The Good Wife: End
May 8, 2016 9:19 PM - Season 7, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Peter's trial still has more drama to go on this last episode of TGW. Will Alicia find happiness?

Oy fucking vey, this episode.

The entire episode is dealing with Peter's trial as it drags on and on. The jury hasn't come to a verdict after an hour--they read the transcript of the phone call of the murder victim and wanted to hear the real thing.* This leads to the case still continuing as Cary (now suddenly a professor?) and Matan debating if the cops disposed of the bullets, Kurt and Holly testing the bullets again and finding out they came from Locke's gun, Kurt being asked by Lucca if he's slept with Holly (we'll never know, the show doesn't tell us and Diane walks out), and Alicia has several hallucinatory conversations with Will that make us all miss him so badly. He gives her a pointer to use about "US vs. Nunez," which in turn leads Diane to call in David Boies and stall around while Judge Cuesta fanboys. Jason figures out the unidentified noise was someone's cell phone, I don't think they really clarified what happened with that beyond it was some friend of the victim's who left a few seconds before her death. Also, Alicia wants Diane to make Kurt look bad in court for the sake of the client and Diane says you can't do that to Kurt, he's too good. Big fight there. Anyway...for all this drama I think it all just got thrown out and the jury had to decide as usual.

* I just did a stint as a jury duty foreperson and I sure as hell don't remember me being allowed to go back into the courtroom and bring everyone back in for this sort of thing. Also, it went the other way around--we heard the video and got to read a transcript but weren't allowed to keep it.

Grace is upset enough over this trial that she tells Berkeley she's deferring for a year. I can just see OH GOD I STILL CAN'T GET RID OF HER going through Alicia's brain at this announcement. Peter says he'll be out for her graduation and I'm all, which graduation is this now?

After various negotiations, Peter takes a plea and gets a year of probation and having to quit his job, since his career is over anyway. Eli tells Peter's donors to back Alicia in her future political career after a divorce, which displeases Peter but he eventually realizes Eli has a point. Eli apologizes to Peter and thanks him for backing him all these years. Oh yeah, and does Alicia know about this plan? NOPE. Meanwhile, Connor says to Alicia that he met her years before all of this and she was fun, and she is all, what, before you prosecuted my husband? and you want me to give you a demure smile? followed by giving one. I am enjoying this "gives no fucks at all" Alicia, I gotta say.

Alicia ponders which dude to end up with. Lucca tells her to picture who she wants to come home to after work, so she pictures Jason, Peter, and Will in her house with wine. Her hallucinations of Will are indeed heartbreaking, and rub it into to Alicia and the audience that any other dude is gonna come in second best and she can't have the dude she really wants. But hey, it's better not to be alone, so let's call Jason!

...Jason disappears and doesn't answer his phone. Alicia leaves him a happy message: it's over, Peter's not going to jail, Grace is going to college, call me.

Alicia and Peter do one last press conference, and she thinks she sees Jason in the shadows. She runs the second Peter says thank you, chasing after...a guy who's not Jason. Then Diane finds her in the hallways beneath the building and SMACKS THE SHIT OUT OF HER FACE and leaves. Alicia sucks it up, tries not to cry and walks off--AND THE SHOW'S FUCKING OVER.

Throughout the episode we listen to a song called "Better" saying, " "Will you feel better? Will you feel anything at all?" No, no you will not. would like you to know that there are some final words from the Kings on their website. I'm sure some folks will have Thoughts.

Quote Corner:
"You think I'm going to break down and cry? Look at me. Do I look like I'm breaking down?" -Alicia
"Now I gotta go comfort Eli." -Peter
Even though we never saw Colin Sweeney again (probably all for the best), there's a mention of him.
"Nothing's ever over. Remember that." -HeadWill
"You were always drunk." -HeadWill
"It's nice when people find their purpose." -Jason on Cary
Jason points out that Alicia needs to be needed in order to keep from tipping over.
"This is not Murder on the Orient Express!" -Connor Fox
Alicia doesn't care if Peter is guilty at all. "He's your client, that's why you care," says Diane. Note she doesn't at all say "He's your husband, that's why you care."
"What is the point of all this?" -HeadWill
"Things were never simple." -HeadWill
"You have so little self-awareness." --HeadWill
"I'll love you forever." --Alicia to HeadWill
"I'm okay with that." --HeadWill's response
posted by jenfullmoon (36 comments total)
I forgot to mention this in the review but I basically didn't care and it didn't matter anyway: Peter's counts in this are bribery, obstruction of justice, wire fraud, arranging the mistrial in order to get political contributions from the defendant's father.

