The Good Wife Mystery: For Pete's Sake, Where Was Chris Noth Last Night?!

It’s rare that I walk away from a Good Wife episode focused on what it lacked, but that’s exactly the position I found myself in following Tuesday’s momentous hour — which saw Peter Florrick’s yearlong campaign sprint for state’s attorney climax with a decisive win. It wasn’t the writing or acting that left me wanting more —both were stellar as usual — it was the glaring absence of the man at the center of the election-themed plot: Chris Noth!

The void was particularly evident in the installment’s final moments when a victorious Peter emerged from seclusion to greet his supporters…. well, some dude with brown hair who looked like Noth from behind emerged. Why go so far as to hire a body double for an episode that seemingly demanded at least a split-second cameo from Noth?

According to exec producer Michelle King, scheduling and creative considerations were the driving forces behind Peter’s vanishing act. With Noth — who it should be noted is only a recurring player on Wife and therefore not under contract — currently starring in a revival of The Championship Season on Broadway, “We knew he’d only be available for a certain number of the final episodes,” King explains. “We had some flexibility as to which episodes should feature Peter, and felt that creatively it would be best to keep him out of [Tuesday’s episode] in order to focus on Alicia. That way we’ll be able to have the dramatic fireworks of a Peter/Alicia confrontation play out in the final episodes.”

There you have it.

By the way, those fireworks Kings speaks of won’t ignite for a few more weeks; the first of Wife‘s three remaining season 2 episodes doesn’t air until May 3.

Thoughts? Did you miss Peter as much as I did? Or were you too focused on Alicia’s world crashing down around her to notice? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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73 Comments
  1. Chmarin says:

    Yes, it was kinda weird not seeing Peter, but the episode was good enough to keep me from thinking where he was. The final few scenes especially.

    I can’t even imagine what it’s gonna look like once Alicia confronts Kalinda.

    • Saulo says:

      I’d like to know if they’re planning a political journey for Alicia…

    • CarCastle says:

      On election night it is practically mandatory for the family to be with the candidate. For Alicia to not even know where her husband was seemed weird. His absence from the story has also lessened the storyline about her ongoing dilemma of husband or not. He seems so absent from her life, that he hardly seems to matter. This is a disappointment in the development of the story. How has there relationship been changing since he’s been home?

      • Amy Gray says:

        It’s common for canidates on election night to stay in their room
        until a winner is declared and the opponent conceeds.

    • kellybelly says:

      Yes, I thought it was odd too. And he should be featured more in the show. Helps with the storyline.
      And, I know that it was a necessary plot devise to reveal the Kalinda/Peter one night stand to Alicia, and the actors played it great, but really? That was thee most illogical thing ever.
      Why would that guy – Andrew –even bother to come there and tell Alicia that he has nothing. The rumor wasn’t true. Was he just fishing? I suppose, it has to be that, otherwise it’s a pretty thin devise. But they didn’t really sell the fact that he was fishing for info or trying to get a rise out of her. So, while I was revited, in the back of my mind I was also going “hey, wait a minute… that was so dumb”. Should have revealed it some other way. Like Alicia overhearing a conversation between Kalinda and Cary or something .

  2. Sarah says:

    I definitely noticed! But I thought it was more of a ploy to focus on Alicia’s pain rather than what is happening with Peter. It’s like, with Noth not there, we got a better idea of how much pain Alicia was in.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Oh I missed him and was blown away that they didn’t have a shot of him – even if it was a reused shot of him. You can’t have an election without having the candidate. I get it, given your post above, but as a fan of TGW I was hugely disappointed in not seeing Chris.

  4. Menda says:

    I thought it was odd that we did not see Peter at all in the episode.
    I understand recurring actors are not always available, but it seems tthat something could have been worked out. The explanation they gave for his absence was so vague. Seriously what candidate in a major election would be MIA on their big night? Otherwise stellar episode.

  5. Todd Everett says:

    I’m surprised that you’re totally ignoring Fred Dalton Thompson’s hilarious appearance in a near parody of his real-live self (actor/politician vs. actor/lawyer).

    • Tucker says:

      Am I crazy or did they not name his character at all the entire episode, really kind of playing up the meta feel of his guest stint?

      • Mykey716 says:

        Not crazy! His name was never mentioned…it was always “Isn’t that…?” and eluding to his attempt to run for office and referencing L&O, without mentioning that name either!!!

      • mdaily says:

        Actually Natalie (America Ferrara) mentioned that “Mr. Thompson, the lawyer” hired her when she slipped in to say goodbye to Eli Gold and to apologize for her boyfriend, Andre’s, boorish behavior toward Eli.

