The Good Wife season finale recap: Season 5 finale
In the season 5 finale, the futures of Lockhart/Gardner and Florrick/Agos hang in the balance. But don't worry. No one died!
Well, the title of this episode pretty much sums it up: “A Weird Year.” And what a weird year it’s been. Alicia and Cary created Florrick/Agos. Peter battled a ballot-box scandal. The NSA listened in to everyone’s conversations. We lost our beloved Will Gardner. (Still not over it.) And Peter and Alicia created an arrangement in which they stay married but sleep with whomever the want. It’s been a messy and complicated season, which has translated into the best the show has ever had. The Good Wife has so stepped up its game that some — I’m one of them — are saying it’s quite possibly the best drama currently on television. So before we come to terms with the show’s summer hiatus, let’s talk about the season 5 finale:
The episode opened up with a crying Yulia Gopnik. She’s the woman suing both Lockhart/Gardner and Florrick/Agos for a failed adoption. Lockhart/Gardner initially handled the adoption, but it fell through when it was blocked by the Chippewa nation. David Lee attempted to bribe the tribe, and in an effort to keep himself out of hot water, the blame was shifted to Alicia. Since the suit was to the tune of $6 million, they were all taking it pretty seriously. Unfortunately, because of everyone’s busy schedules, they were having to negotiate via a teleconferencing system.
And therein lies the basis of the episode: The team at Lockhart/Gardner failed to turn off their teleconferencing system after that morning’s meeting. Carey Zepps discovered the firm’s mistake and was watching the LG conference room feed like it was Sunday night TV. When Clarke Hayden realized what was going on, he tried to get Carey to stop listening in. The two fought over the TV’s mute button like kids, and, appropriately enough, Mom and Dad had to come settle the argument. And by Mom and Dad, I obviously mean Alicia and Cary.
The new ABA rules established that the lawyer must consult with the client in cases of inadvertent disclosure. And in this particular case, the client happened to be Alicia. She decided to take the high road and turn off the TV…until she overheard Louis Canning and David Lee plotting to destroy Florrick/Agos in the next 48 hours. “That changes everything!” Yup, it sure does.
The crew at Florrick/Agos tried to figure out what Louis Canning was planning for their firm’s destruction, assuming there was something going on with Mrs. Gopnik. So they decided to use the teleconferencing “surveillance” to their advantage. Clarke Hayden rightfully pointed out that it was just like the NSA listening in on them — but situational ethics always lead to interesting decisions.
NEXT: Howard Lyman gets his day in the sun
Alicia had another deposition scheduled, and Carey and Robyn convinced her that it should take place at Lockhart/Gardner so they could keep up the spying. “It’s not slimy. It’s self-defense,” Carey argued. They thought Alicia could bring up potential missing evidence from the discovery to bait them into talking about their plan.
So off to Lockhart/Gardner she went to be deposed by…Howard Lyman? Yup. Howard was running the show. (More on this later, but Diane awarded Howard this questioning to help win his vote in an upcoming partner meeting.) I was actually on The Good Wife‘s set in April, while they were filming this scene. Howard was just as funny in real life as he was in the episode. In fact, Christine Baranski kept laughing every time Alicia and Howard had this exchange:
Alicia: “You want me to keep reading?”
Howard: “I demand that you keep reading.”
You’ll notice the camera didn’t cut to Diane’s face — and there’s your behind-the-scenes reason why.
The deposition ended, and as planned, Alicia asked them about leaving documents out of the discovery. Thankfully, she kept this conversation in the conference room. (Louis Canning just assumed she didn’t want to be in Will’s old office.) The group at Lockhart/Gardner really did seem confused when Alicia brought up missing documents. But then Cary noticed a familiar face in the background: Deena Lampard. Deena is Mrs. ChumHum. If LG has her on their side, they could potentially steal away Florrick/Agos’ biggest client. And that would most definitely destroy their firm. So David Lee and Louis Canning never intended to take down Florrick/Agos with the adoption suit. It was about stealing ChumHum all along. And whatever David Lee and Louis Canning told Lampard to get her on their side is most definitely a lie. Oh, the tangled webs we weave!
