I am not OK and I do not think that I will ever recover. I don’t even know where to begin. It is so hard for me to grasp a handle on my thoughts and gather them together to form a coherent review of last night’s gut wrenchingly shocking episode of The Good Wife. How am I supposed to talk about anything else that happened when the mother of all plot twists occurred? I can’t, but I will try.
As promised, “Dramatics, Your Honor” delivered the series’ most shocking moment ever: the death of everyone’s favorite, loveable, albeit somewhat ethically questionable attorney, Will Gardner. Gunned down by his own sociopathic client, Jeffrey Grant, in the very courtroom where Will was pleading his innocence.
For weeks now, viewers have been theorizing what this shocking moment could possibly be. Most expecting to be disappointed when nothing major actually happened. No one can say they saw this coming. Every single viewer had the rug pulled out from under them. Viewers who may not have even called themselves fans of Will felt like they were sucker punched in their gut. What made it worse was that it wasn’t only shocking; it was abrupt and violent. This show has never killed a character off in such a manner, especially not a major one. Though, in hindsight, that fact alone should have been a clue.
I would like to take a moment to reflect on Will’s last moments with those he valued most in his life.
We received one final scene of Will and Kalinda having a heart to heart over drinks where she informs him that she wants to leave the firm. Will gives her the worst pep talk ever to convince her to stay, but then pretty much seals the deal with one sentiment: “Anyway, I’ll miss you. There aren’t many people I like left. There. Is that a better pep talk?” These moments of soul-baring are beautiful, but rare. When we see Kalinda later, frantically trying to get into the courtroom after she’s heard the gunshots, calling for Will, our hearts start to break. When she, along with Diane, are the ones who find his dead body, left alone on a bed in the ER, we break down with the two women.
Will’s very last scene with Diane finds the woman questioning how he is handling the case of Jeffrey Grant. “You think I’ve lost my perspective?” Diane questions the innocence of Grant, to which neither Will nor Kalinda give a straight answer. As the partners go back and forth on the logistics of the case and whether or not the correct questions are being asked, Kalinda tries, more than once, to leave them to continue the conversation in private. They both stop her every time. An attempt at humor that I found funny the first time, but after rewatching it, find it bittersweet seeing as it’s the last time they’re all together when Will is alive.
The former lovers had reached a stage where they made their way past their discretions. The hate that harbored between the two of them for the better part of this season melted away in the last episode. That alone, is what will make Will’s death and how Alicia deals with it resonate so profoundly for viewers. We witnessed Alicia receive a phone call from Grant’s parents where they asked her to step in and give her opinion on his case, which she declined. Alicia then went to court to warn Will who, although skeptical at first, genuinely thanked her. Then there were smiles.
“We might have our differences, but you’re the better lawyer.”
“I am, aren’t I?”
“And the more humble.”
I don’t know whether to cry my eyes out over this being their last words to each other or be happy that there were genuine smiles, laughter, and joking between them for their last time talking to each other. What I do know is that, as a lover of Alicia and Will as a couple, my heart is in a million pieces. They will never be together now. Not even as friends. Alicia has, literally, lost her best friend. What broke my heart and made me smile at the same time was Diane’s immediate thought to call Alicia when they arrived at the hospital and then Kalinda doing the same when they realized he had died. I found it hard to believe at first, but after thinking about it, I can see why it should not have surprised me.
All of which brings forth a slew of new questions. How deeply will Will’s death impact Alicia’s life and future? How does Diane deal with it and, in turn, what does this mean for Lockhart/Gardner? We saw Kalinda cry for, what I believe, is the second time in the history of this show. What ramifications will the death of Will have on her?
Cary Agos wasn’t Will’s biggest fan, but he has developed a beautiful friendship with Alicia and, just like everyone else, he knew the feelings they shared. He also is now currently seeing Kalinda romantically. The two women in his life will be shattered by this turn of events, how, if at all, will he help them cope and heal?
Peter Florrick, for numerous reasons, should feel some sort of relief (sick as it sounds) over Will’s death. Will he or will the sight of his wife, broken over the death of her best friend and former lover, make him feel differently? Eli Gold knows, since he heard the voicemail with his own ears, how Will felt about Alicia. As much as it may hurt her to hear now that he’s gone, am I alone in feeling that maybe, just maybe, it’s time he fessed up and told Alicia about it? For once, I want Alicia to be consoled, supported. Bring her family on for HER.
I want to scream. I want to hate. I want to rage. I want to hunt down those responsible for this and make them feel the way I do. I want to say I will never ever watch this show again. However, in the end, I cannot deny that this was an extremely ballsy move on the Kings’ part and they did a phenomenal job writing it.
This will go down in history, and my life, as the most heartbreaking, shocking death on a television show. While I feel like my heart cannot handle anymore, we still have the aftermath to watch unfold. Last night, The Good Wife proved why it is quintessentially the best show on television. Next week and going forward, Julianna Margulies will prove why she has, and will continue to, win all major awards by ripping our hearts out.
I already miss Will Gardner more than should be allowed given the amount of time that has passed, but I so look forward to this new leg on the journey of the evolution of Alicia Florrick.
If you haven’t seen them yet, check out the promo for the rest of season 5 and the trailer for the next episode “The Last Call”, both of which will take what’s left of your heart and smash it to smithereens. Then, hit the comment box and let me know how you feel. Let’s trade stories and console each other.
I loved the show. In my own, real life, I have experienced a sudden, completely unexpected death of someone close to me. It’s hard to explain how it feels to those who haven’t gone through it. It truly changes you, in a moment. For a lot of viewers, hopefully this is the closest they’ll ever come to that kind of gutwrenching loss.
I look forward to seeing how Alicia changes and grows after this.
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