Okay, my thoughts:
(a) Generally hated this. Really didn't want Peter's last trial to take up the entire fucking episode.
(b) I feel sorry for Grace in that nobody wants her around, but also nobody wants her around. No Zach again either.
(c) I never saw The Sopranos, but from what I've heard about that, this episode is kind of like that. Ends in the middle of things, no resolution.
(d) Diane and Kurt are left very hanging. I'm kinda glad we never heard if Kurt ever slept with Holly the Republican blonde or not, but it still hurts.
(e) HOLY SHIT DIANE'S SLAP. Damn. Ended on that note.
(f) So right at the finish line, Jason...possibly bails?
(g) What it all boils down to is, Alicia can't choose to be with Will and that's what she'd choose of all three dudes. So she might as well choose Jason...if he's ever around.
(h) This was painful, but I think that's what they were going for. No happy endings here. Heck, no endings really.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:25 PM on May 8, 2016

Vulture finale recap and discussion.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:23 PM on May 8, 2016

Seeing Will again, that was the best part.

I watched that postscript which confirmed and clarified a couple things. I don't think they were successful in shifting her character from Saint Alicia to Evil Alicia over the course of the series. Pressing Diane to get Kurt to testify in their favor and then getting Luca to cross examine him was so over the top. Alicia had already checked out of her marriage. She never seemed that invested in the trial (and neither were we). And I really doubt that Luca would agree to basically humiliate her senior partner, she's always been the voice of reason. But they had to get that slap in somehow.

Missed David Lee.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:41 PM on May 8, 2016

And because I can't stop obsessing about this and go to bed: Ryan McGee's rant and Daniel Feinberg's rant. And a recap of the Kings' video. And another recap of the episode.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:41 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought it was hilariously sad and true how Grace ended up a younger version of her mother from the first season - shelving her own future to take care of her father. And Zac did the same for his wife.

Man, those kids basically ended up emotional enablers for type-A personalities. I wonder why.....
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 12:51 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wow, that was absolutely terrible.

At least they finally answered the question we've all been asking all season... WILL PETER GO TO JAIL?

Wait, no, that's NOT the question we've been asking all season. In fact, WE DIDN'T CARE AT ALL!

So... What will Alicia do next? Nobody knows. Where's Jason? I'm assuming he ran off with Kalinda because he wanted somebody less crazy. Diane and Kurt? Who knows. Kurt has been missing for a few seasons anyway. Eli? Who knows, except that he apparently wants Alicia to run for Unknown Office because that worked so well last time.

Even this episode's plot was horrible. Was Peter really guilty? Who knows. What was that other girl doing there with her cellphone? Who knows.

I can't even watch that video of the Kings explaining it. I tried, but I had to stop. Instead, I'm just going to imagine that the show ends with Diane slapping THEM for ruining this show.
posted by mmoncur at 2:46 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

Seeing Will Gardner again made clear to me why I just haven't enjoyed this show as much for the last few seasons. Josh Charles is perfect. I'd take the memory of Will over Jason any day of the week.

I was kind of amused that Alicia's hesitation during the press conference (essentially choosing Peter) was kind of Mr. Big strikes again. No woman can ever not choose Chris Noth!

Matthew Morrison was so incredibly obnoxious - he's the one who deserved that slap.

The most accurate part of this episode was the way the judge and entire courtroom fawned over David Boies (who is indeed an excellent lawyer but also gets that fanboy treatment constantly).
posted by sallybrown at 4:05 AM on May 9, 2016

The show ended with Alicia getting a wake up call to stop depending on other people, especially men (real or imagined), for her happiness and sense of purpose. So seven seasons in, mission accomplished?
posted by cardboard at 4:07 AM on May 9, 2016

I didn't really see the slap as "Alicia's gone full shark" as much as "stop fucking over your friends and your business relationships to play the good wife to a bunch of guys who do nothing but let you down," with Will's appearance highlighting a mistake she made doing this in the past and just how little she actually cared about Peter or Jason - she betrayed Diane for the sake of the guy she didn't even end up wanting to choose!
posted by sallybrown at 4:12 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seeing Will Gardner again made clear to me why I just haven't enjoyed this show as much for the last few seasons. Josh Charles is perfect. I'd take the memory of Will over Jason any day of the week.

This exactly. It was a big mistake having Will in so much of the episode because it just showed how good the show used to be and the awfulness of Jason.
posted by Burn.Don't.Freeze at 5:21 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Meh. I stopped watching after that b.s. send-off they gave Kalinda and only tuned in again to see if they might bring her back for the finale. What a waste of time. That slap was everything though.

