The Good Wife Season 4 Finale Review: Personal Sabotage

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Oh, Alicia! She's a mess, isn't she?

The last few weeks have been rough on this good wife. She's struggled with her feelings for Will and questioned whether Lockhart/Gardner is the firm for her.

In "What's in the Box?," Alicia made a decision, but not the one she probably should have made first. It's a good thing that The Good Wife has already been renewed for season 5, considering that cliffhanger.

The Questionable Ballot

I fell without question for the finale door open twist. I assumed that Alicia called Will and that they would finally have their talk. I should have known better since The Good Wife is always pulling tricks like that, but the wine, the music and the self-doubt was more in line with making a romantic versus career decision. I was taken by my overwhelming desire for Alicia and Will to finally discuss their feelings. 

Their moment in the car was the closest to honest they have gotten since the kiss. They clearly both still have strong feelings for each other. Alicia's plea that she was with Peter rang hollow and even she recognized that. Instead of finishing their discussion, they allowed the case and work to get in the way yet again. Frustrating! And that was the out that Alicia needed to avoid confronting her heart.

Instead of dealing with her relationship woes, Alicia made a reckless career decision by telling Cary she would join his new firm. If she made her choice strictly from a professional standpoint then perhaps it was the best option for her, but she didn't. Alicia sabotaged the possibility of being with Will instead. He's not going to be happy to find out she was aware of the rebellion and even more upset that she's leaving. Though, it would be a pleasant twist for him to see through her actions and call her on them instead of getting angry.

Alicia may have told Cary, "I'm in," but there is still plenty of time for her to change her mind or have it changed for her. She's definitely not been on the same page as the other partners regarding decisions at the firm, but again that's not why she settled on leaving. Now that she will be the First Lady of Illinois, she will also have to figure out how she can continue to be an active lawyer while her husband is the Governor.

While Alicia's life decisions were the most interesting aspect of The Good Wife season 4 finale, the election case had its moments too. In the season premiere, "I Fought the Law," Zach was arrested for taking video of a police officer and in the finale he got in trouble with his phone again. His desire for justice is admirable. In this situation, it led to a electoral mess.

Diane's words, "Sad to think you can lose an election in court these days," were poignant. And, in the end, it didn't matter. The campaign thought the election was going to be decided by a 1,000 vote margin, but Peter ended up winning by over half a million votes. 

When Kalinda found the evidence that it was actually the Democrats who faked votes for Peter, that raised the stakes in quite a few ways. Will could have used the information to destroy Peter and Alicia's relationship, but he didn't. Instead, he went directly to Peter and the candidate punted the it right back in Will's face. In the big picture, those votes didn't matter and didn't decide the election, but it proved that Peter really hasn't changed all that much.

What will Will do with that information? He could use it to try and keep Alicia at the firm, but that would backfire on him personally. Or he could use it to further his personal pursuit of Alicia. Or he could do nothing with it. It will all come down to how he takes Alicia's betrayal of the firm. 

Even though Kalinda said that she had the only copy of the evidence, it's always possible that it will come out. Or that other vote rigging actions will be revealed. Peter may have won the Governorship, but will he actually get sworn in? And what happens once he's there? He wouldn't be the first, second or third Illinois Governor to go to prison; sadly he'd be the fifth!

There are so many directions that the show could go in season five. It's going to be a long wait for the fall, but well worth it.

Odds and Ends

  • This show has made excellent use of its guest stars in their recurring roles this season. It was great to see Judge Abernathy, Patty Nyholm, Colin Sweeney, Judge "In My Opinion" Lessner, and even Jordan again.
  • What was the point of the Jackie and Christian bit? Peter tried to buy him off, he said no, and Jackie rebelled against her son. Perhaps, it will lead to something next season, but I hope not. 
  • Kalinda has become unlikable with her indecision about where to work. Her unrelenting desire for more money is unappealing. It's depressing to see her without any sense of loyalty to anyone. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Lockhart/Gardner dumped her and she struggled to find a new job.
  • Nana Joe was awesome. 
  • Eli loves horror movies? Never would have guessed that one!
Do you think Alicia made the right decision to call Cary and join the new firm? Or did she do it to sabotage her romantic life? Will the election fraud come back to haunt Peter? Did you like the finale?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (182 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I hope Season 5 and succeeding seasons would deal more with family, legal and political drama and end, once and for all, the Alica-Peter-Will soap opera. I'd prefer to see more of Peter asserting his legal and political prowess as he balances critical issues that concern his family and displays his leadership qualities as he takes the reins of Illinois as the new governor. By dumping the soap opera angle of the series, I believe the series would become more engaging if it dealt more about how the legal profession and politics can be positive forces in dealing with social and political concerns that affect day-to-day experiences of people in the communities. But, I would definitely love to see the first few episodes of Season 5 showing Peter finally acting on exposing Will, the user and backstabber, and running him down to the ground. That would be very good entertainment.


