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The Good Wife S05E16: "The Last Call"


Death can be hard for some television shows, and sudden deaths even harder. They can be difficult for the writers to conceive, difficult for the show to then properly dramatize, and then difficult for the audience to accept. If "anyone can die!" is built into a show's DNA—like on Law & Order (to a certain degree), Lost, most basic and premium cable drama since 1999—then you can expect the suddenness to a point, and death hangs over the characters and their every interaction.

If death isn't in the series' standard bag of narrative tricks, then the challenge is all the worse because we're simply not expecting it. Even on medical shows like M*A*SH* and House, where death is often a fact of life, the deaths of main characters can still come as a shock, whether it be over the Sea of Japan or a sudden and unexpected suicide. In the case of The Good Wife, we haven't had a sudden death since Jonas Stern (remember Stern?!) died quietly in his office in Season 2. It's why Will's death and Josh Charles' departure are both so shocking and so out of character for the show; that's not the kind of thing that happens on The Good Wife.

Like the death on House, the questions become "Why?" and "How?" For the audience of The Good Wife, those questions have been answered by a full-scale press storm of interviews and phone calls and open letters and discussions between fans. For three of the women in Will Gardner's life—Diane, Kalinda, and Alicia—"The Last Call" was about determining the answer to those questions.


I don't want to say that Diane had it the easiest of the three, but she may have been the one to earn the most immediate and satisfying amount of closure compared to where Kalinda and, especially, Alicia were by the episode's end. She also, however, had the more immediate concern of how to keep her business afloat now that that her other managing partner had died. It's a decent distraction from having to cope with the grief, but also a way to cope with it. Of course, that didn't stop her from firing a barely-hired intern who was sobbing in an hallway when Diane, who has known Will for decades, couldn't get that time to grieve.

It may have been crass when David Lee—whose near fit of crying almost broke me all over again; HE DOES HAVE A HEART—wanted to take the time to get Will's clients in line and make sure they didn't jump ship, but it's what both he and Diane ultimately needed. And it resulted in Diane getting to fire Will's asshole of a client who basically saw this as an opportunity to leverage himself some more attention with a face-to-face meeting while people are in mourning. Diane's brutal take down of him, including blackballing him for a couple other firms in Chicago, was the most pleasurable sequence in the whole episode: "That felt good." "Turned me on."

As a semi-related aside: Cary does the exact same thing to an opposing lawyer who decides not to be respectful of Cary wanting to delay a deposition (for a client they poached from LG). He comes out guns blazing in the deposition, destroying the doctor's character, leading the other attorney to want to call things off. Cary's reply to why he's being so aggressive: "I want to get out my aggression and my anger by destroying your client. Now sit down. I said sit the hell down." Always a nice to have a reminder that Cary and Diane are often one and the same.


Kalinda and Alicia both have mysteries to solve, and that means they're both in procedurals, of sorts. Kalinda wanted to know how Will died and Alicia wanted to know why Will called her, leaving a brief, ambiguous voice mail. Kalinda's search for her answer led her down the show's standard procedural beats of identifying suspects, figuring out if they did it, and why they did it. Then, as things often do with Kalinda, they got a little dark.

The speed at which Kalinda's investigation went could've been a distraction, especially as it involved Jenna greasing all the necessary wheels for her, but Kalinda needed answers here more than we needed this to be a driving mystery (that was partially the point of Alicia's plot, after all). Likewise, I don't know that it mattered all that much who killed Will, but Kalinda's someone who needs information, needs to know things. It is her job, yes, but it's also how she protects herself, how she gets what she wants. In this case, it was making sure he was laying down her wrath on the correct person.

Take this how you will, but Kalinda's enough of a cipher still that it her giving the belt to Jeffrey wouldn't have surprised me any more than her deciding to not give it to him did. Giving Jeffrey the belt would've been bad for Jenna—how horrible—but ultimately I think it's Kalinda's more sadistic nature that resulted in all the toying, her normal impulse to go Old Testament, either physically, emotionally, or sexually, to punish those around her. She's going to live with Will's death for the rest of her days, and now Jeffrey will as well, for however many days he'll have left.


Alicia had the bulk of emotional and story weight to carry this week, and understandably so. It is her show, after all, but it's also her relationship with Will that's been the engine for a lot of stories since "Hitting the Fan." His death shakes things up for her in ways that it simply can't for Diane or Kalinda, or anyone else for that matter. This is Alicia's loss, and the episode wisely chose not to shy away from that.

There's of course the search for who can fill in the gap of the voice mail, why Will called her, but it was the reaction to each bit of information to adjust her sense of how things happened, from a prison thug in an orange jumper to Jeffrey in his suit and tie firing the gun, to all the different possibilities of what Will's call was about. If it was him furious ("Are you kidding? Leave our clients alone."), him being apologetic about their fighting ("This feud is stupid."), or if it was him, as she may have chosen to make it as Peter embraced her, calling to want to take another swing at being together ("Alicia, I'm sorry. I want what we had. I want to be with you, and only you. Forever. Call me back, please.")

