“The Good Wife” recap (5.16): The Last Call

Cary has been stuck at the offices of Florrick Agos during all this, tied down in a deposition for a client they just recently poached from LG, that woman who was fired for being too pretty. He tried to delay it after hearing the news, but the opposing counsel refused the delay, even after hearing that it was because of a death. Because he is a horrible person. So Cary says fine, let’s do this, let’s do this now. And when the sleazy doctor who fired the woman for being too pretty blows off the accusation, Cary gets angry. Cary gets angry and dirty and calls out the doctor for being a sleaze and isn’t sorry about a second of it. When the doctor and his schmuck of a lawyer get up to leave, Cary asks them, simmering, to sit the hell down. I like Angry Cary Agos. Angry Cary Agos is good.

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This client, the pretty woman, has actually been part of Alicia’s nightmare this whole episode. Like a devil and an angel sitting on opposite sides of her shoulders, she envisions two scenarios behind Will’s last voicemail. He was calling angrily, to yell at her for taking another one of his clients. Or he was calling with love and repentance, about to say, forget it all. This is ridiculous. Let’s be together forever and ever. Just you and me, kiddo.

When Alicia runs into Finn Polmar’s assistant at the hospital while Finn is in surgery, she asks if the assistant remembers Will stepping out to make a phone call at any point that morning. The assistant said she did, while they were meeting with the judge for a possible plea deal. Will stepped out, angry about someone stealing his clients. Alicia’s heart sinks.

But later, while he’s loopy on pain killers, Alicia does get to talk to Finn Polmar, played by Matthew Goode (Heck from Imagine Me and You), in one of the best scenes of the episode. He’s lucid, but has a strange air about him from the pain killers—like he’s happy, but trying to describe a nightmare that happened far, far away. He says that when Will was holding his hand in the courtroom, bleeding out, he kept opening his mouth, like he wanted to say something, but couldn’t. When Alicia asks about the phone call, he suddenly erases all her fears. He was angry, yes, but with a dude that was stealing his clients—a dude, not a woman. In a sudden burst of clarity, Polmar remembers: “Damian.”

I’ve been wondering where dear old Damian had gone. I feel the Kings must have sensed viewers’ hatred of him, or maybe the actor didn’t want to do it anymore; I care too little about him to even research it. In any case, I’m glad, glad that Damian’s gone (at least, hopefully), and glad that Will wasn’t mad at Alicia in his final hours.

As the drugs are really starting to kick in and Polmar’s about to fall asleep, he says, under his breath, “I wanted to tell you something.” Alicia stops on her way out, asks what, perhaps waiting for the answers she’s been searching for, at long last. But Polmar just looks up at her with blurry eyes and says, “I’m sorry. I really am.”

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Back in the law offices of Lockhart and (RIP) Gardner, David Lee has done a seemingly cold but actually good thing, calling all of Will’s clients, making sure they want to stay. Everything has gone smoothly, except for one douche bag who wants to meet with them—today—to make sure everything’s still all good on his accounts. Just to clarify, this is still the same day that Will Gardner has been shot dead. David says he can try to arrange a phone interview instead, but Diane says no, tell him to come in.

And so he comes in. He makes his attempt at being sympathetic before turning to his All Important Law Matters. Diane says yes, she’s up to taking on Will’s caseload. It’s not a problem. But oh, by the way? It doesn’t really matter, because Diane Lockhart is firing your ass. And she’s called around to all the big local firms, including Florrick Agos, and they don’t want your ass, either.

Douche Bag, who is obviously shocked and appalled at this turn of events, tries to twist the knife on his way out the door by stating, “It’s not what Will would do.” Diane doesn’t flinch. “If I were dead? It’s exactly what Will would do.” She closes the door and looks to David Lee, who has been standing by the window, speechless, during this exchange. “That felt good,” she says. In the best line of the episode, he replies, “Turned ME on.” For once, David Lee and I are in agreement.

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With nothing left to do but go home and stare into the void, Alicia receives little comfort from her family, no matter how they try. In a scene that marches forthrightly into the Heavy Shit department, poor little Grace tries to talk to her mom about faith and God. To Alicia’s credit, she can’t accept her daughter’s neat explanations about what happens when we die, that Will is in heaven. To Grace’s credit, she doesn’t buckle when her mom rebukes her beliefs.

Alicia: You think God is good. I don’t find any good here. A kid picked up a gun, didn’t even mean to shoot Will. It’s just some stupid accident. What does it mean?
Grace: What does it mean if there is no God? Why is that any better?
Alicia: It doesn’t make it better. It’s just truer. It’s just not wishful thinking.
Grace: Well, maybe always believing the bad—maybe that’s wishful thinking, too.

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And in a final act of the Kings proclaiming, “We are really not fucking around in this episode,” Kalinda and Jenna make their way to Jeffrey’s jail cell once more, but this time it’s not swarmed with cops and lawyers. Jenna coerces the cop who’s on suicide watch to look away, and Kalinda approaches Jeff’s cell. He’s lying on his side on a bench, looking distant. Kalinda asks why he killed her friend. He says he didn’t mean to. Then she asks him if he wants to die. Without hesitating, he nods his head.

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On the other side of the bars, Kalinda holds up his belt. She took it from his belongings the police are holding. He could do it in under 10 minutes, she says.

Jeffrey suddenly gets up and makes his way to her with purpose, eager, almost desperate, for that belt. But then she pulls her hand away. “No,” she says, “No, you’re going to live with this.” She walks away, and he wails into the night.

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Throughout all of this, we’ve also seen Governor Big for the first time in many episodes, although thankfully, not too much. His reaction for Alicia is clearly not as assertive as Jenna’s is for Kalinda: he wants to be the Good Husband, comfort her, hug her, talk to her. But Alicia doesn’t want to talk. She doesn’t want to hug. The closing scene is him hugging her anyway while she stands in her hallway, unmoving as stone, looking past Big’s shoulder, imagining that Will’s last call to her was to tell her that he loved her.

Not surprisingly, this episode was heavier than even the last one was. But it was flawlessly done, the characters reacting in resilient yet true ways, the actors carrying them out with amazing skill. I’m excited to see how things evolve from here. What are your thoughts of the aftermath?

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