‘The Good Wife’ series finale, starring Julianna Margulies, has come and gone. The last episode of the CBS drama has sparked social media uproar and the television critics, too, are weighing in. You can see a roundup of reviews — with spoilers, so be duly warned! — along with video highlights.
If you haven’t yet seen the finale, you should not be reading this, as there are spoilers!
The series from creators Robert and Michelle King premiered in 2009 and now has come to an end. In the title role, Alicia Florrick, formerly of ‘ER’ success, was Julianna Margulies, who earned numerous Emmy nominations. Along with ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ this series has been one of those must-see, must-talk about series that infuses the pop culture landscape.
The cultural and political landscape in real life has been not surprisingly tumultuous, at times eclipsing whatever writers could have envisioned. The old hackneyed expression is still applicable. Truth is stranger that fiction even where political scandals are concerned and political wives must make a choice, to stay loyal or to bolt. A fictitious scandal is likely going to pale in comparison to what’s unfolding in real life, and over the years we’ve seen many a political scandal.
But what’s a series to do but to stay true to its core and its own universe, apart from and separate from the impending reality. In this case, it was all about following Alicia Florrick and her life going forward after that fateful and explosive press conference — and that famous slap, thereafter — that began the series. And that was the case as the drama focused on Florrick as she courageously chose to reinvent herself and her forge a new life and, not least, earn a living and support her children in the aftermath.
Now the seven year run is over. Are lose ends tied? Or should they be? Critics are divided, and that’s not a surprise in the least. When a series ends, we all have our preconceived notions of what should and should not happen. You can see a roundup below, and, again, as noted, there are lots and lots and lots of spoilers! So continue or not with that in mind!
“…So the finale for The Good Wife was somewhat satisfying, somewhat fascinating and somewhat infuriating and muddled by missed opportunities. It was a perfect microcosm for the show….” –The Hollywood Reporter
“….It certainly is a surprise that “End” gets there by way of the Ghost of Will Gardner, who steps in like some kind of Patrick-Swayze-meets-Obi-Wan-Kenobi spirit guide, steering Alicia through these major life decisions. It’s even more surprising that our final image of Alicia is of her standing alone, cheek reddening thanks to the wallop of a (well-deserved) slap from Diane Lockhart, her friend and mentor…..” –Vulture
“…So many of us thought the education of Alicia Florrick was going to end with a series finale that doubled as a diploma in the studies of happily ever afters. Divorce the husband. Give in to love with Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Relish the rise of the all-female firm with Diane, celebrate the return of friendship in your life with Lucca (Cush Jumbo), and balance it all—the job, the love, the motherhood—with the grace, power, and poise of the woman who has manifested “having it all.”
What we’re left with instead is a woman, at the end of her seven-year journey to discover and inhabit her true and best self, who represents some of the same ugliness she had set out to leave behind…..” –The Daily Beast
“….The initial surprise of the finale was the return of Josh Charles as The Ghost of Will, or The Will of Alicia’s Dreams. In the end, Will was the great love of Alicia’s life — “I’ll love you forever,” she says to him, in her imagining of him — even as he encourages her to feel free to pursue Jason. Alicia’s proclamation of love, along with Will’s ultra-Will wry response (“I’m OK with that”), was beautifully presented. But it did not lead to the kind of resolution Will or Alicia or Jason or perhaps the viewing audience wanted…..” –Yahoo! TV
“…The Good Wife’s” last episode Sunday night on CBS certainly left something to be desired in terms of full conclusions, but the finale was right in line with how our best TV shows end in this Golden Age – on a big note of ambiguity (is Tony Soprano alive or dead? Did Don Draper come up with the singing Coke campaign or didn’t he?), but also in a way that seems truest to the show’s nature and its lead character’s deepest desire to live her own life. ….” -Washington Post
“….The show ended with a callback to how it began in the pilot: Alicia stood by Peter as he resigned, Diane slapped Alicia and Alicia didn’t find her lover, investigator Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). It wasn’t as nebulous an ending as, say, “The Sopranos,” but neither did it tie everything in a neat bow. It stuck its landing somewhere in between. I liked the symmetry to the pilot but hated to see Alicia hurt Diane, and am left to wonder how that will affect Alicia’s standing at the firm. Not that it matters since Eli (Alan Cumming) plans for Alicia to run for office…..” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“….“The Good Wife” is one of the most explicitly feminist shows in recent memory: A lot of the finale continued to explore many of the show’s core questions, which often revolved around one woman’s resistance to the idea that she had to conform to certain ideas about likability, ambition and spousal fidelity. At its best, “The Good Wife” has quietly but furiously depicted the kinds of limitations women bump up against, despite their competence, and the frustrations they feel as a result…..” — Variety
As is always, the case when a series ends, the discussion goes on and on. You can see video highlights below — spoilers, of course — of the series finale of ‘The Good Wife.’