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The Good Wife Review: Searching for Answers

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We picked up on The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 16 almost exactly where we left off following last Sunday's absolute stunner.

Instead of the screen going black when Alicia answered the call from Kalinda this time, we saw her reaction.

The contrast of a bad comedian doing the introduction for Alicia, then Eli taking her stand at the podium as she walked off having heard the unimaginable, was perfectly done. For some reason, nobody in that room learned about the shocking event taking place in their courthouse.

Everyone else was learning of the news, and characters we love were discovering new feelings in the aftermath of such horrifying news. 

Diane returned to the firm she started with her best friend, knowing he would never be there with her again. That there was already a partners' meeting assembled only made the news she shared more stunning.

As they're worrying about voting on opening the Los Angeles office (one of Will's desires) and getting back to their clients on time, Diane delivered the news simply without fanfare. Howard was his usual confused self and David Lee torn between shock and getting on with business.

Diane firing the new intern making what seemed like a mockery of Will's death by hysterically crying in the hallway over a man she didn't know was telling of what Will's death will bring out in Diane. 

After a momentary collapse where he couldn't hold back his back tears, David approached Diane to get permission to contact their clients. He was right, but it wasn't any easier for Diane to think about. She acquiesced and told him to "do what he does" and as she reached out to touch his arm, he flinched. It seems that could be the beginning of a tumultuous future for the firm.

The time since Will's death is very short, but it seems to have brought Diane to a place of steely reserve that allowed her to fire one of Will's biggest clients because of his inability to understand the personal side of the business situation. Why would she want to be associated with clients who didn't have the decency to honor the relationship they had with Will, put business aside and allow a short recess for grief. A brief reprieve was reached between Diane and David. It felt good.

The always complicated Kalinda was most interested in finding out exactly what happened in Will's last moments and why. She wanted to make someone pay. She did, and brilliantly. It's ironic to think the sidebar Will called was to discuss information that would most likely free his client, but Jeffrey's fear and lack of trust lead him to kill others without leaving enough ammo to kill himself.

Part of me thought Kalinda was going to let Jeffrey hang himself with his belt. I was imaging how she would explain that, but it was moot. She merely held that belt up to his cell and let him know he would pay for what he did to Will by suffering with the knowledge that he killed the one person who could have given him back what he lost. There wouldn't be an easy way out now, and what could have been fixed is forever broken.

Cary was waiting for Alicia in a deposition for one of Will's recently poached clients when he heard the news. What followed as Cary finding his footing the wake of a death of someone he respected. The way he handled the deposition made it apparent that Cary lost his innocence in that moment. He tried first to ask opposing counsel not to be schmuck. When that didn't work he decided to throw the full weight of his anger behind the deposition.

For Alicia, what was no longer matters. Only what might have been. She spent the hour putting the pieces together to try to decide what frame of mind Will was in in his last moments. He left her a phone message shortly before he died, and her fear was that he died still hating her. She imagined a man in an orange jumpsuit aiming the gun at Will until she had a face to do the job. A face that was once her client, bringing her just a little bit closer to the facts

Alicia started seeing Will everywhere. "It was all a mistake, can you believe it? They thought it was me because the body was shot in the face," said an apparition when she went to the hospital to talk with opposing counsel, Finn. Getting closure that the phone call wasn't bad news was only one step in what will be a very long process. It would make sense for her to bring up the other missed call at some point, because she's going to spend a lot of her time wondering how things might have been different if she had told Will how she felt, if they made a go of it. Would he be alive?

Finn said in his drug induced haze that he wanted to tell her something; will that eat away at her, too? Will she keep returning to Finn seeking more answers and to be near the man with whom Finn spent his final moments?

Imagining that Will called to say he wanted to be with her and only her forever as Peter finally got his arms around Alicia at the end of a very long day doesn't bode well for their future. But has anything about their future been shown in a good light? Not since their talk of a Hawaiian vacation have they spent any significant time together. Their lives are as separate as they can be.

Grace's attempt to tell Alicia that Will was with God was well meaning and ill-timed. The last thing people who don't believe want to hear about is that the person they lost might "be with God." It feels like something you say to someone when there is nothing left to say. But what could a girl of Grace's age, who is having a crisis of faith, possibly say make things better? 

I did have one problem with the hour. The Correspondents luncheon where it all began. It's inconceivable that correspondents at that luncheon didn't get the news, thereby alerting Peter to what happened. Any reporter worth their weight would never let their cell phone sit idle for any period of time even if they were listening to the president. 

If Alicia hadn't had an entire group of lawyers walk out on her just two weeks prior, that oversight would have been easier to comprehend. Instead, it left Peter at a real disadvantage and was the only false feeling in the entire episode. It's not stopping me from giving it 5 stars, however, because I'm betting that luncheon just wasn't on their minds much. Maybe that was the point.

There was so much more to the episode, of course. And out of it so much that can be explored. The relationships between former and current business associates as they grieve the loss of their friend seem the most rife with opportunity. 

