A+ Episode The Good Wife

The Good Wife 5×16 – The Last Call

"It's not any better, it's just truer."

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That was draining, wasn’t it?

There was lot of contemplative silence in this one, and the episode was all the better for it. In fact, I think The Last Call was another masterpiece in a season that’s just astounded me with its brilliance.

The manner in which the writers tackled the immediate aftermath of Will’s death was mesmerizing. Julianna Margulies is already working wonders with the material, and she’s undoubtedly going to continue knocking our socks off as she grapples with this momentous loss. I loved the various quick cuts of Will that Alicia flashed back to throughout the hour. They marvelously reflected her damaged psyche; first she visualized a run-of-the-mill buff-looking convict as the shooter, before later replacing him with Jeffrey after getting all the facts. It’s touches like these, punctuated by exceptional directing and editing, that continue to elevate The Good Wife to another level. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the various scenarios that Alicia imagined Will was calling her for. At one point, she assumes he wants to blame her, while in another – he calls her to tell her their feud is stupid. It’s all terrifically realized.

Christine Baranski was also stellar this week. I absolutely adored watching her return to the LG offices and compose herself, before breaking the devastating news to the firm’s partners. But of course this was topped by her utterly gut-wrenching hug with Alicia (raise your hand if you teared up), and that majestic moment in which she fired her heartless client. Someone give this woman an Emmy, or I’m calling it a crime against humanity.

Quite wonderfully, the manner in which The Last Call utilized Kalinda was much more effective than ever before. The investigator’s single-minded determination to find out what happened to Will was fascinating to watch, culminating with her creepily dangling the suicidal belt in front of an imprisoned Jeffrey before leaving him to suffer with his sins. And the moment she unsheathed Will’s body? Enormously haunting.

Matthew Goode has apparently signed on as a series regular, and I must say I’m genuinely looking forward to his addition to the cast. Alicia’s visit to Finn in the hospital room was undeniably engrossing, and Goode played it perfectly (the character was supposedly high on painkillers after all). I’d love to see him interact with Alicia and the rest of the gang on a more permanent basis. Perhaps a move to Alicia and Carey’s firm in the near future is a possibility? Honestly at this point I wouldn’t mind if Diane joined the young firm as well, since the animosity has most probably dissipated with Will’s demise.

Cases & Bits

– Hilarious uncomfortable comedic moment in the midst of all the drama as Eli has to do Alicia’s speech complete with jokes about his “husband” and dress.

– Alicia breaking down at the random sight of a mother stopping her son from crossing the street? Heartbreaking.

– David Lee had some remarkable moments this week: walking out of the room and into another to process Will’s death, apologizing to Alicia, and retracting after Diane tries to touch him. Each of these moments were stunning.

– Diane firing the sobbing intern was priceless and so very satisfying.

–ย  Loved the shots of Alicia’s fingers as she apprehensively plays Will’s voice message (which will forever remain a mystery). I love that it played over the credits.

– Carey didn’t get much to do this week, but I loved his aggressive streak during the deposition as a reaction to Will’s death.

– I was never a fan of Grace’s religious subplots, but her scene with Alicia as they discussed God and heaven was extremely insightful.

– The fact that Finn cared for Will in his dying moments (as the Judge described) is an excellent way to get us to care for this new character. Well done writers.

– So Damien was stealing clients (and was the rightful source of Will’s anger). I take it we’ll be seeing him next week.

– Peter got the right amount of screentime this week. First he sneakily called Alicia through Eli’s number in the most awkward moment of all time, and then he played his part in the perfect ending – that uncomfortable hug as Alicia coldly stood there and flashed back to Will telling her he wants to be with her forever. “Call me back”. Simply chilling (and obviously not real).

– If you’re a Buffy fan, did this episode also remind you of The Body?

Good Lines

Diane: (after firing her client) That felt good.
David: Turned me on.

Conclusion
Nuanced and powerful, The Last Call is certainly one of The Good Wife’s most extraordinary episodes yet.

Nad Rating
A+

6 comments

  1. I agree with you completely that this was one of the best episodes, not just of this show, but of television I have seen in a very long time. Teared up? I sobbed through it. The writing and the acting were both superb and, as you mention, the small character beats were incredibly affecting.

    I am a huge fan of Matthew Goode's and am looking forward to seeing what they do with this character. Do you think that he and Alicia will become the new endgame couple? I can see it, but I'm hoping not (remind me I said this a year from now…) The show has always been about one woman's growth. I'd like to believe that it does not necessarily include a man.

    But, like I said, I can see myself changing my mind as time goes on. Great review, Nadim.

  2. Thank you for your comment Chris. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚ It was indeed so very emotional and powerful. I can't wait to see what happens next.

    By the way I've never seen Matthew Goode before but he was superb! Interested to see his dynamics with the cast evolve. Interesting if he ends up being half of the new endgame couple; I thought of that too. Although you're right, I think I'd want the show to end with Alicia single and happier than ever ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Well what a shocker! Let me say this is the last thing I thought would happen on the Good Wife. During last episode, when I saw Will lying on the floor I was thinking yeah, no problem, it's just gonna make Alicia care more about him. But as you said, Will lying dead in the hospital won't be something I will forget that soon…
    This episode was great too. I love that the way they handle flashbacks and the characters thaughts! The continuity in that too makes this show so special in my opinion.
    Poor Alicia, that's gonna be a hard one to get over with…

  4. So very heartbreaking. THIS is how you follow up on killing one of your main characters. What a tremendously powerful episode.

    Interesting you mention a Buffy reference while I'm binging that show as well haahaha! So glad there wasn't a spoiler though ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Reading all these Good Wife reviews again is seriously bringing tears to my eyes. There will NEVER be a show like this again.

    And something I just realized that makes this show so unique and proves why it’s SO well-written: look at this A+ episode that has just ONE line in your quotes section. It’s not about the one-liners on this show; anyone can write a funny or quirky one-liner, but with The Good Wife, it’s about the way the episode as a whole is written.

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