(It wasn't as bad as The Sopranos ending, however. We can be reasonably assured that Alicia's still alive.)
posted by fuse theorem at 6:27 AM on May 9, 2016

I loved the Sopranos ending because it felt of a piece with consistent messages of the series and was ambiguous at the same time. I think The Good Wife was too inconsistent of a show to be able to pull that off, regardless of what ending they chose. In a way it felt more abrupt than the Sopranos ending - because I had no understanding of what that slap meant to Alicia or Diane.
posted by sallybrown at 6:52 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I know they would and or could never get her back in a million years, but I liked the note at the end of the AVClub review that suggested a fourth "coming home" fantasy with Kalinda in the kitchen with tequila shots. Then Alicia could just shake her head like "what?"

Frustrating finale. The image of Alicia pulling her hand away from Peter to chase Jason was great, but come on, just making it some random busboy to completely undercut it? Jeez. Ever since they got Cary off halfway through Season 6 the series was so lost. Amazing how something so great can fall so far, and as this episode showed losing Will (and isolating then losing Kalinda) really threw it off.

I feel like I've been too negative as I popped in to recent threads, so let's raise a shot to all the things that made this series great: Cheers to a sublime recurring cast of wacky clients, opposing counsels and judges. Cheers to thorny, twisty, interesting legal cases ripped from the headlines. Cheers to a show that made a real effort to explore and understand cutting edge technology. Cheers to the slow sustained burn of Alicia shedding her legal innocence and sexual repression. Cheers to Diane's giant chains and other chunky necklaces. Cheers to meddling moms, gay bros, annoying kids, omnisexual investigators, threatenly polite drug dealers and serial wife killers. Cheers to tutors getting your children involved in weird viral videos. Cheers to Marissa Fucking Gold. Cheers to that gross Amy Sedaris/Alan Cumming whipped cream scene. Cheers to the rapping chickens, and Matthew Lillard's Coulton impression. Cheers to the random traffic honking that would blare up in court whenever someone swore. Cheers to elevator trysts and flashes of bodies in flowing white sheets. Cheers to ChumHum, Scabbit and the rest of the fake internet companies. Cheers to David Lee, that magnificent bastard. Cheers to Robin and Taye Diggs' character, wherever they ended up. Pour out a glass of red wine or a tequila shot, and cheers to the best show on television, and the husk of which that crossed the finish line.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:39 AM on May 9, 2016 [14 favorites]

I had planned to watch this "live" but I had a Thing that ran late and ended up getting home about 9:45. I pondered for a few seconds whether I wanted to wait and watch the entire finale On Demand in a few days, or if I was fine just watching the last 15 minutes. I decided just to watch the last 15 minutes "live."

I don't feel like I missed anything. OK, maybe some of the bits with Eli. Other than that I don't feel like I missed anything.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:13 AM on May 9, 2016

No woman can ever not choose Chris Noth!

Not just women. Even Dick Wolf couldn't quit him for good.
posted by phearlez at 8:38 AM on May 9, 2016

But they had to get that slap in somehow.

She earned it sinking her life and energy on Peter...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:36 AM on May 9, 2016

A question that I've had over the past few episodes - why was Matthew Morrison's character negotiating the plea deals with Alicia? Shouldn't this be something discussed with his lead counsel?
posted by dforemsky at 11:11 AM on May 9, 2016

Someone with a better memory than me: was Regina Spektor's "Better" used in any previous episode during Alicia & Will's relationship? It's a lovely song, but I thought it was odd that they used a song from a decade ago, unless it had a special meaning.

let's raise a shot to all the things that made this series great:

Three cheers for Elsbeth Tascioni!
posted by donajo at 2:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]

Cheers to Will's baseball and Kalinda's bat.
posted by yellowbinder at 4:04 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

I watched the interview with the Kings, and they made this big deal about the show being Alicia's transition from victim to victimizer. I don't feel like they made that transition clear at all, so this finale felt jarring. I guess I understood Alicia's motivations for working to get Peter off (free herself and Grace), but her actions and the betrayal felt disingenuous. She could have just left, regardless of the outcome. I always felt the show was about Alicia learning to stand on her own and figure out/do what she wanted. So having her chase Jason was a disappointment. I wanted her to walk away and choose to be alone. Neither of the options were what she truly wanted (Will), so why choose between them at all?

But, this episode reminded me that there will always be a Will Gardner shaped hole in my heart.
posted by bluloo at 7:11 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

The Fug Girls wrote quite a good thoughtful post on the finale.

I agree with much of what they said, such as their point that the ending felt more artificial and contrived than natural. They wanted Alicia to get slapped and so they trumped up an occasion for it. It felt wildly out of character for Diane to slap anyone.

