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Jeff Simon: Did they have to bring back ‘Ghost’ for the ‘Good Wife’ finale?

“I’ll love you forever,” said Alicia Florrick to the ghost of Will Gardner.

“I’m OK with that,” wisecracked Will’s ghost.

I’m not. I thought all that Will Gardner hooey almost ruined the series finale of “The Good Wife” Sunday. His ghost came back all through the bloody episode to give Alicia legal and life guidance while her governor husband Peter was on trial on charges of obstruction of justice.

Will even advised her to invoke “U.S. v Nunez – the St. Jude of Precedents” in court on Peter’s behalf.

All of which is very nice but if there had been any more of his ghost smooching and schmoozing with Alicia I half expected her to go to a potter’s wheel while his hands guided hers in ersatz-erotic pottery making. At that point, the soundtrack could cue up “Unchained Melody” and we could all rue the day that “Ghost” had come out of ectoplasmic romantic hiding and afflicted a great TV show at the worst possible moment.

We don’t give TV shows star ratings around here but if we did the series finale would be awfully lucky to eke out three stars for one of the most eagerly awaited TV moments of the year. And even that would only be on the strength of the last five redeeming minutes which were unusually strong, just as all that Will Gardner stuff was unusually weak.

In the last five minutes of the show we discovered:

1) That Alicia, the good wife, was TOO good a wife. As the series ended, she ordered her attorney colleague Lucca to wreck Diane’s honest husband on the witness stand just to get her client – her husband – off.

2) The result of that was unusually powerful in the final seconds – her resumed partner Diane silently slaps Alicia’s face in a hallway, just as Alicia had slapped her husband Peter at the end of the series’ first episode.al

3) As Alicia breaks down into tears and recovers, there was a good chance that the wronged wife would walk away to become the next governor of Illinois.

A hell of a way for a woman to set political precedent, you must admit. But this show never was telling us reassuring things about the legal profession. It was, in fact, telling us unpleasant things in a stylish and sophisticated way that made them seem reassuring.

I knew that Josh Charles’ fans were going to be appeased in the finale but I didn’t think they’d be appeased as foolishly and laboriously as they were.

It’s to the series’ endless credit that when Charles decided to pack up and slip out the back, Jack, both he and the show’s creators engineered a situation where there wasn’t an iota of an inkling what was going to happen before it did.

There, on an ordinary CBS Sunday night, Alicia’s love Will Gardner was shot to death by a crazy guy in a courtroom.

Heck of a thing, that. And one of prime-time TV’s all-time best-kept secrets beforehand.

As the show ended, they wanted to appease those inchoate audience yearnings for Will and Alicia to slobber a bit more.

Bad move, just as I said two weeks ago when I was afraid it was going to happen.

A well-designed plaything for Julianna Margulies’ Alicia – an investigator played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan – was shuffled off screen quickly Sunday, with Alicia casting aspersions on his male maturity.

So what we were watching at the end of “The Good Wife” was the collapse of her snow-white rectitude – so total that she might be just right in some unseen future to become the first female governor of Illnois.

It was a good ending in its way – just as it was nice to see Christine Baranski, as Diane Lockhart, wind up to be the true “Good Wife” of the show and Gary Cole, as her munitions magician husband, epitomize struggling integrity.

Way too much collateral damage, though. All the savoir faire in the episode was choked out of it by Will Gardner so they could stuff Charles into it.

You can’t blame secondary actors for wanting off TV series. Michael Weatherly – whose two-part farewell to “NCIS” as DiNozzo begins Tuesday and ends next week – has said he was getting tired of his character’s immaturity.

He’s right.

I’m sure the money was good while it lasted. But “NCIS” had an odd propensity for attenuating the adolescence of some of its actors long after immaturity’s expiration date.

DiNozzo acted like a feature in Playboy magazine, circa 1981, in an era when even features in Playboy don’t resemble features in Playboy. While he’s still doing that on the show, Abby Sciuto, the house techie, is still the show’s adorable ingenue even though she’s played by 46-year-old Pauley Perrette.

Maturity really shouldn’t be that painful for TV characters to achieve on the air. So they’re giving Weatherly a two-episode exit, where DiNozzo will, no doubt, meet up with Ziva again and, in this case, cue the string section for “Unchained Melody.”

Let ’em go off together and start peopling the planet with little Ziva-nozzos. If they want to love each other forever, I’m good with that.

email: jsimon@buffnews.com