Major — and we mean major — spoilers ahead! If you have not seen the Sunday, March 23, episode of The Good Wife, do not read on. You have been warned.
"Shocking" doesn't even begin to cover what happened on Sunday's episode of CBS' legal drama The Good Wife. