'The Good Wife': Describe your behavior watching last night's steamy premiere

the-good-wifeKen Tucker has your critical take on last night’s season 2 premiere of CBS’ The Good Wife. I would like to zero in on your emotional — and physical — responses to two key scenes: The voicemail and the sex. (Watch both below. You’re welcome! UPDATE: Co-creator Robert King talks to us about the latter after the jump.)

Now, I’d read that Eli was going to erase a “swoon-worthy” voicemail from Will on Alicia’s cell.* That little bitty spoiler meant that I was slightly confused when Will left a message saying they should just drop it — she’s married, he’s her boss. But when Will dialed again, I knew it was going to be good. It wasn’t as lengthy a speech as the one Josh Charles delivered on Sports Night when Dan finally got Rebecca (Teri Polo) to go out with him, but that’s what was so disarming. He came right out and said, “I love you.” He admitted he’s probably loved her since Georgetown(!). With that confidence and conviction that was sexy on Dan and sexier on Will, he told her to call him and he’d meet her anywhere to make a plan. Then — and this is when that spoiler had me literally kicking the blanket I was laying under on the couch three times — Will told her to ignore this message if she didn’t feel the same way. They’d pretend it never happened. They’d go back to the way things were. Eli heard the voicemail while Alicia was onstage at the press conference with Peter and deleted it. So all Alicia heard was Will backing down. When I watched that scene again after the episode, I did another three kicks.

You want to hate the writers for having Will give Alicia that out, but you know what? You can’t blame them. It’s too soon in the series for Alicia and Will to get together, and they have set a precedent for Will thinking they could back-burner their feelings and go about business as usual. They did it after the kiss. Of course, a kiss is different from saying “I love you.” We’d all like to think we could profess our to love a friend and continue the friendship if he or she doesn’t want something more. But having tried it once myself, I know it’s tough. You’re frustrated with that person, and yourself because it does bother you that he or she is getting all he or she wants out of the relationship and you’re not. Whenever you have a good time with that person, you’re reminded of what could’ve been and resent that it meant more to you than to him or her. You get angry at yourself for not being able to get past it, because it means you’re both losing a good friend, but eventually, you might have to pull away. Which is what Will is doing.

Having seen the “S” in the episode rating, I almost thought that Alicia would take Kalinda’s advice to talk to Will about the kiss-off voicemail, and they would have a heated argument that one of them would end by grabbing the other. But that’s too cheap for this classy series. Plus, those damn office walls are glass, and Alicia is too smart to get that carried away there. So, when Peter got turned on watching Alicia stand her ground against a judge in court, I got worried. As he walked purposefully toward Alicia’s bathroom, I warned Peter through the TV, “Do not have sex. DO NOT have sex.” But I’m glad he didn’t listen to me. That scene was as hot as anything I’ve ever seen on broadcast TV. I wonder if the CBS censors told them not to show what Peter’s hands were doing below frame, or if creators Robert and Michelle King, the king and queen of subtext, knew it would be even better that way. This morning, I asked them to describe the process of getting that scene to air. Here’s what Robert King had to say: “We had a… shall we say ‘delicate’ collaboration with Standards & Practices. We went to them early to describe the scene, and why it was important for character development that Alicia be the more passive sexual participant. To our mind, it was never going to be a gratuitous scene. It was about how desire is ignited through Peter’s observation of his wife asserting power. And it had to be a scene of Peter being the active participant because it had to demonstrate his desire and not necessarily hers. We like the scene. We especially like how the scene slingshots you from court to marital life so quickly.”

For me, knowing that Peter got turned on by watching Alicia work makes me like him a little bit more. We’ve heard from Peter’s mistress Amber Madison that he’s a very giving lover, and he proved it. Alicia told him she had to study, so he said, “Let me,” and sank below frame. When that scene ended, I had to laugh. At myself. I felt a bit spent.

Your turn. What ridiculous behavior will you cop to during last night’s premiere? Are any of you now Team Peter? The promo for next week’s episode shows that Will has definitely ended the “sexual sabbatical” he took when Alicia joined the firm. I’m curious how far the writers will go to balance the scale. What do you hope happens next?

* I’d hate Eli for that if I didn’t like Alan Cumming so much and wasn’t looking forward to watching Eli “keep in touch” with Peter’s mother. Karma?

More on The Good Wife:
The Good Wife season premiere review: New partners and bathroom sex
New to the show? Catch up with our season 1 recap gallery.

Comments (61 total) Add your comment
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  • PatriciainTexas

    I knew they wouldn’t let Will and Alicia get together. But I don’t want it to be another drawn out forever thing like so many series do.
    I was amused at the bathroom/oral sex scene. Ha, good for Alicia to stand her ground and “well, if you WANT to go down on me, I’m not going to say no”
    good stuff
    looking forward to learning the secrets of “Leila”/Kalinda
    and I want more of Diane and the Ballistics Republican!

    • lilian

      I’ve been a fan of Gary Cole ever since American Gothic. His chemistry with Christine Baranski is off the charts! More Kurt McVeigh, please!

