'The Good Wife' Season 5 Finale Recap: Is This the End of Lockhart-Gardner as We Know It?
'The Good Wife' Season 5 Finale Recap: Is This the End of Lockhart-Gardner as We Know It?
Alison Stern-Dunyak
Alison Stern-Dunyak
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Well, Good Wife fans, it's been a heckuva ride. We've seen the birth of Florrick, Agos, the death of Will Gardner and the end of any ability to guess what's coming next.   

Writer-producers Robert and Michelle King chose to dub this week's finale "A Weird Year." I would say that, yes, it's been that. But it's also been a shocking, stimulating, emotional and -- above all -- entertaining year. So how did they wrap up season 5? Continue reading!

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Teleconference Mayhem

We open on a lot of arguing. It suddenly becomes clear that the cross-talk among lawyers and clients is exaggerated by the conference taking place on a three-way videoconference. It's Cary and Alicia on one side, Louis, Diane and David on another, and a woman who is suing L-G and Alicia on the third. 

The case (which we first heard about in November) is nominally about the lawsuit filed by a would-be mother in the failed adoption of a child from the Chippewa tribe. The adoption fell through when David tried to bribe a tribal official -- then lied and said it was Alicia's doing. The woman wants $6 million from Alicia, L-G (which she worked for at the time) or, better yet, both. 

They take a break for three hours. While Alicia's trying to leave the office to pick up the dinner and cake for Zach's graduation party, Eli calls. He tells her Jimmy Castro, Finn's boss and adversary in the State's Attorney race, is about to drop a bombshell that could hurt Finn and Peter. He asks her to persuade Finn to drop out. 

So much for picking up the lasagna. She calls her mom, Veronica, and asks for a favor. Rather than pick up the lasagna, Veronica offers to make one. She asks her daughter if she's got empty nest blues, with Zach leaving the next day for a summer job before he starts at Georgetown -- a theme that's repeated throughout the episode. (To which I say, empty nest? What does that make Grace, chopped liver?)

Bombshells All Around

Back at Florrick, Agos' office, Carey (i.e., "the other Cary") notices that the folks at L-G & Canning haven't turned off their teleconference monitor. He can hear what Louis and David are scheming about. Even though Clarke Hayden argues vociferously to stop watching or at least warn them about the eavesdropping. According to the law, however, the decision whether to reveal it falls to the client. Since it's Alicia being sued, she's the client. 

As they listen in, at first Louis and David discuss how to push out Diane as managing partner. That's interesting, but not relevant to the case. But suddenly the talk turns to how they can "get" Alicia, possibly by lying to the woman who is suing over the botched adoption. Worse, they want to bury F/A completely. Suddenly, Alicia and Cary are very interested. If they're lying or withholding evidence, "that changes everything," Alicia says. 

Meanwhile, Finn comes to see Alicia and Eli. She wants him to think about staying in the race, but apparently Castro's news is big: Finn once traded favors with a prosecutor to get a lighter sentence for his drug-addicted (and later suicidal) sister several years ago. Eli warns Alicia that such information "isn't survivable" in an election. Peter is moving on from Finn -- no more endorsement from the governor.

Eli and Peter later discuss who should get the governor's endorsement. Someone pre-vetted. Someone they know. How about Diane Lockhart?! 

But does she want to be State's Attorney? 

The Cameras Are Still Rolling

The F/A team send Alicia to L-G & Canning for her deposition so they can watch it on the video. It's a bit of a botch, since Diane allows crazy old coot Howard Lyman to ask the questions as a favor to get his vote in the managing partner conflict. (It seems in 55 years of lawyering, Howard has never cross-examined anyone -- go figure.) Alicia stands by her testimony that it was David, not she, who tried to bribe the Chippewa official. 

With the camera live-streaming everything, Alicia tries to get David, Diane and Louis to admit to withholding evidence. They admit nothing and the watchers back at F/A are confused. What's really going on? Cary suddenly realizes that "the wife" they were referring to might not be the adoptive mother after all, as the camera picks up a new visitor in the back of the room: Neal Gross's wife, aka "Mrs. Chumhum." If they lie to her and cause F/A to lose Chumhum's business, their firm will go down. 

The F/A group then watches as Diane and her ally, Julius Cain, ask Kalinda to find out what Cary wants if the two firms decided to merge (after Diane retains her managing partnership, natch). A baffled Julius asks how Kalinda can help. Cary stands stone-faced as Diane tells him that "Kalinda has a way with Cary. We've exploited this before." 

And he can even see her outside the conference room doors as she calls him to confirm their date later. Yikes -- Kalinda, how could you?

Before he meets her, though, he and Alicia step outside of their offices (which have no doors, apparently) to talk. Or should I say, yell. She wants to merge with L-G & Canning. He says that it would be a disaster for him and many of the others. Only she would come out the winner. She says that's not true -- she'd make sure his name would be right up there with hers. 

