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The Good Wife Season Finale Review: Decisions, Decisions...

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The season finale of The Good Wife was all about choices.

Some were difficult, some were easy, but all contributed to a fascinating episode that left a number of storylines dangling, in a suspenseful manner, for next season. Let's go over each below...

Peter or Will? Who would Alicia choose, that's how CBS hyped this season-ender. But no decision was officially made, even though it seems unlikely Alicia won't start season two by her husband's side. I loved the way she cut to the practical chase with Will on the phone. Almost any other show would have gone through the typical romantic paces, but The Good Wife was confident enough in its storytelling and its audience to trust that we all get it:

Alicia should be with Will, there's no doubt. But poetry is easy, as she said. Parent/teacher conferences are hard. Alicia needs an actual game plan before she can get on board with changing teams. What a great, mature way to depict the dilemma.

New Press Conference

Men or women? We kid, as this wasn't the decision Kalinda had to actually make on the episode. Instead, after pretty much choosing both genders, Kalinda made up for a personal betrayal of her cop friend by possibly contributing to a murder. Is the wife that set up her husband to be killed a despicable individual? Yes. Does she deserve to die for her sins? That's debatable and that's what makes The Good Wife so interesting.

It's not afraid to tackle serious ethical quandaries and it's not afraid to place its main characters squarely in the middle of them. For Kalinda, it was fitting that her personal storylines were tied in to her professional duties. She tries to be all-business all the time, but it's not easy.

Love or hate? This is the decision viewers face when it comes to Cary. He's part of the opposition now, but he's also a well-written character, someone far more layered than Childs. We know him, we understand his motivations and I can't wait to watch him and Alicia square off more in the future.

To settle or not to settle? This was my favorite exchange of the entire first season. After learning they could get their (guilty) client a $500,000 settlement, Alicia asked Will if they'd take it. His immediate, casual response? I doubt we could get more from them.

To Will and Diane, there was no decision to be made. They represented a client and their responsibility was to defend her. Simple. Open and shut. The cut Lockhart and Gardner receive from that figure might even save a few jobs at the firm. There are many layers to this ethical onion.

This scene illustrated everything that has made The Good Wife TV's best new show. It's mature, it's intelligent and it lives in an ethically grey universe.

I could have done without Will's second phone call to Alicia. We didn't need to end the episode on such a blatant cliffhanger. But that's a small complaint for a series that should win Best Drama at the Emmys this year and whose writing and acting is so refreshing to watch on a weekly basis.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    24 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    Love the season finale and absolutely love the whole program.
    when will The Good Wife return?

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    I'll make this short and sweet!! I hate Peter!!! He's a sleaze. Go for it Will!!!

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    Aaron Gayle...I think you made an excellent point! I believe the show's whole objective is to rouse viewer's opinions of what actually constitutes a "Good Wife". Alicia was a devoted wife and mother who gave up her career to take care of her husband, children, and home. She wouldn't even be back in the working world if it weren't for Peter's actions landing him behind bars. His poor selfish decisions and lack of self control spawned consequences for his entire family and I don't understand all the unwarranted pity for him! In my opinion, Alicia is not forfeiting her "Good Wife" status because she questions her marriage, her happiness, and her trust in her husband's loyalty after his multiple affairs were revealed. I think she's a GREAT wife for not kicking his behind to the curb from the get-go! And I think the only reason she hasn't yet is her consideration for her children, her husband's career, and the fact that the Florick family is such an attraction for the public eye. However, I'm not sure that Will is the right choice for her either and I think it's possible that he does have a hidden agenda. But after all the betrayal and heartache she's endured from Peter I guess only time will tell who, if either of them, is the better choice. But we all, myself included, have to keep in mind that it is a DRAMA! There will always be twists and turns and that's what these brilliant writers rely on to keep our feeble little minds in suspense waiting for more...

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    To bring this series to an end I think the writers should start looking for the better side of family values. This continous flirting by Will with Alicia has been a sickening display by a boss with an employee, in the next season lets start focusing on home life and marriage plus finding a better position with another firm where you don't have this bull crap everyday. Since the start of season 1 Alicia should of made her move not play the good wife role and keep smiling every time the boss says hi, if anybody has been watching the only time she smiles is around Will and happy office times. What about at home with the KIDS and PETER do they always deserve the PISSED OFF look, I guess her children don't fit into her plans. When she has those family meetings about being trustful she better take a good look at herself first she is heading down the lying lawyer road in order to get her points across. Her kids are seeing through this and will destroy all confidence they have in her...this sure does't sound like a GOOD WIFE (WIFE and MOTHER) to me.

