Disclaimer: Major Spoilers Ahead
This week’s episode of The Good Wife left me gasping for breathe. I didn’t see it coming at all, which is another shock because these days such things are really played up. In True Blood, we all knew from the beginning that a major character’s going to die. While I hoped it will be Sookie/Bill, prayed it shouldn’t be Eric/Pam & relieved to know it was Terry, a character I never care for. Even the full frontal nudity of Eric was all over the place, even before the episode aired. And, Good Wife people just dropped the bomb of Will’s death without any hints.
No suffering from a terminal disease, no being kidnapped by someone not even a struggle in OT; just bang & dead in a courtroom shootout.
Last season Josh Charles’ (Will) contract expired & instead of renewing it he decided to leave the show. At that point writers had five scenarios:
1. Send him to a different city for job
2. Send him on an eat, Pray, Love spree, denouncing everything.
3. Send him to jail
4. Send him in coma
5. Kill him
The writers chose the fifth one, and they justify it in an interview too. Why it happened is not my focus here. After I recovered from the shock of Will’s death, I realized how well it was sketched. And here are the reasons why:
1. No reconciliation between Will & Alicia
Will’s death simply closed the door on any reconciliation between him and Alicia. My first thought was that Alicia never got to tell him that her move wasn’t personal. Will never got to tell her that he didn’t hate her, that he was angry because she left him. But, most of all there unsaid love, remained unsaid. Will doesn’t die of a disease so that he has time for catharsis about the time he lost fighting with Alicia, time for closure. The writers don’t even give him a chance to say good-bye to her!
But isn’t that how it happens in real life? How many times we get to say, ‘I love you’ to someone before losing them forever? I wonder how the writers resisted all the temptations to create a dramatic moment there & just keep it real.
2. The twist was jaw dropping. Literally.
I said it before, but I’ve to say it again that we all were genuinely shocked by the twist. The way it was written, the way it was kept under wraps, the way it was executed, but most of the all the place it was positioned. It wasn’t a season finale, not even a mid season break, it was just another episode when this happened. Twitter is full of ‘Jaw-on-the-floor’, ‘shocked’ ‘didn’t-see-that-coming’ responses. So unpredictable, so instant & yet so convincing! The unanticipated and unjustifiable incidence intensified the tragedy. Therefore for this randomness wins over thematic value, because it’s so damn difficult to create it in such an organic manner.
3. It requires courage to kill the male lead of the show
I couldn’t believe that the writers would actually kill Will. After all, for all practical purposes he’s the male lead. The writers just ended the character, and with that they lost the major source of testosterone in the show. It is brave & bold, but at the same time difficult to write after that. While I’ll miss Will, I am excited for the new perspective it’ll bring to the show. The abrupt demise of Will has left the story open for a new narrative.
4. The horror deriving from the simplicity
A scene that had so much scope for drama, was executed in such a simple manner. (Psst…I really want to know Ekta Kapoor’s reaction on this) It had it’s dramatic points though, first when it’s juxtaposed with Diane just a room away in total quiet. And second, when they gave us false hope with the scene of doctors struggling to save Will’s life on the table, when in fact it was someone else. Then we see Kalinda peeling back a sheet & revealing that Will’s dead. Gut wrenching! It’s simple & that make it horrifying. We don’t even get to see Alicia’s immediate reaction & that added to the cold-bloodedness of the treatment.
5. Alicia without Will
At first, I was concerned about the love triangle between Alicia, Will & Peter. Then I realized Alicia that this adds a coat of tragic unrequited love to Will-Alicia dynamic. Moreover, in last episode (A Few Words) we saw how when Alicia was getting back into the law and she was treated as an untouchable; Will took her under wings & transformed her life. There have been numerous accounts when Will has proved his dependability to Alicia. Unlike, Peter who has his lies, we knew that Will may not be the most ethical of all, but he is reliable when it comes to Alicia. Now he’s gone, Alicia is on her own. It will be interesting to see how the character grows from here.