good wife diane slap

The Good Wife: Why Alicia's Ending Was a Triumph of Structure Over Truth

The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King have said time and time again that their story was, at its heart, about “the education of Alicia Florrick.”

In the wake of the sometimes brilliant series’ disappointing finale, here’s hoping the Kings learned something, too: It’s perilous to write toward a specific visual endgame without laying the groundwork to support it.

Consider this passage from the Kings’ open letter to fans, posted on on Monday morning, that explained their show’s final hour: “We wanted this series — a series that stretched over 156 episodes — to have some shape, some structural meaning. So after we realized we wouldn’t be cancelled after 13 episodes, we started to devise a vanishing point we could write toward. That structure, in our minds, was simple. The show would start with a slap and end with a slap. Each slap would involve Alicia. This would be the bookend. She would slap someone who victimized her at the beginning of the series; and she would be slapped by someone she ‘victimized’ at the end.”

Here’s the problem, though. In their failure to make Alicia’s betrayal of Diane feel truthful, meaningful or even plausible — and in littering their final spate of episodes with superfluous, unresolved story arcs — the Kings never made that slap feel truly earned.

And as TVLine readers’ average D+ grade for the finale shows, the end result wasn’t a profound and tragic revelation about a complicated heroine, but a tennis ball plopping against the net at the exact moment we were expecting an overhead smash.

For starters, too much of Season 7’s latter half — and almost the entirety of the finale — was built around the fate of Peter Florrick… a man for whom Alicia has felt ambivalent at best over the last few years. (I’ll admit I LOL’d at a reader’s sarcastic but spot-on comment on my recap of Sunday’s episode: “50 minutes dedicated to the entire Peter case. Yeah, that’s how I wanted them to wrap up seven seasons of The Good Wife.”)

AD_Backdown1bHeck, Alicia herself told Diane she wasn’t even sure she cared if Peter was guilty or innocent, whether he went to jail or not, midway through the finale (right after she learned that tests on the missing bullets pointed to Richard Locke’s guilt, and undercut Peter’s defense that he didn’t push for a mistrial to help the son of his wealthy donor). So how are we supposed to believe she’d suddenly feel a surge of passion to defend him — to the point where she’d publicly humiliate her law partner in open court just for a chance to sway the jury?

The Kings wrote in their open letter that “Even [Alicia’s] decision in this last episode — the one that resulted in Diane being hurt — came out of her parental need to keep Grace from following in her path. She didn’t want Grace to put her future on hold in order to stand by Peter.” That logic, however, was never made clear in their script, not a huge surprise considering Alicia’s argument with Grace about her decision to defer admission at Berkeley lasted all of 34 seconds.

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What’s more, the foundation of the Alicia-Diane showdown was murky at best, ridiculous at worst, and riddled with questions that never got answered. Wasn’t it always a tad too convenient that of all the ballistics experts who could’ve done the preliminary on the years-old Locke case, it turned out to be Diane’s husband? Why did Diane take Peter’s case when he royally screwed her out of a judgeship? Given Alicia just regained her partnership at Lockhart-Lee (or whatever they planned to call it) — and knowing a law partnership typically requires a sizable capital investment – would Alicia have so capriciously pushed Lucca to expose Kurt’s affair with Holly in court… and irreparably damage said partnership? (At some point, Alicia’s firm-hopping habit would give her clients some pause, no?) And wouldn’t Lucca have had some hesitation in the matter, considering the risk of losing her job for making such a public accusation against her boss’s husband? Frankly, even Lucca’s argument — that bias from an affair may have caused Kurt to change his testimony — seemed too flimsy to cause a complete change of heart over whether or not to allow the jury to consider the damning new ballistics test.

Even if you buy all of the above leaps in logic, think about this: As my colleague Michael Ausiello asked this morning on Twitter: Why did Diane choose to deliver her slap at Peter’s end-of-episode press conference? Wouldn’t she have done it in the courthouse or back at the office after Kurt’s cross-examination? “The bookend doesn’t ring true if the steps leading up to it feel inauthentic/contrived,” Mr. Ausiello noted, and I wholeheartedly concur.

Look, we’ll always have “Hitting the Fan” — hands down, one of the greatest single dramatic episodes in TV history — as a high mark in seven years of bold, ambitious storytelling choices. It just so happens that the Kings’ final twist missed its mark, played like a stale Twinkie at the end of an otherwise lovely seven-course meal. Hopefully for them — and for the show’s loyal fans — time and a little perspective will fade this stinging handprint from The Good Wife‘s overall legacy.

