That point was made all the clearer by the surprise return of Josh Charles as the deceased Will Gardner in Sunday’s finale titled “End.” As the series wrapped up, Peter was back on trial, Alicia was in a bind, and, once again, t was a handsome man waiting for her in the wings.
While Alicia took her final bow in an era when the ice zombies on Game of Thrones and the sweaty zombies on The Walking Dead rule pop-culture, Alicia Florrick belongs to the time of Walter White, Don Draper, and the other stars of the golden age of the TV antihero.
As the Kings put it in a video posted on CBS.com, “The victim becomes the victimizer.” As many predicted, Alicia ended the series by deciding to become a “Bad” wife, but that looked a little different than they might have expected.
Alicia throws Diane right under the bus in a way that the Kings describe as “Collateral damage.” The most charitable interpretation we can come up with is that at least Alicia was partially thinking of Grace as she did it.
The Kings claim the show was “Moving in the direction w t wasn’t much difference between who Alicia was and who her husband was.” Is Alicia a villain or an anti-hero? It’s hard to quite see her that way after all the good she’s done for so many seasons.
The inclusion of Will Gardner in the finale momentarily humanizes Alicia while also highlighting the idea that Alicia’s transformation into Peter has been a longtime coming.
The narrative of Will and Alicia that we accepted for so long was that Alicia stuffed her needs and wants down for much of the series in order to be the “Good” wife to Peter.
Was she really the victim of a “The one who got away” scenario, or did she make a decision to close off her heart to the reality of a true and loving relationship? Was she already more like Peter than we suspected? With all due respect to Cush Jumbo, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and the Hail Mary inclusion of Lucca Quinn and Jason Crouse, the show was never really able to fill the vacuum left by Josh Charles’s exit and the rumored dissolution of the working relationship between Margulies and Archie Panjabi.
Without Will and Kalinda, Alicia lost the people who made her the most human, but in the end that worked perfectly in a story that wound up being about the “Slow corruption” of a good woman.