Post Mortems
Good Wife Final Season Ratings

The Good Wife Creators: Alicia Was Supposed to Have Happy Ending, But...

That epic slap was not the end of the story.

Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King intended to tack an extra scene onto last spring’s polarizing series finale. The additional footage would’ve made it clear that Alicia (Julianna Margulies) ended up with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Jason. Instead, the episode concluded with Diane (Christine Baranski) smacking Alicia upside the head.

During a Q&A Thursday at the Scripted television conference in New York (attended by our sister site Variety), the Kings confirmed a statement made by Morgan over the summer that shortly after production on the finale wrapped they tried to bring him back to New York to shoot a quick new scene with Margulies. But Morgan couldn’t get the time off from The Walking Dead, which is based in Atlanta.

Robert King (who is currently in production on the Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight) added that perhaps it all worked out for the best, musing that a shot of Alicia falling into the arms of [Jason] would have been “too much of a cop-out.”

Back in August, Morgan told Entertainment Weekly that he, like many fans, “didn’t like” the dark, ambiguous ending that aired. “We raised so many questions about Jason and this relationship that he had with Alicia that I felt like nothing was ever answered, you know?” he said. “So I walked away frustrated for my character and Alicia’s character in not having any kind of closure with that.”

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47 Comments
  1. Ben says:

    I HATED the ending

  2. Yale says:

    Loved the ending and I’m glad the show didn’t end with them. That abrupt, dark ending was too great to have ruined by something so mushy and so unlike The Good Wife. Everything happens for a reason

    • mjw says:

      To me the ending said that despite everything that had happened, ~Alicia ended up with what she started with NOTHING, it went to show that one has to be careful how one goes through life and take care. Shame Peter ended up so badly, just goes to show what politicians are like, and l think that he still loved Alicia despite everything.

  3. JM says:

    We all know the original ending would have been Will and Alicia. Unfortunately he died and that threw the last two seasons into chaos on what to do next and hence the slap ending. They realised how much they ruined Alicia in the mess and hence the slap was created. End of story.

    • dude says:

      More like Julianna Margulies ruined Alicia by being unable to do her job and convey any kind of humanity.

      • abz says:

        I disagree. I don’t think they ruined Alicia’s character. I thought this was a fascinating story portraying a deeply flawed woman who slowly became more and more corrupted by the world of law and politics. Any rumored behind-the-scenes drama aside, I think Julianna Margulies played the role superbly. You can see over the series how Alicia progressed from Saint Alicia (the perfect, scorned suburban housewife) to the morally compromised woman we had at the end of the series. We see how much she’s changed and how in the end, she wasn’t really The “Good” Wife that the rest of the world saw her as. And the slap at the end, when you see the look on her face, there’s a sort of realization of the type of person she’s become where she betrayed someone who she deeply admired and liked. You see her straighten herself and we are left to wonder where she’ll go from that point. Is that a wake up call? Will she change? Personally, I think she did an excellent job in the role.

      • mjw says:

        Agree with you there Dude. the actress was too much of everything being about her and not the other characters she affected. ln the end she really got what she deserved, nothing, that is what greedy people get, always want something else and have her cake and eat it.

    • Kailani says:

      “unfortunately he died.” The character died, not the actor. LOL

  4. Geo says:

    Alicia ending up with Jason would NOT have been a happy ending. A creepy ending, yes, but happy? No.

  5. abz says:

    I will forever love this series, flaws and all. Even the worst episode of the show was better than most television out there. I was among those that didn’t hate the finale that much and I’m glad they didn’t add a Alicia/Jason end scene. I’ve seen many people say how the show ruined Alicia’s character, but I enjoyed her character on the show from start to finish and I was fascinated to see her progression throughout the series. Alicia was a deeply flawed character and as the series progressed each season you can see just how much she had deviated from the scorned, perfect suburban wife she once was to how she kept compromising her morals as time went on and doing things she wouldn’t have done before. She’s not black or white, but very gray. There are moments where you can see just how terrible a person she became at times (e.g., questioning whether she even liked her kids, destroying Diane’s relationship, etc.), but that’s part of what I found so fascinating about her character and how her reaction to the slap seemed to be somewhat of a realization of just how morally compromised she’s become and the terrible things she had been willing to do and then having her straighten herself up and leaving the audience wondering just how will that slap affect her. I’m not crazy on ambigious endings (I’m still pissed about the American Crime season 2 ending to what was a magnificent season of television), but I thought this ending worked,
    I’m excited for The Good Fight (not crazy about the name yet). I wonder what the state of Lucca’s friendship with Alicia will be. I kind of forgot a bit of the finale, so I may have to re-watch the finale before the spin-off premieres

    • Mary Sue Butch says:

      My problem is that I don’t like characters that are bad people. I want to like the protagonist. Over time I came to dislike Alicia, which ruined the show for me.