What did you think of The Good Wife‘s final slap? Did structure get in the way of storytelling? Or were you satisfied with the conclusion? Take our polls below, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. pecola says:

    Whatever the Kings do next, I hope that in the interim, they find a way to rid themselves of the contempt they tend to show for their viewers

    • I don’t think they write to please their viewers. They write to tell a story.

      • Stacey says:

        So true. The show was also ending. There was no need to write for the fans or the critics to have it all end in a happy bow. They were doing it how the believed it should end for Alicia. It could have done cleaner, and tighter sure but Alicia has always been a complicated character and for her to end like this, ambiguous and tragic is probably true given all she’s done or been through… We can imagine her next route she would take.

        • I completely agree, Stacey. I think they’re doing what a lot of other shows have done (Dexter, The Sopranos, and Nurse Jackie come to mind), which is to tell the story their way.

          It’s kind of fun to leave it ambiguous because we each get to imagine what’s next for Alicia, rather than having the writers tell us what happens.

          • David Graf says:

            I think we’re missing the point. Over the seven years, the overriding story arc of the protagonist was how she became as big of a jerk as her husband. I’m not sure I would have invested the time in this series if I knew that the honest title of the show should have been “Alicia morphs into Peter”.

          • Stacey says:

            David: Alicia’s ending would have been Will, but circumstances changed and it became how that regret changed her. She became different. I think her journey was true. She stated naïve, and ended up due to circumstances of her own choosing, and fate a different person and someone she didn’t like in the beginning. And now in the future, we can imagine her changing and figuring herself out. It has been said the slap is supposed wake her up to who she had become, and the question is can she fix it or will she end up somewhere else. Will she end up on the Eli and Peter path, in politics, or at the lawfirm if she can patch things with Diane who was just as much a hyprocrite or somewhere else wih Jason.

          • Cherie says:

            It was one of the most anticipated and ended up being the most disappointing season finales ever! No closure on anything. Very unhappy…it was like …what???

      • rowan77 says:

        Exactly. Why do some fans think they have the power to control the artistic integrity of a show? What an inflated sense of self.

        • David Graf says:

          Considering that the show’s writers flubbed the “artistic integrity” big time in the finale and couldn’t even explain themselves afterwards, you can’t blame fans for trying to rectify the situation.

          • rowan77 says:

            I don’t think you understand what artistic integrity actually means. Artistic integrity means that they stayed true to their vision and didn’t bow to pressure (from fans or perhaps the studio or the network) to change the story they wanted to tell. If anything the finale (as much as I really disliked it) was the epitome of artistic integrity on the part of the Kings. I agree their explanation was muddy at best, but they did what THEY wanted.

        • Carol Pate says:

          The audience is why they are writing, to entertain us. This is not artistric intregity, it is a feeble attempt tp push a spinoff. This is television, and on the last season of a decent series we can expect to see a decent conclusion. We pay the bills by advertising response. We stop watching, advertisers drop their show and take their money with them.

          • rowan77 says:

            Actually the audience pays maybe ½ the bills at most through advertising dollars..

            And you still don’t seem to know what artistic integrity means. What it doesn’t mean is doing what the audience wants instead of keeping true to your vision. It has nothing to do with you liking it or not – as hard as that seems for you to understand. Their having artistic integrity has NOTHING to do with what you want for the show.

      • and who do they write the stories FOR? The trees and the moon?

    • Susanne says:

      I feel utter contempt was shown to loyal viewers with this ending of what has been a fabulous show over a long time. Very disappointed.

  2. Yes, the details were bungled along the way. But the ending made sense. Alicia’s realization that she’s become just as bad as her husband.( Which is why she and Peter sort of deserved each other.)

    • David4 says:

      But you should explain your story in your episodes so fans enjoy the conclusion. If you need to explain and defend it afterwards you failed as a writer.

    • Jeanine says:

      I think the slap could have meant many things to Alicia and it’s up to how we interpret it as to what way she will head. I didn’t want her to end up with Peter or Jason so I guess this is how it ends – her alone. I thought it was a little forced – bringing Will back like that. I probably liked Cary’s ending more than anyone and he was, by far, my least favorite character on the show. He at least found something admirable to do with his life and figured out he didn’t fit into that world. I wish we could have seen Kalinda – she was always my favorite character.

