For the second season finale of CBS's The Good Wife, the series combines an important case with a number of personal developments. Will (Josh Charles) works to clear a man of murder. The odds are against him, even though the prosecution has a shaky case. Alicia (Julianna Margulies) is forced to work with Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) to assisst Will, even though Alicia still isn't speaking with her on a personal level. Meanwhile, Eli (Alan Cumming) wants to move his consulting business into Lockhart / Gardner, a development that could mean a big promotion for Alicia. Cary feels frozen out by Kalinda, who has taken up with Sophia (Kelli Giddish), a married woman. And Owen's (Dallas Roberts) dinner out with the kids is interrupted by Jackie (Mary Beth Peil).
The case of the week is more than a simple affair, as the life of an innocent man hangs in the balance. Stakes are raised for the season finale. What is interesting, and is a common occurence on The Good Wife, is that the facts of the case aren't necessarily the most important element in the jury's decision. New evidence that could exonerate L/G's client surfaces, but instead of immediately halting proceedings until it is examined, the judge tells Will he needs to get his findings in before the verdict is delivered, or he's out of luck. Bureaucracy is clearly not beloved by the writers of the series.
The defense team are the heroes here, as they valiantly try to get DNA samples and tests done as time ticks down. The District Attorney, Glenn Childs (Titus Welliver), is a lame duck and cares more for his reputation than the truth. This is completely in character for Childs, but disappointing to anyone who believes in the American justice system. Luckily, the new DA, Peter (Chris Noth), is a bit more honest, and his new right hand man, Cary (Matt Czuchry), has also shown a willingness to let justice prevail, even when it doesn't suit them. While neither Cary nor Peter are completely noble, neither are the attorneys of L/G, so what results is a murky, yet realistic, system, that gets it right as often as it can.
Complicating matters further is the most obtuse character, Kalinda, who has friends on each side, and who can be a wild card. In "Closing Arguments," Kalinda calls upon an old friend to assist L/G with the tests that need to be done. Sophia helps, but more out of an interest in getting Kalinda into bed than helping the client. Once Sophia accomplishes this goal, Kalinda realizes Sophia is married, something that doesn't cross her mind earlier, and she feels a profound sense of guilt. Kalinda isn't good at vocalizing these things, but Panjabi is an expert physical actor, able to show a lot with just a facial expression.