BWW Recap: The Walls Come Down on THE GOOD WIFE Finale
We begin the end of season five with Canning and David Lee trying to throw Alicia under the bus. The Machiavellian pair want Alicia to take the fall in the $6 million adoption suit David tried to stitch up. And it turns out they want Diane under that bus, too. Because - why not! What's a season of The Good Wife without a hostile take-over!
The Good Wife is a show that has never been explicit with its cards. We don't generally get exposition - the audience is credited with the smarts to understand what's going on beneath the surface. But tonight the walls come down, when Alicia and her colleagues get to see and hear Canning and Lee's plotting and planning, via a teleconferencing feed that hasn't shut off.
Information is power, and now the cards are on the table - for one of our two firms, at least. Alicia's trajectory as a character is also on display. She can now manipulate with the best of them, as she shows when she leverages her grief over Will to keep her opponents in front of the camera at her old office - a move that Will himself would be proud of, no doubt.
But unvarnished truth can be painful. There's a difference between knowing something deep down, and having everyone else know it, too. Just ask Cary, when the rolling feed also confirms that his girl Kalinda is really Diane's girl, now.
If there is a central theme of The Good Wife, it is that nothing stays hidden. The past catches up to you. Because whether it's via the NSA, a bedroom webcam, or a teleconference feed, someone is always watching, always listening ...
Alicia, you want Finn. Good for you!
Consider this revelation the death of a sub-plot: Finn can't run for State's Attorney because it turns out he bribed-not-bribed someone to save his sister. This potential plot for our new guy has been abruptly halted - for the viewer, it's essentially the TV equivalent of getting to the last page and finding out that it was all a dream.
What does this mean for Matthew Goode? The Kings have said they want him back next year, and I want him back. Alicia wants him, too (in my opinion). Finn withdrawing from the State's Attorney race clears the stage for Alicia, professionally. But what does it mean for her, personally?
It's not an area of her life that has gone so well these past few years ...
There's no good timing these days
Ah, but there never really was good timing for Alicia Florrick. She's too busy being pulled in every direction, all the time. Her life is that frenetic music we so often hear before the opening credits, made manifest. And she's spent seasons trying to be good at every role she's required to play at this pace.
Alicia Florrick. Wife, mother, partner ... partner.
It's all changed this year for the good wife. Her marriage is finally over, her son is leaving home, she has a new firm (even if it comes with old problems, including renewed tensions with Cary) - and perhaps most painful of all, her lover is dead. There were brief periods, when he was alive, that she had good timing. But it was always borrowed, and now it feels like there is no good timing at all.
No exceptional moments anymore.
But Eli has an idea. Eli, the guy who is always in her corner, whether she knows it or not. Eli wants Alicia to run for State's Attorney. It would be the beginning of her career in politics - it would frame her as the new Hillary for the right reasons, this time.
She's not buying it - for now. But we do have a whole summer for her to get used to the idea ...
Is it about Will?
This season was all about Will. From the firm split at the beginning, to his death mid-season, right through to the final minutes when Diane showed up at Florrick/Agos.
As much as I miss Josh Charles, the death of Will has reinvigorated The Good Wife, allowing for character motivations that have heightened the tension on screen, but never descended into melodrama. These post-death episodes have in fact been a master-class in using real-world emotions to anchor larger-than-life situations. It is what makes this season's fall-out at both firms so compelling. Now it's personal for everyone, especially Diane.
Diane lost her best friend, and she's losing what they built together - but she's taking the phoenix approach as we close out the year. Rising from the ashes in her fabulous red dress, and heading to Florrick/Agos with her 38 million a year.
I hope they'll take her. And her Girl Friday, too. I'd like to see Alicia, Diane and Kalinda back together again. I'm even ready for Cary to go rogue again - I think he makes for a better adversary than a friend, a worthy opponent to these fierce and fabulous women in his life.
I'm not sure I am ready to see them all playing happy families at Florrick/Agos/Lockhart, just yet ...
*Season five, you weren't weird so much as - extraordinary. Thank you Kings, and thank you cast, for 22 brilliant episodes of television. Thank you for making us cry (a lot!), and making us laugh, and think, and learn (Parallel Construction, Silk Road, Shibari!). Thank you for those fierce and fabulous women - for challenging their characters, but never, ever exploiting them. Thank you too, for the complex, interesting men of this show. And for the remarkable series of Broadway guest stars who seemed to head straight from the stage door to your set.
You remain my all-time favourite show, and for very good reason.
Photo: Jojo Whilden/CBS