      I am not sure how I wanted to see Alicia end up. At peace with her self and her choices? Self-aware? Instead I feel like she learned nothing over the years except to live a lie remain alone. Not alone because she’s not in a relationship but because she doesn’t know herself yet. Will told her that – didn’t he? How little self-awareness she has? Maybe that’s the point of the entire episode – she’s lived her life out of duty and to preserve an image (her own, marriage, the firm, etc) and not because she was truly authentic.

    • David Graf says:

      Why do you think that Alicia had any kind of moral epiphany at all after the slap? I think you could more likely say that she shrugged it off with a tear and went forward on the same path to the dark side that she had been following for some time now.

  3. maregolden says:

    One of the greatest shows ever to be on TV, with one of the most disappointing endings. I will not be watching the new show from these writers, Braindead, because apparently they are.

    • But looking at the show over all, did you really expect them to be the type to conclude it neatly and in a way that pleased fans?

      • Anne says:

        It didn’t need to be a neat finale, it needed to be in character and in line with the series. Which is wasn’t.

        • luli101 says:

          I agree. Over the past few episodes it felt like Alicia was moving toward this authentic person who is aware of what she wants and is not afraid to go there. Then, in the finale, we get this twisted version of Alicia who is none of those things. Not only was it structure above story, it was character mutilation above story.

      • Justine says:

        Aren’t shows on tv there to please fans? Isn’t that the whole point?

    • Sam says:

      That felt like a regular filler episode. Honestly, they should have concluded this in a much better way. And I believe CBS gave them room over the years to tell the story. Not unless it’s all about the spinoff, this was a very disappointing finale.

      I have a feeling the Kings didn’t have a clue how to end this or where it was going. A slap?!! So silly.

    • That’s plain ridiculous. You call this show one of the greatest ever on TV, so why would you punish the Kings by not watching their new show? One thing shouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with another. Don’t let an overreaction be your guide.

      • maregolden says:

        The love I had for the Good Wife was completely soured by the ending. That is why.

        • One episode pulls the rug out from under a seven year run? You’re easily swayed, huh?

          • maregolden says:

            Yes. And I feel the same way about Dexter and How I Met Your Mother.

          • David Graf says:

            The disgust many fans had with Ron Moore’s finale for Battlestar Galactica sunk related series like Caprica. Why invest time and interest into a series if you expect it in the end to give you the literary version of a pile of doo-doo? I will not watch TGW reruns. And, I will be leery of any spinoff if the same people are involved especially JM.

    • Lenna Malinovsky says:

      U can dress it up all u like and intellect the ending all u want, and say that this is what Alicia’s character would of ended up becoming! That’s all intellectual garbage, we as fans of the show for all these years don’t want u to analyze Alicia to death at the ending of the series. It’s fantasy, let the fans have their happy ending. What a disappointment! 👎🏼

  4. Q says:

    I don’t think anything about the slap was contrived. After Luccas assassination of Kurts character last week, he was obviously a very big sore spot for Diane. Did you all miss the scene where she broke down next to him in bed? When Alicia realized that the only way to move past the bullet mess was to destroy Kurt not only professionally but personally, Diane became understandably opposed to the idea. She had pushed him as far as she was willing to last week. So Alicia going behind her back and attacking Kurt anyway was a huge offense. (Before anyone says anything about it being too ambiguous as to whether or not Kurt really did cheat on Diane, the answer is irrelevant. We didn’t hear his answer because we didn’t need to. He might have, he might not have. It doesn’t matter what he said on the stand because Lucca had already succeeded in destroying his testimony just by linking him and Holly together in any unsavory way for the jury).

    You all could have a good point in the whole “Why did Diane do it in the hallway?” Think, but WHO CARES. if you’re willing to pull apart little things like that just to be unhappy, the finale is lost to you anyway. Maybe Diane never went back to the office in the time between the trial and the conference, disgraced by her husbands infidelity and disgusted at how her own defense case backfired on her. It’s not like a month passed between Kurts testimony and the conference–those two things happened in quick succession.

    I didn’t love the finale by any means. It’s a very dark and upsetting ending to a show I desperately wanted to end happily. But you can’t say the Kings didn’t stay true to the story.

