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


I really want Alicia with Will too, in a mature way, where both make place for each other. That would be wonderful. I don't think she can ever trust her husband again.
I find the children boring.


I've never encountered so many loose ends at the end of a season and several were big surprises to me, i.e. Kalinda's husband. Yet, the finale left me riveted with interest and I will be waiting for next season's premiere. Leaving Alicia standing on the doorstep made me think that she will go back in the house, eat pizza and probably resume living with the family. I'd prefer to see her work it out with hubby. I don't like the mother-in-law story line at all. Re Kalinda and her husband? I was relieved when Kalinda unpacked and I felt better for Alicia. I'm more interested in that story line than any of the others. Re the finances of the firm? I don't really care, but don't want Alicia to be out of a job. She's really the only one I trust and/or care about there. Well... Eli Gold too. Any character Alan Cumming plays is all right with me. He adds needed humor to the show.


I think last night's finale was very pleasant. Yes it wasn't as dramatic as the last two season finales but it definitely left me wanting more. I liked the elevator scene with Will and Alicia and there are clearly unresolved issues between them but I kind of think Will walked our of the elevator feeling angry and used.


This episode brought things to the forfront on a lot of situations, looking down the road we can see that Alicia is not going to move on with yesterdays news (WILL) that boat has sailed. As for her kids I know alot of people don't like them but they are a big part of her life and she isn't about to kick them to the curb. Then there is Peter who has been very up front since the start but has taken her so long to realize she has made a very big mistake that could destroy the whole family if she wakes up, forget the mother-in-law revenge and make up. Now onto season 4 Kalinda it seems is going to get herself in big trouble, we will see. There seems to be coy as to why Cary is back at L&G, this seem to be an undercover mission for the SA office.


Overall, it was a solid episode. Did not expect that shocker at the end where Nyholm and Canning stole Edelstein from under them. I wish they had followed up on Kresteva's story arch; feels like the last few episodes were jumbled in order. On another note, this season had one less episode than the first two seasons (22 compared to 23), and I had a feeling that TGW would need one more episode this season to completely satisfy all my questions. I wish that were the case. As I look back on the season, it definitely hit its normal excellent strides, yet faltered in more places than usual. But TGW is still without a doubt the best drama on television right now. And I think season 4 will be just as spectacular as season 2 was. The first season of the show left many questions to be answered, and most were resolved in the next season. If the same pattern follows, we could be in for a real treat.


@ thatgirlp Well I read the interview as well. I am not sure how much they really want to reveal. I still don't get it why people want Alicia be back with Peter. When she told Will it is over they all hopped on and said she said it is over so it is over. How often did she say it to Peter? she even kicked him out. The thing is you can not switch feelings on and of, you do not leave half of you live and never look back. I think it just natural that there is a art who wants the secure feeling back, even when in the end it had been only an illusion.
If there is one lesson you can learn from real live there is no such thing than a guarantee. I would really like to see W/A together. Not as the easy journey some want but the hard way it is if you are already at a certain age and you have baggage.
They would be good for each other, she needs to learn to trust again and to find a voice for her feelings again and he need to overcome his fears to get hurt. Sorry, but who still thinks she was just a notch in his bed post should go an watch the elevator scene from tonight again. Still don't get it? Watch it again and try to be unbiased! To love someone else does not mean you have to hate your ex partner, the love their simply changes. Also Zach will be of to College very soon and Grace will follow so the Kids need her plot is really bogus. The will need her yes, but not as the Mom who makes Dinner, but the one they can come for advice and support.


Mneh. So-so.


I agree, it did not feel like a finale and it could have with a few changes. During season 2 someone kept phoning Kalinda at work while Blake was around and doing research on Kalinda so I knew she had a husband then from some things that were said at that time. That she had that check and that it had never been cashed and not discussed was very strange. And, if Will knows a lot about her case he should be briefing Alicia and/or she should be asking him to get up to speed. That would give the writers a way to put them together and the whole situation between Peter and Kalinda could be discussed. More emphasis on completing story lines would be great and on main characters. Two more sentences in the elevator with Will and Alicia would have made a huge difference. The guns and money thing was overdone and Peter living in the house without Alicia was creepy to me. She needs to move on.


TGW season finale was good NOT GREAT. Similar to the whole season 3. THe Kings dropped the ball on how the handled the Will and Alicia affair. They never let it fully develop and the breakup was a DUH. Never explained! There is a lot of LOVE still there and I don't understand WHY Alicia with kids and separated from her husband CAN NOT have a personal life. Her kids are old enough to understand that...the explanation that the KIngs are giving in the post finale is SO BOGUS! Kalinda husband sounds like he's bad news


I thought as a season finale, it was anti-climactic. I was hoping for a teasing jolt of electricity between Alicia and Will. I do NOT want to see her go back to Peter. Also, to me, Kalinda is the most fascinating character on the show and I'm intrigued by the whole "husband" scenario. Can't wait until next season to see if she kills him.

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