There were things I liked about it, such as having Grace go all "stand by her man" and Alicia go all HOLY SHIT YOU WILL NOT FOLLOW MY EXAMPLE. This is one of the consequences of keeping a marriage together at all costs -- that the kids learn bad emotional patterns -- and it was good to see the show acknowledge that. And I loved seeing Will Gardner again, heartbreaking as it was. I don't think I've ever felt the death of an onscreen character like I felt his. I never found Jason very appealing and I think he's too much the free agent to be the right man for Alicia. Seeing Will again was to see what Alicia really needs and can't get from either Peter or Jason: whole-hearted commitment from someone who would do whatever it takes to be with her and would never betray her.

I can't say I'm sorry the show's over. The show's writers had lost their way and their fumblings were getting tedious. I'm content to leave it as it is: with Alicia no longer a wife of any description and getting on with the business of her life. And with Jackie Florrick not showing up to support and enable her son yet again because she's off somewhere banging Howard Lyman.
posted by orange swan at 8:24 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

I finally watched this today. I'm the type to spoil myself 10X over so I read at least five reviews going into it. I am in Team Ambiguity, and I liked that there wasn't a "happy" ending where Alicia "gets the guy." Her story has been so much about her relationship with men, that I found it satisfying that it didn't end with "love."

I thought the editing was weird, like everyone was shooting scenes with body doubles. It felt a little slapped together. Lots of shots framing the speaker with some interesting continuity errors when they switched to the other person. That's a pet peeve of mine when the shots go over the shoulder to show the speaker, and the one who was just done talking has a different stance than when the switch happens. Thinking particularly of the scenes with Alicia and Peter here, and the one with Eli and Peter. The one with Eli and Peter in the hotel had some interesting lighting going on with what shined off their faces and the green screen around them.
posted by frecklefaerie at 5:41 PM on May 10, 2016

> Where's Jason? I'm assuming he ran off with Kalinda because he wanted somebody less crazy.
> Cheers to Will's baseball and Kalinda's bat.
Lucille, the origin story.
posted by unliteral at 8:12 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've consistently been avoiding spoilers and creator commentary and backstage news and suchlike for this entire season after the Kalinda situation made it clear that the Kings had completely lost control of the show, and even if they did have any idea besides "Saint Alicia rides off into the sunset", they wouldn't be able to pull it off, presumably because Julianna Margulies wouldn't let them. So instead of a really great last season or two, we got this limp fade-out that could have been a midseason episode. Ugh.
posted by Etrigan at 6:19 AM on May 11, 2016

Cheers to Michael J Fox.
posted by matildaben at 7:04 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Michael J. Fox is a national treasure, but I never liked Louis Canning as a character.

Although, he was the impetus for one of the all-time greatest Diane Lockhart moments, when in "Taxed" she opens his pill bottle and picks up his braces while arguing in court without missing a beat.
posted by donajo at 1:12 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

From a comment on one of the other Fug Girls posts, video retrospective of costume porn - Hairpin presents: Alicia Florrick Style.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:54 PM on May 12, 2016

Holy shit, a possible spinoff with Diane and Lucca and...? On CBS All Access. Let's get the gang back together! Except, you know, those two.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:17 PM on May 14, 2016

Spinoff is official.

So, this is totally the Kings (and maybe a little Baranski) saying "Ugggh fuuuck Julianna Margulies what a biiitch", right?
posted by Etrigan at 5:59 AM on May 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

One hopes. I don't know if I want to pay extra money to watch that or Star Trek Whatever yet, though. I'm not feeling so strongly about a Diane spinoff (which normally I'd love) after that finale.

On a related note: what was The Good Wife about, anyway?

"Jason was simply too shallow a character for Alicia to love. In the final episode, Alicia acknowledged that she saw Jason as a consolation prize, a solution to the problem of solitude rather than a source of sustaining and fulfilling happiness. This raised a question: If Alicia wasn’t going to be happy, what, or who, was she going to be?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:43 PM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Good Wife spinoff should be a musical [Slate]
posted by matildaben at 9:10 AM on May 20, 2016

CBS, stop trying to make "All Access" happen. It's not going to happen.
posted by donajo at 5:47 PM on May 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

Ugh. The best thing I can say about the finale is that it means there are no more bad episodes to slog through.
posted by Monochrome at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ugh. The best thing I can say about the finale is that it means there are no more bad episodes to slog through.

Heh. It's been funny seeing Good Wife episodes popping up in my Recent Activity this week - like watching someone in a horror movie and wanting to warn them about the monster around the corner. Welcome to the finish line, Monochrome.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:12 PM on July 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

Spinoff title: The Good Fight, because they didn't want to pay me for "Ugggh fuuuck Julianna Margulies what a biiitch".
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

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