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"The Good Wife" creative ending is sadly uncompromising

I did a couple of things that I rarely do Sunday night after the end of “The Good Wife.”

First, I took part in a Twitter poll. Entertainment Weekly asked whether the lead character played by Julianna Margulies, “got the proper send-off." I believe the choices were yes, no and not sure.

I voted no, which enabled me to see the results of all the other voters in the unscientific poll.

It was a landslide. John Kasich received a higher percentage of votes in many primaries than the “yes” option.

This morning, I was told that 66 percent of 10,674 voters agreed with me.

As I wrote Sunday, I haven’t been in love with the final season of one of my favorite dramas. I didn’t care if Alicia’s husband, Peter Florrick, was found guilty or not or whether she ended up with her new love, investigator Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). I just wanted Alicia to be happy with her choices and her life.

So did the late Will Gardner (Josh Charles), Alicia’s former love, who showed up in several fantasy scenes to give Alicia some advice on whether to go back to her old life with Peter or begin anew with a more romantic life with Crouse.

Spoiler alert: If you don’t want to know what happened, you better stop reading now.

Co-creators Robert and Michelle King spent most of the final hour dealing with the twists in the case against Gov. Peter Florrick, a case that held little of my interest.

By the end, Alicia had Peter’s co-counsel, Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo), cross-examine Kurt (Gary Cole), the husband of Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). The cross-examination embarrassed the gun expert and may have destroyed Diane and their supposedly happy marriage.

Somehow, that led Peter to be offered an 11th hour deal by the U.S. attorney played by Matthew Morrison (“Glee”) that would mean a sentence of one-year probation and the end of his life as the Illinois governor. Peter accepted it rather than see what the jury decided.

The plea offer by the U.S. attorney – who previously had offered Peter a two-year prison sentence -- made about as much legal sense as a series mostly grounded in reality over seven years having a finale full of fantasy scenes featuring a dead character.

However, it enabled the series to end as it began with Alicia dutifully standing by her corrupt man as he announced the deal at a press conference.

After Peter finished, Alicia followed Will’s fantasy advice and went looking for Crouse. Instead, she ran into Lockhart and was slapped in the face.

After the slap, Alicia got herself together and looked like she had accepted who she had become: A lawyer willing to do anything to get her client off. As for Crouse, that was left to a viewer’s imagination.

We’re hardly talking about a feel-good finale.

I read somewhere weeks ago that Margulies thought viewers would love or hate the finale. I didn’t love it.

I thought I understood it.

That’s when I did another thing I rarely do. I headed over to CBS.com to watch a six-minute interview that series creators Robert and Michelle King did about the ending. I recommend you do the same.

I wish the Kings hadn’t done it and had just left the finale to our imaginations and own interpretation.

In the interview, the Kings noted that they wanted to end the series honestly. They also wanted to end it with a slap because the series premiere featured Alicia slapping Peter.

The idea was to show that Alicia had become “more confident and cunning” and more like her husband as she grew over the last seven years.

Michelle King explained that they were showing the “victim had become the victimizer.”

The Kings added that Diane had become collateral damage in Alicia’s quest to save her husband and their daughter and also to allow her to move on.

The creators said the finale was the climax of three separate Alicia stories.

Peter and the couple’s past together weighed Alicia down. Jason represented “weightlessness.” Will was the fantasy that got away. The Kings explained that she was able to make Will anything she needed him to be in those fantasy scenes.

Creatively, the explanations all worked. In a funny way, it reminded me of the much-maligned "Seinfeld" finale that ended with the Fab Four in prison. Like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, the Kings went out with their vision intact. I admire the Kings for not compromising for a feel-good ending that might have showed Alicia happy years down the road.

But honestly, judging by the unscientific EW poll, many fans of the show felt like collateral damage, too.

apergament@buffnews.com

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