When they weren’t focused on the adoption suit, the leaders at Lockhart/Gardner were having a power struggle over the future of the firm. Canning and Lee were trying to edge Diane out of her managerial partner role. And interestingly enough, the only undecided vote was Howard Lyman. (I love how awful Howard Lyman is.) Canning and Lee were busy trying to get Lyman to come to the dark side, and Diane knew she’d have to fight back.
So she asked Howard what she could offer to sway his vote. As it turns out, that man wants very little. In his 55 years of practicing law, he’d never cross-examined anyone. So Diane guaranteed him a shot later that day, convincing Howard that David Lee and Louis Canning wouldn’t actually deliver on that promise. That’s why Howard led the deposition’s questioning.
NEXT: To merge or not to merge?
In the meantime, Diane, Julian, and Kalinda discussed possible merger options. Diane said that Alicia had, at one point, been open to a merger, but that Cary wanted three years of segregated ChumHum money. Since that’s not an option, Diane asked Kalinda to see if she could get Cary to budge on the matter. Diane also admitted that they’d exploited the Cary/Kalinda relationship before. This is not news to us, but definitely news to Cary and co., who witnessed this exchange via the teleconferencing system. Cary then watched Kalinda step away to call him and confirm their plans for later that night. Awkward!
Cary and Alicia went outside to discuss the merger. Alicia argued in its favor, while Cary thought it wasn’t a smart decision. They don’t see eye-to-eye, and guys, I really don’t like it when Mom and Dad fight. They really are the new Will and Diane!
Alicia: “I’m tired. I don’t want to just keep struggling to stay alive.”
Cary: “That’s not why you’re tired.”
Alicia: “Excuse me?”
Cary: “You are not tired because of work!”
Alicia: “Are we talking about Will?”
Cary: “Is it about Will?”
Alicia: “If you are angry at what Kalinda said, you take it out on her. I’ve got the votes Cary. I’ve got the votes to get us to merge.”
Ooof. Cary asked the other Carey for his help getting a vote headcount. In the meantime, he had that meeting with Kalinda. And by meeting, I mean another encounter under the sheets. Only this time, it was terribly awkward and tense. Cary was clearly pissed off that she’s been using him. He got a call from Carey confirming what he feared: Alicia had the votes she needed to go through with a merger. So he left Kalinda to make a deal with the devil, so to speak. He met with Louis Canning and told him that Diane was interested in a Florrick/Agos merger, and to make whatever moves he needed to make to keep that from happening. What a betrayal!
Canning went back to share this info with David Lee, and everyone watching at Florrick/Agos learned that Cary was responsible for tipping Canning off. He owned up to it, but stuck to his guns about not merging with Lockhart/Gardner. Alicia and Cary got into a serious screaming match, and now I’ll pull and Eli and say they really should get some walls. But maybe it won’t matter. At this rate, it looks like Florrick/Agos is a sinking ship.
Meanwhile, Eli Gold was dealing with his own crisis. James Castro had some information on Finn Polmar that would ruin his run for state’s attorney. Castro had proof that Finn had bribed a prosecutor to drop drug charges against his sister. Finn had, in fact, cut a deal to lessen the charges on another case. Finn was willing to fight it, but Eli knew it wasn’t survivable. Eli wanted Alicia’s help convincing Finn to drop out of the race. I was actually a little surprised by this; I just assumed Finn would be a shoo-in for the job. It’s a perfect way to keep him around as a series regular next season. But I still have questions about his relationship with Alicia. At what point, if at all, do you think their relationship might develop romantically?
NEXT: Mother vs. mother
By the end of the episode, Finn had agreed to drop out of the race. But prior to that, Eli began the hunt to find Finn’s replacement, and he and Peter settled on Diane. Sure, she’d make a good state’s attorney. But even better? She’d already been vetted by their team when they were considering her for the Supreme Court justice spot.
Diane agreed to meet with Peter and Eli, but she took Kalinda with her for moral support. This was all kinds of awkward because it meant a Peter/Kalinda interaction. It was a brief one, and it went off without a hitch. But I would prefer not to be reminded of Peter and Kalinda’s sexual past. It makes me long for the days of a happy Kalinda/Alicia relationship. Anyway, Diane told them she’d consider the offer, but you could tell she wasn’t really into it.
