I felt something when I found out The Good Wife was ending. I was well aware of the universal opinion that it had gone downhill. I personally agree, though not entirely. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), who we loved and rooted for in the beginning, had become hard to understand, or even like. So why was I still watching when something was clearly missing? I needed closure but I wasn’t sure I would ever get it.
I’m not very hip- I learned what “ship” and “OTP” meant from my uber cool fanperson buddy, Mint. When I learned what they meant, I shrugged. I couldn’t think of two characters that I ship. Finally, it dawned on me kinda like when Cher realized she loved Josh! My favorite ship/OTP for life is Willicia: Alicia Florrick and Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Yes I know she’s married, but he was the one who got away and so was she for him. Their love was true and he brought out the best in her. Her marriage to the sloppy mess we know as Peter (Chris Noth), kept her balled up like a feeble little wimp, but her affair with Will lit a fire in her belly. I don’t encourage extramarital affairs-they actually make me cringe a little when I see them on TV, but this was different. This was One True Pairing.
Josh Charles’ last season on the show was certainly the best of the series. The drama had reached an intense peak and this role proved to be perfect for him. Charles and Margulies had incredible on-screen chemistry; seeing them together still makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Willicia was the best “will they/won’t they” of any drama in my opinion. As you can imagine, I bawled when Will died. The tears were mostly because his murder was unexpected and tragic, but also because my favorite TV pseudo-couple would never happen.
So many questions remain unanswered: What if Eli (Alan Cumming) had let Alicia hear that message all those years ago? Watch it again and cry along with me.
What if Alicia and Will had taken a real chance at being together? What if she hadn’t left to start her own firm with Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry), causing Will to possibly despise her in his last days?
Well he didn’t despise her. He was still in love with her; that’s something we do know. However we will never know what he wanted to say to her right before that moment he was killed. Alicia, girl! I was crying right there with you. Although I knew I would never get these questions answered I continued to miss Will. I missed Willicia. I knew I had to accept Will was gone but I continued mourning him along with Alicia, even two seasons later.
After Charles left the show, it started to stink, just a little. All of The Good Wifers of the world tried to deny it but it was true. The writers had to work around his decision to leave and we felt the pain. The direction felt like it was gone, along with the magic. There were good episodes but as a whole it just wasn’t great anymore. This is a show I convinced people to watch, but it became a show I barely admitted I was still watching. There were episodes when I would shout “What is going on?!” I wanted to text my sister or my co-worker to rant but they had already thrown in the towel. I held onto it, faithfully- even though my OTP could never be.
I spent this last season alone, with no one to turn to. It was just me, Alicia, and the rest of the gang. I didn’t mind though. The series finale aired against Game of Thrones so it hit the back burner for me, but it did close out my night.
This is the show that made me fall in love with Alan Cumming, reaffirmed my love for Christine Baranski, and made me see Chris Noth as “Evil Big.” Believe it or not, this show made me appreciate Margulies, whom I had previously thought was mediocre at best. Sorry/Not Sorry. It also made me enjoy the law, and prepared me for the political corruption of House of Cards- OK not quite as corrupt. It made me enjoy romance on workplace TV shows, which I often hate (unless it’s Michael Scott and Holly Flax). I will always love the fact that this show featured underrated Broadway talents like Renee Elise Goldsberry, Nikki M. James, and Leslie Odom Jr. (I know it was a small part, but it counts!). I could go on and on about the talent: Stockard Channing, Carrie Preston, Martha Plimpton, Gary Cole, the lovely Vanessa L. Williams, Michael Ealy, Taye Diggs and the always wonderful Michael J. Fox! OK, I can’t name everyone but they had great guest stars- sometimes they felt like a crutch but they usually felt just right. TGW wasn’t afraid to feature people of color and powerful women, while also pointing out those people of color and powerful women. It showed vulnerability and used humor to tell dramatic stories. I’ll miss extending my DVR for my show that often slid for NFL and NCAA Basketball. I’ll certainly miss the halls of Stern/Lockhart/Gardner/Florrick/Agos/Lee or whatever it may have ended up being called.
As much as I’ll miss the series, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about its finale. Then again, I’m not quite sure how I feel about most series finales. They can’t all be Breaking Bad, let’s just accept it. I’ll love this one because of Will. Yep, Josh Charles came back so we could properly say “goodbye.” Seeing Alicia still seek guidance and validation from him spiritually, made me smile. Sure, she had someone waiting to love her but Will was still number one. The mysterious, witty and sexy investigator Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) loves Alicia so much it hurts but Alicia told imaginary Will what most of us were thinking: “Jason’s not you.” Damn skippy he’s not! This show also made me appreciate Morgan but she was right, Jason is not Will. The way the show ended, we’ll never know what her relationship with Jason became but either way, she was free. Will’s spirit told her to go get her love and she finally let go of Peter. Watching Alicia walk away from Peter when he reached for her hand as he resigned from his role as Governor made me feel sorry for him for the first time. More importantly, it made me cheer for her again. We’d seen her hold his hand and stand by his side enough- it was time for her to stand on her own two feet. Then, there’s Jason and his mind games. Maybe he was a good match for Alicia but damn if she was gonna chase him down to find out. Good for you Alicia! Goodbye Willicia, Hello Alicia- finally able to be her own woman for a change.
I shed a tear when the show’s credits came on the screen because it’s the end of an era. I was connected to this cast and its characters. The Good Wife may have let me down at times, including some moments in the finale, but it brought me much more joy than disappointment. Alicia is flawed and that’s what made her so interesting. She started off the kind, doting (good) wife, oblivious to her husband’s behavior. Then, she began her journey to discover who she really was, messing up many times along the way. Whatever happened to Alicia as the credits rolled, we know it’s because she made it so.
By the way, seeing her get slapped by Diane Lockhart (Baranski) at the very end- WOW that was worth every minute!