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Guest Star Goodness: The Good Wife “Blue Ribbon Panel” 

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

Wow. Things are getting mighty vicious on The Good Wife. At Lockhart/Gardner, the trio of terror also known as Julius, David and Eli, continue their attempts to dislodge Will from his name partner position. They feel Diane isn’t making smart decisions and is showing a misguided sense of loyalty to Will. They feel she’s not seeing the big picture, nor is she thinking about the firm as a whole. Will’s only going to be out of action for six months. It’s beyond madness that his suspension has set off this partner war. But you know what? It’s all quite fascinating and juicy with all the backstabbing, alliances and strategizing going on. How great is it that Diane and Will are able to outmaneuver everyone by voting Howard Lyman — the one with the most seniority — into his position? Howard finally gets something to do. Diane and Will probably think it’ll be easy to remove him when Will’s suspension is up and he’s back at work. Can’t wait to see if that actually happens.

Meanwhile, Alicia takes Diane’s spot on a blue ribbon panel that’s investigating a police shooting, a case that features some racial undertones. The members of the panel are used to going through the motions. They don’t seem to want to rock the boat. They hear the testimony and rarely ask any questions designed to uncover anything new. Alicia’s a newbie to this game — she doesn’t know all the particulars just yet. She tries to go with the flow but she can’t sit idly by for too long. So she does what she always does. She tries her best to get at the truth. And if that means rocking the boat, then so be it. Problem is she’s on the panel with some very important men — some of them judges — and they clearly don’t appreciate the chaos she’s causing. It ends up backfiring because the case twists and turns until the State’s Attorney’s office is pulled into it. It’s all very messy and it feels like this investigation is going to cause some problems for Peter Florrick and his run for governor.

Alicia’s personal life involves as much backstabbing as her work life. She’s been trying to buy her old house. She comes up a little short, but her realtor suggests that she write a letter to the current owner. Sometimes this action gives someone the boost that is needed to sway an owner their way, even if the offer is lower than the asking price. While the letter did help, it wasn’t enough because she couldn’t come up with the money to top the highest bid. And then all of a sudden, she gets a call from her realtor wondering why the sale didn’t go through her. The contract has the name Florrick on it so she assumes Alicia came up with the money. But she didn’t. Alicia immediately thinks of Peter, but ultimately, it isn’t. It’s Jackie’s doing. The grandmother is back on the scene with a vengeance. And they didn’t even gives us their showdown this week. We have to wait until the next episode. Boo. CBS needs to expand The Good Wife to two-hours an episode for the remainder of the season. Just saying.

“Blue Ribbon Panel” features an amazing amount of new and returning guest stars:

Matthew Perry

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

The Role: Mike Kresteva, the panel chairman
The Good Wife Assessment: At first it seemed like Mike and Alicia were going to hit it off. But the more she went against the norm, the less friendly this guy got. But when they had to bring the State’s Attorney into it, it became clear that Kresteva had some sort of hidden agenda going on. Guess we’ll find out more in the next episode. Mike will be back in “No Ordinary Lie,” which airs Sunday April 15 on CBS.
The Actor: Perry is, of course, best known for playing Chandler Bing (or Miss Chanandler Bong) on the late great sitcom, Friends. But, over the years, he’s been Carol’s boyfriend that died (Sandy) on Growing Pains and starred on two post-Friends series: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Mr. Sunshine. He also guest starred on three episodes of The West Wing.

Charles S. Dutton

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

The Role: Pastor Damon Yarrow
The Good Wife Assessment: At first Yarrow seemed like he was going to go with the status quo, but he eventually became a sort of ally for Alicia during the investigative panel.
The Actor: Dutton was Roc in the early 90s sitcom of the same name (which also starred NCIS‘ Rocky Carroll). More recently, he’s guest starred on Criminal Minds and American Horror Story.

Cotter Smith

Cotter Smith

The Role: Forrest Burke, an IPRA investigator
The Good Wife Assessment: He was called in to testify in front of the panel. He helps bring to light evidence of the cop using a drop gun that may have been planted on the scene. Alicia’s calling him back into for another round, doesn’t make the panel happy.
The Actor: Smith is a veteran actor that has appeared in just about everything. Back in the day, he was in the mini-series Mistral’s Daughter and has starred in short-lived series Courthouse and Equal Justice. He’s had recurring roles in various shows like Tru Calling and Judging Amy. And he’s done guest star spots in a slew of dramas including NCIS, White Collar, Brothers and Sisters and Person of Interest.

Kurt Fuller

Kurt Fuller (l.) on The Good Wife -- Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

The Role: Judge Dunaway
The Good Wife Assessment: Judge Dunaway’s back and is one of the members of this “Blue Ribbon Panel.” He likes the status quo. And resents Alicia trying to make it into anything else. He can make life hard for Alicia and Lockhart/Gardner since they often have cases in front of him. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next time they actually show Alicia trying a case where he’s a judge.
The Actor: Fuller’s one of those character actors that makes a show better simply with his presence. On TV, he currently has a recurring role as Woody the Coroner on Psych. He was recently in the short-lived series Better with You. He appeared on several episodes of Supernatural playing Zachariah, the powerful angel that made life hell for Sam and Dean. Fuller actually did an episode of Perry’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and in the movies, he had a memorable role in Wayne’s World.

Peter Riegert

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

The Role: Judge Winter
The Good Wife Assessment: This is the fifth time Judge Winter has been part of The Good Wife festivities. It’s clear he likes the status quo almost as much as Judge Dunaway. But in the interest of getting it all over with he accepts the situation and knows Alicia Florrick cannot be denied.
The Actor: Riegert’s yet another one of the TV vets that sits on this blue ribbon panel. In the late 70s, Riegert made a couple appearances as Corporal Igor Straminsky on MASH; he starred in the mini-series Ellis Island in the 80s; and has done guest star spots on everything from Seinfeld to Sports Night (which starred TGW‘s Josh Charles) to The Sopranos.

Jill Flint

Jill Flint on TGW (r.) -- Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

The Role: Agent Lana Delaney
The Good Wife Assessment: Kalinda’s FBI friend is having issues drawing the line between business and pleasure. She had the IRS target Kalinda in a bid to get at some sort of information. Lemond Bishop’s name was resurrected. We hadn’t heard that name in a while. Delaney also tried to convince Kalinda to have dinner with her so they could talk more intimately. Kalinda got a little too up close and personal for Delaney’s taste right there in the cafeteria. She didn’t want the intimacy to occur around her fellow agents. Not quite sure where this story is going to lead but it can’t be anywhere good. And kudos to Kalinda for, once again, being so badass.
The Actress: Flint currently has a starring role on USA Network’s Royal Pains.

Jerry Adler

Jerry Adler

The Role: Howard Lyman
The Good Wife Assessment: He’s the partner in the firm with the most seniority, but nobody really gives him the time of day or takes him seriously. He becomes a bit of a pawn in the chess game that has become life at Lockhart/Gardner. Factions at the firm want Will out as partner while he’s on suspension. Will and Diane counter by getting Lyman voted in instead. The scenes that showed Will and Howard bonding were funny. The old man became Will’s shadow and then Will used that to his advantage.
The Actor: Jerry Adler was Chief Sidney Feinberg on Rescue Me; Hesh on The Sopranos; and did ten episodes of the sitcom Mad About You. Plus, he’s appeared on Spin City, Wonderland, and Detroit 1-8-7. He also starred in the short-lived series Raising Dad and Alright Already.

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.

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