Alicia going to Lockhart/Gardner felt right. She and Diane loved Will more than anyone else and how they deal with each other as the future plays out should bring out some of the best work for both of the women. How will they lean upon one another knowing they were his greatest allies, and how will Kalinda play into it? 

The series has always been about the wife, but now it seems more than ever that her story will unfold in a far more dramatic fashion than we've witnessed so far. As she imagines the future she can never have because there is no chance she can change her mind again -- Will is gone -- she will doubly scrutinize every decision she made about her marriage. Why did she stay with Peter? Did she love him; does she? 

The two firms, Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner are both run by strong-willed women now. Cary seems ready to accept his place as the Will of Will and Diane, whereas before it seemed questionable if they could fulfill their respective rolls. Who will Diane have at her side? Certainly not David Lee and not Louis Canning if the previews of his attitude remain true. We saw how Diane feels about people who don't put the personal relationship as high as their business one. 

Is there hope the two firms will merge again into one superpower of a law firm? It would be a bittersweet reunion, as all of the garbage that tore them apart means so little. What would become of Howard and David? It was their pull that pushed the fourth-years out by denying them their partnerships. Would they fit into a super firm?

What about the NSA investigation? The case against Peter for voter fraud? How does Will's death affect any of it? I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. Now it's easy to understand why The Good Wife was granted an early renewal. There's new life to an old story. It's no longer about Alicia and two loves, but Alicia. That's a good thing.

If you want to see it all again, or you just miss Will, watch The Good Wife online.

Whose actions after Will's death impressed you most?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (106 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer and managing editor for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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You know I just read a comment about the next episode that a recent promo for the upcoming episode of "The Good Wife" showcases a fight like none other between Peter and Alicia. If they call that a fight the writers better sit back down and rewrite it again, I have had better makeup fights than that, they sound like a couple of school kids on the playground on recess.

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I have never thought Will and Alicia's relationship was anything but lust, revenge against Peter, and regret that they hadn't hooked up in law school. There was no romance--only hot sex in empty offices and clandestine hotel rooms. They weren't in love; they were in bed. They were never going to settle down, buy a house, ride to work together every morning and cook dinner together every night.

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@ Spenser+Amadeus

I couldn't agree with more you hit the nail on the head.

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@ Tris

Thank you. I think Will being gone is going to make her reconsider how she really feels about Peter. In my opinion, Juliana Marguliese and Chris Noth have wonderful chemistry together. Remember the episode when Alicia moved into her new office and Peter came to visit? At the very end, they slow danced together and their chemistry was palpable.

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@ Spenser+Amadeus

Maybe she could try being a wife and mother again instead of a weak person being used by her former bosses. I still have my thoughts about Diane, she was part of the screamer team that used Alicia under the pretense of good buddy and how her and Will could manipulate her over Peter.

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Three questions ? 1 What happened about Kalindas ex-husband no follow up ? 2. Who stuffed the election box and why did Will have a video of it ? 3. Now that the schemer is dead what secret is Alicia holding back from her family ? 4. What happened to the vow commitment another one of her lies.?

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@ Jke

IS ANYBODY GOING TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS ?

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@ Jke

No. First, I answered your post and you chose to ignore it. Your problem. I don't write the show, nor does anyone else who comments here. Not sure what answers you were expecting. Second, your continual commenting as random people is annoying. Third, screaming as an attempt to get attention isn't any more effective than using multiple identities. I will no loner engage. Enjoy the show, KELLY (YOUR LATEST IDENTITY, Jke).

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@ Jke

Wow Tris, errr, Hilliery... it took you a long time to write a post of your own and you're asking questions that have been answered. Nobody cared about Kalinda's husband. He had nobody but her and she's not looking for him. One of the questions I put in the review was about the case against Peter and that IS the stuffed ballot box. Pay attention. Questions 3 and 4 are not interesting and you've talked about how much you love cheating Peter all over the board and how much you hate cheating Alicia. We get it.

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A powerful heartbreaking episode. Since I am dealing with a sudden death in my world, it makes it all the more stunning. Mu heart was breaking throughout. They hit all the right buttons of grief, disbelief, faith and rejection of divine will. The muted responses of the major characters was so much more powerful than the histrionics of that foolish intern. All in all, a wonderful episode.

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for me David and Kalinda's reactions shocked me most. David because he cared...and this was something new to see, and Kalinda because she almost cried...and she was a mess...more than usual.
I expected that much from Diana and Alicia, they are people that show their feelings more than David and Kalinda do. the episode really moved me, and I agree with Carissa about Six feet under, they managed to show real feelings related to grief and loss. I loved that show!

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Great review! Just wanted to mention that Finn DID tell Alicia what he wanted to say. He said he was sorry.

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@ USA Fan

That's the impression I got. That it was the drugs making him loopy.

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@ USA Fan

He never said that, it is still a mystery and she will never know. So lets drop it and move on he's dead.

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@ USA Fan

If I was Alicia, I would think he said that because of the drugs and because he couldn't think of what he really wanted to say. Yes, I would over-think and over-analyze everything everyone says in relation to Will's death. I admit it!! I've done it with people I didn't even love who died.

