The Good Wife Season Finale Review: Bait, Switch and Scheme

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This was a perfectly strong episode of The Good Wife.

But that doesn't mean "The Dream Team" made for an especially captivating season finale.

Patti Nyholm and Louis Canning

It didn't feel like the culmination of a series of developments, as the best written season finales often do. Instead, it came across like the writers really had no long-term plan, touching upon featured arcs from the last few weeks, but mostly dropping brand new storylines on us.

Yes, Will's suspension amidst rumors of judicial bribery has been a long-running topic, as has been the firm's financial woes. But have they been keeping you glued to the screen every Sunday night? Have they really played a prominent enough role for the season finale to base such a pressing angle around them?

It was great to see Patti Nyholm and Louis Canning team up; these are two are fun, morally grey antagonists. Their featured appearance just felt a bit random.

Similarly, The Good Wife has spent time on Kalinda's tax problems, but it was hammering home the threat of Lana and Lamond Bishop last week. Here, in what felt like an irritating bait and switch, it brought Kalinda's husband to the forefront. Am I interested in the mysterious investigator's past? Absolutely.

But I wish the storyline leading up to this reveal had been more fully developed. And the entire scene of her breaking the wall, gathering her money and gun arsenal and then plopping herself down in front of the apartment door? A tad melodramatic.

More than any other complaint, I'm shocked at the lack of Governor race follow-up. No Mike Kresteva since "Pants on Fire?" Scarcely a mention of the campaign? No reaction from anyone that Alicia joined Peter on stage to announce his plan to run?

It's simply baffling. It's like that major development never happened.

And this goes toward my overall issue with the episode. It didn't feel like a finale. It didn't leave me wanting more, not when compared with two weeks ago at least. Which was a more cliffhanger-worthy scene: Alicia pondering a family dinner (and, by association, her marriage), or Alicia triumphantly holding Peter's hand on stage? For me it's the latter, no doubt.

I would have preferred for the momentum of the season to have led to that moment, not any of the ones here. The structure of the final run of episodes just seemed off and I do wonder if that has anything to do with the status of Matthew Perry's sitcom.

So even if the episode left us with a few intriguing teasers heading into season four, I was disappointed at their lack of a build up over the past few episodes. The season as a whole, looking back on it, feels a bit scattered, with no consistent through-line or theme that paid off on the finale.

What did everyone else think? Am I expecting too much from a season finale? Which awkward elevator scene was your favorite? And which of the following developments has you more anxious for September?


Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (283 Votes)

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


I am really dissapointed with the whole season 3. Not nearly as good as 1 and 2. Alicia is becoming borring being all right and moral, but now considering to go back to Peter? This puts a bad light to all hard working, fighting the world women.After everything she went through because of him she is even considering to go back? She sometimes looks like a robot now and I don't like that. Before, you could see some emotions from time to time and now not anymore. Will loves her a lot, no question about it, however, it makes him look week just to hang around and wait for her.Will should give her one more chance, very clearly and walk away for good if she doesnt respond. Also, I have a feeling that Alicia is supporting Peter not because of her believes but also she wants that status. Sad.


There is Philip Seymour Hoffman type under-acting. And there is the kind of performance we are treated with by some lead characters of this prime time hour-long drama on Sundays. We deserve better.

Beverly brooks

What did everyone else think? Am I expecting too much from a season finale? Which awkward elevator scene was your favorite? And which of the following developments has you more anxious for September? I am with you about this season leaving several loose threads. I love the elevator scene when Peter and Will arrived and Alicia was there to meet her husband. The looks all right were great. Waiting for Matthew Perry to return for a true governor's race in the fall. Hopefully I will not be disappointed.


I agree with the reviewer also. This was an OK episode, but certainly not something you would expect for a finale. I did like Kalinda sitting at the door waiting for her husband, but I wish we had a little more back ground in the earlier episodes. Not just spring it on us at the end. I like this program, but have been disappointed in many of the episodes this year. They have been renewed, but if they keep this up, I don't see a season 5.


Love The Good Wife, but, I am sorry we have to turn it off when M. J. Fox is on.


Most of the difficulties that came out of this year came out because of that affair. So I think Will is truly in love with Alicia, and Alicia — if it were another time, another place, and she didn’t have two kids and a campaign that was being kicked off — she would reciprocate in the truest way. I think that is the tragedy of that relationship: They caught each other a little too late in life. That is all playing through their heads, and that is why Will asked, “Do you think it was a mistake" YES


May I say that I'm disappointed in this finale? I love The Good Wife (actually my favourite TV show) and I thought some parts of this episode were brilliant (Jackie and Eli / Patti Nyholm and Louis Canning). But overall, the story was not believable. And I was pretty bored by the end of the episode.
Hope things will get better next season!


It's about time for the writers and producers get together and put together a storyline that makes sense. After 3 full seasons its time to s--- or get of the pot, I think it is evident that there is still a hugh love between Alicia and Peter and that the kids would not put up with any fill ins that would shine light on mom's infidelity that she has hidden from them.
The writers still have Alicia in the same spot as in season 1 as the doormat to the rest of the firm, and a pong to Dianne and Will's underhanded uses on her as a lawyer that will lead to a disbarrment when she is so naive.


I didn't like this episode. Don't get me wrong, was a solid episode with funny scenes (Peter and Will on elevator? And then meet up with Alicia? How good was that?!) but the story was all over the place. Topics:
The writers are making Alicia more confuse and unfocused by episode! She is becoming boring, because she want to live by those rules and letting good things (like Will, mostly) pass by. Those kids are adolescents now, they shouldn't be asking for their mommy and daddy be together forever, in light of the events. Also they are made in a very boring way. Come on writers, none of you have kids? Interesting ones? Kalinda is showing herself very slowly and, like herself, in a grey way. So, all this trouble because of a very dangerous husband? Let's see.. Always a pleasure see "Pati" and "Mr. Canning" on scene. Things do not look good in office, again... Despite this mixed stories, I liked the season. Not the best season, but still.
I think the writers are losing the focus and giving more theme, but with not enough time to elaborate and leave some stories behind (Alicia, wake up and move on!).
Still don't know if Ill be seeing the next season. Has the show lost its way?!


I am also intruiged by Kalinda and her SL with her dangerous husband.

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