Grief manifests itself in so many ways. Sunday’s (March 30) episode of “The Good Wife” put several versions of grief on display in a wonderful tribute to a beloved character.
Obviously, Alicia’s grief was going to be front and center of the episode but the writers took a gut-wrenchingly realistic look at how death really affects people’s lives. Alicia got a voicemail from Will shortly before the courtroom shooting and it … said nothing. He said her name, got interrupted and said he’d have to call her back.
Instead of going for some dramatic voicemail — like the ones Alicia plays out in her head, where Will is angry or conciliatory or loving towards her — the show made both their last in-person meeting and the last time Alicia will hear Will’s voice entirely inconsequential.
It doesn’t stop Alicia from running around trying to make sense of the voicemail, needing reassurance that he didn’t die angry with her for poaching his clients. It’s heartbreaking to watch, as is the final scene where Alicia finally returns home and meets up with Peter.
Peter handles all of this as well as he can. He’s not stupid, he knows what Will means to Alicia and he knows he can’t be anything but generous and understanding about her grief. We don’t actually think Peter would be anything else, even if he had hated Will Garder (and he didn’t hate him, exactly. There were things about Will Peter liked very much), but you can almost see Peter’s wheels turning about how exactly to act around his wife.
They may have ended the episode in an embrace, but that was a forced embrace on Peter’s part and Alicia might as well have run screaming for the reticence and lack of warmth she displayed. That hug said 1000 words about where the Florrick marriage is headed.
The others’ grief
At Lockhart & Gardner, Diane is tasked with having to tell the partners what happened. We were not surprised at all by her crying, then pulling herself together to deliver the news, then crying again when Alicia arrives.
What was surprising was David Lee’s reaction, as he ran off to be alone so he could break down. It was also nice to see him back up Diane in the face of the partner who was pressuring them for reassurances.
Meanwhile, Kalinda’s out to find out if Jeffrey Grant or friendly fire is what actually killed Will. When she discovers the fatal bullet came from Grant (who, as it turns out, killed the doctor who was testifying and only shot Will when Will tried to wrestle the gun away), Kalinda confronts Grant in jail and takes out her Kalinda-style justice by reminding just what a monumentally atrocious and life-ruining thing Grant just did, offering him a way out via suicide and then snatching it away and telling him to live with himself.
Finally, Cary is forced into a deposition by a snot-rag lawyer who could not care less that someone is dead, so Cary turns into Scary Cary, eyes blazing and voice raised, when the snot-rag and his client later try to delay the depo after some damaging evidence is brought to light. Cary can’t be with Diane and Alicia, to give and receive comfort, so instead, he channels his grief into fire.
Thoughts & Tidbits
- What does this mean going forward? Margulies has said in interviews that Will’s death will make Alicia question everything about her life and, as we said, the hug she “shares” with Peter does not bode well for the Florricks, methinks.
- Who it does bode well for, perhaps, is Diane. Do you think Lockhart & Gardner can survive this? Would Diane even want it to? On the one hand, just based on this episode alone, we think we would enjoy watching Diane and David Lee run a law firm, but we’d also kind of like to see them back with their former co-workers.
- Everyone from the titular star right on down to Hunter Parrish as Jeffrey Grant deserves an Emmy for this episode. It’s strange, but the one that got us the most? Alan Cumming as Eli. The way his eyes were just constantly shimmering with tears as he tried to hold himself together was beautiful.
- What do you think of newcomer Matthew Goode as Finn Polmar? He’s obviously a good man, based on what we learned about the shooting, so we’re curious to see if he’s a foil for Florrick/Agos, or a friend.
What did you think of “The Last Call”?