Spoiler-friendly Coping for the Grieving Fan
My sister, who lives in the Eastern time zone, sent me a cryptic Facebook message last night, less than an hour before The Good Wife was set to air on my coast. She advised me of watching it like this: “Have your sedatives handy and for God’s sake, stay off of Twitter and FB until you’ve seen it. Not even remotely kidding. I’m in shock.” She told me to brace myself.
I got excited—let’s face it, the show has never been better. Five seasons in, the writers, directors and actors are all at the top of their game. I thought she was preparing me for another roller coaster episode like October’s “Hitting the Fan.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The episode began and it was solid. Alicia was cocky and confident with the pesky investigators; Kalinda was threatening to walk and Will was turning around a case that seemed to be tanking. It was solid, but not yet remarkable. Just when I started to yearn for my favorite guest regulars (Michael J. Fox and Carrie Preston) to appear and spice things up, the unfathomable happened: shots were fired and Will Gardner was gone.
It’s a testament to the writers that I felt like I’d had the wind knocked out of me. In fact, I went through all of the physical things one goes through when they receive traumatic news: chills, tears, nausea (in that order). The stages of grief were beginning. Denial was evident in the amount of times I re-wound my DVR to make sure I’d seen what I thought I’d seen. And I tried so hard to un-see it.
After I believed what happened, I settled into Anger. How could this show do this to the fans? Why couldn’t they just send him to New York? Didn’t anyone else think that Alicia and Will would end up partners again—in law and in life? Peter can’t get the girl. He doesn’t deserve her.
Next was the stage of Bargaining. Well, they surely will resurrect his character. I mean, he could come back as a ghost, right? It could have been a nightmare, right?
Of course not. The writers are too classy for that. And the scene was captured with such a haunting grace (we didn’t see him get shot; we only heard the firing of the gun and watched the horrified reactions of his two colleagues) that to make it all for nothing would be to disrespect the art.
This realization, of course, brought on significant Depression.
I couldn’t sleep. I watched a few more shows (comedies) and tossed and turned and had a dream about JFK with Will Gardner after I finally dozed. I think my subconscious was telling me I will always remember where I was when I saw Will die (or that Kalinda’s comment to Louis Canning in an upcoming episode had a “You’re no Jack Kennedy” ring to it).
As I awoke this morning and talked with more friends and fans about the revelation, I settled into Acceptance, proud of the show for being so fearless and intrigued by what must lie ahead.
As I cope with my Good Wife-induced post traumatic stress disorder, I hope that everyone involved in this epic twist will be handsomely rewarded for their genius. I can’t imagine what the show will be like without the sexual tension and chemistry of Will and Alicia, but I will stay the course.
I know we’re in good hands.