It’s been a week since The Good Wife rocked our world with the shocking death of Will Gardner. But in the world of Alicia Florrick, the news has barely started to spread, much less sink in.
And what if Will’s final thoughts of his former lover were angry ones? Before Alicia can even begin to deal with her loss, she must face that possibility. It’s a mystery that dominates “The Last Call.”
No Will? No Way!
Picking up exactly where we left off last week, Eli pulls Alicia out of the Chicago Correspondents Club luncheon. This time, we see her take Kalinda’s call. The PI starts by telling Alicia that one of Will’s clients shot him in the courthouse, and then finally breaks the news that Will didn’t make it. A stunned Alicia is struck nearly speechless.
Eli tells Alicia to go — he’ll step in for her and introduce Peter. As Alicia drives, she thinks of Will and begins to cry. In her mind, she imagines him being gunned down by a hardened criminal.
Back at L-G, a stricken Diane must face the dreadful task of telling the partners. They’re already gathered to vote on the L.A. expansion and complaining about the delay to the meeting’s start. All griping ends when the group learns of Will’s death. David Lee walks out with a strange look on his face. Is he scheming to take Will’s place in the firm? No — he just wants to find an empty room to cry in. David has a heart after all!
As the news of Will’s death spreads through the offices — and across the city — Alicia enters. She and Diane embrace. Diane explains that Jeffrey Grant shot Will, which shocks Alicia yet again. This could have been her case!
Cary calls Alicia to tell her they need to handle a deposition for Candace — a wrongful termination suit. Coincidentally, the woman is a client that F-A just “poached’ from L-G. This fact will soon take on great significance to Alicia. Right now, however, she has to tell Cary to stall the deposition: Will’s dead.
A Message and a Mystery
At L-G, life goes on, even in the midst of tragedy. David informs Diane he must call Will’s clients to reassure them everything will carry on as usual. A furious Diane reminds him that she’s just lost her best friend, but then relents and tells him to “do what you do.”
Alicia uses this time to slip away and listen to the messages on her phone. Two are from Kalinda and Diane, trying to reach her after Will’s death. But one is from Will himself — the episode’s “last call.” Hesitant to play it, Alicia finally listens.
Unfortunately, Will’s message was interrupted by court business, and he never gets to the point. “I’ll call you back,” he says. But of course, now he never can.
Alicia sets out to learn what he might have wanted to tell her. Diane says she has no idea — he must have called during a recess. Despite Alicia’s concern that he might have been calling to express anger about stealing Candace’s case away, Diane can’t shed any light on it.
“I loved him, you know,” she tells Alicia. “And he loved you.” It’s not clear whether this makes Alicia feel any better or not. She plays the abortive message over and over.
A Hero’s Death
Back at the courthouse, Kalinda enlists the help of cop/former lover Jenna, who gets the PI access to the room where the investigation’s underway. A sheriff’s deputy explains that Jeffrey grabbed his gun and opened fire. That’s enough for Kalinda, who now wants to find the young man.
Jeffrey’s in a holding cell being harangued by investigators. He keeps denying that he murdered the college student whose death he was on trial for, but doesn’t deny the shooting. His new lawyer (Girls‘ Becky Ann Baker) claims that she’s going to sue the state for driving Jeffrey into committing what she sees as an act of temporary insanity.
Meanwhile, Alicia approaches the judge who presided over Will’s final case. She’s still trying to learn what Will might have called about. He can’t tell her that, but he can tell her what actually happened during Will’s last moments. He leads her into the courtroom, now a crime scene.
As Will and ASA Finn Polmar were at the bench talking with the judge, Jeffrey grabbed the deputy’s gun and began to fire. He first killed the witness on the stand. Will jumped in to try and stop the boy, taking a bullet in the chest. Polmar then tried to protect Will and got shot as well. The judge explains that Polmar — a stranger to Alicia, and new to Chicago — held Will in his arms as they waited for the paramedics to arrive.
She now knows Will died trying to save others’ lives, but she’s no closer to finding out why Will called her. She asks the judge what hospital Polmar’s at. When she arrives, she learns he’s in surgery, but will be out soon.