    • redjane12 says:

      I agree Diane’s slap was not contrived (or unjustified in my opinion)… Alicia has spent the past few years in a very difficult and dysfunctional marriage that her views of marriage and generally partnerships are very dark…. so I think she underestimated how much of a betrayal it was for her to instruct Luca to expose Kurt in court and in front of his wife (Diane). I think Alicia’s slowly progressed from a very idealised view of life, work and politics to being as cynical and manipulative as Peter…

    • Marguerite says:

      I binge-watched this series on Netflix (Canada) and never warmed up to the Alicia character. But it seemed she just went from naive opportunistic neophyte to conniving opportunistic lawyer over the course of 6 seasons. Learning politics from her corrupt husband and moral ambivilance from her colleagues. But the descent into moral decay seemed contrived. I frankly did not care what happened to her in the end. Her moral compass was off, her relationships with love interests and coworkers were shallow and she had no soul. The star of this show to me was the Diane character. Baranski’s acting was superb and her romance with Kurt wonderfully executed with Gary Cole. I am disappointed that they chose to trash this relationship as a means to an end. I think most people liked this upbeat story arc.

  5. Stacey says:

    While the execution of the finale and episodes surrounding it was clumsy, and not completely on par with prior excellence. I do have to wonder how much of this was due to actor’s availability, and the knowledge the show was actually ending. With the actor playing Cary filimg Gilmore Girls over the last few months…And they had to craft a ending. On other sites, interviews indicate that the Diane role at the end as lawyer might have had been Carrie Preston character but her availability was hampered by her other roles on NBC and the lack of ability to maneuver to make it work at CBS. So they had figure out other ways. And it gave Diane something to do at the end. So she wasn’t stuck in Caryville with little to do. And the ballistic stuff was a classic way of having Kurt come back and Gary Cole and figure way to make it all work out. Down deep Alicia has always felt a pull towards Peter. They have been married good and bad for over twenty years. So as much as it to save Peter from going to jail. It was also to save Grace was sticking around for a year to visit her father in jail and put her college career on hold. While they could have given that discussion more time, I believe it. Once she knew Grace was going to stay. She had to double all efforts to try to save him. And was willing to do anything it. Even though she knew she was leaving him in the end. Also lets face it. Alicia and Diane have always had a more tense relationship since Will died. And their prior partnership failed. So the fact that it was tense in the end probably was true to the show, and Alicia’s journey that took her from naïve back in the work place lawyer to a lawyer who doesn’t mind bending ethical decisions to keep her client safe. Diane does the same thing. But she was just pissed that it mucked up her marriage even more than Diane doing the same thing last week when she got Kurt to compromise his ethics to testify in the first place.

    • cp1945 says:

      I completely agree. Diane is no innocent victim. She acted in her own self-interest the totality of the show, frequently causing Alicia harm. Most egregious: insisting Will end their relationship. How about cheating her out of her partnership money? Freezing her out of the firm after the election? I was pleased to see Alicia put her family’s best interest first over Kurt and Diane. To do otherwise would have been completely out of sync with her character.

  6. A fan of TV says:

    For me, the end of the series was more of a metaphor to the behind-the-scenes drama that circled Juliana all series long – in the end, the central figure is left alone, her allies that helped keep her afloat or successful gone, her sense of herself all she has left.

  7. Jake says:

    I don’t think I agree that it wasn’t earned. Yes, it came quick in the episode and there was no build-up through the season to the slap, but at the same time the show has consistently favoured logic over passion at every turn. And this has been evidenced throughout this season in particular. I’m thinking of when Cary asked Alicia if Diane had approached her and Lucca suggested to Alicia that she tell Cary because they were friends, however, Alicia opted not to in favour for the political logic that not telling him meant: If she didn’t tell him, then she could potentially secure a position of power at her old firm–good business decision.

    There have been many instances throughout the series where Alicia has placed logic over passion, and while the audience cringes at these moments there are rarely any consequences to her actions. At the beginning of the series she rallied against Will & Diane when they made these decisions because they simply didn’t “feel” right, but 3-4 years later, she’s making those decisions.

    And for her malaise over the outcome of the Peter case, Diane’s simple logic of “he’s your client, that’s why you care” caused her to make a logical decision that cost her a friendship, and I think they’ve proven that she’s made similar types of decisions in the past. The slap meant to provide some form of consequence to when she’s gone too far. She’s become too callous at times, too logical, and has placed the needs of her job and her family above all else. She’s done too many things out of obligation, and embarrassing Diane in court and putting her marriage on display like that is a complete 180 to what has been done to her in the past.

