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'The Good Wife' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 15th 2010 2:15AM

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife['The Good Wife' - 'Nine Hours']

'The Good Wife' was in take-no-prisoners mode, and rightfully so -- it had to close the year with a memorable episode. That's exactly what it did.

A sex dream, a ticking clock and some really nice character moments peppered 'Nine Hours' in a superb way. It's not everyday a legal drama can develop its characters while staying true to the "case of the week" format, but that's what 'The Good Wife' does week after week.

When the series does these high stakes episodes, like this one and 'VIP Treatment' earlier this season, it really holds nothing back. The feeling of "anything can happen" truly sets in, creating a wild ride almost instantly. The moment Will said, "Great. Nine hours to figure out what we missed or Carter dies," was the moment I moved from the back of the couch to the edge of the cushion.

Thanks to an appeals clerk who really overstepped his bounds, the Lockhart/Gardner & Bond team had to race around the clock to prove the innocence of Carter Wright. Making the characters work from various locations set the tone in a genius way. Will worked at the office, Diane maintained a presence with Carter, and Alicia got in some bonding with Kalinda -- complete with beers and revealing conversation -- at the Florrick residence. It really created a sense of urgency that kept going throughout the whole episode, ending only with Alicia's passionate speech to the judge. Don't understand all the award nominations Julianna Margulies gets? That scene at the end should've clued you in.

Leave it to 'The Good Wife' to work in some friendship building during a very intense episode. Loved, loved, loved the scene between Kalinda and Alicia. Kalinda knows all about Alicia's secrets and past, so it was nice to have a scene that gave us the tiniest glimpse at Kalinda's. Things we know: She was once known as Leela and she changed her life. Changed how!? This is why I love 'The Good Wife' and Archie Panjabi. By dropping in these character moments, the show makes me care so much about the characters, even during such a huge case.

It was fun to see Diane out of the office, even if it was at a jail. She traded in her normal exceptional business attire for a more low-key ensemble that really didn't do her the favors that the silver gown did a few episodes ago. It was a blow to her ego to have the warden punish her for sneaking around his office, but it created some great drama and was a really nice way to humanize the character.

While the lawyers raced around the clock to prove Carter Wright's innocence, Grace became obsessed with religion. Whenever the kids are involved with a story line it usually drags -- unless their scene is with Margulies -- and this was no exception. It's feeling forced. I much preferred Grace's support of Wendy Scott-Carr to this new religious path she's heading down. On the topic of unnecessary story lines: Cary and his first cousin who is in love with him. I get that it was something to show a different side to Cary, but I doubt his cousin will ever come into play again. Great seeing him back with Lockhart/Gardner & Bond though.

Now, back to the start of the episode: Let's talk about Alicia's wild sex dream about Will! To me, it was even steamier than the scene with Peter in the bathroom from the premiere. More forbidden, it's unrequited love at its best. Based on the scene from the last episode when Alicia got so flustered she had to leave the FBI screening room and this dream, it's safe to say Alicia's passionate feelings for Will have come to the surface. Will they bubble over? We'll have to wait until next year.

Total gasp count: 2.
Not as many gasp-worthy moments as 'On Tap'; I was flailing about so much during that episode.

Some other things:

Happy to see Ruby and Carter get another chance and the team win. I wasn't sure it would work out in their favor. Kept the pacing and the wins/loses at a good rate.

Loved Zach's infatuation with Kalinda and enjoyed it even more because she wasn't fazed by it.

Peter's debate was a bit underwhelming. The promos gave the juiciest stuff away, except his curse-filled response.

How much fun would it be to have a beer with Alicia and Kalinda? Is that just my dream?

Scott Porter is really good at making Blake one of the smarmiest characters on TV. My skin crawls when I see him lurking about.

Can't wait to see what is going on with Diane and the new firm she talked about in an earlier episode.

Tell us: What did you think of this week's episode of 'The Good Wife'? How many times (if any) did you gasp?

'The Good Wife' airs Tuesdays at 10PM ET on CBS.

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The Christianity and prayer thread initially showed a rare unseemly side to Alicia, as she was reactively bigoted and dismissive of both Grace and her friend's comments about prayer.

As the show ended with Alicia opening Grace's door to find her on her knees it's clear this is going to a bigger story line at some future point. Hopefully, it will be treated respectfully and with common ground rather than as some excuse to gratuitously bash believers, as happens far to often on television. I think it will be a productive thread, much as Peter's initially cynical, and later more personally meaningful, contact with the black minister. But even then, that thread was ended in a dismissive and cynical manner with the power-play overthrow of the minister.

December 17 2010 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rudy's comment

That was probably because she found the way the religion is portrayed in her mother-in-law and in Grace's friend to be hypocritical and condescending, as both characters come off and being extremely judgmental, and less because of the actual religious aspect. I think Alicia doesn't like that there are people using religion to possibly manipulate her family, like how she was initially suspicious of Pastor Isaiah.

December 17 2010 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved,Loved,loved it-BUT Hey nobody told me that it was the last first run episode for the season.Boo-Hoo

December 15 2010 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jgreenefields's comment
Chris Harnick

It'll be back after the holidays! Just the last episode of 2010.

December 15 2010 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Little Willy

I didn't like this ep. The main plot with the death row inmate seems forced. The guy was on death row for 10 yrs and had countless appeals, and no legal aid lawyer ever raised the arson evidence to the appeals judge during that time? But it took Kalinda just a trip to the airport and prove that the arson evidence was questionable?
Other than the case, everything else was good, especially with the Kalinda and Alicia scenes.

December 15 2010 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This plot has been done before on other shows but I'm not sure it's ever been done better, wow, lean forward in the seat all the way. It struck me now, not sure why it has taken me this long to realize how really outstanding this cast is and they all live up to their hype. It is Margulies best work. and Archie Panjabi is amazing as the tough but not stereotypical tough woman, I cheered but was not surprised when she relieved the arson expert of his boarding pass.

This is good TV, really good.

December 15 2010 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now I can totally see why they needed to PIs at the firm. How else were we going to get a Alicia and Kalinda having a beer on the bed scene with the leg work still being carried out?

December 15 2010 at 8:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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