The Good Wife (2009–2016)
8.3/10
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The Deconstruction 

Alicia's return to the firm after she withdraws from the election is sidetracked by mistrust on both sides. Meanwhile, Kalinda has a plan to turn on Bishop and not get caught, and Diane considers a test case to challenge mandatory minimums.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Cary Agos
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Kalinda Sharma
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Grace Florrick
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Finn Polmar
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David Lee
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Diane Lockhart
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Peter Florrick
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R.D.
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Geneva Pine
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Lemond Bishop
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Dexter Roja (as JD Williams)
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Louise Nolfi
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Judge Aaron Coleman
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Alex Bollinger
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Storyline

Alicia formally withdraws from the race for State's Attorney and now faces an uncertain future. Peter suggests that she keep politics as a possibility because he knows she has what it takes to survive. She's already accepted the settlement offered by the firm to end her partnership but when she approaches Diane and the others, they're more than happy to have her back as a name partner. When she later gets a call from one of clients who spoke to Diane and was told Alicia wasn't returning to the firm, Alicia thinks the firm is trying to pull a fast one and steal her clients. Meanwhile, Cary decides to give evidence against Lemond Bishop unaware that Kalinda has already made a deal with ASA Geneva Pine. Kalinda's actions put her in great danger however. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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26 April 2015 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Connections

Features To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »

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I'm Just A Playa
Written by Richard Wolf and Gregory Dean Lawson
Produced By Richard Wolf
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User Reviews

At Times Very Good, But Regrettably Could Have Been Cleaner
3 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

Ted Humphrey has been around at "The Good Wife" since the early years. He has stalwartly written many episodes, and was trusted by Robert and Micelle King, who were covering season six's 21st and 22nd episodes, to write and direct "The Deconstruction," a pivotal moment in the series' history. So, how does he do? Mostly well, but Humphrey's inexperience maybe seeps through the surface at points. There's no doubting the power and precision behind some of the sequences in this episode, such as the immaculate opening scene, which mirrors the first scene in the Pilot. Season six boils down to this moment of symbolism between Alicia and Peter, which bonds them in a new way, they both have been in one another's shoes and now are able to lean on each other for support.

The life that used to be her's and everything she built over the last six years has ended, and she now has to move on and start from the bottom once again. This is why I believe Alicia shattered in the final seconds of "The Deconstruction" after reading Kalinda's obscure note to her. Not because of what it said, but a cumulation of all of the events that transpired in the past two weeks. Kalinda was her first friend after the scandal, and although their close tie was severed in season two, Alicia saw Kalinda leaving as the "cherry on top" of her old life being dismantled, which triggered her vulnerable release.

As strongly as a feel about aspects of "The Deconstruction," I cannot in good conscious rank it at the top as one of the season's best episodes. A reoccurring criticism of this episode was the feeling of time being wasted on Alicia's storyline with leaving the firm. Though I acknowledge the intentions behind the story and laud it to some extents, I agree with the criticism at points. The question "The Deconstruction" wanted to answer was, "Why can't Alicia come back to Lockhart, Agos and Lee?" The answer to that question is because the professional trust she used to have with Cary and Diane is long gone. Even though Alicia wants to come back and even though Diane and Cary want her to come back, they could never work together like they did before. Alicia running for State's Attorney was not necessarily was not a betrayal, but it still felt like a betrayal to the firm. Even though Cary was partnered with Alicia in to quit Lockhart Gardner and start this firm, there's a lingering, unceasing paranoia that will follow these characters in future dealings.

How this is approached in the teleplay begins well, but as it grows and focuses less on Alicia and more on Davis Lee, it becomes less compelling. Many viewers have asked, "Is that it? It was all just a misunderstanding? Yes, in a shallow sense, but also yes in a bigger sense. Too much has happened for them to return to the way things used to be. Alicia will always remain friends with Diane and Cary, as shown in Alicia's meeting with Diane in the later part of the episode, but working together is not as much of an option as the characters want it to be. And regardless, Alicia's name is not good for business (as shown with RD concluding the storyline), showing there are too many strikes against Alicia to return to her old life. Even though the analytics are behind the episode for sure, when minutes of "The Deconstruction" are being consumed by David Lee's conniving phone calls, part of it does feel pointless. One of my favorite scenes in this episode is Diane and Alicia confronting one another. It's a brief encounter, but one that is staggeringly well acted by Margulies and Christine Baranski.

The bulk of Kalinda's final story took place in this episode, and after months of every fan throwing in a sensational guess of how she would leave the show for good, her exit is concise and simple. She retrieves evidence against Bishop, she saves Diane from facing changes for faking evidence, and she leaves. The build-up of collecting evidence from Bishop's computer and framing Dexter Roja was exciting and thankfully straightforward, but the memorable part of "The Deconstruction" came after Bishop's storyline ended. Everything involved in the final scenes of this episode were exactly how I imagined they would be. Knowing Kalinda, I knew she would not be handing out melodramatic goodbyes, and the way she ended her relationships Cary and Diane (Cary by gently kissing him and Diane by hinting that she is leaving town) properly fitted the character we have gotten to know over the last six years. A round of applause for Archie Panjabi for her performance in "The Deconstruction," particularly for her last scene with Cary. How the tears steadily form in her eyes when she says, "Why did you do that, Cary?" was the emotional breaking point of the episode.

The sequence at Alicia's apartment and the mystery of the note were well done. In that scene, so much of Kalinda's relationship with Alicia is communicated (even without Alicia having to be there). The roots of their friendship--when Alicia first began at Lockhart Gardner--will always be important to Kalinda, even if the mistake of sleeping with Peter halted that connection. After her pronounced "Goodbye", everything indicating Kalinda's disappearance to Cary was especially great: the dead phone line, her wrecked apartment (the set design was chilling), the hole in the wall where she kept extra firearms and her money. Kalinda's final major storyline and her withdrawal from her life was sudden, but it stayed true to who she was and sent her off with an emotional, incisive wave. Adding to the strength of the episode's conclusion, the song that underscored Alicia's breakdown and Cary's confronting Kalinda's rough departure, "I Think It's Going to Rain Today," helped to perfectly evoke the emotional tone of the ending.

Grade: B+


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