When Alicia wasn’t focused on her work drama, she was trying to plan Zach’s high school graduation party. (She was also dealing with everyone asking her how she was handling her empty nest. If I were Grace, I’d be a little offended; she’s still got one baby bird left!) Unfortunately, Alicia’s work kept her from actually accomplishing anything. And desperate times call for desperate measures: She called Veronica to ask her to pick up the lasagna and cake for the party. After some difficultly, Veronica agreed — but then she switched it up, like Veronica is wont to do. Why pick up a lasagna when she can make one herself?
Not to be outdone, Jackie Florrick joined the graduation party prep by insisting that she make the cake. We caught a good portion of the animosity between Veronica and Jackie in the kitchen, but honestly, I would have loved to see even more. They hate each other, and don’t do much to hide the fact. And then they were drinking wine, which only made the whole situation more ridiculous. Oh, to have been a fly on that wall.
Veronica spilled the beans to Jackie about Peter and Alicia’s marital arrangement. Jackie didn’t take it too well. Later in the episode Peter called Alicia to warn her about their drinking mothers and tell her that Jackie wanted to talk to them both. Uh oh. Alicia refused to let that happen, but Peter did hear a mouthful at the dinner later.
NEXT: Wait, what just happened?
Back at Lockhart/Gardner, Diane was presented with another Louis Canning scheme. Canning realized he’d lost the battle for Howard’s partnership vote, but he hadn’t yet lost the war. Canning decided to go nuclear: He gave Diane a notice of dissolution. As partner, he has the unilateral right to dissolve the firm with cause. (His cause? Will had made expenditures without a full vote of the partners.) Well, that’s one way to get what you want! If Canning wasn’t made managing partner, he made it clear he would dissolve the firm. Ugh. I hate that guy!
So Diane decided to make her own nuclear choice. She went to Florrick/Agos, where everyone assumed she would make a merger plea. Instead, she shocked everyone by asking Florrick/Agos to take her and her $38 million a year in client billing in. Robyn summed up my reaction the best: “Holy crap!”
The episode ended with Alicia talking to Eli about their weird year. And then you could see the wheels turning in Eli’s head:
Eli: “Alicia? Would you want to run for state’s attorney?”
Fade to black.
The best lines and moments from “A Weird Year”:
++ The mustache and eye patch on Peter’s portrait in the governor’s office
++ Alicia: “Hey, guys! I’m trying to have a meeting here.”
Eli: “Maybe next time get some doors on your conference room.”
++ “You know, it’s odd that he wrote her as ‘Lady Macbeth.’ I think ‘Mother Macbeth’ would have made more sense.” –Peter, to Eli about Jackie
++ Peter: “Well, who’s our replacement going to be?”
Eli: “For Jackie? I don’t know. I could make up a list.”
++ Howard confusing a takeout menu for the deposition transcript, and David Lee’s great annoyance
++ Jackie: “I see where Alicia’s drinking comes from.”
Veronica: “And Peter’s rudeness.”
++ Grace’s confusion upon seeing Veronica and Jackie in the kitchen together
++ Alicia: “Cary, you do it. She liked you. Work your magic.”
Cary: “God. I am the new Will.”
++ “This needs to stop. Seriously. I would go there myself with a hatchet, but I’m in the middle of something here.” –Alicia, to Peter about Jackie and Veronica hanging out together.
++ “I don’t know. The world is so confusing right now. I just might quit and go live in New Zealand.” –Diane
++ Diane: “You want some whiskey?”
Louis Canning: “Sure. My meds are just kicking in. This could be interesting.”
++ “Why is everything so difficult?” –Eli
So what did you think of “A Weird Year” and The Good Wife‘s fifth season? Do you think Finn and Alicia will become an item? Will Cary and Alicia settle their differences? Will Alicia seriously consider a state’s attorney run? And if so, how would her relationship with Peter change? Will Florrick/Agos take Diane on as a new partner? And what happens to Lockhart/Gardner if she leaves the firm she helped create?