When is Season 5 coming???? I love this TV left your fans hanging...want to see what happens in the new firm..with Will and her marriage. Come onm this show just can't end with out no closure. It's a great show it should for 10 years not just 4....


Alicia, is sure in a mess. The writers of this show are repeating similar scenario again in the season finale. After 4 seasons, Alicia seemed to be at the same place. Apart from being made to partner, other things surrounding her life seemed the same. Peter winning another campaign, Alicia is still confused with respect to her love life, although her heart seemed to be with Will, and the writers want us to believe Alicia is leaving the firm to join Cary. Just as previous season when the writers wanted us to believe that Alicia was leaving the firm to join Louis Canning. Alicia needs to move on. Choose Peter or Will. Although I am a fan of Will and Alicia, I am tired of watching Alicia going back and forth in her love life. I hope Alicia will just move forward. Let us watch the new developments surrounding Alicia's life.


I think Kalinda deserves a raise. She has done a lot of great work for the firm. The new investigator is still too green and a bit flakey. You have to demand a raise, you can't just wait for it to be given to you. It will be interesting to see what she does in the future.


Will: "After this, let's talk.
Alicia: "We can't."
Will: "Bad timing or not, we have to talk...(before you learn your mother pushed me to do it)!!! What a dope! Ha! Ha! Ha!


AMEN Diego !!!!!!!


@AliciaR -- So, I suppose you trust Will's character over Peter's? Can you trust someone who is forever afraid to make a commitment, especially a life time commitment? Would you trust someone knows the law and claims he loves Alicia, but only lures her into an illicit affair to satisfy his carnal appetites without making their relationship more legal and binding by actually coming out and asking her to divorce Peter and marry him? Can you trust a man who cannot even outwardly proclaim he loves someone and needs to have the woman's mother to spell it out for him? This kind of a person is called a wimp -- the shady kind which is worse. I take this Will character as a spineless, but opportunistic, self-centered and underhanded scoundrel who would take advantage of the weakness of others to advance his own agenda.


@ AlicaR -- You are right. Peter is willing to go to the edge if it means protecting and benefitting Alicia and the kids, and even if it means an end to his career. Wouldn't you do that for those you value the most. He is willing to risk all for Alicia and his family. Again in politics and the practice of law -- there are so many gray areas that it would take a brilliant lawyer to know what buttons to push and where the ethical boundaries are so that he doesn't fall over the edge. That is what Peter is -- brilliant. If you are not that strong and brilliant individual, rivals and political opponents will eat you up. And yet, he would risk even his political career if it meant Alicia and the kids are safe and happy. Several instances have come up in episodes leading to the finale that suggest this about Peter. Wouldn't you want and trust someone who would back you up all the way like Peter?


@Diego. I don't trust Peter. He's shown himself willing to go to the edge, in terms of ethics, a number of times since the show began. He's tried to use his position to throw his weight around at the schools that his children attend. I can't remember the episode. I suspect he might know about the stuffed ballot box in the election, but we won't find that out until next season. He claims to be in love with Alicia again, but I suspect he only wants her now because he isn't sure of her. Alicia's mom also doesn't trust Peter, and just because Alicia's mom is a bit out there doesn't mean she isn't right about Peter. I love the character of Eli Gold, but he could be wrong about Peter, too. The character of Peter strikes me as terminally arrogant.


Nobody has really delved into how much Peter loves Alicia. Almost everyone seems to have the notion that every married man who has had an affair would forever be unfaithful to his wife. We know that in real life many “fallen men� have turned their lives around to become more faithful and loving to their wives. This seems to be the thread the writers have followed about Peter in the episodes leading to the season finale. All this time, he has been highly solicitous, caring and protective of Alicia and his kids. Although aware of his wife’s affair with Will, he has patiently held back and avoided resorting to retaliatory measures that would publicly shame his wife. If he didn’t love Alicia and his kids so much he would have divorced her instantly and replaced her with someone else as most politicians/celebrities do these days.

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