The Good Wife
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Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 3 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
See Me Bare My Teeth For You

It's also dark -- dark enough they kick to credits -- and of course it's the Alicia Florrick Equivalent to slapping him across the face with a glove, but in case you forget what this show's really about: She's positioned perfectly, with every word, to keep her eyes just past Dunaway's shoulder. To Mr. Masters' weeping son, still holding himself together.

THE HOUSE & THE HOUSE

It's a funny note on the way individual writers make their stamp on scripts that this one time Horrible Real Estate Agent Marina, who usually gets on my nerves, could be excused for acting like a bitch, but in this episode she is totally awesome and world-wise.

"Well, they turned you down again because you still don't have enough money. I told them you want to close quickly, but they want what they want. Here's my advice: I've been watching them, and the wife is in control. The historically best move here would be to write her a personal letter, handwritten, on [the grossest stationary you can find], making a plea for your sentimental attachment to the house. Moms, right?"

Alicia drives her car aimlessly, talking to herself about what the house means to her, but the problem is that it's two houses: The house where Grace and Zach were born, the house where she became a Good Wife, the house where she knew the greatest love and purpose imaginable, the house where her dreams were fulfilled... And the house where her life was systematically destroyed, where fifteen years of joy were tossed on the fire, and they took away one by one all the things that made up Alicia Florrick, until there was nothing left but silence and pain and keeping her family together, at any cost to her own spirit. What does the house mean to her? Everything, and nothing. Happiness, and sorrow. Light and dark.

It's still about Alicia, but it's an entirely separate narrative thread, because this isn't about finding her voice but about finding her breath: Marina is like a priest here, asking Alicia to put the broken halves of her life together in a new formation, to rise above light and darkness into something that transcends both. Most of the big things in our lives, of course, are about this, and it's the people who force us into these choices that hurt us and help us the most, but in this case it's marvelous how the two stories reflect on each other: The IPRA is about speaking truth to power, but this letter is about speaking truth to herself.

Alicia's got this thing where she can do hyperverbal legal stuff all day -- those aren't real words, not like these words, just codes and statutes and precedent -- and she's usually fearless when it comes down to feeling what she's feeling, as long as nobody finds out. But what Marina is doing -- what only Owen, it's worth noting, has ever forced her do; the only thing that will ever heal the wound with Kalinda -- is help her putting those two things together. She doesn't have enough money for the house, so now the price is much higher: Put into words the history and meaning of a painful and wonderful life.

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The Good Wife

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