On, 'The Good Wife,' Alicia Says Divorcing Peter Isn't an Option, But Is She Right?
Will Gardner may be gone, but his presence was felt throughout Sunday night’s new episode of The Good Wife, titled, “A Material World.” Inspired by Will’s “take no prisoners” attitude, Diane Lockhart made a few executive decisions regarding the law firm, even though they put her at odds with divorce attorney David Lee. For some reason, Kalinda couldn’t seem to have sex without seeing violent images of Will being gunned down in court. And Alicia… well, Alicia’s unresolved feelings regarding Will’s death sent her into a deep depression that barely allowed her to leave her bed. It was definitely interesting to see how each character was coping, but I was most fascinated by just how quickly Will’s passing was able to unravel Alicia and Peter’s relationship.
During their verbal sparring match at the end of the episode, Alicia tells Peter that she’s not going to divorce him because he’s too "valuable" to her professionally (and vice versa), but he’s “free” — free to love who he wants and free to sleep with who he wants, just as long as he keeps that part of his life separate from her and the kids. But is she right? Is Peter really too valuable to Alicia's career for her to file for divorce? Wouldn’t Alicia be a whole lot happier if she just got Peter out of her life, once and for all?
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Peter is no damn good. Don’t get me wrong, Will was far from perfect, but at least he made Alicia happy. When was the last time Peter made Alicia happy? Was it all the way back in Season 2 during that surprisingly steamy bathroom sex scene? I think it was! And that was just a fluke! You know Alicia was thinking about Will the entire time, anyway. Peter is way too focused on his own political career to give Alicia (or his kids) any serious thought. Sure, a divorce would be a pretty major stumbling block for the Governor of Illinois, but why is that any of Alicia’s concern? Give Peter his walking papers, already!
In terms of Peter being too valuable to Alicia’s career, I just don’t see it. Yes, Florrick/Agos is finally beginning to flourish. Yes, I’m sure that Alicia has been able to land a number of choice clients thanks to her association with Peter. But Alicia is an intelligent, powerful, and resourceful woman who just started her own law firm from scratch — she doesn't need Peter to survive! Peter's influence has given Florrick/Agos a little kick start. That's great — it’s time to cut him loose! Is Alicia really going to stay in this terrible sham marriage for the rest of her life just because she occasionally gets some good business contacts out of it? That doesn’t seem realistic or healthy.
But Peter isn’t the only person standing in the way of Alicia’s happiness — Alicia’s done a pretty good job of that herself. Let’s not forget: it was Alicia’s decision to let Peter back into her life in the first place. Not to mention, Alicia’s given Peter some false hope about reconciliation in the past. (Remember when she agreed to go to Hawaii with Peter to renew their wedding vows? She backed out before it happened, but still.)
I get it. Previously, Alicia was confused about what she wanted. But now, she appears to be seeing things very clearly. If you ask me, Alicia needs to divorce Peter and move on. Divorcing Peter won’t bring Will back, but it might finally give Alicia some room to breathe in her own life again. Maybe then she would finally be able to truly deal with Will's death.
Next week: Louis Canning declares, “I’m the new Will,” and Kalinda throws a baseball at him.