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

Grief is a strange beast that affects us all differently, unknowable and indecipherable. This episode of The Good Wife, the first after the shocking death of Will Gardner, reveals that, strangely, grief can also often bring out people’s best. Many of our favorite characters were at their finest, kicking ass in spite of, or more probably because of, their sadness.

Except for, unsurprisingly, Alicia, who is unable to rise up to the level of badassery of the other characters because she is too busy being numb, shocked at a deeper level, swimming through murky waters with no sign of a shore. We start this episode where we left off last Sunday, with Kalinda breaking the news to Alicia over the phone. Alicia stutters. Eli puts his hand on her shoulder. She slinks away from it. Kalinda has to leave to talk to the police; Eli urges Alicia to go, and he takes her place at the horrible Correspondents Luncheon.

Even Eli Gold is so off-kilter that he reads almost-blindly from the teleprompter, stuttering awkwardly through jokes that were meant for Alicia, jokey woman-ish things about dresses and diapers. Women, right? But this isn’t even funny, the closest moment to humor that exists in this whole episode. It’s just awful, because everything about Will Gardner’s death is awful.

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Alicia drives blankly down the street in silence, her eyes occasionally focusing on random snapshots around her, nonsensical and bright: a flock of birds in the sky, a mother protecting her child at a crosswalk outside of a CVS. And then, eventually, she cries.

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Diane returns to the LG offices, which are still bubbly and full of life, bizarrely unaware, the partners waiting for Diane’s presence at a meeting about the LA office. Diane takes a moment to compose herself in her office, and then quickly walks in and shares the news, silencing the squawking David Lee. In perhaps the most shocking grief of the entire episode, David Lee hastily exits the room. He maintains his consistent David Lee sneer all the way down the hall until he finds a conference room to walk into, shouting at the girls occupying it to leave. And then, even David Lee’s face collapses. Even David Lee is broken.

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