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The Aftermath, The Good Wife “The Last Call” 

Photo Credit: CBS
Photo Credit: CBS

Last week was pretty brutal. As you know, in “Dramatics, Your Honor,” Josh Charles‘ Will Gardner was shot and ultimately died from his wounds. When Kalinda and Diane arrived at the hospital, it seemed like Will was still alive and that the doctors were frantically working on him. But he wasn’t and they weren’t. Kalinda found Will in an exam area right down the hall. It was devastating to see Will’s lifeless body lying there and it was even more upsetting to see Kalinda and Diane’s reactions. And that wasn’t the worst of it. We were all waiting. Waiting to see how Alicia would take the news.

I think I might have to do this in a sort of unorganized, I’m-going-start-typing-whatever-comes-to-me-sort-of-way, because I’m upset. Really upset. Don’t get me wrong, I think this twist is truly inspired. Robert and Michelle King knew Josh Charles wanted to leave the show and try new things. Julianna Margulies was able to convince him to stay beyond the end of season 4, which was the end of his contract. The fact that she and the producers were able to convince him to stay on through most of this season speaks volumes. To me, it means he truly enjoyed working on this show with this group of people. To me, it means that he believed in the King’s vision for the end of Will Gardner’s storyline. Before I even watched the episode, I knew something big went down because of social media. I knew it was huge and upsetting. I had no idea it was this big though and thank goodness I didn’t get spoiled before I watched the episode. But I have to say, I already like where this twist is taking us.

Anyone who has ever read any of my Good Wife recaps knows how much I love Zach Grenier‘s David Lee. I mean, this is his greatest role to date in my opinion, and he’s had a long and varied career. There is something so honest and intelligent in his portrayal of this complex (and often vile) character. I really can’t get enough. But when he has to take a moment in the conference room alone after he finds out about Will’s death? Wow. So moving. I also love his interaction with Diane after she fires a Bob Klepper (and how about Diane telling other firms to stay the hell away from him? God, I love her). The softer side of David Lee looks good on him, but I love that we only see flashes of it.

I also loved Matt Czuchry‘s Cary Agos in this episode. He seemed so out of it during the deposition, but as soon as it was his turn to cross-examine Dr. Levine he tears into him. And when opposing counsel tries to delay, Cary showed us just how cut throat he can be. I saw hints of a fiery Will Gardner in there and I liked it. Cary wants to destroy this man for taking advantage of Candace and I want to watch him do it.

I loved that Kalinda fell back on what she does best in this time of crisis. She used her investigative skills to find out what happened in that courtroom. Jeffrey Grant’s new lawyer argues that there’s no way to tell whose bullet killed Will since there was crossfire once SWAT and the other sheriffs started shooting. But Kalinda, with the help of her former lover Det. Jenna Villette, chased down the truth. And, in fact, it was Grant who’s responsible for Will’s death. Since she, like Alicia, is floundering it seemed like she might be prone to making some bad decisions. I was worried when she went to see Grant in his holding cell. She managed to get him alone and ask him if he wanted to kill himself. She was able to get his belt out of property and told him he’d have a ten minute window to end his life, if that’s what he really wanted. Only, when he went to grab for the belt Kalinda moved it out of his reach. She told Grant he’d killed a good man and that he’d have to live with that. In some ways, I think Kalinda is a much better person than I am. Because I would have also told Grant that they’d found the evidence to clear him of the murder and that if he’d been patient and believed in Will – who might have been the only person to believe in Grant’s innocence – he’d be a free man right now. And then I would have told him to live with that.

I love (and hate) and Will’s death brings Alicia and Diane back together. They’re both feeling such a deep and profound loss. They’re both reeling. The difference, of course, is that Diane and Will were on great terms; Alicia and Will were not. I love that Diane tells Alicia she can stay. Did she mean that day or that she and Cary would be welcomed back to the firm? I like both options, but I don’t want Alicia and Cary back at LG (it’s weird and strange, but I don’t want to type out the full name of the firm knowing it will change soon). I want Alicia and Cary to continue with their firm. They broke away for a reason and even this shouldn’t weaken their resolve to do things their own way.

I think the most surprising and upsetting part of the episode, though, was watching Alicia listen to those three voice mails she missed. The first was from Kalinda. The second was from Diane. The last was from Will. That truly surprised me. I was so scared to hear his final words to her. I had hoped they weren’t words spoken in anger or betrayal, but it’s unclear in his message. Will says he’ll call her back. So Alicia does some investigating of her own. At first we think Will’s final thoughts about her weren’t good. She and Cary had just poached another client from LG. But with the help of ASA Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode, who is now a series regular), we discover that’s not the case. Polmar even helped get Will out of the crossfire after he went down and took at least one bullet for his trouble. And he was there and held Will’s hand as they waited for paramedics to arrive. He tells Alicia Will kept trying to say something, he kept opening his mouth. But whatever it was died with him. Finn doesn’t know what Will’s thoughts were when he called Alicia. And there’s no way Alicia (or we) will ever know. But in the end, she imagines that his final words to her were about them reuniting. Sigh. Whether or not that’s true (and I kind of hope it wasn’t), they always had the worst timing.

I can’t wait to see who else Will’s death affects and how they deal with their grief or anger or doubt – or any other feelings his untimely passing stirs up. I’ve always loved this show and I hope it never stops surprising me. What will this do to Alicia and Peter’s marriage? Is this the thing that repairs Alicia and Kalinda’s friendship? Will Alicia and Diane continue their cease-fire? How will this affect Alicia and Cary? I can’t wait to find out.

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.

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