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This was a beautifully brutal episode the perfectly encapsulated what it's like to suddenly lose someone you love. But like you, I was bothered by the fact that no one at the correspondents luncheon -- or back at the LG offices for that matter -- had heard the news of the shooting. And here's something else: when Eli approached Alicia on the podium to tell her that she had to step away to take the call, her knee jerk reaction as a parent should have been "Is it my kids? Are they OK?" Similarly, that's exactly where Peter's mind should have gone when Eli initially refused to tell him why Alicia had to rush out. That being said, I'm nitpicking here. Because this was a powerful and poignant hour, and probably the most honest depiction of grief I've ever seen on TV. Mad props for the writers.

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@ hollee

Buffy the Vampire Slayer "The Body" was the first honest and brutal depiction of grief after a sudden death I've ever seen. Buffy was always looked at as "less than" because it was a teen show on The WB, but it had some absolutely incredible episodes full of emotion beyond what we see today. Six Feet Under had a lot of those moments, as well, and now this. Too far between considering how many people are effected by death. The same goes for a realistic portrayal of the pain of divorce. Some things shows don't want to touch.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

YES! "The Body" was amazing. The lack of music, Buffy's fading in & out of focus as her mind wanders...just heartbreaking. I'm not bothered by the lack of info @ the correspondent's luncheon. Think about it - the correspondents were all THERE, at the luncheon. They weren't at the courthouse to cover anything so there was a delay. Alicia only got the info so quickly because Kalinda & Diane were at the same place. Even if the news feeds hear police radio chatter, it does take some time to drive to the place of conflict, get intel on what is happening (& police aren't chatty in the middle of a shootout), & then cobble some semblance of a story together.

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@ hollee

You are right about the kids, you can see where her mind is and why her family is second chair to her.

Terrie

Great episode to follow up from last week! I don't think now we'll see anymore flashbacks of Will.............I think Alicia and Peter will have a MAJOR falling out(saw the preview where he calls her a selfish bitch) .......to me, the hug last night proves she'll never love Peter. Cary proved last night he could be so much more if they let him! His scene last night was spot on and wonderful! I hope they do that more!! Kalinda Kalinda Kalinda..................what can you say about her? WOW.......... I am almost pulling for Alicia and Diane to join forces to create an unstoppable law firm.............................

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@ Terrie

First off she called him a bastard and also finally owned up to the fact she let Will screw her (wait till the kids find out) but listen on Peter is right she never knew if Will was for real or just playing her.
She needs to grow up and stop this 22 yr old fascination, it has always been payback to Peter which has been a perfect husband and father since season 1. She has a family and better get it together before it destroys itself. If I was a writer Will would have hit the Chicago river back in season 3.

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@ Emily

Perfect husband and father, yeah because spending your money screwing prostitutes in hotel rooms is a perfect example of being a good husband and father. And if the kids are upset about her and Will they must really hate their mom, cause when their dad publicly humiliated their mother by screwing prostitutes they we're all "Forgive him!" "He apologized!"

Terrie
@ Emily

Troll much?!?!?!

Modwild
@ Emily

Hey, Yolanda. Or Harpo. Or Littia. Or Puck. Or UPTOPIA or Hilliery... your multiple name changes aren't fooling anyone. Unmask yourself and pick a user name. Stand up for what you believe in and stop cutting on the comments of others and voice an opinion of your own as whoever you are. You're not fooling anyone.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

you're smart Carissa, I almost slap Emily or harpo or littia, or puck for her stupidity

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What a great episode! I was never much of a Will- fan or the fan of Alicia/Will but my heart broke for Alica. Diane and Kalinda was great in this episode too. I thought the last fewvepisodes was kind of boring and then last episode lifted the show to new hights. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

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First off what a powerful episode. I had to vote for Diane, her heart is breaking but she holds it together with a steely resolve. Firing the intern was perfect, her emotional crying after knowing Will a week showed her immaturity. I also loved when Diane fired the obnoxious client & told him no one else would touch him. Good for her. I was surprised at David Lee's tears and not sure why Diane reaching out to him made him flinch. Cary showed he can be tough when need be just like Will. I was glad they finally gave him a chance to show his strength. Kalinda was Kalinda, suffering but looking for solutions. Alicia's reaction felt so real, knowing there would never be a chance to resolve her differences with Will, wondering if he hated or loved her at the end. Talking to everyone who spent the last moments with Will and knowing that she could never undo or change past decisions. I differ with Barbara about Peter's reaction, he was aggravated at Eli for reaching out to the prosecutor so soon after Will's death. Eli was upset also but said this is what I do, I look out for you. With Will gone there is no case. I guess you need Eli's and David Lees in these situations but it seems callous to the people grieving. The review was spot on and this was such a powerful episode with a great cast. Good job.

The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 16 Quotes

Diane: Yes I'm sorry. We've had a situation. At the courthouse.
Howard: What, what'd I miss?
Diane: Will was shot.
David: He was, he was what?
Diane: I've just come from the hospital.
Howard: Will? Will Gardner?
Diane: Yes. He's dead.

Will is dead.

Kalinda
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