The Good Wife (2009–2016)
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Winning Ugly 

1:49 | Trailer
While facing accusations of election fraud, Alicia learns about the dark side of politics the hard way. Meanwhile, Kalinda's actions related to Cary's case threaten to get Diane disbarred, but there could be a way out.


Rosemary Rodriguez


Robert King (created by), Michelle King (created by) | 1 more credit »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Julianna Margulies ... Alicia Florrick
Matt Czuchry ... Cary Agos
Archie Panjabi ... Kalinda Sharma
Makenzie Vega ... Grace Florrick
Alan Cumming ... Eli Gold
Matthew Goode ... Finn Polmar
Zach Grenier ... David Lee
Christine Baranski ... Diane Lockhart
Chris Noth ... Peter Florrick
Sarah Steele ... Marissa Gold
Mike Pniewski ... Frank Landau
Tim Guinee ... Andrew Wiley
Renée Elise Goldsberry ... Geneva Pine
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ... Ken Boxer Jr.
Michael Gaston ... Ernie Nolan


When potential voter fraud is discovered in the State's Attorney election, Eli and Alicia take steps to stop a recount by enlisting the help of a well-respected civil rights lawyer, Spencer Randolph. Also, Diane learns she unwittingly submitted false evidence in Cary's case.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


John Procaccino reprises his role of Judge Tom Glatt in The Good Wife spin-off, The Good Fight (2017). See more »


References Spider-Man (2002) See more »


Better Luck Next Time Little Girl
Performed by Jay Ramsey
See more »

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User Reviews

The Most Polarizing Post-Election Episode, But The One With The Most Impact
3 May 2015 | by RyanCShowersSee all my reviews

The last of the The Good Wife's three post-election outings is the one that polarized me the most, but the episode that stayed with me the longest. "Winning Ugly" has been lauded by audiences, not necessarily critics, but regular television viewers as one of the best episodes the series has ever produced. It's easy to understand why; the point of the episode is for you to feel as if you have been beaten by the time the 43 minutes are up. I certainly felt that way. Everything begins to fall apart in "Winning Ugly," placing the characters in the most vulnerable positions we have ever seen them trapped in.

Christine Baranski was given another sensational showcase this week, this one allowing her to transform Diane be a storm of anger, disdain, hurt, and fear. Julianna Margulies knocks Alicia's scenes out-of-the-park, especially the final three minutes. If you feel indignant after watching "Winning Ugly," it's probably because of Margulies's devastating portrayal of Alicia's wounds. Alicia had her whole world tore from under her--her professional life, her reputation, the public's opinion of her, her daughter's faith in her; all that seemed to be left on her side is the one force she has been fighting all season: Peter. "Winning Ugly" is the first episode where the narrative pieces that have been up in the air since January--or even September--finally begin to fully crystalize.

"Winning Ugly" aired the night Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy in the 2016 presidential election. Eerie timing considering the episode's mission to critique the critical system and, frankly, how hard it is to be a woman running for office. The criticism of the political system cannot be dismissed; the plot advancements are so brutally memorable that I retold the major points of the episode to people in my life as I saw them all week last week, even people who have never seen a single episode of the show. A problem that many people had with the season was the idea of Alicia ejecting herself from the courtroom to become a politician. It never bothered me; I was always along for the ride Robert and Michelle King wanted to take me on, but "Winning Ugly" finally accentuated how this journey has changed Alicia.

Some directorial choices (such as the awkward pan as when Ron Riftkin gives his "protector" monologue at the end of the second act) played atrociously upon the initial viewing of "Winning Ugly." It is an episode that required a few viewings to answer my questions about certain (what I initially thought were) plot holes and those odd, disjointing filming techniques. But there is so much good in "Winning Ugly," least of which is the visceral reaction it grabs from viewer through the startling narrative and character developments. Some photography is breathtaking, such as Alicia standing outside the hearing after being sacrificed; it captured how small of a fish she is in the big, cutthroat pond of politics.

Grade: A-

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