Good Wife’s Not-So-Good Ending

NEW YORK — Would Peter Florrick, embattled Governor of Illinois, get a guilty verdict and face prison?

Did his dutiful wife, Alicia, continue to stand by him — or finalize their pending divorce and stick with her current squeeze, private investigator Jason Crouse?

“Who do you want to come home to, every night?” Alicia’s law-firm colleague, Lucca, asked her. “Who do you want to see when you open your door?”

These were among the gnawing questions waiting to be answered when CBS’ The Good Wife concluded its seven-season run on May 8.

Read no further if you’re not ready to find out.

The end of last week’s Good Wife found Gov. Florrick, despite professing he is innocent of corruption charges from his stint as State’s Attorney, opting to take a deal: two year’s imprisonment instead of risking 10 years if found guilty.

“There’s no good answer, is there?” he told Alicia.

In the suspenseful finale he changed his mind. New evidence surfaced even as the jury deliberated Peter’s guilt. A breakneck effort was launched to have the jury consider it.

Then it turned out the evidence would work against Peter. An about-face effort was mounted to keep the evidence away from the jury.

By the end of the hour, Peter had accepted what appeared to be the best possible deal: a year’s probation and his resignation as Governor.

Alicia stood beside him as he made the announcement that he was stepping down, his political career in ruins, but with Alicia (knowing nothing of it) already being teed up as a possible future candidate for Governor.

Then, after having chosen to commit herself to Jason — the man she wanted to come home to every night — Alicia found he had flown the coop.

The series ended with nothing conclusive about her divorcing Peter or about the future of her career. In the final moments she was pointedly alone, yet painfully independent in a way she has never been before.

Walking down a deserted hallway stoic and in solitude, she seemed an indefinable blend of crushed and defiant, clearly a woman whose life would proceed in ways the audience will never be privy to, beyond the bounds of the series.

Thus did it fire the viewer’s imagination while triggering a measure of frustration at the loose ends.

Starring Julianna Margulies as wife, mother and powerful Chicago lawyer Alicia Florrick, this complex drama has blended social issues, office politics and family turmoil in multi-strand narratives populated with a robust supporting cast including Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming, Matt Czuchry, Cush Jumbo, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Jason, and Chris Noth as Peter — plus Alicia’s dead lover Will Gardner (departed cast member Josh Charles) returning for this finale, thanks to Alicia’s fantasies.

Since its premiere in 2009, The Good Wife has won devoted fans, critical acclaim and awards that include five Emmys and a Peabody.

Its husband-and-wife creators, Robert and Michelle King, played a vital role in bringing the series to its conclusion. Now they have opted to move on, with their next project, Brain Dead, a new drama series premiering on CBS this summer.

(FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer)


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