Season finale review: ‘The Good Wife’ – ‘A Weird Year’

A quick review of “The Good Wife” season finale – and thoughts on season 5 as a whole – coming up just as soon as I quit and go live in New Zealand…

My other Sunday commitments have kept me from writing about “The Good Wife” since the Will death episode, but man alive was this show a pleasure to watch all season. And “A Weird Year” was an appropriate conclusion: loopy and farcical in spots, angry or solemn in others, and always aware of what had happened before and how it was weighing on the latest crazy turn of events.

I loved, for instance, how Cary, Cary 2 and Alicia suddenly turned into the NSA because David Lee's people forgot to turn off their webcam. And just when it felt like things were on the verge of becoming too light-hearted as the capper to such a tumultuous season, Cary overheard Diane and Kalinda talking about him, and then he made his play with Canning. Matt Czuchry's been an underutilized resource at times this season, and he and Alicia working together took most of the tension out of their relationship – even as the show was redirecting it elsewhere in the relationships they now had with their former bosses – but their argument in the middle of that big open design office was a corker.

My only real concern about the finale (besides wondering where Alicia will turn to with all cloud-based questions now that Zach is moving out) and the season is that the Kings at times feel too in love with shuffling things around just for the sake of it. (Though they are in love with the sound of the name “Finn Polmar” far more.) Only 10 episodes passed in between Alicia's departure from the firm and Will's death, and though the timing of that owes to Josh Charles' desire to leave (the Kings, in fact, talked him into staying for most of this season just so he could be part of this new direction), the war between the two firms gave this show so much more narrative juice and emotional power that having everyone bond over their shared grief threatened to undo all of that. And then Canning arrived to cause more trouble, and now we appear headed for yet another new status quo, where Cary and Diane run the new firm, the old firm is now the enemy (like the Dillon Panthers in the later “Friday Night Lights” seasons), and Alicia is improbably running for state's attorney, even though this will put the Florrick marriage under an enormous public microscope. (And maybe this is exactly what Eli wants, considering neither of them will listen to him anymore about the futility of their current plan. That, or he really wants to play matchmaker between Alicia and Finn.) It seems like at least one twist too many, which is often the show's Achilles heel on a micro scale (where various cases of the week can't help themselves from pulling the rug out from under the characters too often), and could become a macro problem next year.

But overall, this year was a lot of fun, and a prime example of how much can still be done in the traditional broadcast network drama model. Looking forward to season 6, even if episodes in the first half of it will keep getting delayed by Jets games.

What did everybody else think?