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[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the series finale of The Good Wife, “End.”]
“Do I look like I’m breaking down?”
Alicia Florrick as a TV character will be dearly missed. This is her negotiating with prosecutor Connor Fox (Matthew Morrison) about Peter’s plea deal. He is trying to pack on more years, but Alicia finds a compromise: three years and Peter will surrender immediately.
This seems like it’s the end of the line for Peter (Chris Noth). He apologizes to Eli (Alan Cumming) for pushing him aside during the presidential campaign. They share a nice moment outside of the courtroom.
However, all of Alicia’s hard work goes out the window when the judge reveals that the jury doesn’t have a verdict. They simply have a question. Diane (Christine Baranski) backtracks on entering the plea deal and suddenly it’s a scramble about the 911 call the jurors want to hear from the murder Peter is accused of cleaning up.
Although he had stepped away from the case for obvious reasons, Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) enters the courtroom at the behest of Lucca (Cush Jumbo). He enters right as the court is playing the 911 call. Jason, smartly, records the 911 call as it’s played which comes in handy when the jury asks about an inaudible noise. Jason quickly deduces it’s an iPhone ring tone, which means someone else was at the crime scene.
Back at the firm, Lucca confronts Alicia about what’s happening with Jason. “You tend to confuse responsibility and love,” Lucca tells her. “Think about it: Who do you want to come home to? Every night? Who do you want to see when you open your door?”
Later that night, Alicia is home on her bed researching when suddenly her music goes from a classical tune to Regina Spektor’s “Better.” She stops for a moment and thinks about just that. Behind door number one is… Jason, who greets her with a sultry kiss. Behind door number two is… Peter, who greets her with a slightly less sultry kiss. Behind door number three is… Will Gardner (Josh Charles). The moment doesn’t last long enough to see if he’ll kiss her. She gets up and closes the door to her bedroom. But suddenly she’s imagining kissing Will again. Alicia tries to shake her head out of the moment and whispers “stupid” under her breath.
She then goes to the office to look up an old case from her second year, 2010 to be exact, and when she can’t read the Post-it on the file, she flashes back to Will. In his old office, just like the good old days, Will schools her on the file in question and then begins to tease Alicia about their days at Georgetown. Suddenly, the fun flashback morphs into a more emotional dream sequence. “It’s just really good to see you again,” she tells Will. “Again? Where was I?” Will responds, re-igniting #TheGoodWifeSupportGroup that formed online after his shocking season five death sent people into an emotional tailspin.
“You wouldn’t like it here now. Things have gotten pretty sad,” Alicia tells him, although he argues things were always pretty sad. The discussion quickly turns to their animosity towards one another in season five after she left the firm for Florrick/Agos right before he died.
“Did you really hate me?” Alicia asks. “Oh yeah,” Will replies with a smile.
Alicia asks for advice in the case, and then, more importantly, in her personal life. “Why didn’t I come to you?” Alicia asks him.
Will quotes something he says she used to say: “It was romantic because it didn’t happen.”
Alicia is then left sitting alone, in the dark, at the firm as the credits roll in. This time, it’s not Alicia in headlines, but the empty office.
The show returns with Peter going to a longtime supporter to talk about the future — a little optimistic, eh? — but he is distraught with what he hears. The supporter says Eli has told him they will move their investments to Alicia. “Alicia divorces you, she runs for office,” the man says, citing Alicia’s approval ratings.
At Jason’s behest, Alicia goes to find Cary (Matt Czuchry) and ask for his help. He’s guest lecturing and Alicia says it looks like he’s been doing it his whole life. Jason replies that it’s nice when someone finds their purpose.
In the moment, Alicia decides to confront Jason about their relationship issues and what their future might or might not hold. “My head hurts every time I try to figure out what you want, what I want and how those things might coincide,” Jason tells her. He explains that Alicia sometimes needs to be needed, it keeps her balanced, grounded.
Just when she is about to issue her rebuttal, Cary’s class lets out and she and Jason speak to him. (But not after Alicia leans in and whispers in Jason’s ear to wait for her.) Although Cary seems reluctant to help, Alicia likely wins him over with her reasoning that she wants to know the truth about Peter’s case no matter if he’s truly innocent or truly guilty.
Back in court, Grace (Makenzie Vega) shocks and angers Alicia when she tells her that she’s not going to Berkeley while Peter is in trouble. Alicia tells her she needs to leave and live her life, but Grace says it’s her decision and she’s staying. Is this a way to make Alicia confront the example — for better and for worse — that she made to her children by standing by Peter when she was clearly not happy?