        By the way, loved the poignancy of the Natatlie-Eli goodbye. I hope we get to see Natalie again, and I wish there could be a way to make a her a series regular. America needs a show of her own, if not a slot in the Good Wife.

    • Kaodai says:

      Yeah Todd, I found it hilarious too (and worth mentioning it).
      By the way, Fred Dalton Thompson was a lawyer. He was admitted to the State Bar of Tennessee in 1967.

  6. Sunny says:

    Definitely noticed. If he can’t be there, hire an actor who can. He’s replaceable.

    • Kaodai says:

      How dare you !!!! (Lol, I always wanted to say that)
      Chris Noth is not replaceable. He’s a really good actor, who portrays beautifully the character and flaws of Peter Florrick. I can’t imagine someone else in that role.

      • mccliza says:

        Mr. Big is SO not replaceable. Alicia’s dilemma would not be nearly so palpable if Peter wasn’t so freakin’ hot. It didn’t bother me at all not to see him last night. I think it actually enhanced the drama–confusion and excitement of saving the winner’s entrance on the big night. Now, it’ll mean Alicia will be summoned to stand at his side ( in awesome symmetry from the very first show) as he’s lauded as the winner, just after she’s learned the awful secret. Completely fabulous episode.

  7. DB says:

    i think it was very obvious that they kept him away for creative reason to put Alicia front and center in the big reveal. i think it would have ruin the impact of the final scene if Peter was shown. i also appreciate the show for not doing a recap/flashback when the name “Leela” was uttered (like so many other shows would have done by interrupting the scene to remind the viewers that didn’t bother pay attention to the plot before)

  8. sunny says:

    Didn’t miss Peter at all. Don’t care for the cheating slug. I’m really bummed that we have to wait until May 3 for the Peter/Alicia showdown.

  9. dee says:

    Didn’t really care that he wasn’t there. Often on the night of the vote you don’t see candidate in the suite until he announces or concedes. I thought it was great that we could focus on Alicia being in the spotlight. That last scene was heart-breakingly well done by her!!!! Also, I never watched Ugly Betty, but that America Ferrera really ROCKS. Hope she and Eli run into each other again next season.

  10. Tucker says:

    I definitely noted to myself that it was kind of odd that he wasn’t shown in the final moments as he won the election. But I was quickly pulled into Alicia’s growing moment of breakdown as she walked away from the party. In that, I was sort of glad that they kind of kept Peter in the background, as it were.

  11. Leslie says:

    I think it was a great show last night. Things are always crazy the last few days of an election; esp. one as big as the one they are portraying-and the canidate would be very busy. It would have been nice maybe if he caught a glimpse of her eyes-but I understand the writing. She did an amazing job with Alicia and I look forward to seeing more! I did emjoy seeing Fred Thompson again too-he’s always an intresting character! Do hope they keep Eli around, as you win one election, you start all over for the next:)

  12. Ingmar says:

    I didn’t mind not seeing him to be honest. I just figured he was somewhere in that room. I thought it gave such more emotion to the episode ; seeing everything throught Alicia’s eyes and focus on her. Julianne Marguilles = going to win Emmy, if she submits this episode. Damn, she can act! Plus I rather have Noth in the next 2 episodes to see what is coming up for Peter / Alicia. You smell what I smell?Drama!

  13. Andrea says:

    I didn’t miss Peter either. I thought the Kings kept things well-balanced by showing Wendy’s spouse and children and Peter’s spouse and children. If we would have seen Wendy and not Peter, that might have been weird, but I could live with this.

    Plus, I didn’t think the victory moment was about Peter as much as it was Alicia. In his moment of victory, a moment that Alicia had managed to make possible by increasing the percentage points from 1 to double digits, Peter managed to crash her world again while she had just helped him succeed in rebuilding his. Then add Kalinda to the mix, Alicia’s friend, and Alicia has a whole new set of emotions to deal with on top of how she feels about Peter once again hiding his infidelities from her.

  14. Anne says:

    Any show that does not feature Peter is a good one for me. Can’t stand Peter. I wish Alicia would kick him to the curb.

    • Donna says:

      I agree w/you, but still he ought to have been in the room or on a video monitor at the very least. And, @DB, there’s no way it was a creative choice. It’s probably that Chris Noth asked for more money or something.

      • kellybelly says:

        @Donna — it was a creative choice or rather scheduling conflicts– did you not read the article by Michael Ausiello above? He clearly states that the producers knew that they wouldn’t have him much while filming the final eps of the season, because Noth is doing a play on Broadway. So, they choice to save him for the last two eps instead.