Like the show's memory pops, these imagination pops, are quick, staying around just as long as they need to before cutting back in less than a heartbeat to the external world as someone shakes Alicia out of her thoughts. It used to be that we had very little access to Alicia's inner-workings, relying only on Julianna Margulies's finely calibrated facial expressions. The memory pops give us access in a new but still vaguely elliptical way that doesn't undermine Alicia's emotional complexity by showing what she's thinking; it actually enhances it.

In the end, while Diane and Kalinda found some solace, Alicia did not. She did find out that Will wasn't calling because he was mad—Damian (remember Damian?) was stealing clients—but it's of little comfort because the question lingers. Between this and the thawing of their relationship in the previous two episodes, Alicia is left to deal with the trailing off that is her relationship to to Will Gardner, with little to draw comfort from but the sincere religious feelings of her daughter and the insincere sincerity of her husband. She's alone in her grief, both by choice and by circumstance, holding herself together with one last imagined smile.



SIDEBAR

– I do admit to singling out M*A*S*H and House on purpose since, like The Good Wife, both had to react to actors wanting off their shows as well. Indeed, House's episode was devoted to explaining the unexplainable, in a similar way to Alicia's fruitless search for what Will called her about. It ended without answers, too.

– Diane's massive chain-link necklace is yet another piece of statement jewelry that I'm convinced only she could make look amazing.

– Will's granola hippie girlfriend wasn't given any space to mourn Will's death. Thank goodness.

– I didn't mention it above, but I really loved Alicia and Grace's scene this week. Alicia doesn't keep her pain in check, Grace doesn't back down from that pain, and Margulies killed in it.

– That's two episodes in a row we've had detectives from the show's early seasons reappear. Last week it was Felix Solis on the stand; he hasn't been around since Season 2. And this week it was James McDaniel questioning Jeffrey; he's been absent since Season 1.

– One other blast from the past: This was the first time Kalinda and Alicia spoke to one another in roughly a season, let alone had TWO conversations. Maybe they'll actually share a scene soon, too, something I don't think has happened since the Season 4 episode "Boom De Yah Da," which was 27 episodes ago. When Alicia asked Kalinda what she was going to do, I hoped the answer was "shots of tequila."

– In case you missed the news, Matthew Goode, who plays Finn Polmar, was promoted to a series regular for... the remaining episodes of Season 5. No word yet on what this means for him in Season 6, but it seems to me like a pretty clear trial for the character's continued presence on the show.

– Now that we're all emotionally drained, it's time for a quick break from the show! We'll meet back here on April 13 to discuss "A Material World." Luckily, from that episode forward, it's new episodes and no breaks until the finale on May 18, so buckle your seat belts.


What did you think of "The Last Call"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/1/2016

Season 7 : Episode 21

Next Episode

AIRS ON 5/8/2016

End

Season 7 : Episode 22

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I just started watching the good wife. I am on season 2 episode 22. It's really bummed me out that Will dies. I'm hoping there is a small chance that Will survived and is in protection of the US Marshall's b/c bishop or something. Kinda like Claire from "the following"
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Noel... where is tonight's review??? It is 6 in the morning, here in Greece, and I just watched the episode and hurried online to read your review, but it was nowhere to be found!!! Hurry up!! I need to comment!!! :D
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Just wanted to say that it is indeed a great loss to the show regarding the role of Will by Josh Charles. However, you had us hooked from the start when in the Pilot, Julianna Margulies, delivered in her amazing way those lines regarding a scorned woman. There have been many other moments in the show that have my applause. Just my two cents: keep doing what you are doing: wonderful writing, amazing casting and great talent. Make Tony Scott proud. By the way, excellent casing call with Matthew Goode. It is not common for me to chime in, wanted to let you I appreciate the show.