    I think it’s totally in character with Alicia that she would do what she needed to help her client, even if she wasn’t entirely all that passionate about the outcome, and it’s quite poignant to see her do to someone else, what has been done to her–namely using her personal life as a political and legal tactic.

    While I don’t think it served as a great ending to the show (I would have liked to see one more episode of what happened afterwards), it fit within the universe and characters in the show. I don’t think it was out of place. I think people found it jarring because everyone wants to believe that Alicia would prioritize friendship over the logic of saving her client.

    • Lee says:

      ITA. Towards the end of the series, I got a feeling that Alicia cared more about winning than anything else. So even if she didn’t care much for Peter–which would’ve been a passionate reason–she still logically wanted to prove everyone else wrong. I think that was her unfortunate transformation: from a good wife to just another rat in the business world. But isn’t this the real world? Why do people hold women to different moral standards than men? Men can lie and cheat–like Peter–and still get elected to governorship. But when women do it–it’s 10x worse! Alicia is such a cold blooded person. Well–what about Peter?! Art imitates life, people! Donald Trump is one of the biggest rats and liars in the face of the earth. But why are more people having difficulty with Hillary’s moral standards than Trump’s? For the record, I liked the finale.

  8. Joan says:

    I was disappointed that the show was about Peters trial. I wanted Alisha to have her own story about her future Would have liked a clear ending to relationships and work. All seemed too ridiculous for a series finale

  9. Gospino says:

    So Alicia got the Animal Farm ending. I actually like that idea. As this article lays out, though, it doesn’t quite work.

  10. CMarie says:

    I’m so disappointed. I get their idea, but then they should have shown her in a downward spiral of questionable actions for more than just the last 10 minutes of the finale. I went back and watched the pilot after the finale, and everything matches (judge and prosecutor are the same, the hallway, the slap and everything else like they said in the statement) but I can’t be the only one who didn’t remember that until I was reminded of it. They got so bogged down about matching the pilot they forgot about the rest of it. Solid thumbs down, Kings.

  11. Kate says:

    Based on what had been mentioned before the finale, I knew I was going to love it or hate it. I even wondered when Alicia went back to the condemned offices that maybe the floor would collapse, she would die in the rubble, and reunite with Will in the afterlife. Then when she was running through the hallway at the end, it reminded me of the actress’s final episode on ER, running through the airport to meet George Clooney. So, I knew there would be no closure there either. It’s a shame we’ve invested all this time on a wonderful show that leaves a bad taste when it’s over.

  12. Me says:

    I loved it! It shows Alicia’s moral decay – it’s something that has been developing season after season and we see its full extent here. I loved the fact that they come full circle with the events from season one. The Good Wife has always been above your average soapy TV series. It has an artistic dimension that this finale has consolidated. In my opinion, the weakest parts of the finale where those concerning Alicia’s love life. The central theme of the series has never been the romance. It was Alicia’s professional evolution and the impact it had on her as a person. And from this perspective, I found the ending perfect.

    • Ani says:

      Of all the comments here, yours is the one that sums it up best. Just can’t resist saying “Me, Too.”

    • Lee says:

      Agreed. I think this show demonstrated how tough it is to keep your integrity if you want to succeed in business. Cary is a perfect example of that. What is he doing now–teaching a law course. But at least he still has his integrity. This is the real world, people. And if you don’t like the ending then you don’t like the real world. But unlike a lot of people–I felt that there was hope in the ending. Alicia needed a wake up call to the type of person she has become. And hopefully the slap will do just that.

      • Lau says:

        Not sure, the way she just dries up her tear, stands still and walks straight like nothing happened, realizing she is alone, will just make her fearless for a political career
        although, she is not alone, she may be lost but not alone she has Lucca as a friend and her brother. And I really don’t think that Jason was made for her, she settled for him to break free from Peter and after that it was more not to be alone. It would have made more sense if she had ended up with Finn Polmar.
        My biggest disappointment about the finale is how Peter got away with it… AGAIN. He was the character I hated the most, more than Bishop.

  13. Jason says:

    The episode envolving the party at Alicia’s house had a much better finale feel to it. Many of the past characters had great moments and it seemed to have more to say about Alicia’s state of mind. It was a lot funnier as well. The best I can say about the finale is that she and Peter are truly done. So many of the side characters like Eli and Cary got precious little to do. Alicia may be the center of the show, but in an ensemble you become just as invested in their arcs. The whole thing feels like a season finale and not a series finale.

