All signs have pointed to this being the last season of The Good Wife: Robert and Michelle King had already announced their departure, as had Julianna Margulies in a roundabout way and even the episode titles suggested this was the end by mirroring the season 1 one word format. The way The Good Wife unveiled this news was not so expected sharing the big news that there are only 9 episodes left (EVER) in a promo right before the Super Bowl halftime show.
This ending makes so much sense and I have been one of many voices saying the time to finish is now as The Good Wife has been meandering and feeling as lost as Alicia has for the last season and a half. BUT this news still hit me like a Will Gardner desk clearing moment and totally caught me by surprise; has any other show revealed when it is ending on a Super Bowl ad? This is such an Eli Gold move.
What happened next was a mixture of emotions from relief that there wouldn’t be a Good Wife without the Kings or Julianna Margulies quickly followed by sadness. Pretty much experiencing all the feelings at the Super Bowl party I was at (and this was all before Beyoncé slayed). So what does this mean for the final arc?
Well, Alicia hit her rock bottom last week as she spiraled and then emotionally vomited all over Lucca, followed by getting her elevator smooches on (about time). Case contrivance also leads Alicia back to Lockhart, Agos and Lee so she is back where the show started, but not back where she started professionally or personally. This season has been somewhat directionless and not just for Alicia so hopefully by having her return to the firm this will also create decent final storylines for Cary and Diane. It is also probably about time that Alicia and Peter call it quits officially and a divorce does seem imminent now that Peter’s campaign is over.
One thing the writers have been very successful in dealing with is the fallout of Will’s death from the immediate period which contributed to the best season of The Good Wife (the aforementioned desk clearance and Alicia’s first time leaving Lockhart Gardner was also a thing of beauty) to the recent ramifications of the road not traveled and lost love. However, there has been a distinct lack of focus at times and there has been too much time invested in recent campaign plot points.
Last year ended on a bitter note with green screen goodbyes and the rumors of rifts on set bleeding into the fabric of the show and even though those details are vague (The Good Wife keeps its shit locked tight) it definitely impacted and overshadowed Kalinda and Archie Panjabi’s departure.
Nothing will hit quite so hard as that seemingly innocuous episode that took place just over midway through season 5 and the straight out of nowhere death of Will Gardner – this is what I mean about The Good Wife having its shit locked tight – even though everyone knew Josh Charles’ contract was only extended for this one season. The aftermath of that moment is the first time I ever cried while writing a review and those episodes are still really difficult to watch even now. I keep wanting to revisit season 5 because it really is GREAT TELEVISION (side eyeing this piece so hard right now) and I know that when I do those swells of emotion will come because that gut punch is how I felt when I saw the announcement last night. Objectively I know it is time, but I am still going to miss the hell out of Alicia Florrick and the many characters that inhabit her world.
Plus all of those costumes that made me long for a job where I get to wear power clothes on a daily basis. *Looks down at the array of knitwear I am sporting right now*
Let’s drink to this show in the best way possible and here’s to the final chapter in the Education of Alicia Florrick.