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Very good episode, I was bawling for the last 20 minutes... Loved the scene between Alicia and Grace!
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Whatever merits this episode had, we were disappointed by it and I think it's the least good episode of the series. There were moments, yes, but the entire "piece" was not even close to what most episodes contain, a balance with light stuff, moral issues, and the heavy stuff. Is there another season? I see 18 episodes on the list. TGW is one of the best, possibly the best, most intelligent series on TV. If it ends, we lose a little piece of what makes TV worth watching. We'll be sorry when it ends.
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As for the last call, seems to me it would have been about Will warning Alicia about this Damien guy stealing her clients as well as from him. Or possibly, just hers. Anyone else figure this?
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I don't think Peter is altogether a bad guy. I think he genuinely cares about his wife and did what any husband would in that moment, trying to find out if she is okay. I think the awkwardness between the two can lay on Alicia' shoulders as well. If she still has unresolved romantic feelings for Will, then she should be clear about it with her husband. As for her professional tension with Will, she made the decision to leave LG, which she knew would be painful for Will since he gave her a chance when nobody else would. In the previews for the next episode we get a glimpse of Peter and Alicia quarreling. If she forgave Peter for his past indiscretions, I don't think it's fair to bring it back up. Alicia made the decision to stay married to him. We should be responsible for our own actions, and only we can suffer the consequences of our own actions, not lay the blame at someone else's feet when we're down. Great show, definitely portrays human beings very realistically as none of us are all good or all bad.
Cary kicked a@@!!!!
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After so much pain and angry backlash for a week, then seeing positive marks from the viewers of this episode, I have to wonder if CBS wouldn't have been wiser to simply air the 2 episodes back to back. Each episode holds up well on its own, but there was a lot of bitterness from the fan base, enough to make the news, and it makes me think that it might have just been wiser to give them this feeling right away.
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Great review, and I'll add that I think this was a fantastic episode. Some of the filming, editing, and scoring choices were good enough to be called truly cinematic. Once again, The Good Wife shows itself to be the best show on television.

Oh yeah, I forgot the suicide on House, that was a biggie. Thanks, Obama.

Diane taking down that attention-whoring intern was damned good, I'm not sure about firing the client though, that felt a bit roughshod.

David Lee, and Eli Gold, their reactions really did hit home. They both are usually the sleazebags who have to do the dirty work and have to think about the dirty work all the time, so to see them shaken and connected in a way that's not the norm for them, those were both oustanding works. I honestly didn't know what we were going to get with David Lee when we started following him, it could have been terrible "take over the firm" silliness, instead it was poignant.

Cary was the one that made the episode, "sit the hell down." The idea that we don't get more of that Cary saddens me. How the producers felt they didn't have strong enough male leads with Cary and David Lee and Peter and Eli is beyond me, I guess because only Cary is a regular cast member technically.

So Noel, how could this be a procedural for a procedure so poorly defined prior to this? How does one get answers and closure in something as chaotic as this?

I was pleased that sleazy Jenna didn't take advantage of Kalinda in this situation in any way.

The thing I like most about the memory pops is their lack of flashy "look at me" gimmicks, the only gimmick generally is eye contact, there's no fancy camerawork or gauzy filtering or sound effects.

I could not have been more pleased that they got rid of Damian this way, that was a joy.

The feeling of "what if..." will too often linger between lost loved ones, that is the unfortunate truth of losing people and the show captured it well.

Grace and Alicia's religious conversation was highly charged and very impressive, I'm not sure I saw Alicia as the kind of parent to pull that move, but it had weight none the less and made Grace's simplistic religious views feel very separated. I'm surprised that aspect didn't make the rabblerousers froth in the media the next day.

Diane's necklace was so gaudy, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw it.

Agreed on Will's awful girlfriend, thanks for not putting that in our faces.

I think the worst part about Finn Polmar is his name, it's awkward in a "look at me" sort of way. Goode did quite a solid job with his hospital scene (pretty sure some of his other work was left on the cutting room floor, as there were shots of him dragging Will in the promo that I didn't see here or in that previous episode), but every time someone talked about Finn, his clunky name came up and it felt stilted, like they were trying to drill it into the audience. Good character, bad name.
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Hahahaha. "Thanks, Obama." Yeah, that was kind of a bummer. And he was back to acting quite fast after that, too, so it made me wish they hadn't killed him off.
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Oh, we'll still get take-over-the-firm-silliness. David Lee's patient. So is Julius Cain. WHO IS COMING BACK VERY SOON, PRAISE BE. (Damian's also back next week, so, you know, take what you can get.)

I should have clarified! There's an interesting way of thinking about the procedural framework as a way bringing order to the chaos, so the search for the answer, for closure, for satisfaction. When you boil it down, the procedural as a genre. be it law/legal/medical/sleuthing is about bringing order to chaotic system, about finding the truth to something. This episode just happened to be a bit more subverted in that there's no answer, even if there's a bit of persona satisfaction that can be eked out. Hmmmm.....

IT'S A TERRIFIC NAME AND TAKE BACK EVERY NICE THING I EVER SAID ABOUT YOU.
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I have no problem with "take over the firrrrrrrm!" stuff, just not the moment we see the character find out about Will's death. It probably would have been in-character for him, sure, but it would have felt like an ugly turn.

Julius Cain must be damned patient!

