I think I’m in shock.
Episodes like this one demonstrate why I adore television. Dramatics, Your Honor is the perfect showcase of the medium’s power, and its ability to mirror real life and convey the harrowing horror that is a sudden death.
Truth be told, this was a routine episode until the shooting. The return of Hunter Parish as Will’s client was nothing out of the ordinary, with the requisite back and forth as the lawyers navigated the intricacies of touch DNA. It was far from engrossing, and then in the blink of an eye, Will Gardner, a character we’d grown to love over the course of five seasons, was mercilessly killed off in a violent massacre. Yup, that really happened.
Honestly, I’m remarkably impressed by this writing decision. The dynamic between Will and Alicia had gotten old, and this season did a fantastic job of adding a whole new dimension to their relationship by making them adversaries. I always imagined the show ending with Alicia and Will (they were the endgame couple in my eyes), so to kill off such a core character is a staggering and immensely shocking move. It’s been revealed since then that Josh Charles wanted off the show last season, and Julianna and the producers convinced him to stay on for one final story arc. This undoubtedly makes the bitter pill easier to swallow (it was the actor’s decision after all), but it doesn’t make the aftermath any less brutal. As Robert and Michelle King promised, it’s going to send every character into a whole new trajectory. I can’t freakin’ wait to see that unfold (although I’m preparing myself for one heck of a devastating tearjerker next week).
Quite compellingly, this episode demonstrated that just like in real life, we never pick the final moments with our loved ones, particularly if they suffer a sudden death. Thankfully, Alicia and Will’s final encounter was a positive one as she warned him of his client’s cold feet. Although the two got to share a laugh (thank God), I doubt Alicia’s motive at the time was so innocent; I definitely got the vibe that she was trying to stay on Will’s good side so he wouldn’t testify against Peter. But that’s what makes The Good Wife so darn nuanced and realistic; these character have so many layers and dimensions, making the show an absolute joy to watch and analyze.
Cases & Bits
– Lovely little moment with Alicia expressing how proud she is of her firm, before thanking Carey for convincing her to leave. He reciprocates by telling her that he’s seeing Kalinda. They then discuss her sexuality (HA!).
– I love Judge Thomas Politi. He’s so wonderfully mean and unsophisticated.
– Alicia voluntarily agrees to Dubeck’s deposition. When he asks her about Will, she incredibly tells him he’s “losing” his case for making things so personal. It’s an outstanding moment for our tough-as-nails protagonist.
– Before watching this hour, I was bombarded with headlines of a Good Wife bombshell. Naturally, I assumed it would be Kalinda when she told Will of her decision to leave work. I actually believed she would get shot and Will would survive, so imagine my surprise when we finally got a glimpse of his dead body (a sight I don’t think any fan will forget). Well played show.
– Diane breaking down at Will’s body broke my heart… to pieces.
– I’m not really a fan of Archie Panjabi, but she was hauntingly affecting this week; I completely bought her love for Will. And her walking into that courtroom was just enormously brave and heroic.
– The episode’s final moment was absolutely brilliant with Alicia answering Kalinda’s call. Next Sunday can’t come soon enough.
– Last week’s episode is even more breathtaking in hindsight. Will’s impact on Alicia’s life can not be overstated. Gorgeous stuff.
Alicia: No it’s just that when you say you’re seeing her…I thought she was gay.
Cary: Bi or something.
A run-of-the-mill hour is elevated by a bold and gut-wrenching final ten minutes, unlike anything else on television. Jawdropping indeed, but the first half deprives the hour of a perfect score.