The Good Wife: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Willicia and Love the Bad Husband
Chris Noth and Julianna Margulies
Lois and Clark. Felicity and Ben. Sydney and Vaughn. It is a sad fact, but I've been an avid TV "shipper" pretty much since I learned how to wield the remote control. That includes childhood favorites and also my current "adult" mainstays. So as an avid Good Wife viewer from Day One, I have always naturally been Team Will (Josh Charles), or "Willicia" if you will, 100 percent. He's loved Alicia (Julianne Margulies) for 15 years! Her husband cheated on her with a prostitute! That deleted voicemail! And, most importantly, that kiss! The "Willicia" argument seemed pretty cut and dried. But a funny thing happened on the way to Alicia and Will's destined-happily-ever-after — I switched sides. After Sunday's episode, in which a young beautiful campaign worker lied about having had an affair with Peter, I realized that four seasons has turned this Will fan into a surprisingly strong Team Florrick supporter. So what changed? Here's five reasons my vote is for Peter (Chris Noth):
Photos: The Good Wife summons Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci and more
1. Time served: Ok, so maybe technically there is no way for someone to really pay his dues after cheating on his wife with a prostitute, having photos of said affair leak and embarrass his wife in front of the entire country. But Peter has come pretty close. He spent months locked up in orange and then when he was finally let go on house arrest, he didn't argue with Alicia when she banished him to the guest bedroom. Even though she tossed him several mixed signals — like when she slept with him after kissing Will — he was never presumptuous about the status of their very complicated marriage and basically waited patiently until he got those rare green lights.
2. The lone ranger: Sunday's episode, and specifically the false accusations of an affair, raised a very interesting question: What exactly has Peter been up to since getting kicked out by Alicia for sleeping with Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) way back when? While Alicia was fooling around with her boss, was Peter having fun of his own? His entire political career rests on his image as a married man, but Alicia already learned the hard way that Peter knows how to keep secrets. He's never been shown even looking at another woman, let alone dating or sleeping around, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's been a saint. However, until there's evidence that points to the contrary, Peter has been depicted as a man who only has eyes for his wife, and that's an easy man to root for.
Hamish Linklater heads to The Good Wife
3. The better man: Diane (Christine Baranski) said it best (and most tersely) at the end of last season when she asked Will, "Could you please keep your pants zipped?" Unlike Peter, Will has never gone too long without adding to his little black book, whether it be a brief fling (the young reporter in Season 2), an old friend (Emily in Season 1), a bona fide girlfriend (sports journalist Tammy, also in Season 2) or something in between a la Callie Simko (Julianne Nicholson). Because of his dating record, watching the seemingly commitment- and kid-phobic lawyer morph into a lovesick puppy dog was a little jarring and — dare we say it — a little disappointing compared to the more ruthless and risk-taking Will seen in earlier seasons. Will's most shining moments throughout the series have always been when he's going out on a limb or cutting corners in some fashion — which means Will can never be the character fans love and the good man fans want for the good wife at the same time. And we'll take (slightly) sleazy Will over "reformed" Will any day of the week.
4. The way they were: Aside from a nod or two to Alicia and Peter's former glory days as the prom queen and king of Highland Park in the show's early days, The Good Wife has never been big on flashbacks — that is until Alicia's old house went on the market at the end of Season 3. In the end, Peter got the house — thanks, Jackie! — and also earned some major goodwill with fans as the show pulled the curtain back on the Florricks' once-blissfully happy marriage. Sure, the writers also showed the morning before Peter's infamous press conference and other unhappy times, but if these two were that were in love before everything happened, could Alicia and Peter find their way back to that happy place someday now that she's learned to accept his faults? It's not impossible, especially after those -- count 'em -- two kisses Alicia planted on him at the end of Sunday's episode.
5. The kids: When asked, "Why do you stay with your husband?" by reporter Peggy Byrne (Kristin Chenoweth) in the season premiere, Alicia said it was because she wanted to honor her commitment to Peter, but watchful fans know the other big reason: her kids. Over the years, Alicia has never made no secret of her disdain for how her parents handled their divorce during her childhood. And just like Alicia would do anything for her children, Peter has proved he's willing to throw his weight around for their sake as well. First, he had every cop in Chicago searching for Grace (Makenzie Vega) when she went on her top-secret baptism mission, and then he used his political clout to get Zach (Graham Phillips) and Grace into private school, prickly dean be damned. Peter is a natural, and powerful, father figure — a sharp contrast to Will, who proved his ineptitude with kids during his awkward encounter with Zach in Alicia's office. "Keep on keepin' on?" What does that even mean?! Maybe Will can change, and maybe it would/will be different with his own kids, but Alicia has no time to give him a crash course on parenting. This one is a no contest.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS. Are you Team Will or Team Peter?