This post contains MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS for last night's episode of The Good Wife, Season 5's episode 15, “Dramatics, Your Honor.”
Do NOT read this post until you have caught up. You have been warned.
In a season already known for being a game-changer, The Good Wife somehow did it again, and no one saw this (shocking, devastating, horrifying) twist coming.
With absolutely zero warning this would be anything other than your average—if still terrific—episode of the delicious, morally ambiguous legal drama, the show in its final few minutes [highlight for spoilers]offed not only a major player but one-half of a fan-favorite couple.[/spoilers]
Suffice to say: If you're still reeling...you're not alone.
The worst part of it all is that we were lulled into thinking the case of the week was nothing special for Lockhart Gardner: Handsome college boy accused of murder insisted he was innocent and Will took up his defense with all his usual swagger. Evidence fell through a couple times, spurring Kalinda on to dig up more. Sure, it made you wonder whether the kid really could be innocent after all that, but again, that's not all that unusual and is in fact par for the course of this excellent show—you're doing it wrong if you never question your initial feelings about the client.
Yet this wasn't your average case of the week. Not at all. We weren't left just shaking our heads in wonder at the craziness of the American justice system. No, we were left gaping in horror and disbelief as events unfolded that would be shocking to see in a controversial series finale, let alone in the middle of a show's season at what's arguably the height of its run.
Because just when it seemed Will Gardner, Lockhart Gardner's top litigator, had finally gotten the evidence he needed to win the case and free his client, that very same client LOST HIS MIND, grabbed the gun of the court officer beside him, and fired several shots into the courtroom.
His exact target(s) is anyone's guess as viewers only heard the shots, but the aftermath left nothing to the imagination: Will Gardner was fatally injured, and Kalinda and Diane were left to find his lifeless body behind a curtain on a gurney in the hospital.
Then, Alicia—the show's star and half of the tumultuous, on-again off-again, beloved-by-fans Will/Alicia relationship—accepted a phone handed to her by a shaken Eli to take a call from Kalinda, and then...fade to black. End credits.
There's no question about it: The Good Wife as we knew it is gone. The fascinating push-pull between Alicia and Will was undoubtedly a huge part of the show's appeal, with many fans hoping they'd end up together again somehow, someday. Where will Alicia, and the show, go from here? Will the fans ever get over Will's loss?
I have to say, as crushing a blow as this was, I have to admire this gutsy move by the show's creators. For network TV to survive, shows are going to have to become event television, like The Walking Dead and Scandal, which regularly shake things up. And the only way you become event television is to take huge risks like this.
So I confess: I'll be in mourning next week, but I'll be watching. How about you?
And here's the scene again, if you need a refresher and can bear to watch:
Heather Waters is the site manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers and a 24/7 fangirl. Tweet her @redline_.