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'm hoping that once she realizes Alicia's leaving, Kalinda will too. I wanted four things to happen this season: Alicia/Will, Diane/Kurt, Kalinda/Cary, and Alicia and Cary making their new firm. I guess 2 out of 4 isn't too bad... And maybe working at separate firms will bring Alicia and Will closer. At the very least, they can have hate sex!


To me season 4 has its up and down but this is still among the top 3 best show on TV and certainly the BEST TV show that is on network TV. I enjoyed the regular cast like Kalinda and Eli and also the guest stars very much in particular Carrie Preston, M J FOX and Mamie Gummer. I too am not really into the triangle relationship of the show. Whoever Alicia chose, I just want her to be happy. I do know many female fans who are into it and tonight finale might have piss those on TEAM Gardner because it now seems Alicia truly wants to DRAW the line. Whether you like Will or not, he had been the gentleman in their triangle relationship but next season once he found out that his business (at least part of it) and woman are both gone, I really wonder if he will go all psycho. I wonder if he will get very angry with Alicia !


My first thought that her decision to join Cary was 2 fold. A. She's now the governor's wife & now has a very high profile name that could make this start-up w Cary VERY successful (We've seen her struggle with the partner bullsh*t at Lockhart Gardner) and B. This allows her relationship with Will to develop without the scrutiny of their professional relationship. But the question is, will Lockhart Gardner fall into anarchy without Diane since now she'll be taking that judgeship? It'll be Will & David Lee & we know without Alicia there Will will probably be miserable. So maybe Lockhart Gardner will dissolve? Could we see Gardner, Florrick, Agos & Associates?


In Peter's defense, he is threatened by Will, because of Alicia, and so he probably did not react with the head on his shoulders. He finally wins back Alicia, and his biggest threat to his personal happiness now threatens his career as well. Now Peter should hire his own people to investigate and then come forward. But with as corrupt as Chicago politics are, Illinois is the state where governors make license plates, this is a non issue. And with the show called "The Good Wife" was Alicia's choice a surprise?


I'm in all about these comments with several people thinking she made this move to Cary to get closer to Will, don't be surprised in the end of season 5 that all your hopes go down the drain.
There won't be any Will and the firm will end up in the hoopper because of mismanagement by Will and Lee, mark these words.
Just to let the people know when it comes to trust I would put Peter up and Will down, he showed it with his talk with Will regarding the ballots. Who made the right move ? Hiding the truth shows what person can't be trusted, don't forget Peter didn't see or know about the fraud but Will did.
As for who do you trust Peter or Alicia my vote is for Peter, Alicia has been hiding and lying to herself and family regarding what she wants. If your not happy in a marriage divorce and get out, stop this pussie footing around.


Refreshing that Illinois finally has a Governor that went to prison prior to holding office. Nice little book end feel. Alicia has really lost it if she believes she can practice law and be lst Lady. So her support of and commitment to Peter was a complete farce? She has shown her loyalty is completely superficial. Even with her children. She should have been in counseling the last 4 years.


OK, give props to the writers for the "I'm in" and fade to next season bit....I've read somewhere that the Will thing is over (per the writers), and if that is the case then I for one, will be disappointed. The Will thing is a basic thread to the story-line, as they go all the way back to college. The Good Wife is a play on words...meaning not so good. Darn it all enough already...I think there is a lot of story lines to be mined if Will and Alicia become a "couple"... Castle has done it very very successfully, and actually made the program better.


I hope the new firm will have enough clients to keep them going. Sweeny is getting free lawyers for 2 years. Alicia wants to be a firm that treats everybody fairly not just the partners.Did Peter and Eli know about the vote rigging. Will Peter Alicia and the kids all live together now? And will LG be featured very much in the new season, which can't come fast enough. Kalinda seems to have a difficult time committing but she has saved LG many times and its about time she should be paid for it.


My favorite part of this episode was watching the various lawyers play both sides in the ballot-stuffing challenge. What a great example of the cynicism of the law. On the issue of Alicia and her 2 men, I for one am hoping she stays with Peter because i think the Will story has been mined for all it can give. Except the drama of discovery and that would definitely make the title of this show ironic. I say move to the new firm and all its attendant problems and be the big wheel in that group and stop being the low man on the totem pole at Lockhart-Gardiner.


It's refreshing to see Peter win one for a change. Did you see the look on Alicia's daughter's face when she decided to go with Will instead of her children? Alicia has made a complete mess of her life and Will help put her there. His character is totaly Gabarge and now that she will be joining Carey at their firm maybe season 5 will extract whatever GOOD is left in her.

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