He doesn't even understand why she wants to merge. They worked so hard to build something for themselves. Alicia admits she's tired of struggling. If they merged, they'd be a huge firm. He wonders if her "tiredness" is about Will. 

Now it's personal. She accuses him of taking his anger about Kalinda out on her. "I've got the votes to merge," she hisses. "So that's how it's going to be -- a fight to the death?" he spits back. 

"No," she says calmly. "We vote."

I hate to see those two fight! Stop it, Cary! Stop it, Alicia!

An Offer and Another Betrayal?

Peter and Eli offer Diane the State's Attorney slot. She's disappointed at not being offered the Supreme Court gig again, but she tells them she'll consider it. They give her one day to think it over. Kalinda urges her to give it a chance. Diane says she might do it -- or just give up everything and move to New Zealand. (I guess she's tired of struggling, too. But where's her husband in all of this? Where's he gotten to?)

Back at Cary's place, he and Kalinda are going at it hot and heavy under the sheets. He gets a little aggressive with her, and she tells him to back off. He pushes her away and gets dressed. He has to meet someone.

And that someone is ... Louis Canning. Cary slips him information about Diane's plan to merge L-G and F/A. Cary tells Louis, "You don't want a merger, and neither do I. So whatever moves you're going to make, make them now." Yikes -- Cary, how could you?

Back at NSA Central Florrick/Agos, Cary approaches Louis with the insider info. Alicia is furious, calling it a betrayal. Cary says he thinks the merger would be a disaster. Clarke says this is what they get for listening in, just like the government did to them earlier. Again, Alicia and Cary start screaming at each other. Cut it out, you two!

Finn calls Alicia. (I'm really starting to like the possibility of them together, and we did learn last week that Finn's divorced) He's dropping out of the State's Attorney's race. And he's heard that they've offered it to Diane, which is news to Alicia.

Louis comes to see Diane to discuss the managing partner position. She's rightfully appalled that he's been at her firm for four weeks and already wants the top job. He points out that he could force her -- as the current managing partner -- to dissolve the firm. Why? Because Will made acquisitions in New York and LA without the agreement of the other partners. That's all the cause he'd need to end everything she's worked so hard for. Even though he's dying, he wants to to die as managing partner of her firm. 

Though it sounds like blackmail to me, Diane realizes he's right. Will did screw up by not getting the partners' approval on those deals. She walks out, and Kalinda follows. What will she do? Diane says she's not sure she still has that much fight left in her, not without Will there. Kalinda reminds her that she's there for her. She also reminds her boss that she could run for State's Attorney.

Suddenly, it's clear Diane's made up her mind. But what's her decision? (And, by the way, would someone please give the amazing Christine Baranski an Emmy already? Jeez.)

Diane's Decision

Diane calls an after-hours meeting with several key Florrick/Agos players. Cary jumps in and says they don't want a merger. Clarke asks them to just listen. 

And in fact, Diane doesn't want a merger anymore. Instead, she offers them one thing: her. She asks if they'll take her on -- along with her $38 million in yearly client billings. Cary looks uncertain, but Alicia gets a hint of a smile on her face. 

Yes! Could the old gang be getting back together again?

Alicia's Decision?

All day long, Alicia's been worried about Zach's graduation dinner. As she should be, since Veronica (on lasagna) and Jackie (baking a cake) have been going at each other all day in Alicia's kitchen. (This is why Alicia wanted a caterer.) They've been drinking, too, and Veronica lets it slip that Peter and Alicia are in a "political marriage." Jackie's hurt at being the last to know. 

Alicia misses the family dinner, but finally escapes the drama of the day and makes it to Zach's graduation ceremony. She's so proud of her boy! (I just sent my son off to college last year -- I know exactly how she feels.) When he announces that he's leaving for DC tonight, she watches wistfully as he walks out with his bags.

She joins Eli at the now-empty dinner table, where they share a glass of wine. Diane has called him to withdraw from consideration for State's Attorney, so Eli's a little at sea. 

As they raise their glasses, she sighs and says, "It's been a weird day." He responds, "A weird year."

Suddenly, Eli gets that look. He turns to Alicia and asks, "Would you want to run for State's Attorney?" 

"What?!" she blurts? 

"WHAT?!" millions of fans blurt.

End of scene. End of episode. End of one crazy, wonderful, unexpected season.  

Summary Judgment

An excellent end to an excellent season. I'm all set up for next year and cannot wait for the trio of Diane, Cary and Alicia to take on the remains of Lockhart-Gardner. New letterheads all around!

What did you think of the season 5 finale of The Good Wife? Did you see the end coming? Should Alicia run for State's Attorney? Should they wait on ordering that letterhead until she makes up her mind? 

The Good Wife will return in the fall on Sundays at 9pm (following football overruns -- be sure to pad your DVR recording). 

(Image courtesy of CBS)