  14. Joanne W says:

    Season 1, Alicia was slapped constantly, metaphorically speaking, causing her anxiety, stress forcing her to learn to cope…and grow. As the the Kings said “the education of Alicia”..
    So I think the final slap was well played. She reacted for a minute, straightened herself out, held her head high and walked away. Nobody knows if she walked back to Peter of not..

  15. Ted says:

    I just got a sense that the Kings had kind of just given up on everything and ended it in a way that was as non-committal as possible. It’s telling that, by the end of the show, my favorite character wound up being Cary, who was pretty far removed from the main storyline without being straight up Kalinda’d.

    • Blue Panther says:

      Cary was also my favorite character and I’m disappointed the writers sort of let him float away at the end…

  16. Darelene says:

    Absolutely dissipating….. wow invested years on this show to be given a sad and bringing ending.

  17. Mb says:

    This was bad but HIMYM will always “win” the contest of poorly contrived, “planned” endings

  18. Larc says:

    The finale was a triumph of crap over quality.

  19. Lauren says:

    Series finales have become such a “thing” now. They’re so built up and they pretty much always disappoint. I wish we didn’t put so much pressure on them. Then maybe series writers wouldn’t feel the need to write an epic, controversial, memorable conclusion and maybe just give us a good episode of the show we love.

  20. Caro says:

    I found the series finale an epic fail. Basically, everything I respected Alicia for – in all these years – and have encouraged other people to watch The Good Wife for, was her honor, poise and grace. Now, in the end, she has become the same person as Peter: a person who will hurt, sell out and break the hearts of people who are very dear to her. I respected Alicia for rising above all the drama her husband put her through, she even stayed by her man, but in the end she was even worse than he was at the beginning of the show. He slept around, not okay at all, but Alicia sold out her friends, burned every bridge she had with not only Cary but now also Diane. The message the Kings bring here, is not to turn the other cheek (so to speak) by rewarding the bad with the good, no, let’s be selfish and destructing every beautiful relationship you had. I read that the Kings visioned Alicia going to Jason, but I can imagine he wouldn’t want to be with someone who treats other people like that. I’d walk away from that.
    I’m very disappointed in the series finale. The show was great, but it started slipping when Alicia left Lockhart Gardner and began stealing clients. I thought that was so out of character. And it went down hill from there, with this finale the rotten icing on the cake. Too bad…

  21. Lisa G says:

    I’m more convinced than ever that Josh Charles’ decision to leave the show and his character being killed off changed the endgame of the show. At the same time, this ending works, it just would have worked better if they had written all of season 7 as the last. They could have built to all of the things that were needed for a fulfilling last episode.

  22. Pangolin says:

    I can see the writerly appeal of the symmetrical ending, but for Alicia’s journey of personal growth to end with her becoming as bad as her husband instead of positive personal growth just sucks for viewers. We wanted her to overcome and improve her life, not sink to his level.

  23. peb says:

    After 7 seasons of Alicia not letting go of her husband, the best ending was to simply have her walk away from him and move on with her life. We didn’t need to know whether it was with Jason or not…they weren’t quite to that point anyway. The only need for a slap was in the minds of the writers. It felt very tacked on and completely weird. Great series though, and Joss Charles return was excellent. That’s what we should be talking about.

  24. Judy says:

    A very lame ending for a show that had become very redundant and boring. Glad it’s over.

  25. VICKI MOSER says:

    Such a GREAT show needed a MUCH better ending or wait just to continue on!!!!

  26. nellibly says:

    Through all of it, Alicia did what she needed to do to survive. So, by the way, did everybody else. If she expected that everyone would wind up singing kumbaya, she sadly miscalculated. There was no other way it could end. I have a feeling, however, that she will be just fine.

  27. Daisy says:

    This is the exact same mistake they made in How I Met Your Mother. They decided the ending before the beginning and then destroyed everything we’d been working towards in about 50-minutes’ time. Just so they could get their slap that just didn’t make sense. So disappointed in the ending even if I did enjoy the Will scenes. But even the Will scenes didn’t make much sense. LIke, why would she even spend 10 minutes wondering if she should be with Peter. Much less the 20 or so minutes we spent listening to her talk to imaginary Will. Sigh.

  28. Eurydice says:

    A professor in a screen writing class once told me that one of the most painful things is to cut out a favorite scene when it doesn’t fit the story anymore. It might be the scene that was the inspiration for the whole screenplay, but if the story’s gone in another direction you just have to toss it out to the wolves.

