The Good Wife Fall Finale Recap: The Agony of Delete

The Good Wife‘s all-time greatest episode — no, there isn’t really room for debate on this one – was titled “Hitting the Fan.” (You remember, of course, the unbearable tension and scorched-earth aftermath of Will and Diane learning Alicia and Cary were plotting to launch their own firm — and taking Lockhart-Gardner clients with ’em.)

Seven-hundred-seventy-seven days later, the less-ominously titled (for the uninitiated) “KSR” finds an even uglier secret bubbling to the surface. But riddle me this: Given the fact that creators Robert and Michelle King have made every Season 7 title a single word, how could they resist a direct line to “Hitting the Fan” by simply calling the hour “S–t!!!!!”?

OK, so I could pretend to care about recapping the other details of the hour — Lockhart-Agos-Lee’s associates threatening to jump ship to Louis Canning’s firm; Alicia and Quinn defending a pedicatric surgeon on charges of conspiring to commit kidnapping and rape; polls rising (yes, that’s a euphemism) between Eli and Courtney; Courtney hiring Jason for a two-month gig in San Jose (the better, Ruth surmises, to wash him out of Alicia’s hair) — but that would be burying the only thing anyone’s ever going to remember about the show’s Dec. 13, 2015 installment.

Eli finally tells Alicia the truth about deleting her voicemail — the one he intercepted back in Season 2, where Will follows up his “let’s call the whole thing off” with his declaration of “I love you” — after getting the post-coital brushoff from Courtney.

Much like the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes after discovering the true meaning of Christmas, Eli’s own ticker undergoes some rapid expansion after learning the true meaning of heartbreak.

As the episode ends, Eli shows up to apologize for Jason’s exit — he had no idea, he says — and the campaign guru and the candidate’s wife sit down for margaritas at her living room table. After explaining Courtney’s hasty exit due to work-related reasons and how it’s broken his heart, Eli reiterates his regret over Jason exiting Alicia’s life, then encourages her to call him. “Don’t let the campaign get in your way,” he pleads. “Six years ago you got a message from Will Gardner – a voicemail — and I erased it. You were about to go on stage and stand next to Peter for his S.A. run and I didn’t want to hurt that… I listened to the voicemail. Will said he loved you and would give up everything to be with you. And I erased it. I never let you hear it, and I’ve been sick about it ever since. And I don’t want to stand in the way of your happiness again. That’s why I’m sorry.”

And with that, an almost expressionless Alicia slides Eli’s glass away from him, and then demands, “Get out.”

Happy holidays, Good Wife fans! Hope you can hold out ’til Season 7 resumes on Jan. 10, 2016! (Oh, and yes, this was the answer to TVLine’s most recent Blind Item!)

What did you think of the Good Wife’s fall finale? Did the voicemail confession catch you by surprise? Hit the comments with your thoughts!