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 changed my mind. At first I thought the last episode was great, but then I got a hint at the future for TGW, and I don't see Alicia and Wil getting together. I disagree with those who say that if Wil and Alicia get together, it's the end of the show. To me, it could be the beginning. The characters got together in Castle, and it is working well.


For the record, I think Will is awesome! I love the grey areas of his character and find him to be incredibly hot!!!!


I do he needs to written out and we can go on with a better show.


I'm not sure I am really fond of either of Alicia's romantic options. I thought Peter showed a lack of integrity and I've never thought Will had a lot of integrity either. The "Good Wife" has been a bad girl in many ways this season too. I hope she goes with Carey and they become a success. This has not been a great season for the Kalinda character. First her creepy husband and her submission to him and now her total lack of loyalty and the bidding war for her services. She is still a great investigator but not as nice a character. I hope Diane gets the judgeship and I'd like to see David Lee go down in flames. I'm not sure I care what happens to Will.


I just came up with the start episode 1 of season 5,"WHAT IS TRUST", This is about who can be trusted and who can't. The writers could have Grace asking her mother the big question about this subject and would she lie to cover up the truth. Pertaining to her answer to Peter regarding their vows, what kind of answer will she give Grace after seeing her get into Wills car on the season 4 finale. Know doubt the kids already know about the vow renew and are excited, will she tell the trust or lie ?

Beverly brooks

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?
Not in my opinion.
Will the election fraud come back to haunt Peter?
Probably not, after all this is Chicago.
Did you like the finale?
Yes, especially the when the door opened and there was Cary.


Hard to know whose mother is more annoying - Alicia's or Peter's! If Diane gets a judgeship and Alicia joins Carey, that leaves Will and David Lee as principals. A nasty twosome; sometimes Will has scruples but David is likely to destroy what's left of the firm.


I expected more of an exciting finale end. Surpised that Alicia was waiting for Cary & not Will. Found Peter's mom request for Peter to butt out of her businees amusing.
Kalinda is a great investigator, however found her job bidding game between Peter & Cary. annoying. It was also annoying & unbelieveable that Cary was surprised at Alicia's call re him swiping her client.
Hopefully, the fall season will bring some nice surprises that include Cary & company leaving the law firm. The partners are too self serving & arrogant.


Can't wait till September for the start of the end of Will Gardiner, it will be a real blast to see him go down. All it will take is a phone call and good old Harry will be there, paybacks are hell.
Now lets see who will get where, Alicia is still trying to get her head out of the sand and growup and be a wife and mother again before she loses it all. Peter has said from the start he was going to be honest and straight forwarded with his life and family so far he is righton.
Cary will get the new firm up and running and Kalinda will be on board with them, Alicia will be both a partner and first lady also. Lockhart&Gardiner will fall thanks to miss management.


Loved the end, hope that when it all comes to an end Alicia will choose neither Peter nor Will - Why? What do either of these men bring to her life? They're both possessive, manipulative and whiny (IMO). Alicia can do better, and would do better on her own. Looking forward to seeing Agos, Florrick and Associates become a real thing.

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