The Good Wife Review by Henry Tran

The Good Wife 5.15: Dramatics, Your Honor

The Good Wife 5.15: Dramatics, Your Honor

Written By:
Robert and Michelle King
Directed By:
Brooke Kennedy

There was a warning that I received about this episode, that practically forced me to watch it as soon as possible. It was something big, and part of me wished I didn't read anything about the episode beforehand. I didn't know exactly what would happen, but I think it was the anticipation that dented my reaction to the event. It was met with some dread, but the signs were there. This just means that I will stay further and further away from any and all spoilers of any kind. Even hints of spoilers. But that is the nature of spoilers in today's television and internet world. What is amazing is that the network and the creators kept it secret for so long.

So Will died. There was absolutely no early indication of this. Given what had happened in the previous episode with Alicia and Will preparing for battle against each other, his death comes as a wild left turn so as to provide ample shock value. It definitely delineates the episode into pre-death and post-death. Pre-death, it felt like another routine episode of The Good Wife. Will defends a murderer Jeffrey Grant (who was in "The Next Month") and the case is not going well. There were inklings in that previous episode that Grant was indeed guilty and that Will was going to be fighting a losing battle. It goes deeper here, as all the evidence points to Grant's guilt. But Will continues to fight this to end, even as Grant's parents seek out Alicia as a potential lawyer for the case.

It could be seen as fortuitous that the parents stuck with Will because it could have been Alicia in the crossfire instead of him. Alicia has other matters to attend to, with her husband continuing to be under fire for the election scandal. When faced with death, we're all confronted with the "what if" scenarios that could have happened, but didn't. What if we did this and not that? Could it have changed things? What could have prevented Grant from reaching for that gun? The case never should have gone to trial. He rejected his plea bargain because he truly believes that he didn't murder the girl.

All the evidence was pointing that way. The legal system put those circumstances in play, and it cost Will his life. Everything up until that slow (and deliberate) focus on Grant in the courtroom played in a rote manner. Will was enjoying the game, telling Kalinda that they were both made for this. Kalinda, all of a sudden, wants to leave the game. Will argues, as he always does, that she will find that she can't do anything else half as well as she does this. And in the end, it cost Will his life.
After the shooting, the episode hums in a manner that didn't before. There's a focus, a gravity of the situation that wasn't there before. It's as if nothing else mattered or happened. Death does that, even if this is just another television death. It causes root devastation, with no regard for what comes afterward. Kalinda thinks of nothing else but to get to Will's body, damn the danger around her. The gun has been emptied, with Grant futilely trying to commit suicide with it. Diane is just numb, overcome with emotion.

Imagine what Alicia feels when she gets that phone call at the end. It will be anguish, non-stop. I wasn't too invested in Alicia and Will's romantic relationship, but Will did remain an integral part of the show after their personal and professional relationship fractured. Now the show will spend the remainder of the season dealing with the fallout of Will's death (the preview attached to the immediate end of the episode was unnecessary) and bring the focus back onto Alicia. Her relationship with her husband will no doubt become strained due to this new evidence of election fraud that has come to light. But those will be the least of her concerns in the short term.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Game-changing episode
  • The character work is top notch
The Bad:
  • Spoilers blunted the impact

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

The Good Wife by - 3/23/2014 9:59 AM70 views

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