Nooooo! Not more Damian Boyle. :-(

I don't think I agree with your assessment of what it means to be a procedural. A procedural should be a show that follows some sort of procedure (hence the name) to solve something, but that's not always finding truth. ER rarely found truths, but it solved problems in a very procedural manner. Many law shows these days aren't about truth but about achieving the best possible outcome for their clients - The Practice was big on that, for example. Meanwhile, Kalinda and Alicia seek their own truths in the aftermath of Will's death, but they do it in their individual manners and they're not even sure what they want from the outcomes of their searches.

Finn Polmar is no "Noel Kirkpatrick", that's for sure. Finn, Polmar, I think it's both odd names together, we already have a Finn on TV, Fin Tutuola on SVU (spelling is immaterial in this case). Now I have no nice things said about me anymore. :-( again.
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Way to ignore the other Finn on TV, JT.



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anasoares2092, yeah but that is a nickname at least. Good lookin' out though. So this is the new stripper name to take the tv by storm?
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Finn comes from a post-apocalyptic future, everybody knows post-apocalyptic futures cause names to become weird.
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It was a very sad episode and few characters did what they had to do to feel better and in some way to honor Will. I like what the writers did there.. we couldn't just stop and grieve. It wouldn't be the 'TGW' we used to see.

Sometimes you just have to take a minute and reflect. You just need that moment in order to move on. In that moment you don't care about the money or anything else and that's what Diane did. Some can say that she was acting irresponsible but i completely agree with her and support her decision. It's like what David said "the car is moving and someone has to drive" to take control but speaking of David, even him in that 'Diane' moment understood what she did (what the hell! get the f*** out! :) ). We also have had an interesting moment when David was alone in the office. I knew that he wasn't going to cry in front of everyone but it's good to know that he has feelings and he's not the robot :).

Ok let's talk about Kalinda. She wanted to make sure what happened and that's why i love her character. She knew the window is closing and she pushed and did what she have to. Let's give her a True Detective role in Season 2 :)

And finally! Cary! No words. You just have to see this:
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Peter has to be deriving some satisfaction from Will's death. His insistence on being with Alicia (supposedly to comfort her) is just an intrusion into her personal life that is apart from him. A bigger man would keep more distance - out of respect for her.

But Peter is driven by his own selfish need to know, to see for himself, how deeply his wife loved this man. And, maybe he's also trying to capitalize on her grief -- to use it to get closer to her, to remind her that she has him. He wants to fill the void that Will leaves behind. But of course he won't be able to, and that will make him angry (as we can guess from the preview of coming episodes).

That said, Peter is enough of a human being to be genuinely saddened by the sudden and senseless murder of a good man. But I'm sure there's more relief than sadness in him.
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The acting and writing on this show is amazingly well done. I haven't gotten teary eyed in a long time over fictional tv but I have to say I got a little misty eyed during this episode. I love all the character development/growth and the only one I had some issues with was Kalinda but I understood her reasons even if I didn't agree with her actions.
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Powerful: Cary, Kalinda, Dianne, Alicia. Surprising: David Lee (perfect puffing out of face when trying to keep the sob inside!). I was too shocked watching last week's episode to cry. I was too sad watching this episode not to shed a few tears. Perfectly played scenes by a perfect cast!
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We need a video of Cary getting vicious at the deposition. That minute should go on a TOP something list of bad ass moments in TV this year.
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Like this one :)
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did Alicia ever find out about the time when Eli Gold erased Will's message about wanting to make the plan so she could leave Peter and be together? If not, Eli should tell her now.....also Alicia will never get Will out of her soul..he is and will always be in her inner core....
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Now that you mention this, I do not think Eli ever told Alicia. Maybe someone else with better memory would clarify. Perhaps Noel can.
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Will's death was such a great moment of television for me that I re-watched the whole TGW from the first episode. Eli never told her.
Eli being Eli, he will told her only if it suits his purposes, maybe in a situation where Alicia would feel so down that it would have an impact on Peter's carreer.
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I had to rewrite this because my PC hang.

Thanks to Noel for the links

interviews and phone calls and open letters

I just hoped people will read it before commenting that the Kings (the creators and writers) is using the death as a stunt and to get renewal. I have too much respect for the Kings.

You were right about Kalinda. She needed to know the how and whom. I was not surprised when I thought she was handing him the belt and was not surprised again when she did not.

All the three ladies did such a good job that I had goose pimples the whole of this episode much more than the last. It was really a good ripple effect episode. I loved Cary to for his anger management ! Ha !

Did not really notice Matthew Goode at all last week but this week he also did a wonderful job with the hospital scene.

