The Good Wife recap: History repeats itself for Alicia, providing TV's best scene of the year
You want to know why CBS' The Good Wife may be the best conventional series on network television?
Proof came in Tuesday's episode, "Foreign Affairs", as viewers finally saw heroine Alicia Florrick learn the bitter truth we had known for weeks; that her best work friend Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) slept with her husband Peter (Chris Noth), back when he was Chicago's high-riding district attorney.
Revealed in an offhand comment from a dogged investigator as Peter Florrick was declared the town's new district attorney again, news of the affair broke Alicia Florrick down by degrees. Walking down a long corridor, which seemed to lengthen with every step she took, Juliana Margulies showed how the increasing realization of the betrayal at hand slowly crumbled her character's poise and pulled her back to the moment when viewers first met her.
In a flash, the independent, accomplished lawyer we saw her become over two seasons was gone, stripped away by a new betrayal, just when she thought the ugliness of their past was behind her. If Margulies doesn't get an Emmy nod from this two-minute scene, there is no justice in Hollywood (OK, we already there isn't -- but STILL).
This is the fate Alicia Florrick always feared; that her husband's return to politics would stick her back in the life of desperate housewifery that ended where The Good Wife began -- with Peter's admission of an embarrassing public scandal and her own widespread humiliation as a cheated-on spouse.
I've felt that, if there is one weakness in this season, it's that all the storylines in play -- the case of the week, investigator Kalinda's struggle to keep her dark past secret, Peter's re-election, the fleshing out of Alan Cumming's excellent campaign strategist Eli Gold -- left little room for us to see how Peter and Alicia relate to each other right now.
I'm thinking that's going to change in a hurry.
My hunch is that the newly independent Alicia Florrick will not tolerate being stuck back in that box. And the fact that producers chose to bring this moment while there are still new Good Wife episodes to come shows a confidence in their storytelling that is impressive to behold.
Having taken us past the brink when most shows would break for the summer, they're ready to go a little farther. And I'm all in.
Check out this amazing moment below -- likely the best individual piece of television aired on the small screen that night -- and salivate at what may be coming next.