Alicia & Co. struggle to deal with the aftermath of Will's shocking death

By Breia Brissey
March 02, 2015 at 08:27 PM EST
CBS
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I’m still trying to process everything after last week’s shocking episode of The Good Wife. And when I first saw the preview for “The Last Call,” I was honestly worried about what it would do to me emotionally. But the show’s writers managed to deliver a heartfelt, appropriate, and even funny-at-times episode. It was the closure I wanted and needed. Did it answer every question I had? Or tie everything up in a neat little bow? Of course not. But death is like that. I point you to Robert and Michelle King’s open letter to the fans: “The Good Wife is a show about human behavior and emotion, and death, as sad and unfair as it can be, is a part of the human experience that we want to share.” So yeah, it sucks. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Will Gardner. But I’m really curious to see where Alicia goes from here, and really, that’s what this show is all about.

So ready your tissues, and let’s get down to business: The episode picked up right where last week’s left off. Kalinda called Alicia to break the devastating news. Alicia was obviously in shock. “But I just saw him yesterday.” This extended version of the scene was particularly painful because of Kalinda’s reaction. Alicia responded the way one would expect. But it was hard to watch Kalinda really break. She’s always so stoic, and rarely does she let on to what she’s really feeling. But her relationship with Will was different, and her emotion here really illustrates how much she and Will cared for each other as friends.

Anyway, Eli excused Alicia from the luncheon, noting that she was in no condition to speak, and stepped in to introduce Peter. This was hilarious because while we’re dealing with all of this really heavy stuff, the writers managed to infuse some laugh-out-loud moments with Eli. As he began to read the teleprompter, he realized that the intro no longer made much sense with him delivering the words: “It’s my honor to introduce the man I’ve shared my bed with many campaigns with over the past few years…. We’ve had our share of disagreements. Who takes out the garbage. Who changes the diapers. Which brings to a funny story about how I chose this dress outfit for today.” Priceless.

Eli eventually broke the news to Peter. He tried to reach Alicia but she ignored his call until he tried from Eli’s phone. Awkward. Peter tried to be there for her, but Peter is not what Alicia wants or needs right now. And sadly, Peter benefits from Will’s death. Without Will’s testimony, Nelson Dubek and the Office of Public Integrity don’t have a case against Peter regarding voter fraud. Too soon to find a silver lining? Yes. Yes it is.

Alicia spent the rest of the episode trying to make sense of what had happened. Before she had any of the details, she imagined a roughed-up client taking deliberate aim at Will in the courtroom. And it was that thought that finally led her to break down in tears.

NEXT PAGE: Diane breaks the news to the rest of Lockhart/Gardner….

Meanwhile, Diane went back to Lockhart/Gardner, where everyone was unaware of the situation. Before gathering the partners, she had a moment to herself in her office. When she looked across the hall into Will’s office, she started to cry. But then she pulled herself together so she could break the news to her co-workers. The reaction there was pretty much what you’d expect. A lot of shock and gasps as people tried to deal with the terrible news. David Lee immediately walked out of the room, emptied a nearby conference room, and had his own breakdown. Guys, I can’t handle it when David Lee cries! Meanwhile, Gail the intern (Allie Gallerani), couldn’t keep her grief under control. Since she’d only been at the firm for a week, Diane, who didn’t have time for that kind of behavior, fired her on the spot. Damn!

Alicia found her way to Lockhart/Gardner where she shared a heartbreaking embrace with Diane. Diane filled her in on the details about the shooting. Once Alicia learned that Jeffrey Grant was responsible, her earlier image of Will being shot was replaced with Grant taking aim. And then, of course, she felt guilt. The case would have been hers had she not left Lockhart/Gardner. Before she had time to dwell on that, Cary called. He was upset because Alicia was late to an important deposition with their client Candace (Tonya Glanz). But Cary’s anger quickly transformed into shock after Alicia told him about Will’s death. Cary was speechless.

Back at Florrick/Agos, Cary tried to delay the deposition, but the other attorney (played by Aaron Lazar) was being a “schmuck.” (Candace’s case was first introduced earlier this season in “Hitting the Fan.”) So Cary channeled his grief and went into super badass mode. “I want to get out my aggressions and my anger by destroying your client,” Cary told the attorney. “Now sit down. [Pause] I said sit the hell down.” It was awesome.

While Alicia had a moment alone at Lockhart/Gardner, she noticed she had three voicemails: one from Kalinda, one from Diane, and one from Will. Unfortunately, the one from Will left much to the imagination: “Alicia…. Hold on, your honor. I’ll call you back.” She replayed the message three times over the course of the episode, trying to determine what that last call was about. (Hence the episode’s title.) Diane assured Alicia that Will wasn’t mad at her and that he loved her. She imagined two possible scenarios for his call:

“Alicia. This feud, it’s stupid. I care about you too much to let it come between…”

“Alicia, are you kidding me? Leave my clients alone, Alicia. Find your own.”