I never thought I say this but it is good that TGW is taking a break now with all the depressing atmosphere and great news is that we will have 4-5 non stop episodes from April 13th !
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I guess you never know with people, David Lee's reaction was astounding I just never figured he too thought of Will as a friend. I think Peter also felt bad and is not insincere. I had hoped the new ADA would help with Alicia's grief but sadly like in real life he had nothing to offer her.
I wonder what is going through Kalinda's mind? Did she think the death was a set-up ,understandable with all the political shenanigans going on. An emotionally draining last 2 episodes, I wonder how the show intends to move on from thi....I guess I'll still be tuning in to see.
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I'm not sure David Lee saw Will as a friend, but even a trusted colleague can be important in a life. We have no idea what goes on in David Lee's home life either, so maybe work is all he had and that's as close to a friend as he could get.

I didn't get insincerity from Peter either, just that he has conflicts and wasn't close with Will.

I was kinda glad they didn't have Finn Polmar blurt out some cheesy "last words", I was concerned they'd go there and it'd flop hard.
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We loose Will Gardner. But Kalinda is back. And now I need to see much of David Lee, is not such an ass hole after all.
Great job to the writer it's hard to deal with the death of a major character like Will was. So now Will is dead is time to wait until April for The Good Wife 2.0
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Be fair, David Lee is an excellent asshole, that's his JOB.

More Kalinda is appreciated.
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Very well done and so, so depressing. Too real to allow for any escapist kind of watching and I'm not sure I like this fact.
They could at least solve the phone call thing because it's just too sad to think of Alicia never knowing and always wondering.
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What a heavy episode. It was very well handled and it felt real. And because it wasn't mentioned: Alan Cumming's prestation was also amazing.
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Very true. Great & very understated acting in that whole scene with Alicia and dealing with the call. It was also a great job by the writers as this scene somewhat recalls that other scene back in season 1 where he deleted Will's voice message to Alicia.
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One thing I didn't see mentioned here, but maybe I missed, was...

Alicia put 2+2 together and realized it might have just as easily been her that got killed.

While talking to Diane she realized that was her client originally... and then put 2+2 together later while still in the room. She probably realized she would have been in the court room and perhaps dead instead of (or along-side) Will.

Honestly, that's a horrible feeling. Knowing that random luck and a couple of coin-flips on your part prevented you from dying.
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Yep, all those what-ifs playing in Alicia's head now are what can drive one crazy with grief and regret and the episode did a great job at showing this very human way to deal with loss
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Yeah. I thought it was another What If, but not a super-super-interesting one compared to the other ones. Especially since I don't think Jeffrey would've gone off as he did under Alicia's supervision, considering she's prized for her client-handling.
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The episode hit all the right notes emotionally, for each character. I also thought Peter was sincerely concerned for Alicia. The jarring note for me was that the episode treated a shooting in a court room, with 2 dead and several wounded, as being significant only personally. Alicia was at a press event. Their cell phones would have been buzzing & many would have left; the rest would have been discussing; it would definitely have disrupted the luncheon. When Eli Gold went up to the dais, I expected him to announce the shooting. It should certainly have canceled the governor's speech, and shifted his calendar-- he would have wanted to be completely informed and kept plugged in. It bothered me thru the entire episode.
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I love and hate that there was no closure for Alicia - she never found out what the call was about. Real life sucks and The Good Wife makes sure to remind me of that. Tears in my eyes for most of the episode.
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This episode was like the writers letting us grieve with the characters, I think. I cried for the whole hour, lol.

Loved Diane in this one. She was fantastic! Also, I was so sure David Lee was going to be a jerk, but when he cleared the room so he could express his sadness in private, it just killed me.

I really hope, with all my heart, that this will be the thing that allows Kalinda and Alicia to be close again. I feel like the writers haven't known what to do with Kalinda since they revealed her affair with Peter, and it has sort of ruined the dynamic of the show a bit. Alicia and Kalinda's friendship was a big reason I fell in love with this show in the first place.

I hope revealing that Damien was stealing clients means that he's off the show. He just seemed like another super bad guy added to mess with Kalinda.
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I loved that scene with David.
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Alicia and Kalinda's friendship was a big reason I fell in love with this show in the first place.

Agreed, I really miss that aspect of the show. The two characters were great together.