  15. Steph says:

    I’e never watched the show before this episode, but I was able to be drawn in simply by Julianne’s amazing acting. I was SOLD on Alicia and, even if I don’t know the back story, I am fascinated. Looking forward to seeing how Chris Noth plays into the mix. TGW has a new fan!

  16. MGL says:

    It would have been nice to have one scene with Peter, but I don’t believe that it was detrimental to the theme of the episode. It also gave her time with Eli, which was interesting in itself. However, your comment regarding the show not returning until May 3rd is upsetting too. It is trailing Body of Proof in that ever important ratings war (which doesn’t even hold a candle to The Good Wife), but 2 weeks of reruns or whatever else, may not help its ratings.

  17. Mykey716 says:

    I did notice Peter’s absence, especially at hotel when they’re watching the returns…it was really obvious, but honestly, I was more caught up in the Alicia side of this story….and was the ‘reminder’ that Chris Noth “is only a recurring player on Wife and therefore not under contract —” a hint for next season’s storyline?

    The next 3 weeks are going to make me crazy!!!

  18. leo says:

    I didn’t have a problem with Peter not really being there. Kalinda was more minimal, too. It made the final scenes even more about Alicia.

  19. Mike says:

    What makes me REALLY crazy is how these networks expect people to watch a show when it’s new 1 week, then re-run, then new, then 2 re-runs, etc. etc. Can we have a block of episodes and if there are breaks so be it. This on-again off-again thing is annoying. Good episode though. And why couldn’t Chris Noth jump on the subway to shoot 10 seconds of him winning the election?

  20. Mike says:

    In the words of the famous Lt Columbo. One more thing. If Chris Noth found time to visit the View the other day he could’ve visited TGW set. (I realize it was probably shot a few weeks ago, but…)

    • kellybelly says:

      @Mike — “shot a few weeks ago”?? More likely a month ago or more. They’re already done shooting the season. We have 2 more eps to watch.

    • kellybelly says:

      @Mike — also, Noth wasn’t available because he was doing a play. Which means he has to be there around 6:30/7:0p and that’s if there isn’t a matinee.
      Shooting a one hour drama takes at least a week, and usually 10 hour days.
      Doing an episode of The View, takes an hour, in the early morning. You’re in and out.

  21. Sourabh says:

    It was too noticeable. Especially at the end with the guy with the different hair.

  22. Kristy says:

    The lack of Peter definitely caught my attention, and I think negatively affected my reaction to the episode. I kept on being distracted when he was not in key scenes that he should be in. If any episode called for his character, it was this one! We are supposed to believe that he’s not at campaign headquarters when the votes are coming in? Come on!

  23. tvdramaqueen says:

    The episode worked as well as it could without him…but it was definitley noticeable . The chemistry between him and Julianna is great so he is missed when he is not on ( even without her)… he is a charismatic presence!

  24. Anne says:

    I actually thought it was a good creative choice to not show Chris Noth in this episode as opposed to a choice made solely due to Noth’s availability.

    Peter’s highly visible absence from his family and the campaign is in direct juxtaposition to Alicia saying such wonderful things about how the family has come together and everyone has forgiven him. Especially when it’s said in an interview that she really didn’t want to give.

    His lack of screen time also further exposes how all of his mistakes alienate Alicia. *She* was the one left alone to pick up the pieces when he went to jail. *She* was the one to emotionally pay for his mistakes. *She* was the one who had to move the family to a much smaller apartment, find a job, deal with her mother-in-law’s interference with her children. Peter hasn’t really seen too many repercussions from the dalliances. Sure he spent a few months in jail and lost his job. But he’s out of prison and he just won back his job and we haven’t seen him excoriated in the public and press like we’ve seen happen to Alicia and the children. A visible Peter would only lessen the impact of Alicia’s alone-ness in this episode.

    And like other comments have mentioned, his absence makes her reaction to the news even more profound. This is her turn to walk away from him. Figuratively and literally.

    Looking ahead, I am really looking forward to the first time Alicia and Kalinda meet after this news. Both of these actors play their respective roles with reserved, quiet subtlety even in the face of confrontation. When they get truly angry, it’s so much more shocking. Remember when Kalinda took the baseball bat to Blake’s car? Even though I had a hint of what was coming, the ferocity of Kalinda’s actions were shocking to me. And even more shocking was how she acted immediately after hitting the car. Right back to that quiet control that she’s known for. She and Alicia are very alike in the way they control their emotions, even amidst a major outburst.