  29. Bill says:

    If the Kings have to go back and explain why the slap happened, and why other things were done in certain ways in the finale, then the finale didn’t work. As the saying goes, “If you have to explain the joke, it wasn’t a very good one to begin with.”

  30. Evelyn says:

    Smart move to have Will return. He was missed in the series, & many hearts were broken when he left the series-not just Alicia’s!

  31. redjane12 says:

    Alicia’s hardened state of mind that lead her to betray Diane in the finale was somewhat foreshadowed last week when Cary called her on her expectation that Cary was prepared to lie to cause trouble for the Florricks… Alicia has gotten so used to being in war mode all the time that she’s just expecting attacks from all fronts and ultimately that has made her into an effective but tough operator and someone who is not as easy for the viewer to sympathise with…

  32. Jeri says:

    This episode was a waste of everyones time and talent. Wasted air time. The first 5 yrs were good, the last two, sub-par at best. Too bad, it used to be so good. The Kings never should have made JM be a EP.

  33. Annette says:

    For me, the biggest question is what on earth happened with Eli? He was making a deal, to save his daughter, to turn in Peter – but he was never questioned, never testified, and we have no idea what his next move will be…did he even agree with the 1 year sentence that Peter choose? Was he even consulted? And, we never got closure between him and Alicia, which it seems the story desperately needed. It was a really bizarre end to a fabulous series.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t realize that in the last season they didn’t realize whether it was going to be 13 episodes or twenty something. It must be difficult to write a complete season when you don’t even know how long it is going to be. A lot of final seasons have that problem because they are waiting on studios to renew or not.

    • Eran says:

      Elizabeth, I think they may have been making a reference to the first season there, when they weren’t sure whether they’d get the initial back-9 order.

  35. Marci says:

    Wow, from everything I’m reading, I’m very happy that I chose to skip this final season, although I would have enjoyed seeing Diane slap Alicia–I never liked her or Juliana Margullies, having watched the show because I was a fan of the other actors and characters.

  36. I’ve enjoyed the Good Wife over the years, despite the immorality of the characters. Each episode held my interest, although my favorite season by far was Season 5, and my least favorite was Season 7. That’s because, instead of giving Alicia a chance to take the moral high ground in all of her relationships, and rise above the adversity in her life by showing more integrity, grace, charity and humility in her character development, the writers chose to bring Alicia down to the immoral and ruthless level of many of her business associates.

    Perhaps the moral of the story in the writer’s minds was that, to succeed as a lawyer, Alicia had to learn to be more ruthless and immoral than the rest, and better at telling lies to herself and others than anybody else. Sadly, however, this defeats the purpose of both the spiritual purpose of life, and the purpose of the judicial system – with its judges, lawyers and courts, which were originally created to reveal the truth of someone’s guilt or innocence in any given crime, not as a method to exonerate the guilty through clever maneuvering and subterfuge.

    It would have been nice if Alicia, in the end, exonerated and liberated herself from the dirt that her poor decisions and judgment – and the poor decisions of those around her that had sullied her past – by walking away from them both. All she had to do was leave her train wreck of a career in Diane’s firm – and her demoralizing relationship with her estranged husband – to find a new life with Jason. At least, that’s what I envisioned as the perfect ending. But then, that was just too morally right and happy for the show’s writers to stomach, I suppose. What a shame.

  37. Beth says:

    I was so disappointed in the final episode I could cry. It was like “What????” It gave fans no closure. They owed us more after seven years of loyalty.

  38. Ted says:

    Slezak, Slezalk, Slezak. Of course your readers gave the finale a D+ because it was clear you weren’t giving it anything better. They are YOUR readers and they are loyal to YOU. Haven’t you ever noticed that the grades you gives singers on American Idol and The Voice are always reflected in the rankings of your readers?

    If anyone wants to hear a totally different perspective on the finale, listen to the podcast of today’s edition of Fresh Air on NPR. Their television critic, Davis Bianculli, liked the finale (as much as I did). Why? Life isn’t tidy. Life is messy. The measure of a life is how well you pick yourself up when life smacks you down. Alicia got smacked (literally) by Diane, so in the next chapter of her life (if there was one) she would pick herself up again. Just as she did in seasons, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

    After watching the story arcs of the past 7 years, did you really think the ending would be tied together with a pink bow? The King’s are smarter than that. The irony that in the end she became like Peter is rich. So go watch some fairytale if you want a happy ending, but avoid the Brothers Grimm. They (like the Kings, Bianculli and me) like watching/reading about what people do in the face of adversity.