Ever since the Peter reveal, a solid aspect of the show went missing. And the lack of any GOOD storylines for Kalinda is just another step in the wrong direction.
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Great review and it was a great episode dissecting the 'day after' and how messy it all is in the lives of those surviving as much as in the actual investigation with the policeman whose gun was used being short of harassed and Jeffrey naturally being asked a few tough questions.
  • When David Lee had that emotional reaction I am a bit ashamed to say that my first was that he was going to go and plot to take over the firm... Kudos to the actor too.
  • Dianne did amazing but then again, when doesn't she. She is an amazing character and actor.
  • With just about one scene, Cary was amazing. Just to show he could do so much more... I do like the prospect of a Lockhart, Florrick, Agos firm by the end of the season or perhaps next season...
  • I have never liked Peter very much but he is now in an impossible situation. It is clear Alicia doesn't want / can't take comfort from him and yet he can't just ignore her pain and what appears to be the beginning of a dangerous game of 'what if'. Alicia never quite closed the Will episode (romantically nor professionally as they were still getting at peace on both fronts) and now she never will. The word closure is often overused but here its absence is going to loom for a long time. Personally I think Will's death is going to be the last nail the coffin that is Peter & Alicia's marriage
  • Damien Boyle was the client thief... ha! Terrible character whose overwhelming and pointless testosterone makes me think he was brought in to 'replace' Will but clearly he was universally disliked so the sweet (and loopy this week) Finn Polmar is now the new guy in town... Wonder what his story is going to be...
  • I hope the last look between Kalinda and the woman cop doesn't mean they hook up again... I hope Kalinda's way to cope with Will's loss is not too self-destructive... The belt coup was enough, perhaps a bit too much since Jeffrey is clearly out of odds but of course that doesn't make him any less the one who ended one of the few people Kalinda has ever trusted.
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I still David Lee will plot to take over the firm. He likes Will and I could see even slightly fear him but his grief will be short and I think he thinks Diane is not in the same level as Will.
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Yep that is what the promos have hinted at and what is probably in character for David Lee
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This episode was done well in every respect. In particular, the actors did a terrific job of portraying realistically their strong emotions. Just a fine job of writing and acting in this episode. Because Alicia had never put an end to her relationship with Will she is truly going to be a mess emotionally, and Margulies portrayed that perfectly in this episode.

The only scene I thought was kind of a bomb was Kalinda offering the belt and then taking it away. I don't know--that just didn't have the drama for me that it did for some viewers. I wish the writers had found a different way for Kalinda to get retribution and comfort for herself. I thought it was weak mechanism.

This was a really good review, Mr. Kirkpatrick.

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Agree about Kalinda. And I just feel so bad for the kid, that she definitely seemed like the monster in that scene, not him.
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The intern came across as asking for attention. She was crying so hard in public so people had to go to her and pay attention to her and "calm" her down, all the while making other people feel like garbage in an already somber moment. She'd been there a week, had she ever even MET Will?

I've known people like that, and to say it "irritates" me is an understatement. They have to turn a situation into something about them.

Now granted the intern might simply have been an emotional person, but then take it to the restroom or something and don't sit in the middle of the office so everyone can hear.
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The "intern" was Will's girlfriend from earlier in the season.
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It was not. Two totally different actresses (Allie Gallerani as Gail the Intern and Hannan Sorenson as Isabell).
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Are you sure? I thought Will's girlfriend from earlier in the season looked different.

At the very least she would have been at L&G more than a week as an intern if that were the case.
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Damien is his name by the way. if you recall the previews for the next episode it's Peter & Alicia bickering about it and her saying pretty much how when she was cheating it was different for her cause it meant something. anyways great review. i wish the writers had left an actual message from will saying Alicia i'm calling to say i don't want to fight and i'm tired of it etc.. something like that.

not just a quick one like that. i get that Josh Charles wanted to leave the show but did they have to kill him off? i mean literally? he could have easily moved away and to one of the other firms they were opening. on M.A.S.H. it made sense when Henry died cause it was a war going on. and actually i hadn't learned that Finn would be a regular this season. i wonder which firm he'll be working at?
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Read the interviews, phone calls and open letter links posted above in the article. After reading see if you agreed with what they did.
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Peter, Alicia's husband, not sure why he was nameless in this review, didn't seem insincere to Alicia IMO, but I see the need to find a bad guy. Peter seemed very willing to be supportive to his wife who was grieving the loss of her lover and friend. But how long he continues to be is another thing, and I can't quite blame him for that. I knew the death would hit Alicia hard, but I hope this grief isn't spread out to the end of the season. Of the women , Diane and Kalinda are the one's who chose Will to be in their lives, not Alicia. So, I get the balance of grief in which they showed them.

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He's not nameless in the review, no worries.

As for the "bad guy" I'm not looking for one. Peter's supportive of Alicia and loves her, but the extent of how sorry he actually is that Will's dead? Nil, I think, and that's why I feel like he's going through the motions here.
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Anyone else cried in this episode as well? I think I haven't cried like this (all sobs and snot and stuff...) since Denny died in the 2nd season's finale of Grey's anatomy (before they turned the series into a neverending cycle of death)!!!!
The writing, the acting, the direction... everything is superb in this show and Will's death has been handled with great artistry!
I can't remember if this has been addressed... where is that annoying Irish guy Will hired? I don't miss him at all... I'm just wondering what happened to him!
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Yep, I sure did.
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It's weird, but I didn't cry this time.