  25. I missed him, but not as much as you, obviously. I thought it was odd with everyone cheering and him not being there. I mean, really, when has that ever happened? But the story line was so good and Juliana Marguiles as fabulous as ever that Peter’s absence didn’t bother me much. I’ll be watching it again tonight, though, as I want to see it without all the distractions I had going on last night and will let you know if it becomes an intolerable annoyance. Don’t wait for my opinion to change though. There are too many other delicious things going on in that series!

  26. nikki says:

    As long as there is no stupid Will hook-yp, Ikm fine with The Good Wife

  27. Kira says:

    It didn’t bother me that he wasn’t in the episode, because it wasn’t about him right now. I think they did a pretty good job of avoiding it. I can’t wait to see what’s to come, but I’m not sure why we have to wait two more weeks. GRR!

  28. marion says:

    I thought this was a good episode, like everyone else. I started asking about Peter and his absence about 20 minutes into the show. What blew me away, last night, was how horribly evil the unorthodox private dick was and his seemingly self-satisfaction in ruining a family. I am not excusing Peter and Kalinda, but, I had never seen anything so cruel.

    • dee says:

      Agreed. I don’t like that new private eye. He seems too self-righteous. Kary (sp?) is his friend and brought him into this work, but even with Kary he seems really pissed off and judgemental. For several episodes he has been pissed about Kary’s friendship with Kalinda. What business is it of his? Don’t get what they are doing with him…

    • Annie says:

      I agree, Marion. I didn’t like the Blake investigator, either. Even Kalinda got crazy this year–taking a baseball bat to Blake’s car and then HIM?! Maybe we’re to deduce that investigators become obsessessed/crazy once they smell blood? That’s all I could come up with as to why all three of them seemed so over-the-top.

  29. Lesliemd says:

    Chris Noth has been on Broadway in That Championship Season, which overlapped with TGW filming. It’s not that he wanted more money.

  30. Denise says:

    It was so noticeable that it took me out of the scene for a moment.

  31. Vittoria says:

    I think that Peter absence really influenced my taking on the Kalinda/Peter gate, Peter seems so distant from his wife, from his family that it’s really difficult for me caring for what will happens between Alcia and him.
    The only aspect of this story that concerns me is the relationship between Kalinda and Alcia, a relationship that we’ve actually seen growing stronger and stronger each episode while on the Alicia/Peter front, aside from few scenes, we’ve witnessed a lot of words and promises, she forgave him, he’ll never hurt them again and so on on but, at leasto IMHO no meaningful gesture that really shows that.
    After the oh so beautiful interview Alicia gave I’d expect them to stand together waiting for THEIR future to be announced to them while once again we’ve seen Alicia and “him” (since he wasn’t there) taking two different paths.

  32. Pauline says:

    I did think it was strange that Peter was missing at the results party at the end of the episode. A wife would be with her husband, even if they were by themselves waiting for the results. Julianne Marguilles is so good as Alicia. I love, love this series. I did think it was the final episode though because they didn’t show a preview of next week’s show. They probably didn’t want to give anything away and because the story won’t continue until May 3rd. I wish all shows on TV were this good.

  33. KevyB says:

    As the season’s worn on, Peter’s been around less and less and his handlers are around more and more, which is pretty accurate. In the beginning, political races are all about the candidate. As they wear on, it becomes about everything BUT the candidate. This most likely wasn’t planned by the writers, but it works for me.

  34. teresa says:

    also… you can save money using a body double.

  35. Melissa says:

    I only ever starting watching The Good Wife because of Chris Noth – now I just wait around for him to become a series regular – not sure I could ever truly commit to this show until that happens….I lov, love, love him and pretty sure most others do!

  36. Annie says:

    Without Chris Noth, the show centers around Alicia as a lawyer, not, despite the show’s title, her as a good wife. And that’s why, for me, this entire season has felt like a bait-and-switch. Last year I loved this show. The Peter/Alicia characters had tremendous credibility in their struggle to preserve their life as they worked through their conflicts. This year, absent Chris Noth, it feels like Boston Legal. I do love Julianne Margulies, but her office colleagues, especially the two senior partners, I detest. Last year at this time, I couldn’t wait for the next episode. This year, I don’t care if I miss or not.

  37. L. says:

    It won’t be very good if Chris Noth isn’t a recurrent or regular next year :/

    • Caro says:

      I agree. They should make Chris Noth a regular! And I really really really really really hope Alicia and Peter will make it work as a couple… all of this is so devastating to both of them…! Of course Peter was wrong but he does love his wife and it would be such a loss if they’d split up… The fact that these two have such a good dynamic definitely adds so much to this show, in my opinion.

      • Lesley says:

        Every week I DVR this show and fast forward thru the episode until Noth appears. Thank you for warning me not to waste my time.

