The fifth season of THE GOOD WIFE has been quite the tumultuous ride, with Alicia and Cary starting their own firm, Will Gardner’s death, and now Eli’s big question to Alicia. Here’s a look at where things could go from here…
When THE GOOD WIFE began almost five years ago, there were clear parallels between Peter and Alicia Florrick and Bill and Hillary Clinton. She stayed by his side when he was coming out of a sex scandal. She was the good wife. Alicia made the decision to support her husband, despite his massive betrayal, and that worked wonders for Peter when he continued his political career after getting out of jail. However, their marriage never went back to being perfect, despite a few good moments between the two over the years. In fact, Alicia even embraced the opportunity to be happy with Will Gardner (albeit shortly), when she found out about some more of Peter’s indiscretions from the past. It was then when it became clearer to us that she, who had been the victim all along, was not going to sit back and continue to be one. But even then, she had no intention of leaving her husband. On the contrary, she made the most of his (and hers, by extension) political clout.
Meanwhile, her rise at Lockhart-Gardner saw Alicia becoming an equity partner in the previous season, and she was settling into becoming increasingly ambitious. Even when it was time for her to define her relationship with Will and take that forward, at the cost of her marriage to the governor-elect, Alicia had her eyes set on taking her career forward, deciding to leave Lockhart-Gardner with Cary Agos. While initially, it may have been hard to see the gray in her character, over the last two seasons, she has unabashedly made the most of her position as Peter Florrick’s (and subsequently, Governor Florrick’s) wife. Without abusing the position, which she wouldn’t, being a woman of integrity, she continued to accept what came her way, and why shouldn’t she! She was the victim earlier, and something had to come out of her being resilient through her husband’s betrayal. If she endured the looks of pity from everyone when she was the victim, why shouldn’t she get something out of the looks of awe that people give her when they realize she’s the governor’s wife?
When I started watching the show, and saw the similarities between the Clintons and the Florricks, and I thought about the name of the series, I figured that there had to be a bigger purpose of Alicia Florrick being ‘the good wife’. As in the case of Hillary and Bill, I imagined Alicia emerging as the stronger component of her marriage with Peter—naturally on a moral high-ground, but even politically. Over the years, with the rise of Peter’s political career and him becoming the governor of Illinois, I’ve recalled some of my thoughts from back in the beginning, and I've been even more convinced that Alicia was headed for political greatness. However, with Alicia and Cary leaving Lockhart-Gardner, and all the drama that followed, Alicia’s potential political career took a backseat in my mind, and then Will died.
Will’s death came as a huge shock to everyone who watches the show, and we all knew that THE GOOD WIFE would never be the same again. That was quite unsettling for some, because who likes change! I had similar concerns when Alicia and Cary were starting their own firm, but that turn of events gave us what are possibly some of the best episodes of the series so far. And the fact is that even Will’s death would throw all the characters into places where we’ve never seen them, giving rise to storylines that we would’ve never imagined. And the episodes that have followed Will’s death have given us just that. Will’s death threw Diane into a losing battle to retain her position as Managing Partner at Lockhart-Gardner, and that has made her knock on the doors of Florrick, Agos & Associates, making them an offer they can’t refuse. Will’s death also made Alicia bond with Finn Polmar, leading to her urging him to run for state’s attorney. Eventually, following from that, Eli Gold asks Alicia the question of the season: “Alicia, would you want to run for state’s attorney?”
And that brings me right back to what I’ve thought of all along: Alicia making it in politics. I’ve felt that, sooner or later, Alicia would go down the same road as her husband, and the series would end with her becoming the governor of Illinois. And now, it seems like that journey is finally going to begin for her. It makes me wonder obviously, what all of that means for everyone else, and for the episodic storytelling. Even with Alicia leaving Lockhart-Gardner, the legal drama could continue and characters like Diane and Cary and Kalinda could still be a big part of the show. With Alicia (potentially) as the state’s attorney, that seems a little more difficult. I’m sure her new position would create a conflict of interest with her being a partner of a law firm full of people that her office would be up against in court all the time. Of course, it would also change the procedural quality of the show considerably. However, with all that has happened in the last year—the new firm and Will’s death—the writers have still managed to keep all the important characters extremely relevant to the larger picture, and I doubt that that will change even if Alicia does become state’s attorney. And while I may be convinced that it will eventually happen, it may not even happen now. Maybe she’ll decide to run, but will lose the election. Maybe she’ll win in her second attempt. A lot can happen, and if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that change is inevitable, but I’m sure that we can all rest assured that the characters and storylines will continue to be compelling, engaging and extremely relevant to the larger picture, the series as a whole.