Meanwhile, David Lee was dealing with the unfortunate situation of alerting Will’s clients. Diane wasn’t too thrilled that he even brought it up, but recognized that it needed to be dealt with. This led to one of the best moments of the episode. An important client, Bob Klepper (John Bedford Lloyd), insisted that Diane meet with him immediately. She obliged, and then promptly fired him as a client for essentially being an insensitive jackass. And then, she told him she’d made sure no other firm would take him as a client either. It was priceless.

Bob: “It’s not what Will would do.”

Diane: “If I were dead, it’s exactly what Will would do.”

NEXT PAGE: Alicia gets some more answers….

Kalinda spent the episode running around town trying to get answers about the shooting. And she used Det. Jenna Villette (Jordana Spiro) to stay in the know. First, she listened in on the detectives interviewing the sheriff whose gun was used in the shooting. He may or may not have been texting, but he made no such effort to retrieve his firearm once Jeffrey Grant took it. Ugh. Next up, Kalinda went to where they were holding Grant. He was in pretty bad shape. His new lawyer Alma Hoff (returning guest star Becky Ann Baker) argued that there was no evidence that Jeffrey was the cause of Will’s death, pointing out that it could have been the crossfire. (Stephen Delaney, the man originally accused of Dani Littlejohn’s murder, was also killed during the shooting.) Then she made it clear Jeffrey would enter a plea of insanity.

Alicia eventually found her way to the scene of the crime, where Judge Politi (Vincent Curatola) shared his version of the tragic events. And again, we were forced to see Will’s missing shoe. That shoe will forever haunt me, and likely Alicia. Her visit to the courtroom led her to the hospital to visit Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode, who’s been promoted to series regular). But instead of Finn, Alicia found Will. Wait, what? “It was all a mistake. Can you believe it? They thought it was me because the body was shot in the face.” Damn you, hallucination!! So no, Alicia didn’t find Will, but she did find Finn’s assistant Maria (Suzy Jane Hunt). And Maria had some bad news for Alicia: Will made a call during the plea bargain. He was angry because someone was stealing his clients. Uh oh.

Kalinda continued her behind-the-scenes investigation with Jenna’s help. The went to the morgue, where they learned that Will had been shot three times: a shot to the right shoulder and one to his stomach, both of which were survivable, and a shot to the thorax. That was the one that killed him, and that shot definitely came from Jeffrey Grant. Kalinda took a minute with Will’s body, and yeah, it was terribly sad. (Interesting fact from The Good Wife writers on Twitter: The close-up shots of Will in the morgue were still photos because Josh Charles couldn’t hold still.)

Armed with the information that Jeffrey was, in fact, responsible, Kalinda again went to see him in holding. Jenna convinced the guard on suicide watch to step away for a few minutes, and Kalinda offered Jeffrey his belt so he could end it all. I didn’t think she’d actually hand over the belt, because that would be giving Jeffrey an easy out. And she didn’t. “You’re gonna live with this. You know Will was a good man, and I loved him, and he was trying to help you. So you live with that.”

Alicia went back home where she had a heart-to-heart with Grace about God and heaven. Grace tried to encourage Alicia by saying Will was with God now, but Alicia wasn’t having any of it. So she was probably grateful when her phone rang. It was Finn Polmar. Alicia went back to the hospital to get Finn’s version of events. He was loopy on painkillers, which added some humor to the scene. He told Alicia about Will’s final moments. He didn’t know why Will called Alicia, but he did solve one mystery: The angry phone call Maria had mentioned was about Damian stealing clients. Not her. Whew!

NEXT PAGE: That final scene, and the night’s best lines….

The episode ended with Peter trying to console Alicia (see: awkward hugging), and her imagining one more scenario about Will’s last call: “Alicia, I’m sorry. I want what we had. I want to be with you. And only you. Forever. Call me back, please.” Man, the writers really know how to twist the knife. On Twitter, Robert and Michelle King said: “In the absence of facts, you have to create your conclusion — which is what Alicia does.”

More memorable lines from “The Last Call”:

++ Diane: “I loved him.”

Alicia: “I know.”

Diane: “He loved you.”

++ Alicia: “What are you gonna do?”

Kalinda: “I don’t know.”

Alicia: “It sounds like you do know.”

++ Diane, after firing Bob Klepper as a client: “That felt good.”

David Lee: “Turned me on.”

++ Grace: “Mom, I just want you to be happy.”

Alicia: “I will. I will eventually.”

++ “It’s really pretty awful, isn’t it?” —Finn, to Alicia

I’m not sure we’ll ever know why Will made that last phone call to Alicia. What do you think he wanted? She’s clearly still in shock right now, so I’m curious how her stages of grief will play out over the rest of the season. I also wonder if Nelson Dubek’s case against Peter will truly disappear. Tragedy can often have unintended consequences, so I’m curious to see how Will’s death will affect Alicia and Kalinda’s relationship. This could very well be a shift that brings them closer together.

What did you think of the episode? Did it give you the closure you needed from Will’s shocking death? Where does Alicia go from here? Are you excited that Matthew Goode will be a series regular for the rest of the season? Sound off with all your thoughts in the comments.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.
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