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    What episode did the fact of Peter had 18 sexual incounters ? The way the season 1 started he was being put on trail on allagations of curruption and found guilty of this frame up. We don't have the full story to make any judgements towards him, since episode 1 through 23 Alicia still has a deep love for Peter but her old school bum and now boss thinks he can try this romantic crap. The way the story line schould go have her flat out tell him to BACK OFF. The way it is written they have Alicia just sitting around with a straight face while other people do the talking most of the time. I don't see where she has become more savy with the world around her, but it would be nice to see her more attentive to her family more and put on a happier face like she does with Will.

    Season 2 will be alot stronger for her and Peter with Childs and Cary coming up with more underhanded lies. I would also have Alicia watch Kalinde she seems to be a loose cannon looking to strike either side.

    To some it up the term GOOD WIFE is something alot of people don't understand, this goes deeper on how a person understands themselves and their spouse even tought one has strayed. So in todays world before you throw away 14 to 15 years and family valves you step back and weigh the past, you could lose everything!!!

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    what a conundrum . It's a tough decision for alicia to make. I initially agree with both sides of the argument. Peter went against his family with some despicable acts of adultery 18 times during his marriage with alicia, who was been a devoted mother and wife. Does he deserve to be forgiven and should alicia stay with him? judging by peters general behavior post bail, I'd say no. Peter will always be a corrupt and a deceptive person TO HIS OWN FAMILY AND TO THE TV AUDIENCE!! :-)

    I don't think will is the way out for alicia though. A lot has changed between will and alicia since their college romance. Personalities and desires tend to change over time. So alicia will be taking a huge risk with someone based purely on physical emotions. I think the potential relationship has slim chances of survival due to the 100 obstacles that stand in their way. e.g. Mixing business with pleasure; Having a relationship with your boss is a difficult concept to swallow for two power driven people.

    Let not forget that the series is questioning ethics and stereotypes. In this case, what really classes as being a GOOD WIFE apart from the obvious? Peter is a corrupt person. Does deciding to stay with a corrupt and unfaithful husband mean your being a good wife? What message does it send to peter? Deciding to staying with a corrupt, unfaithful and deceptive man questions the integrity and dignity of the good wife?

    I think alicia should choose neither.

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    The writers (all of them) need to change the story line to the GOOD WIFE, this Alicia-Will thing is got to the point of down right sickening. We need to see her in a different role wife,mother,and very strong person. Get her out of the office and back to the outside where she can have indpendence and self esteem again. Peter and the kids need her more than Will, he has nothing to offer than a complete down fall. There is going to be alot of interference from Childs,Cary and others that the flooricks will need complete unity to overcome together. So lets put all your thoughts into this season 2 and make it happen !!!

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    I have watching and reading all these comments about what Alicia should do, well heads up to the writers for season 2. This sounds like a carboncopy of my life, my husband was a politian that had a cheap one night stand that floored me and my family. I went back to work in the law field only to find an old school friend was a partner to my surprise. I still had feelings for my husband but my friend kept pressuring me for lunches and dinners with the pretence of working late. I let the wrong side of me go off and I ended in a divorce that backfired on me with my children and family, till this day 10 years later this affair cost me everything, so watching this show it will end up the same way if they keep Alicia on the Will thing--drop it and move on with the complete Florrick family intact !!!

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    As the show says THE GOOD WIFE it will be that way till the end of the series. So lets all settle back and wait and watch what is going to happen in season 2. Alicia and Peter with the kids will have their hands filled with all the curruption that Childs and Cary can try to dig up. Will do his usual adultense way and turn his back not to get his butt in trouble, what else is new. In the end you will see a new HAPPY FAMILY again.

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    I reckon that Alicia will get with Will, she wants to go her way and do what she wants for once. She will probably ending up feeling really trapped, getting back into that old routine that her family was once in before Peter was sent to jail. Peter is obviously still in love with her although i have a feeling that this has alot to do with guilt. Will is a great guy and together there is so much passion between the two, sex sells and i think if Will and Alicia start a relationship it would make the show more complex and more interesting with heaps more options for Alicia. Because the show is called 'The Good Wife' i think that it should be about Alicia trying to the be the GOOD wife, trying to make the right decisions but still wanting to be happy, the conflict of her life at the moment. GET WITH WILL, start new. Thats what i think and obviously Will is crazy about Alicia




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