Cary goes to longtime prosecutor Matan and says they might have missed something. Guess he still misses court a little bit, even if he doesn’t miss the firm drama one iota.
Peter then confronts Eli about his decision to have donors move their support to Alicia. Peter is mad he’s already being pushed out so quickly when he’s technically still governor and he has yet to be found guilty. “We have to give them someone,” Eli explains, going on to tell Peter he will basically be untouchable after this scandal no matter what happens.
“If I’m so tainted, why am I not tainting her?” Peter asks Eli about Alicia’s stellar approval ratings. Eli’s reason? Because Alicia will be divorcing him.
Alicia doesn’t know about Eli’s grand plan, not yet anyway. Eli tells Peter it’s the smart move and apologizes, but it’s not clear how much he really means it.
Peter than gets a call that the bullets, the bullets that he had been accused of hiding, have been found.
Diane has her husband Kurt (Gary Cole) test the bullets and the result is “definitive,” but not good. The bullets were from Locke’s gun so Peter did have reason to hide them.
With this latest twist in Peter’s case, Alicia is ambivalent about how much to push for the ballistics, or not, since they don’t make Peter look good. “I don’t know if I care anymore,” Alicia tells Diane, who says she must care because it’s her client. However, Diane doesn’t fight very hard in judge’s chambers.
Alicia arrives home and it’s… Peter waiting for her in the kitchen. “Just so you know, I didn’t do it,” he tells her. Alicia says it doesn’t matter, but Peter says it matters to him what she thinks. Right now, Peter’s latest plea deal would be for one year in jail — down a lot from ten, but he is still wavering about whether to take it.
Kurt is called into court, which sends Alicia and Diane into World War III back at the firm. Alicia tells her to “undercut” Kurt so she can represent her client, Peter, as best as possible. After everything that happened between Kurt and Diane in the last episode, Diane’s hesitation is understandable and, as she argues, Kurt can’t be undercut. Diane tells Alicia to have Peter fire her, and then Alicia taps Lucca for Kurt’s cross-examination, and she doesn’t throw her boss’ husband any softballs. In fact, she accuses Kurt of changing his testimony to align with Holly Westfall (Megan Hilty) because he’s having an affair with her. Diane, shocked and heartbroken, walks out of the courtroom. Wasn’t she supposed to be in the good, healthy, loving marriage? Grace is in the front row and if she hasn’t been sullied on marriage by now, she never will be.
“What is the point of all this?” Will is back and that’s his question for Alicia. They discuss ethics and Alicia laments how “things used to be simpler.” No, Will says, “things were never simple.” Then Alicia negotiates with Connor Fox about Peter’s plea deal, which is now down to one year of probation. No jail time.
“It won’t get better,” Connor warns her. A reference to the song from earlier?
“I would take it,” Alicia tells Peter later. “It’s amazing we’ve come this far.” A reference to their marriage, maybe?
“My career will be over,” Peter tells Alicia. “I think it’s over anyways, isn’t it?” Alicia smartly replies.
When Peter tells her he’s going to take the deal, Alicia is suddenly left with a question: “What do I do now?”
Will arrives once again, and tells her to go to Jason. “Jason’s not you,” she says. “Do you want to live here alone?” Will asks her, pointing to her big apartment that will soon be empty when Grace heads to college. “Go to him. It’s not too late.”
So Alicia’s love for Jason, or maybe for Will, drives her into the investigator’s arms. But first, one last embrace with the late Will.
“I’ll love you forever,” she tells him. Will’s response? “I’m ok with that.”
Alicia can’t find Jason at the office so she calls his cell and tells him Peter is taking a plea, Grace is going to school and she wants to talk to him. Alicia and Will had such bad history with missed calls and voicemails (the season one finale, Will’s death), will the same be true for her and Jason?
The series’ last scene is eerily similar to its first. Peter at a press conference announcing his resignation and his plea deal and thanking everyone for their support, most importantly his wife. Alicia then thinks she sees Jason and runs into the back hallway, only to find a random man and then to find Diane. And just like she once slapped Peter in the pilot, Diane slaps her. Good. Really good. Alicia is at once emotional but then resolute and continues walking. Was Jason really there? Did he leave for good as he said he would? Do viewers really need resolution about Alicia’s love life, beyond the closure she finally seemed to receive with Will? Apparently not.
Weigh in on The Good Wife’s series finale below.
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