This week’s episode of “The Good Wife,” “Parenting Made Easy,” was the third television show in as many weeks in which a missing child altered the course of the parents’ romantic relationship. The rule of threes means that it’s an official trend. Last week. when Max from “Parenthood” got lost on the way to the museum, Kristina decided to forgive Adam for kissing his secretary. Two weeks ago, on “Days of Our Lives” Johnny disappeared, resulting in his divorced parents, Sami and E.J. mistakenly believing he was dead and having grief sex, which was witnessed by Sami’s closeted gay son, Will. The disappearance of Grace (Mackenzie Vega) turns out to be less than catastrophic, but its impact on Will (Josh Charles) and Alicia’s (Julianna Margulies) relationship is enormous.
Since Grace’s disappearance was featured in all of the show’s promos, it was a surprise that it did not happen until over halfway through the episode. Alicia was involved in the case of the week, a rematch of Caitlin (Anna Camp) versus Martha (Grace Rex), with the two rookie attorneys squaring off in a civil arbitration concerning a college professor who was suing for wrongful termination. Initially, the plaintiff, repped by Caitlin, claimed that she was fired because she rejected the provost sexual overtures. It turns out e-mails suggest she was fired because of her right wing political views.Caitlin is a lousy litigator. Martha initially wipes the floor with her until, at her co-chair Alicia’s suggestion, Caitlin asks about the timing of the bad student reviews, the alleged cause of her firing, and learns the provost did not receive them until after she was fired. Martha, at a loss, brings in her boss, Louis (Michael J. Fox). He and Alicia engage in their usual sparring. He is determined to get her to join his firm, arguing that his family-friendly policies make up for his sleazy clients. Given that Lockhart-Gardner reps a drug lord, there isn’t much distinction between the two firms.
Everything grinds to a halt when Alicia realizes she has 12 missed calls from Grace. The one voicemail she left consists of muffled noise. Louis offers Alicia the use of his driver. Zach, (Graham Phillips) who is again at Lockhart-Gardner working on Alicia’s computer, apparently having taken over the I.T. department, tells Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) about Grace. It’s surprising that Alicia couldn’t set aside her issues and ask the world’s greatest investigator for help. Alicia questions Grace’s friend, who saw her get into a car with a man. Alicia tells Peter (Chris Noth) that she’s worried Grace’s disappearance has to do with Donny Pike, the white supremacist that Colin Sweeney entrapped into confessing to murder a couple episodes ago. Peter has the entire police department search for Grace. Kalinda traces Grace’s cellphone to a sketchy neighborhood. Peter and Alicia embrace at her place. Kalinda, after talking to Grace’s friend about who Grace talks to online finds Grace getting baptized by the Mustard Seeds guy. It turns out she butt dialed Alicia a dozen times. What kind of baptism ritual would make that a possibility? The Mustard Seeds have got to be a cult. Kalinda asks Grace not to tell Alicia that she found her.
Meanwhile, Alicia looks at her glamorous lingerie and decides that her child is missing because she dared to have a sex life. Grace comes home and she, Alicia and Peter group hug. Will drops by at that precise moment and sees it — just like on “Days of Our Lives.” Will, instead of concluding that Alicia is going back to Peter, tells Kalinda he’s ready to make a commitment to Alicia.
Now that Grace has been not only found but saved, Alicia returns to court and discovers that Louis searched Alicia’s bag and found evidence that he uses to win the case. Yet he continues his hard press to get Alicia to come work for him.
She may have to if Wendy’s (Anika Noni Rose) investigation of Will takes down Lockhart-Gardner. Will asks Kalinda to find out if he “made changes” at Lockhart-Gardner if the investigation against him would disappear. He makes it clear that Kalinda is not to ask about his relationship with Alicia. Peter, seemingly ticked that Wendy is going after Will instead of the firm, refuses to give her all the money that she wants. She needs a freelance investigator. Cue the return of house husband detective Andrew Wylie (Tim Guinee). Andrew visits Will on the basketball court, comments on Lockhart Gardner’s high win rate. Will challenges him to find issue with any individual case
Eli (Alan Cumming) is still moping about his lack of clients. Diane encourages him to stop being a loner. Eli has scotch with Will who points out that he never shows up for staff meetings so no one wants to send him clients. Then Will asks why Peter is investigating him. Eli has no idea, suggests he talk to Alicia. Will points out that, since they’re colleagues, if he goes down, he’s taking Eli with him. Eli agrees to look into it.
Dana (Monica Raymund) and Kalinda’s faux flirtation continues with Dana asking about Andrew then wondering if Kalinda slept with Cary, revealing that Cary talks about her during sex. Kalinda should have retorted that must mean that Dana is lousy in bed. Instead, she calls her out on flirting with everybody, saying that when she flirts she follows through.
At the end of the episode, Alicia tells Will “I can’t. It’s too much” and breaks up with him saying she’s going to miss him.
Thus, after about ten total minutes of airtime, the Will/Alicia relationship two and a half years in the making, is kaput for the moment. They were more interesting when they were longing for each other, so it’s disappointing but good for the show as a whole. Diane sees them embracing through the glass doors. Diane, in a classic soap misunderstanding, tells Will he did the right thing. Alicia will get over it. Yes, but will Will?