I usually LOSE. MY. S**T. during emotional movies and TV. I still cry towards the end of WALL-E and parts of Nemo. Heck Futurama's Jurassic Bark still makes me cry and I've seen it like 10 times.

Here, I felt sad and was riveted but I didn't cry. The David Lee scene probably hit me the hardest since we saw the "mean" guy who looked like he was about to pull a political maneuver actually start to lose it. But I didn't break this time.

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I was hitting tears every now and then, and David Lee almost broke me, but I find the first chunk of the episode to be wringing a few sobs, and then it's just....draining (but not in a bad way).
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I feel you! I don't know *when* we'll manage to completely get over his death! Will we?
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I think the immediate aftermath was handled really well. And I loved Cary's and David Lee's reactions to the news because I wasn't expecting them to react so strongly. Cary's "Sit the hell down" was the best line of the episode, it gave me absolute shivers.
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When David Lee walked away from Diane... I thought he was going to be a son of a b*tch for sure. And then it happened. One of those things you don't ever see coming - I wanted to say "the one thing", but that would be a lie, as Will's death already shocked me beyond repair - and I broke with him all over again.
The most superb acting. This show. THIS show.
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I must mention this though: as tough as this was, losing Will in the show,
when Billy died in Ally McBeal in season two, i cried my eyes out so much like it was actual family. That to me was still the hardest death in any show ever. The writing and acting there was unbelievable. And that show is a comedy.
This comes close as a second, but still nowhere near.
If anyone remembers, you know exactly what I mean...

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Oh man, totally forgot about Billy dying on Ally McBeal!
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I will never forget , nor his blonde make-over lol
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Well, I was a kid then but I did cry like crazy, and it wasn't even a good season for that show.
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Actually, Nate's death on Burn Notice comes second!
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Powerfull stuff...my favourite character's dealing with the news, and best acting in my book: Carey...Matt Czuchry just killed it! Loved it.
Still mad Josh Charles wanted out...but the show can pull anything off! As it did here. One more break, thank god.
Sidenote: glad you mentioned Will's hippie girlfriend. She was goddamn aweful, I hated her. Only good thing to come from Will's death. She's gone too.
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It was an emotional ride for sure, directed and acted with perfection. Diane, Kalinda, and Alicia all had their moments on the screen when they pulled the strings to our hearts, Alicia being the most significant one. David's reaction to the news was remarkably shot and made me tear up a bit myself. And Carrie's outburst... LOVED IT!

Alicia's imagination running wild with Will showing up like it was all a misunderstanding, identity gone wrong... I can relate to that as I went through that myself when my dad passed away in 2001 due to a sudden heart attack. The first few weeks I would, out of the blue, just imagine running into my dad at the market like he'd forgotten the address to our home and was searching for us, or there being a ring on the door behind which stands my dad as he was in the hospital and hadn't died but the doctors had mistakenly identified someone else's body as his, and more. I know it sounds stupid, especially since I saw my dad and laid him to rest myself... but that's how grief works, and The Good Wife did a superb job in bringing that to the screen.

On a side note; I do believe that we've got more Kalinda + Alicia time coming ahead, I seriously hope that happens. I don't believe Kalinda will move out of LG with the departure of Will, but let's see. I seriously hope that The Good Wife doesn't do a fast forward like many shows do to bypass having to portray grief or remorse or anything like that...

Looking forward to seeing Matthew Goode in further episodes... though I do hope that his role is more than that of a witness in Will's trial. Perhaps he might join LG or FA.

Grace has certainly grown as a character and I agree that she doesn't back down from the pain. That's a rarity in an individual. I also love that her religious beliefs aren't forced down by Alicia either. Everyone has a right to have their beliefs and converse intelligently, no one has the right to impose their beliefs onto another


