Wasn’t that just remarkable?
I’m pleased to report that this was a stunning season finale which paid off an exceptional year.
Season five of The Good Wife began with Alicia and Carey closer than ever and embarking on the crucial step of launching their own firm. However, their blowout this week was all the more uncomfortable and impactful seeing as how the two hadn’t been at each other’s throats in years. It genuinely felt like watching two old friends lashing out in the most hurtful way possible, and it has me wondering how Alicia will ever be able to fully trust Carey again (especially after he went to Canning in his attempts to sabotage the merge). Quite fascinatingly, their clash culminated in Diane basically offering herself up to Florrick/Agos (alongside her $36 billion in client billings). I’d been awaiting this moment for far too long, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it felt like a natural step in the show’s evolution.
Much like the NSA spied on our cast of characters all year long, this season came full circle with Florrick/Agos surveying Lockhart/Gardner thanks to a forgotten webcam. This development was both riveting (Alicia watching David and Canning discussing her takedown) and comedic (the crew catching a couple having sex in the conference room). But of course the real highlight was Carey witnessing Diane brag of Kalinda’s exploitation of him; that sequence was tremendously harsh, punctuated by the presence of Alicia and the rest of the team. Ouch.
Interestingly, in the midst of all the chaos, this explosive finale still had time to explore Alicia’s family life. A Weird Year was peppered with instances of people commenting on Alicia’s “empty nest” syndrome, finally culminating with the remarkably moving scene in which Alicia rushed and thankfully made it to Zack’s graduation. Naturally the writers had to break our hearts by showing Alicia all alone in Zack’s room the night he moved out. Truth be told, it’s an inspired decision as the Florrick kids always were the weakest part of the show. One down, one to go.
And what of the final scene? Utter perfection. Alicia and Eli catch a breather on the dinner table with a glass of wine, when Eli (quite awesomely) comes to the hilarious and fitting realization that Alicia should run for State’s Attorney. Margulies’ reaction is epic, and it’s a brilliant note to bookend the season on. Honestly I’ve always kind of wanted Alicia to end the show in a position of true power, so it would be a great thematic resolution to the entire show’s legacy to have her run for office. I’m beyond pumped to see how the writers explore this potential development next season. God knows that Robert and Michelle King have cemented themselves as storytelling geniuses when it comes to mapping out Alicia Florrick’s immensely absorbing journey.
Bits & Cases
– Loved the chaotic feel with Alicia juggling phone calls including Veronica and that darn lasagna.
– I can not emphasize how much I love Howard Lyman. His cross-examination of Alicia was hysterical – “The Indian council” was a particular hoot, as was the take-out menu xerox.
– Although Finn got thrown out of the State’s Attorney race, I’m curious to see his dynamic further evolve with Alicia next year.
– As always, Christina Baranski delivered stellar work this week. Her disappointment with Peter yet again denying her the Supreme Court Justice position was palpable, and her resolve to crawl her way out of her predicament at the end was empowering.
– How sneaky was Florrick/Agos’ plan to send Alicia personally to LG so they could overhear their reaction afterwards? And Alicia using Will’s office as an “excuse” to stay in the room? A superb demonstration of Alicia’s growth and strength.
– Further proof that this hour was incredible: Jackie and Veronica were utilized to hilarious effect. I absolutely loved watching Peter and Alicia’s moms butt heads throughout the dinner preparations. And Jackie calling Veronica a bitch? Priceless.
– Recurring element that always amuses me: the fact that Florrick/Agos has no walls and doors.
– Carey insinuating that Alicia’s is still greatly affected by Will was quite powerful.
– Although I’m never been Kalinda’s biggest fan, she’s definitely her best when she’s supporting Diane through thick and thin. The less said about her slightly-rapey scene with Carey in bed the better.
– I’ve wanted Diane to jump ship for a while now, so it’s going to be frustrating if she joins and Alicia leaves to run for office. I really want to see the three working together again.
Jackie: I see where Alicia’s drinking comes from.
Veronika: And Peter’s rudeness.
Carey: God I am the new Will. (Alicia looks at him) Sorry.
Alicia: It’s been a weird day.
Eli: A weird year.
This was an astonishing example of The Good Wife firing on all cylinders. Magnificent stuff.