Alicia asks Polmar’s assistant, Maria, if she knows why Will wanted to talk to her. No, the younger woman says, but I did hear him complaining about another lawyer poaching his clients. Alicia fears the worst and leaves.
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Never Cross a Lawyer on a Bad Day
When Cary tries to reschedule the deposition with Candace because Alicia’s dealing with a family emergency, the opposing attorney refuses. We can settle now for five cents on the dollar if that’s better, the self-described “schmuck” sneers. A furious Cary says let’s go ahead.
Better that the plaintiff’s attorney should have waited. Cary pulls out the big guns, accusing Candace’s former employer, a doctor, of having numerous affairs. Although the doctor had claimed he fired nurse Candace for poor performance, it’s pretty obvious that it was because she wouldn’t sleep with him.
The other lawyer knows he’s sunk. “What do you want?” he asks Cary. Attorney Agos snarls that he wants to take out his anger and aggression on the plaintiff. Now sit down, he commands.
And over at L-G, David convinces Diane to talk to a client, Mr. Klepper, who needs some reassurance today.
Again, the man should have waited. After Diane explains that clients will be taken care of just like before, she then calmly tells Klepper he’s fired. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with him or his business. Moreover, she’s called around town, and out of loyalty to Will, no other major firm will take him on either.
After she shows Klepper the door, she turns to David. “That felt good,” she tells him.
“Turned me on,” he answers. Why, David, you old softy!
Back at home, Grace reassures her mom that Will is in heaven. Alicia doesn’t buy it, but Grace insists that Will was good, so he must be there.
“You think God is good,” Alicia says, “but I see no good here. A kid picked up a gun and started shooting. It was a stupid accident.”
“But how is it better if there’s no God,” her daughter asks. “Not better,” Alicia says, “just truer.” The two know they’ll probably never agree on this, but they take comfort in one another. Just then, Finn Polmar calls — he heard she wants to talk to him.
At the police station, Kalinda is looking for her own kind of comfort. She and Jenna visit the morgue to talk to the medical examiner. He reveals that Will was definitely killed by Jeffrey’s gun — not in the crossfire that followed.
Jenna then convinces the cop on suicide watch near Jeffrey’s cell to take a walk. Kalinda approaches the boy, who is clearly in agony. She calmly accuses him of killing her friend, though he says he didn’t mean to. She then offers him his belt. The guard will be away for 10 minutes, enough time to end it all.
He reaches for the belt, but she draws away. She’s decided his punishment is to live with what he’s done.
As One Mystery Is Solved, Another Begins
At the hospital, Alicia meets the loopy-from-surgery Finn Polmar face to face. He expresses his sorrow for Will’s death, and she thanks him for being with him at the end. He says Will was a fine attorney — and was beating him in the case.
She gets up the courage to ask if he knows why Will might have called. He says he’s not sure, but Will was angry about someone stealing his clients. It’s Alicia’s worst nightmare — Will died being angry at her.
Then Polmar says he doesn’t think it was about her. Apparently, Will complained about someone named “Boyle” stealing his clients. (I guess that’s the end of Jason O’Mara’s run on the show!) As she leaves, the relief on her face is palpable.
Back home, Peter says he’s sorry about Will. She hugs him — all the while imagining that Will’s final message would have been an expression of love and the wish they could be together forever.
So although this seemed to be over, it’s not over.
Like the members of The Good Wife’s cast of characters, we’ve only begun to experience the fallout from the tragedy. The disbelief, the anger — if you’ve ever had the misfortune of losing someone close to you, this felt very, very real. Kudos to the great cast for making every moment believable. And though I’m as sorry as anyone that Will is gone, kudos also to the writers allowed him to die a hero’s death.
And now we’re left with many questions of our own: Where will Alicia’s grief take her? Will her lost love drive her away from Peter? Can Diane hold the firm together? Will Kalinda be able to resist her desire for revenge after all?
We’ll be back in two weeks to begin the last episodes of Season Five, when I’m guessing only some of these questions will be answered.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm on CBS.
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