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+.


On the episode as a finale front, I am sick of shows being way too overdramatic and all guns blazing in finale so I'm glad it felt like just another episode. I think it does the writers credit that they strive for every episode to be just as good as their last.
Im really interested in the Kalinda storyline. i think i accidently read a spoiler somewhere because I wasn't that shocked with the husband reveal but still glad they brought it up, Kalinda's had less screentime this season than the last. Plus im glad the show leaves a lot of things unsaid relying on the visual, the actors are good enough to pull it off. Im glad Kalinda decided to stay after realising her husband knew Alicia's name.
As for the Alicia Peter stuff, interested to see where this goes, Peter isnt an awful guy- awful husband sure. But I still would not want to see them actually together. But I know life and relationships are complicated and TGW seems to get that so who know whats going to happen!!


I think. like most of the others that it was good episode, much better than the lest one. Well we are all so used to a cliff-hanger finale so everyone, me included waited for the big bang. I thing Eli's lines where great again and I liked that they brought the elevator back for the finale, this time with a funny twist. Over all the show leaves many things open for interpretation, there are many things between the lines which are easy to miss. I also agree that there are sometimes to many people around, the main cast is huge comparing to many other shows and there are many untold stories. Unlike most I normally like Louis Canning and Patty Nyholm, today it was a bit strange cause this seemed to be a really big case and there was no word about it before, but okay you have 43 minutes to tell a story. Well we have some months to watch the last show again and wonder what they plan for the next season. I also think there are more storylines than in the poll above and I do not prefer one over the other, cause all of those things mixed together make this show what it is.


I'm just amazed that the season is over so soon! I know it was 22 episodes, but the beginning of the season still feels so fresh in my mind. Alicia deciding whether or not she wants to be a part of her family (with Peter) isn't new to the viewers, so that last scene was very underwhelming. I was a little bit shocked at how dangerous Kalinda's husband seemed, but I wish it would've amounted to something that the audience could see rather than leaving us hanging for season 4. But shout out to the awkward moment at the elevators...I kept rewinding to savor the awkwardness!


I agree that this episode was rather lack-luster but I am thinking that it is setting us up for an explosive Season 4. Why did Peter text/call Cary in the prior episode? Why was Peter not so surprised to see Cary at Lockhardt-Gardner this episode? I always thought there was not much to the Will/Alicia affair. I have a number of college friends in the same situation and, while the sparks fly, the relationship cannot handle the long haul. I welcome the reunion of Peter and Alicia...only for Season 4, I would like to see a twist in that Alicia must pursue Peter to win him back. She was not so much the "Good Wife" in that her affair with Will, which took place while still married to Peter. Yes, Peter did some terrible things, but it seems like the writers have him owning up to his sins and trying his best to become a better person. In this twist, Alicia must admit to herself that she is not as "good" as she thinks and now she must admit that to herself as well as to admit to the affair to Peter. As for Kalinda's husband, he should be the rival of that Bishop guy, which will put Kalinda in harms way between what she knows about/does for Bishop and what her "husband" knows and does. Both guys will want her dead and the FBI lady should be killed when she learns about Kalinda's ties to both men. Cary will be found to be working undercover to be sure that Lockhardt-garnder's business dealings with Bishop are good as Peter fould out that Bishop has ordered a hit on Alicia and Kalinda. Will relationship with the new attorney will continue to move forward with a season finale of both of them in court together on opposite sides of the courtroom arguing a case. Just some thoughts from the other side of the TV..........Love the show!!


Totally agree Matt. I love the show, but it did seem like a bait and switch. Eps 19-21 resurected the linear story telling, and it was well written. We were introduced to Mike Kresteva (Matthew Perry), and reintroduced to Agent Lana (Jill Flint} and Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter). Will started to date again (Callie/Julianne Nicholson), and Howard (Jerry Adler) was brought into the firm again. Jackie found a way back into Alicia's life. For some odd reason Martha Plimpton and Michael J. Fox came off like cheesey like The Riddler and The Joker teaming. I'm off to minds on the finale. I like seeing all the main cast, but something didn't feel right.


I think I have to agree with the review. Kalinda's actions were typical Kalinda. Only shocking thing to me was she revealed she has a husband. After all this time, WHY is Alicia still torn about having anything to do with Peter? With it being revealed to Patti and Louis that they are separated, you just know that their separation will play a major part of the storyline next season.....along with the governors race. I think some of the scenes seem forced in an effort to have the entire cast on the season finale, well, everyone but Michael Boatman's character......... I think Alicia's kids still seem SPOILED and BRATTY...........


I am schocked! I didn't realize last night's episode was the season finale! What a huge disappointment - as a finale. But as a regular episode, it was great - a lot of funny scenes to balance the serious ones. Each cast member had a chance to show their "stuff" - but again, as a finale, terrible.


Matt, I completely agree with your assessment. It felt like a regular episode, not a season finale. I actually felt my attention wandering a few times, which is not a good sign. I still think the Good Wife is one of the strongest shows on television. But this season, I felt they tried to go in too many different directions and nothing felt cohesive. I feel that they need to cut down on the guest stars next season. I love every single one and they all do a great job. But they are overshadowing the main core of the cast. Oh well. I did crack up at the scene with all of the cast outside the elevators and Patti Nyholms kid that kept circling around the offices.

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