    I always enjoy your commentary, regardless of whether I agree with you so until a new show becomes one of your faves, you might want to check out the Disney Channel. I hear all of their shows have happy endings. When you get tired of that, give a listen to Faiytales by Anita Baker. I’ll bet it’s a favorite of the Kings.

    • Anne says:

      or the fact that this blog is popular could be because the opinions of its writers reflect the opinions of its readers. I love tvline *because* they have similar tastes in media to me. When they make a show recommendation that I normally wouldn’t check out (like Brooklyn 99) I trust them because of that similar interest

    • Billy Bob Johnson says:

      Here, here. My thoughts, too.

  39. H says:

    OMG I got quoted on a TVLine article! Thank you Slezak! Lol

  40. Jennifer says:

    I have to say that in the finale I was most excited to see closure in Alicia’s personal life. Though I’m happy that we got to see Will Gardner I thought it was going to be a bit different. I wanted Alicia to be talking with Jason and for something to occur that would remind her of Will, which would have lead to a never before seen flashback (and give us the opportunity to see Will again) and to her telling Jason about Will. Then at the end of the episode, I wanted her to decide to be alone, to realize that what she had with Will was beautiful and special, and that even though Jason was nice, she deserved to find what she had with Will again and was willing to wait for that.
    As a second choice I would have liked all of the above but at the end for her to randomly bump into Finn Polmar.

    • Blue Panther says:

      It was NEVER going to work with Finn Polmar, as we were repeatedly shown. And Jason was merely “nice”? He was her best bet for happiness, but like so many woman, Alicia decides to self-sabotage and second guess and all that…

  41. Douglas from Brazil says:

    Sorry, I dont agree with this review.

  42. Shira says:

    I completely agree with this review! The best parts of The Good Wife were always, to me, the cases and its weakness – the characters development and anything that involved lots of emotion. I think it was such an elegant, smart, minimalist show but when it wasn’t “a brilliant showcase of acting or an intellectual exercise with dry humor – and that happened more and more as the show progressed – it didn’t really work.
    According to what the Kings said for them structure is the truth of the characters…intellectuals to the end. What it needed throughout the show and at the end was a little bit more of heart. That didn’t have to lead to a happy end, for that slap to truly hurt and not just out of frustration.

  43. Susan says:

    Worst series finale ever. I thought these were accomplished writers! Horrible. I watched for seven years for this ending. Shame on them. Brain dead– that they are!

  44. ROSE HAMPTON says:

    I was so disappointed Alicia and Jason couldn’t have a happy ending together. Jason just disappeared. The part with Will was an unexpected part of the end. We all know he was her true love. I felt let down and……..that’s the end? feeling.

  45. Dee manning says:

    It was my favorite series ,what a disappointing ,convoluted , ending . And all those scenes with Alisha talking with the ghost of Will ?? No closure

  46. cary agos says:

    @MichaelSlezak I just wanted to express my admiration for your writing abilities. I have loved the series since it began, but I only recently found your reviews of the show (within the last two seasons). Your precise, logical and witty prose (you have great syntax, and it really pops when you criticize the showrunners or the characters) definitely helped me understand the show’s reasoning, especially when I didn’t agree with the direction it took. And to cap it off, your reviews were always up right after we watched (on the West Coast). You must have burned through several keyboards by typing so fast. I am not sure what TV show I will now accept as my primary choice, but I will definitely following you to see if you pick up on any good ones. Thanks, my dude!

  47. EllenAce says:

    Here’s the thing about last night’s episode of The Good Wife”, it was a fitting “Season Finale” or going on temporary hiatus installment, rather than an appropriate “Series Finale” ending. Despite things coming full circle concerning the education of Alicia Florrick and the show ending similarly to how it began, Alicia emerging on her own, both personally and professionally, with so many loose ends and stones left unturned, it’s hard to believe there was any such seven year plan in the making, at all.

  48. Niki says:

    Im sad to see it be over!

  49. Donna jack says:

    The show died when they killed off will. He was her real true love. So with his death went the show. They were the show. I watched this show from beginning to end. Extremely disappointed. It would have ended if she could have left with Jason looking back at Peter did his own self out.

  50. Don Zidek says:

    Iwould not miss a show. However I wish
    I had missed the so called final.