  6. Ella says:

    Honestly, I don’t like either ending.

  7. Annie says:

    I thought the ending was perfect. It made sense, in my opinion.

  8. mollytanner says:

    I like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but I thought there was way too much emphasis on Jason in the final season. I mean, Cary was there since the beginning, and they had him just quit the law firm and be like whatever ok peace out. And all those characters they introduced that never got an explanation to their whereabouts.

  9. Lindsay Luke says:

    Well, she’s not gonna live happily ever after with Negan. Duh.

  10. Jean says:

    I hated that she betrayed Diane at the end. I didn’t care for the ending at all. But, I did not want her to end up with Jason. The sex may have been great, but they were not right for each other and he probably would have taken off sooner or later anyway because that was his m.o. But now I understand the ending and think that’s how it should have ended. Alicia was the good wife and she was no longer good because she became just as bad as the rest of the lawyers and such.

  11. Anne says:

    Ug, I’m STILL upset with that smack ending and the events leading up to it. It was just so derrivatively sexist. Spend all those seasons exploring these complex female characters to end up back at the exhaustive trope of ‘women can’t be trusted/we’ll screw each other for a man/etc’.
    .
    It was offensive.

  12. kmayne says:

    I really enjoyed the series up until the last season when it started dealing with her “husband”s legal woes. It was the one factor of the show I could never understand is why she stayed married to him……yeah I know she would not be “The Good Wife”. But for a character that was appeared to be strong and independent she could have shown him the curb after a couple seasons.

    • jbutler says:

      She was still married to Peter because David Lee AND Will asked her to. They used her married name for manipulation and she went along with it. That was the beginning of her demise.

  13. Lisa Babinski says:

    Who cares. This show had jumped the shark and the last season was a total waste.

  14. Alexa says:

    Let me put their mind at rest – it DIDN’T work out for the best. Ending, like most of the final season, was a mess.

  15. :-) says:

    This answer really does not help the situation it anyway. The kids have always said but they started off to do a 7-year series with a fission vision. While some things had to be adjusted you’ve known for a long time when the series was going to come to an end. You could have given us A better ending he could have wrapped up some of the story lines instead of this whole production the last season was. With 7 years notice they should have done better.

  16. Eurydice says:

    Wait a minute, didn’t the Kings say during their explainathon that they had always planned for the show to end with a slap? So, now it’s Morgan’s fault because he wasn’t available?

  17. Bobbi says:

    The ending SUCKED. Next time DO NOT hire an actor that’s already doing another show or series then there won’t be a conflict of any kind. There are a lot of actors available that wouldn’t have had a scheduling conflict. When will these people learn? The GW could have gone on for a couple more years, but the writers eventually killed it when they turned it into a soap opera instead of keeping with the original ideas of her in the court room. Too bad because it WAS a good show and many of us would have loved Diane and Alicia kicking butt in the courtroom.

    • Sybil Nassau says:

      Christine Bzanski has been playing on the Big Bang for years– Morgan took the other role when he knew this one was ending. Nothing wrong about that. Actors do it all the time.

  18. Alicia never loved Will enough for their relationship to work long term. It was easy for Alicia, who never was the most self aware person, to tell herself she loved him after his death. But obviously, when he was alive, she didn’t love him enough to leave her husband. Alicia loved the sense of freedom Will gave her, but wasn’t in love with the man he was. She was in love with the idea of being in love, as she once told her brother.

    Everybody who was paying attention knew that the true heart of the show was between Kalinda and Alicia (Archie Panjabi even said something to that effect in an interview IIRC). Kalinda was the only one who loved Alicia without asking for anything in return, and at the expense of her own safety. And if those behind the scenes Shenanigans hadn’t happened, their friendship could have made television history: two very different women supporting and helping each other regardless of their background, flaws and baggage. It would all have remained platonic of course, because the Kings would never have had been able to sell a same gender relationship story line between two leads on CBS — no matter how groundbreaking it could have been — but it would have been a whole lot better than the narrative train wreck that followed, caused by Kalinda’s gradual sidelining and eventual obliteration.