Anyhow... I'm sad that it'll be two weeks before the next episode airs. Oh well, all the more time to relive the devastating previous two episodes as well as revisit some of my favourite moments from the past few seasons...
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Great episode and I was holding it together until David Lee's scene. At first I thought he was going for a power play, you know, typical David, so i was not expecting him to tear up. Kudos to Cary's method of coping and dealing with "The Shmuck" .
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And, David was right about calling the clients. Not to reinforce the firm's relationship with them, that was a tad crass, but to let them know ASAP and possibly before they find out from the media. It's a professional and necessary action.
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I thought this episode was outstanding from the writing to the performances. David Lee's breakdown at the beginning almost made me start crying again. Though this was a difficult episode to watch I thought it was all handled so well as each character handled their grief differently.
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Out of all the characters that were given a chance to showcase them grieve I thought Cary's one scene was phenomenal! He killed it!
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So Alicia spent the entire episode making sure it wasn't She with whom Will was pissed at. I guess she didn't the wider point when Will told her in the diner that it's not all about her or, life and her entangled. However, unless I read it wrong, it did look like Goode's character may have a memory to elicit later on for her - beyond the I'm sorry long that he conjured.
Diane's firing and pre-emptive calls to other firms to not hire their high tier client was laughable. Lawyers aren't the butt of jokes for being blood hungry vultures. I'm sure all the other firms out there would give a period of mourning lasting, oh, a dial tone. What was more surprising was David's emotional break, but then his backing away from Diane's comforting hand as a refusal to yield again to them less so.
Nice to see the Gov' get another kick in the balls from Alicia. Is there going to be another love interest for her down the road, I'm guessing so.
Kalinda's ability to get the cops, pathologists etc. to help turn a blind eye and/or let her break the law as she pleases is a source of status quo for this show. One of her firm's clients murders and injures a bunch of people and makes cops look bad in general, but hey, come join in. Really? I'm sure the shooter's lawyer won't here of a late night visit from which to request CCTV footage and stir a hornets nest - now that would be interesting - , but it'll more than likely be a done deal trial later, if at all.
Other than that, loved it - sans Diane's Oscar Goodie Bag necklace.
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I really hope they do something more with that phone call and Finn (even if it were more realistic if they didn't, that's just too damn depressing) but I think the promo for the rest of the season showed some more memory of the shooting (him dragging Will or something) so maybe he will remember more.
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Diane only mentioned 2 firms; one of which belonged to Alicia and Cary. The other I don't recall, but might have had strong ties to Will. Now, would other firms pick him up? Sure, in a heartbeat. But Diane just took out his #2 and #3 choices.

The guy was trying to pull a real DICK move: forcing the issue of coming in while they were mourning so he could maneuver a better deal. That's a dick move that would give many people pause, and if the person that died is someone you knew and liked then forget it.

Because if they're willing to pull that kind of cr@p, what other stuff are they willing to pull.

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Of course, from a business ethics side of play it's poor but in the real world play of things it's just another day. His timing was hasty and one in which you may well feel like telling him to go eat a bag of dicks. However, phoning around the other big boys to take out your grief on him is also ridiculous in that you're announcing a weakness in that you've just lost your big gun and are open to emotion. Plus for all we know, that 'dick' may've been in a precarious place dependent on strong lawyers for his firm, share holders and staff etc. to survive. All he actually asked for was Diane to be taking over Will's work. If you was paying millions in legal fees, I guess you may ask for things in 'uncomfortable' scenarios of others and not care so much about their feelings but more of their professionalism. They all set him up as some turd they didn't like and was being unreasonable and so could take some moral stand over, whilst fucking with him big time.
But that intern who was clearly making it all about her, certainly deserved shit canning.
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That was a hard episode to watch
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We'll never know what that phone call is all about. Personally I don't think it was the last "imagination" in which Will wanted to start a family with Alicia. Its just too far fetched. Realistically, I think the call was more about rekindling their friendship. But I guess that is the point of the episode. I'm guessing the writers just want the viewers to imagine their own version of the phone call.

Side note. I like how it was mentioned that Matthew Goode's character has a wife and kids. No Finn-Alicia romance! :P
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You may end up being right about that, but we might still get 1 or 2 more little nuggets on it. There is background noise that is inaudible, but a friend could easily isolate background noise and enhance it enough to hear a new clue. Also, don't forget the new lawyer dude was stoned out of his gourd. He may have more to say.
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What would the background noise help with? She already talked to people that either knew he was walking away to make the call, walked by during the call, or knew what was on his mind right before the call.

Unless Will's message was garbled and we missed a sentence, which we didn't, then voice analysis wouldn't help us.
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Brutal & Beautiful.
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This was another great episode attached to a great show. I hate that Will Gardner has died, but respect that Josh Charles elected to move on, and not renew his contract. He gave life to a phenomenal television character in Will Gardner, and whichever direction is taken by this show following this loss, his shadow will continue to loom large.

I hope that Alicia's grief doesn't become an issue that has her alienating herself from those who care about her. I, for one, was glad to see the Alicia-Will-Peter triangle lose steam. I was celebrating the fact that she had "reconciled" with Peter, removed herself from the "Will" temptation, and was becoming a force to be reckoned with in the legal profession.

Writers, if you hear me, let Alicia mourn, but don't transform her into someone that we (the viewers) find nauseating because of incessant and obsessive "Will grieving".

As for the rest of the cast, namely, Diane, David, Kalinda, and Cary, I'm curious to see how Will's death alters their perspectives, perceptions, decisions, and career paths. You don't lose a giant like Will Gardner without there being some aftereffect.
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First 10 minutes = one box of Kleenex. Everyone was amazing, but Cary and Diane, wow!
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Many shows deal with death, characters die and then the remaining ones mourn etc. I have never felt sadder than in this episode. I still can't believe Will is dead.
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