The Good Wife: Season seven, episode twenty-two: End

alicia endWhat an ending! All through this thoroughly unsatisfactory series I’ve clung onto the hope and belief that the writers would give Alicia the ending she deserves: that is, an unhappy one.

I’ll admit my faith wavered during this jam-packed finale, and I continued to be irritated by the re-writing of Alicia and Will’s history, but boy was I happy with that conclusion. It doesn’t matter that the slap was pretty much unwarranted – it’s not Alicia’s fault that Kurt cheated on Diane, or that Diane persuaded him to give testimony he didn’t want to give – as it felt to me like a punishment for all of her past misdeeds.

Back to the meat of the episode, and I can’t believe Alicia and co assumed the plea was still on the table. I’m not a lawyer but I thought it was pretty obvious things would have changed now the jury was back – otherwise the previous episode’s ending would surely have been a total non-cliffhanger? But not to worry: Alicia manages to get Connor Fox to back down by beating him in a staring contest. Wow. Legal skillz.

Meanwhile, OH MY GOD WHO CARES ABOUT JASON? And why does it even matter whether Alicia divorces Peter? They’ve been estranged bar a handful of shags for years, so I’ve no idea why he even features in her Regina Spektor-fuelled Sliding Doors daydream.

Quick, shut the door, don’t let Ghost of Will in the bedroom! (Do you see what they did there? Regina Spectre! Genuis!) And don’t go into the spooky condemned office building either! Are you mad? Either you’ll see another ghost or the roof will fall on your head and you’ll become a ghost yourself! Actually maybe that would be the best ending. Peter giving an “I’m Sorry” speech while GhostAlicia hovers at his side.

By the opening credits I was confident the finale couldn’t get any worse. But I hadn’t reckoned on Jason swooning over the irresistible smell of Alicia’s neck, or the preposterous part where, with only a ringtone for a lead, Peter’s defence team magicked up a woman who was inexplicably willing to place herself at the scene of an unsolved murder in the time it took Diane to cross-examine a single witness.

A brief moment of confusion during Eli and Peter’s strategy pow-wow. “If I’m so tainted, why am I not tainting her?” GOOD QUESTION, PETER!

More ludicrous twists later, and the guilt-0-meter seems to be swinging back towards Peter again. “I don’t know if I care any more,” sighs Alicia, finally catching up with the viewers who have been in full-blown not-caring mode for almost this entire series.

I couldn’t understand why Diane was blubbing over Kurt’s involvement in Peter’s trial up to this point, but now she’s got something to cry about, as she and Alicia lock horns over which of their husbands deserves to leave this circus with at least part of a reputation. As Kurt was asked about his affair and Diane strode out of the courtroom, I was disappointed the camera didn’t pan to those would-be all-female-firm colleagues who had been giving Diane creepy approving smiles at the start of the trial. I guess they left after David Lee’s wee act of sabotage.

I’m really not sure Connor Fox understands how bargaining works. The defence get into hot water over ballistics evidence that doesn’t go their way and he reduces the prison term in his plea deal? That makes no sense. However, I did like the double meaning of his parting shot to Alicia: “He won’t get better.”

While this final episode has many flaws, I like its overall premise – to mix metaphors, our lawyers are getting a taste of their own medicine and they really don’t like it up them. Is there anyone “good” left?

  • Kurt usually makes a good witness because he is painstaking in his practice and backs up his opinions with evidence. He’s a good man because he’s honest and straightforward (despite his Republicanism). But is he a good husband? Not so much.
  • Diane is a good lawyer because she zealously defends her clients, even if she learns or suspects they’ve committed the crimes of which they’re accused. This impacts on her goodness as a woman, but she uses her position (and her money) to fight for left-wing and feminist causes, perhaps cancelling out any of the individual harms to which she contributes (and while she’s a good lawyer, there’s nothing to say any other lawyer wouldn’t also clear the same accused clients).
  • Peter isn’t a good man, a good governor or a good husband.He’s not a great father either, but that’s difficult to assess in isolation. He’s ruthless, clearly corruptible and will step on anyone who gets in the way of his personal advancement (as well as others – like Geneva – who don’t, although I’m not sure if we’re supposed to remember her complaint against his hiring practices).
  • Alicia has changed. She used to be good, but either has been corrupted by her experiences or always had the potential to be just as ruthless and self-serving as her husband. Perhaps this – rather than the desire to be needed articulated by Lucca and Jason, who really don’t know her that well – explains why she’s stuck by him all this time. She was a good mother, but her bitterness and envy towards her children is increasingly evident as she sees them spread their wings and realises she’s spent the last decade trapped in a cage of her own making.
  • Will: “Ethics change”. Will was a great lawyer with no pretensions about being anything else.

Notes

“You wouldn’t do it – I’m not going to do it either”. Oh Grace. Have you still not learned that your mother isn’t a positive role model?

Cary was rocking that open collar.

“I’ve never lolled in my life”. Sounds about right.

Top tip: When phoning someone to tell them you want to be with them, maybe don’t open with “it’s over”. That’s kind of ambiguous. Could a voicemail-based misunderstanding have killed off Jalicia, just liked it (sort of, theoretically) killed off Walicia?

 

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