Brilliant. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of last night’s episode of The Good Wife. Absolute brilliance. The gifted writers and supremely talented cast of this fabulous show took this horrible tragedy and presented us with a heartbreaking, yet beautiful episode.
Viewers everywhere sat down to watch “The Last Call” with wine and tissues on hand, fully prepared to have their hearts ripped to shreds as the news of Will Gardner’s death spread and we bore witness to everyone’s reactions. Specifically, the reactions of the women in Will’s life; Alicia Florrick, Diane Lockhart and Kalinda Sharma. The three women reacted and dealt with the news in different ways. Ways that were true to their character. I’d like to talk about that.
“Will was a good man. And I loved him.”
Kalinda chose to be the one to call Alicia and deliver the news. A gesture I am so happy the writers included. True to her nature, she didn’t stand around and cry. Kalinda wanted answers and she went in search of them. She was present as the guard whose gun Jeffrey Grant stole to kill Will was questioned. She was present as Grant himself was interrogated. Apparently, they weren’t entirely sure if Grant was the one who actually did fire the bullet that fatally wounded Will. Kalinda clearly had no intention of stopping her search until she found the answers she was looking for. Then she did finally learn that Grant was indeed the person responsible for his death. Kalinda saw Will one last time, on that table. She covered him with a sheet and allowed herself a brief moment to grieve her friend. She then paid a final visit to Jeffrey Grant to ask him why he did it and to give him a chance to take his own life in return. Or so he thought. In the end, she told him that he was going to live with what he had done. One of the many powerful, deep moments in the show. Kalinda, I bow down to you.
Diane arrived back at the offices of Lockhart/Gardner with a heavy heart and clearly in shock. She knew she had to tell the partners, but she first needed a moment to collect herself and went to her office. Sitting at her desk, we see her look up and straight ahead into Will’s office. She starts crying and so do we. We watch as she delivers the news of Will’s death, numb. She fires an intern who’s making a scene crying over Will in the hallway, an intern who’d only been there for a week. All the while, Diane is holding back her tears. She will not let them fall, not in front of them. Then Alicia walks off of the elevator, they make eye contact and her resolve is broken. Diane embraces her (in a hug we now all want to receive) and they cry together.
Diane: “I loved him.”
Alicia: “I know.”
Diane: “He loved YOU.”
What existed between Alicia and Will, laid out before them, finally acknowledged by Diane. An acknowledgement Alicia has no response to. We get to see Diane fire a client, simply for being an insensitive jerk causing us to high-five anybody or anything within our reach.
“You think God is good. I don’t find any good here.”
Alicia’s reaction is the one we were all waiting to see; and the one that hurt the most. As we knew it would. From the moment her eyes filled with tears upon hearing Kalinda tell her Will was dead. To her pleading with Eli, with just those eyes, not to make her go on that podium to introduce Peter. To the car ride where she finds herself having random flashbacks of him and breaking down in tears, taking all of us with her.
She’s numb, in shock, heads straight to Lockhart/Gardner and breaks down again in Diane’s arms. We watch, with aching hearts, as she checks her voicemails, finding one from Will. Our hearts stop as she listens and then turns to look into his office, making us weep from the look on her face. She starts to cry…again. Presses play on the voicemail…again. Listens…with tears streaming down her face. At this point, we all start to wonder if we’ll make it out of this episode with our tear ducts intact. Then she starts to create different versions of what she thinks the voicemail may have been in her head and we realize we won’t.
Like Kalinda, she wants answers too. Specifically, why he was calling her. She sets out to find anyone that might be able to answer that. She finds herself at the very courtroom it all happened in. Finds the judge that was presiding over the case. He took her in and gave her a detailed description of what happened. As she looked around at the blood and mess of the courtroom, our hearts break even more. When he tells her that Finn Polmar was with him at the end, she goes to the hospital to try to talk to him. She has a cruel hallucination of some sort. One where she sees Will, alive and well, telling her it was all a mistake (Way to sucker punch us, writers!). Then Finn’s assistant appears and manages to make Alicia feel like Will was calling her because he was angry with her. We all found ourselves wishing death upon Maria after that. She calls Kalinda. ALICIA. CALLED. KALINDA.
Alicia: “I’m going crazy.”
Kalinda: “I know.”
Alicia: “I…I don’t know what to do, Kalinda.”
We sob. We’re treated to a beautifully written scene between Alicia and Grace where her atheism comes out to question Grace’s belief in a God that she doesn’t understand. Grace cries with her mother and we cry with them. Alicia visits a very high on painkillers Finn in the hospital after he calls her. She thanks him for trying to save Will and we break down in tears. Finn manages to fix his assistant’s mistake by telling Alicia that when Will stepped out of their plea bargaining session, he was actually angry with Damian. Thank you, Finn. Thank you SO much. Maria, I guess you get to live another day.
Upon returning home, Alicia is faced with Peter asking her if she’s alright (insert eye roll here) and telling her he’s really sorry. He hugs her. She doesn’t hug him back. Instead, we get the final version of what she imagined his voicemail to her to be.
Will: “Alicia, I’m sorry. I want what we had. I wanna be with you. And only you. Forever. Call me back, please.”
Watching that and typing it out here now, I literally feel my Alicia/Will loving heart breaking into a million pieces and those pieces breaking into a million more. We’ll never know why he was calling her. Never. But, we now know what she would have wanted it to be. That’s what I took away from that.
However, the fact that we’ll never know leaves me with a sense of…I don’t know…but it’s surely not closure. Maybe some viewers did, but I did not get closure from this. I’m also left to wonder if there’s more to Finn’s last moments with Will. He was incredibly drugged up on painkillers when Alicia visited him. Who’s to say he remembered everything at that moment? Will we ever know? Call me a masochist, but as happy as I am that I did not have to endure witnessing Alicia see Will’s dead body, isn’t it a little weird that she didn’t?
Honorable mention to David Lee and his one strangled sob after learning about Will. Mr. Lee, I didn’t know there was a beating heart in that chest of yours. You made me tear up. Also, to Cary Agos; who opened up a can of whoop ass on the opposing attorney in his deposition as his way of dealing with the shock after learning about Will. High-five for you, too, Cary.
While I will never, ever get over the death of Will Gardner or recover from the shock of it…and yes, my shipper heart has died with him – I am looking forward to the rest of this season like children look forward to Santa’s creepy visit to their home every December. As well as awards season. Oh yes. Cannot wait to watch Julianna Margulies and The Good Wife win all of the awards. All of them. Hand them right over.
We have a break next weekend to allow us to get a handle on our emotions as the show takes Sunday off so that the Country Music Awards show can air. If you haven’t seen the promo for the next episode, check it out below and then hit the comment box and let me know your thoughts!