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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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (182 Votes)

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


Right on, Seafry! The only reason Will sticks around with Alicia, aside from opportunities to romp in the sack, is because Alica somehow serves as a sheild for his firm from any scrutiny from the SA and other government offices. I always found this character to be opportunistic and underhanded. I guess attractive/hot crooks will alway use their appeal to take advantage of troubled and lonely people. What I want to see next season is the fireworks once Peter finally decides enough is enough and really goes after him and destroys him when Diane and Alicia leaves the firm.




I am getting tired of TGW giving the same twist every season finale. It is the same old story. After 4 seasons, she still is undecided on her relationship and still undecided if she should stay with the firm or not. Come on, please get Alicia to move on. Pick either Peter or Will. Though I feel there is more chemistry between Alicia and Will, no single guy like Will will stay single that long. Just let him have somebody nice and pretty in this Show. Enough already. Forget about Alicia.


AliciaR -- What is your basis for saying that Peter will revert to his old ways? Someone who truly gets burned and pays a high price for his misdeeds would have learned that reverting to "the old ways" is costly. Most of the episodes leading to the finale have depicted Peter as one who has really reformed and so Alicia has warmed up to him. The ball is now in Alicia's court. She has only to finally decide for herself what she wants for her life. Would she be happy if she chose Will -- maybe but for how long? One factor has never been discussed: Alicia is not getting any younger. When the romance fizzles out and the real day-to-day problems of living kicks in, wouldn't Will who has an excellent track record in sexual conquests just break her heart by having an affair to ease the monotony and stress of daily living? Sexual attraction is not a very strong basis to build a long term relationship.


I think Alicia is trying yet to eat her cake and have it too,........She can continue to open doors with the Florrick name especially now as the Gov's wife. She can escape her differences with administrative moral decisions, and as well image concerns (work/Will) of and for each of their behalf. She can delay having to decide on her personal life romance choice in the eyes of all characters. I don't respect her manner of quitting the firm as it was her lifeline of support when she so needed one (thanks to Will). It seems to me the Will character is now on the higher moral road than Alicia is. Peter uses Alicia to maintain is his image and political ladder lifestyle, and Alicia also uses him to not stir more mess in her overloaded life. It's all so exhausting with sad stressed relationships. Now Alicia has lost her trustworthiness in being a compassionate person with her treatment mode with Will who only has been supportive and helpful to her.....Perhaps wearing the other shoe in trying to regain Will's trust will be another GW growing development.


First off Peter did not know the ballot box was stuffed that was Eli and Harry's doing, plus the video Will had Peter did not want to see it and told him do with as you want. Plus a snide remark thrown in about his wife and do you want to punch me.
By Alicia leaving L&G has nothing to do with any hookup in fact it will drive a hugh wedge between firms. And where is this reverting to old ways coming from Peter has changed and she has seen it, as for trust I am having issues with Alicia and not Peter.


I've been a Good Wife fan since Season 2 and not just because I have the same first name as the central character. I loved Chris Noth as Big on SATC, but I hate the character of Peter. (Which I guess is a credit to the actor.) He hasn't changed at all, based on his behavior in many episodes, and he cheated in another way in order to win this election by stuffing ballot boxes.
Personally, I feel if Alicia leaves Lockhart Gardner, that would actually clear the way for her and Will to be together. The minute Peter feels sure of Alicia again, he will revert to his old ways.


To be honest down the road it will be one big happy family again, so sit back and get ready for the bumpy ride to greatness. The Floricks will survive and come out victors.


I read the interview with the Kings about the finale. They said Alicia made the move with Cary to distance herself from Will and try to get over him. But they stressed it's not the end of the triangle, it is just her move right now. So excited for next season!


No doubt, Wil and Alicia have chemistry which makes everything about them hot. W

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