  • TaMara

    I’ve always been team Peter. His power and strength matches hers and you can see why they got together in the first place. Don’t mind that she has options, but love the adult content of trying to fix a broken marriage. This is what happens often in real life, you recognize the flaws, you know the love and then you have to decide if you can reconcile the two. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But it’s going to be a hell of a good time watching Alicia make the decision.

  • elena

    The Good Wife makes me have stronger love/hate/angry/ARGH reactions than any other show on TV. I think it’s because it’s so darn realistic. LOVE that Will was man enough to say he loved Alicia, but his cool attitude towards her in the office was heartbreaking. And Eli Gold…what a revelatory character to add. Alan Cummings FTW!

  • Steve Cates

    I love the complicated relationships between Alicia and Will and Alicia and Peter — it makes the possibilities much more interesting and is another example of the brilliant writing on this show. As for the scene in the bathroom, it was so hot without being x-rated (loved the background of the NPR news broadcast coming from the radio). This is one of those shows that leaves you counting the days until the next episode airs — perfect television!

    • estab1971

      But I’m a little worried that when I’m taking my kids to their after school activities that the ALL THINGS CONSIDERED music will get me all hot and bothered. :)

      • Tharn

        LOL LOL LOL …

      • E

        I’ll second that LOL.

  • btheln

    i need to start watching this show i think!!!

  • Dalla

    This is such a great show. It’s hard to tell which is the best. But for me, I’m thinking Kalinda and everything she does. And when Peter went down on Alicia…HOLY COW!!! I like Peter and Aliciaa together. I don’t think I want her together with Will. Oh well, terrific show.

  • Mothership98

    Awesome premiere! I love Alan Cummings’ character. The “sex scene” proves again that less is more! I was hootin’ at the tv and wishing it was me! Color me a Good Wife lifer!!!

  • Bec in CA

    Love, love, love this show! The writing is superb and keeps you wanting more. Watching the scene with Alicia and Peter (Chris Noth: aka- “Mr. Big”) reminded me of why I was first attracted to his acting.

  • Jan

    I also knew it was too early for Alicia and Will and the episode confirmed what a worm Eli really is. A bit disappointed that Alicia did not pleasure herself while thinking of Will rather that giving in to Peter who has already proven what a loser he is!!

  • Jackie

    Wow, the bathroom scene was hot! And so very intimate. My physical behavior – I blushed and turned away from the TV screen to give Alicia and Peter some privacy (being completely serious).

    • Anne

      I blushed, too — and couldn’t believe that I did.

  • Mels

    Great episode. The courtroom scene followed by the bathroom scene was fantastic. I’m curious to see how they develop the new scandal. Perhaps some sort of a relationship between Alicia and the new “supportive” wife?

  • ML

    Going to repost a comment I made elsewhere here. All you Will/Alicia lovers are driving me nuts!

    I actually hope Will and Alicia do not get together. He may be a nice guy, but I don’t think that’s the point of the show – she is the “good wife” after all. I don’t think it would sit well with her morally to be doing what her husband did and sleeping with someone especially after all the work Alicia put in to keep her family together in the aftermath of Peter’s confession. The writers have also been painting Peter in a rather positive and repentant light throughout the first season and as a man who genuinely still loves his wife. I’m sure they would have thrown in a couple of moments portraying him as a sleazeball if they wanted you to truly hate him. I think mending a broken relationship is much more difficult and than it is just starting a new one, especially with all the temptation that surrounds her. There is so much hidden pain involved that Alicia has not entirely expressed through the course of the season. I think she has been the absolute best when she does express that pent up anger and sadness. Remember that scene she told Peter to keep Amber away from her family? It was at that moment I thought, “Wow, you seriously have to give this woman some awards.” I keep waiting for the moment she just breaks down and lets everything out to him, I’m sure it’ll tug at my heartstrings.

    Maybe she and Will will get together, but I still see her going back to Peter. Watching people in a broken relationship reconcile is so much more interesting than watching a new couple be happy.

    • elena

      Alicia and Will did kiss, though, and she was still married/trying to bring her family back together in the midst of all that. I think the intriguing thing about Alicia is that she has a strong moral code but also knows what she wants. So there in struggle of what she wants versus what is expected of her lies her complex feelings for both Will and Peter. She can love two guys. It’s legit. Her great characterization is one of the reasons I keep coming back. The Good Wife = yay!

  • Alex

    I was doing the same thing with the phone call, I was so upest, but in a weird way, I was happy, because it means more juicy drama. And that bathroom scene really surprised me, it was so sexy. I loved how it was done. Also, I had a small laugh to myself as well.

    In a preview for this week in your magazine someone mentioned an R-Rated scene. Was that it?

  • sk

    Your aside about friends and kisses and feelings was so right on. I love Good Wife, but your review made it better

  • claudia

    I was looking forward to this show, but I thought last night it was boring and had no depth!!! It needs to focus more on a court room story and then throw a little bit about the charactors.

    • ger

      Just watch every other courtroom procedural if that’s what you’re looking for.

      • veronica

        Exactly. There are zillions of them littering the TV landscape so don’t expect the one show that actually does have depth beyond the case-of-the-week to revert to that boring formula. I definitely wouldn’t watch if the cases were the focus; for me it’s all about the characters and their story arcs.

    • jenn

      This show is about the ‘good wife’. the courtroom stuff is support

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