“The Good Wife” just hit its milestone 100th episode in what may be the best episode the show has ever done, including the final frames with Eli’s spit-take and Marilyn’s “bombshell.” But some things I’ve been reading have given me pause.
Marilyn’s reveal that she’s having a boy and is going to name it “Peter” had all the earmarks that Marilyn is messing with Eli. That she’s playing a joke on him because she’s obviously a smart and savvy woman who knew exactly why they “promoted” her to the Transit Authority and thought she’d give Eli a mini-stroke — Merry Christmas! (Or, Happy Hanukkah! — Holiday decorations, not Christmas.)
However, in an interview with Vulture, creator Robert King says, “She’s not kidding. The only thing we’d say is we pick up the next episode right where we left off. Literally a second later. You’ll find out about that immediately.”
Does that mean Peter is the father? Not necessarily. She could be completely serious about naming her baby Peter. Maybe the baby daddy (who is not Governor Florrick) is named Peter. Maybe that’s her dad or her grandfather’s name.
So, that troubles me a bit, but I won’t lose sleep over it. Her joking and Peter Florrick not being the father aren’t mutually exclusive.
What’s more troubling is what E! Online wrote about the episode: “At this point, if Peter’s not the baby-daddy, we’re gonna feel very misled.”
Really? I am not going to feel misled at all if Peter is the father. In fact, I’m going to feel sincerely disappointed if he is.
Over 100 episodes, “The Good Wife” has managed to keep an incredible forward momentum. Most dramas, particularly network ones, find a formula and stick with it until the bitter end. The faces might change, but the song remains the same.
Not “Good Wife.” This show has been full of evolution and change for every character. It also just pulled off completely blowing up the formula and did it beautifully. Having Peter go back to sleeping with a colleague would be such a tremendous disappointment.
That puts Peter right back where we were in the beginning — moving from a prostitute to a colleague is not progress. Plus, he’s already done the colleague thing with Kalinda.
Peter had affairs, but we’re past that in the life of the show. It’s not that we have forgiven and forgotten, but the character seems to have genuinely changed. Alicia stuck by him in the beginning out of a combination of love for her children and the publicity aspect of it, but she really has come back around on Peter.
Not that she’s 100 percent over it. Not that she doesn’t love Will. Adult relationships are complicated. But having Peter jump back in the sack with a colleague — the person in charge of making sure his administration is ethical, no less — and then have her end up pregnant? “The Good Wife” is better than that.
Now, what I can get on board with is that Marilyn names her baby Peter and that causes problems. After all that has happened, that would naturally arouse suspicions for Alicia. It will arouse suspicions in the press once the baby is born. It will create terrific dramatic tension for the Florricks — without going back to the Peter-is-a-cheating-scumbag well.
The show has done that twice — first hookers, then Kalinda (even though that was also in the past). Alicia has had to deal with his infidelity twice. Let’s move on.
The show has demonstrated that it can keep creating interesting, organic problems for these characters, so I fully expect that Peter is not the father. It’s not as though the Illinois Governor’s office isn’t rife with things to create other drama for the character.
Two other quick things:
Not only will it be a disappointment if Peter is the father of Marilyn’s baby, but I will actually feel misled if he is. The show hasn’t given us enough information to think they slept together. In my opinion, Peter’s initial reaction to Marilyn was one of A) mostly not liking the visual after his history and B) somewhat not wanting to risk the temptation. That’s why he tried to get her out of his office.
When she came back? The show hasn’t shown enough of them for us to believe they had sex. The Dan Brown conversation that was slightly flirtatious is not enough.
Secondly, going down this road would completely undermine the character development of Marilyn Garbanza. An ethics strategist and career-oriented woman is smarter than to sleep with Governor Florrick. Would she really have no problem hanging around Alicia’s apartment, advising them on various matters while pregnant with Alicia’s husband’s baby?
That turns her from an interesting foil to a straight-up, crazy girl villain. And “The Good Wife” is also better than that. The show has never been about heroes and villains — from Alicia to Lemond Bishop, everyone is shades of gray.
What do you think, “Good Wife” fans? Sound off below.