Midseason Review: The Evolution of ‘The Good Wife’


Two weeks ago, I decided to end my hiatus from my once favorite show, The Good Wife. Best decision I’ve made in quite some time. I’m not sure who, what, where, when or how this show got its groove back, but I am not going to question it. All I know is that THIS is the show I fell in love with.

Early season four is when I decided that I couldn’t sit through another episode of the show I adored so much. However, I didn’t completely give up on it. I couldn’t. I kept recording it and saving the episodes for that rainy day when I decided it was time to catch up. Then I did.

Where do I begin? Season five is showing us just how much some of the key characters have grown and how much some have not. Before I start gushing over just how much I love the evolution of Alicia Florrick and her relationship with Will Gardner, let’s talk about the other characters and major changes first.

Diane Lockhart

Diane has always been a strong, confident woman. We saw her confidence waver this season. We were given a glimpse of a Diane we’re not used to seeing. A woman with a lifelong dream she wanted so bad to come true, that she betrayed her partner in the process. Was I mad at Diane? No. I was disappointed, but mostly, I sympathized with her.

She wanted that judge’s seat so bad that she let it cloud her judgment. In other words, she’s human. Was I mad at her when she told Will about Alicia and Cary leaving to start their own firm? Nope. I don’t know anyone in her right mind who would not have done what she did. In the end, it did cost her the judge’s seat and my heart broke for her. Hopefully, with the latest developments for Gov. Florrick, a change could soon be coming.

David M. Russell – 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

David M. Russell – 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Florrick, Agos & Associates

Alicia and Cary joining forces to start their own firm is something that I was a little apprehensive about. We all know that Alicia only agreed to do this because it would make it easier for her to be away from Will. Sure, she’s always wanted her own firm, but that was not the fuel that ignited the fire in her to leave. That was her feelings for Will. I expected her to fail and lose everything. That is not at all what I wanted, by any means.

But, given her true reason for jumping into this and how they were doing it, I expected the worst. Florrick, Agos & Associates has faced many a challenge since they’ve started, including childish pranks as backlash from Lockhart/Gardner. They’ve overcome each and every thing thrown at them and in the process they are becoming stronger. What I wonder is, will Peter’s stupidity negatively affect the firm and, in turn, destroy all of Alicia’s hard work?

Peter Florrick

Since, I’ve mentioned him twice; I guess I should talk about the character, who I do not think has grown at all…unless you count his growing into an even bigger jerk. Peter Florrick, oh, how I loathe thee (Granted, the man just has to appear on my screen and I’m creating ways for the writers to kill him off).

Now we have this latest indiscretion of his for Alicia to deal with. Seems with Peter, no matter what the situation; once a cheater, always a cheater. What’s worse this time is that his son is a part of it as well. Which is why, last we saw Alicia, her mama bear claws were out. However, this is all working with my agenda. Keep the wrongdoings coming, Peter. Continue to fuel the fire in Alicia. Push her to Will.

Alicia Florrick

Now, let’s talk about Alicia. Whoa. Talk about character growth. Season to season, we have witnessed Alicia deal with blow after blow. Taking everything in stride and literally growing from all of it. The woman we see now, starting her own firm, standing up for herself, not backing down from confrontation is not the Alicia of season one. Heck, that’s not even season two Alicia!

She has become her own person. However, even with all of that? She’s still the ‘good wife’. She’s still standing by Peter. Still doing what’s right. Still ignoring what her heart feels. As frustrating as it is, I get it. Do I agree with it? Hell no. But, I understand her. Which is why I feel like this business with Peter and the ballot scandal will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for her. I mean, how much can one woman take? How much longer is she expected to help him clean up his messes?

Alicia and Will

As I mentioned before, we all know she left Lockhart/Gardner to distance herself from Will. As we saw in “Hitting the Fan, Will took her leaving as betrayal. He took it as a personal blow. Do I blame him? Nope. We all know it wasn’t personal, well, at least not in the way he’s seeing it.

David M. Russell – © 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

David M. Russell – © 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

This episode was amazing. My heart was pulled in so many different directions. The confrontation in Alicia’s office was explosive. So much passion behind Will’s reaction. So much pain. The woman he loves stabbed him in the back. That’s how he sees it. He’s so angry; he doesn’t see what’s really going on. Not even when Owen tells him why Alicia really left (Praise Jesus for Owen!).

My favorite moment from this episode? When they were arguing on the phone and before he hung up with her, he told her that Grace called and she needed to call her school. That little moment showed that no matter how angry he was, he still cared.

Can we please talk about “Goliath and David”? HOLY $#@%! That suit. THAT. SUIT. When she walked in to the courtroom all I could think was: Check. Mate. If there was any doubt that Alicia had grown or that she and Will still had feelings for each other, this episode blew that theory. Will used her weaknesses and fears against her and she fought back in a most delicious way that one does not come to expect from ‘Saint Alicia’:

“So you decided to change?”

“Yup. Into what I wore the night you banged me the first time.”

Wait…WHAT?! I for sure had to hit rewind a few times to make sure I heard that correctly. Alicia Florrick, I adore you and I am bowing down to you for that one.

Please don’t think I’ve forgotten or worse, ignored, Will’s obvious pain. When he broke down as he was preparing to question Alicia? The memories. Oh my God. My heart. Stealing a quote from the Disney movie Frozen that I think explains the Alicia/Will love story: “The heart can’t be changed. But, the head can be persuaded.”

They are in love with each other, no matter what they do to change that, it’s still there. A growing fire in their hearts that continues to be fanned by their anger. I await the obvious. That they will, once again, give in to their hearts and the passion. Those scenes will be everything.

I think I’ve gone on long enough, too long actually. The Kings are positively ruthless in making us, and these characters, suffer. But, they are also geniuses. I do believe they are proving this to us with the current season. Bravo to this show for coming back from a slump and evolving into the best hour of television that CBS has to offer. I look forward to the rest of the season!

Now it’s your turn. Are you enjoying season five and all of the changes it’s brought? Whose evolution has been your favorite? Are you Team Alicia or Team Will…or Team Alicia AND Will? Do you think it’s time for Peter to finally get kicked to the curb? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us!

The Good Wife returns Sunday, March 9 at 9/8c on CBS.


Chrissie Ortiz
Chrissie Ortiz is a one of TVSource Magazine’s most passionate columnists. As you can see by some of her favorite shows, she’s a pretty loyal viewer. She’ll usually stick it out no matter how bad it gets. Not one to assign herself to one genre, she looks for series that can pass her litmus test — holding her attention. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceChrissie.

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