care that Kalinda’s girlfriend is a federal agent? I don’t see that stopping him. In a related complaint, who stands on the balcony wrapped in a sheet? Have we learned nothing from the Kate Middleton incident?

I had a tough time assigning a rating to this episode. Any episode of The Good Wife is usually better than most things on TV, but the Kalinda storyline is causing a mandatory deduction. It’s dragging the whole show down and ruining one of television’s best characters. It’s particularly disappointing that this storyline and dip in overall quality comes at a time when The Good Wife now airs against Revenge and is getting trounced in the ratings.

A few more thoughts about the episode:
• Eli asked Peter if there’s anything he needs to know about Kalinda and Peter, and Peter said “no.” Could this be major foreshadowing that Kalinda’s affair with Peter is going to become public?
• I remain perplexed that Cary is not being utilized more this season. If I were him, I would be looking for another job again.
• Jackie will be back next week. Can’t wait.
• Alicia’s mother is referenced at the top of the episode. Stockard Channing (The West Wing) has been cast in that role. I’m so looking forward to that dynamic.

Programming note about next week’s (Oct. 21) episode: Once again due to an NFL game, The Good Wife will air at 9:30 p.m. EST, 8:30 p.m. CST and 9 p.m. PST.

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