        This show has always been more about the Alicia Florek character and less about Chris Noth’s. All the better to fit the actor’s well-known disdain for committing to a weekly series. Noth has reached the point in his career where he can pick and choose roles and he clearly doesn’t want to be tied down to any one project.

        Three years ago when he left Law & Order CI (where he only appeared every other week), he relocated to California to appear in a play at the Geffin House. After it ended, he returned to NYC to film SATC2 and make brief appearances in TGW. Now he’s appearing on Broadway and more than likely negotiating his next part-time gig.

        As long as Chris Noth can call the shots where projects are concerned, fans looking to see him on a weekly basis will be sorely disappointed.

  38. susela says:

    It made perfect sense for us not to see Peter. A winning candidate generally stays behind the scenes (albeit usually with the family) on election night until the opponent officially concedes. Then the winner joins the party-in-progress to give an acceptance speech.

  39. Weird Dress says:

    Did anyone else think Alicia’s red dress for the results/victory party was ill fitting? It just did not seem like Alicia to buy something that was not immaculately fitted. I can’t buy that she would not be put together for the interview and party, although it did fit well with her coming apart at the scenes when leaving the party by herself through the hallway…

  40. Kisha says:

    I totally missed Chris Noth in the episode…I was wondering the whole while…where is he, then I was let down when it was clear that he wouldn’t be in the show. That’s like a birthday party where the guest of honor doesn’t show up. I would have totally loved to see him bask in the light of his redemption. He is flawed but he is learning.

  41. mk says:

    This series has such good story lines and seamless acting so it is a shame that the sparse and calculated use of Chris Noth lately has actually been bothering me and detracting me from feeling the drama. It was particularly evident in Foreign Affairs. They really should not have bothered with the double. It made it worse. By that point Peter’s absence was so glaring that I no longer felt involved in the story line. I hope Noth gets under contract soon.

  42. catherine says:

    Chris Noth has een missing too often in recent episodes, there is an obvious, tantalizing chemistry between he and his wife which I have sorely missed…

  43. Razmataz says:

    This was really weird. I am so glad you put this up. After the show, I was googling Chris Noth to see if he had a scheduling conflict. Word to producers: This did not work at all. Why don’t you sign him up as a series regular.

  44. 3dhouseofmagic says:

    it was GLARINGLY obvious that he wasn’t present for the episode. I too, was preoccupied with his absence at the end that I barely got the drama w/Alicia. Couldn’t they have at least digitally imaged him in???

  45. AS says:

    The reason I watch the show is for the relationship between Peter and Alicia. I feel the show brings more to the table than the usual lawyer shows. I really feel cheated when it only centers around cases and Alicia. I love the character and the actor but it lacks the “Wife” perspective. I love Chris Noth and have been a fan ever since Law and Order and was happy to see him back on tv but to not have him as a regular is a crime!

  46. PeternAlicia says:

    Yes definately missed Chris Noth. I thought the episode was particularly brutal to Alicia but also to Peter and Kalinda. Though writers are puppets to the networks i was hoping that just maybe this show will take a different direction. It seems like redemption is not an option on American TV and soap opera dramas are th eonly way forward. Whilst Peters behavious in the past has been despicable his behavious in the present has been the opposite. Whilst he didnt reveal all during his and Alicias conversations where she asked for the truth..she didnt either about her kiss.Whilst most people see him as a monster lets remember he loves his wife and whilst he strayed and regrets it. Alicia is emotionally cheating on him..whats worse?

  47. noo says:

    it’s weird but i didn’t miss him at all, i could see why he wouldn’t apperar before the results and after them i just didn’t want alicia to look him in the eye while she made a horrible revelation!

  48. Jeri says:

    This is one of my favorite shows but I didn’t know if you could start viewing it at this point and still get it, all the things going on. I started to tell someone about the show and it’s hard to know where to start but it is GREAT. Unlike anything else ever but I bet there will be a lot of imitators.

    It was odd for no Peter but it was ok.

    I’m glad this isn’t the season end, I was worried about that and there was no episode preview after.

  49. yvonne says:

    I too started watching the show because of Chris Noth, but the more and more I watch it I started to like the show even without Chis in it and I am a Big Big Fan of his from the beginning of Law and Order. I did how ever miss him in last weeks episode. It was a little weird to have him not there at the end with Alicia after the results were given…looking forward to the final 2

  50. Valerie says:

    With or without Peter being there what is the meaning of what happened 2 years ago, why was it so important to who about something from the past. As for not telling Alicia I can see why, would you like to know your husband did this over 2 yrs ago with now your best friend and coworker, I can start to see the storyline that will be the reverse of the begginning with the wrong people screwing up.