    Many people thought that Jason was a recycled male iteration of Kalinda, by the way.

    Even if the finale was flawed (like most of S7) I thought the way it ended was a bold move. Alicia walking into the sunset, in the arms of yet another man would have betrayed what the show stood for: Alicia becoming her own person, making choices for herself, even if some were morally ambiguous ones.

    I think Julianna Margulies aced that final shot and even if my dream ending had Alicia jump in a sleek black Jaguar driven by Kalinda, I was okay with how the Kings chose to end this wonderful show.

    • Jennifer Griggs says:

      Thank you for your well reasoned, cogent comment. It’s a shame the writers didn’t think the general public could handle what was the most dynamic relationship on the air.

  19. allen says:

    makes sense that this is how he turned into Negan…

  20. Linda says:

    I loved the ending. It was a Scarlett O’Hara ending. I, as the watcher knew that she was strong, talented and determined enough to move forward on her own. She was no longer a victim in her own life.

  21. Judy says:

    What I don’t understand is, if you couldn’t go any further with this show and you quit. How can you go with the Good Fight? Sounds fishy to me.. The Good Wife was a great show with great characters. I miss it. I think that if you ran out of ideas for the Good Wife (which definitely happened in the two years prior to the ending but not in the last year), how can you now come up with ideas for the Good Fight? Its the same show – just some main
    characters!

  22. ludi66 says:

    I just loved the show. But… I live in France and watch the Good Wife on Teva. Heaven knows when we will get it over here…

  23. HATED, HATED the ending. What’s wrong with happy endings? The Kings must think happy endings are for saps and are boring, they are jaded missed the big picture, that’s this was a show where we could escape reality, why did they ruin a good drama with their grim ending and their jaded views.

  24. Mary Jasperson says:

    Perfect ending, Alicia deserved that slap!

  25. The Grinch says:

    It would be great if The Good Fight reveals that Alicia had been elected governor of Illinois. Then her journey to the dark side would be complete.

  26. Celina says:

    I couldn’t care less about the ending. Alicia became intolerably. Plus, all I wanted when I started to watch, was for her to end up with Will. Since he died, don’t care.

  27. Mi.cha.el says:

    This show from the beginning was a Greek tragedy, the story of a woman who, no matter how hard she tried, couldn’t escape her fate. She remained chained to her political husband, drowning in politics – electoral politics and especially office politics. There was nothing in the show’s worldview that suggested that simply running off with some guy was going to cure anything. Let’s recall Jason was something of a charming violent sociopath, running off with him would have only doubled her troubles. And dead Will was every bit the smooth political animal as her husband, corporate politics but still politics.

  28. Aline says:

    I loved the ending. It just proves to me how Margulies was the problem with the show. I get that they tried to make up a new ending and I’m glad it didn’t work. I feel they wanted to do that in order to please the fans and not what they wanted to tell.
    However, the creators of the freaking show ended The Good Wife, just to create a spin-off with all the great characters from it!! If that doesn’t scream to you “THE PROBLEM WAS HER”, I feel sorry for you.
    If only Kalinda was still on the show, she probably would be on the spin-off. A lot of great characters will be on it – with the exception of Julianna Margulies. And don’t get me wrong, TGW was an amazing show and the actress is good. But the moment the creators let Margulies to dictate everything, it lost track and sight. I’m glad it ended and I’m glad they have a spin-off in the works!

  29. Sam andre says:

    Along with dexter, this is one of the worst endings in TV history

  30. S says:

    W da H€¥%??? Tried to comment on this earlier, apparently censors/moderators are waaay sensitive…did NOT care for the ending depicted, although I did not want it wrapped up with a pretty bow either!!!
    Can’t Alicia have SOME decent resolution??? Another fulfilling job/position, SOME kind of a promise of a bright horizon with Jason, or ANY body…just left her totally ADRIFT, with ALLA da crud she endured, for YEARS!!!

  31. I have so much to say ..
    I loved read it all the comments here… so many different views.
    I really loved Julia’s role… but my fav characters were Cary and Kalinda..
    I was sad to see her leave the show and sad the way they treated Cary’s character, when they could have done better with his story line. Didn’t like the ending/and didn’t care much for S7, either… I had really enjoyed the court scenes during the other seasons. Oh well… I hope that The Good Fight turns out to be good. I love Diane’s character and if they ever bring Cary back, I would be really happy.

  32. Anna says:

    Okay after watching “the good fight” – they need to bring back Alicia’s character… not only that later on in the season bring back Jason…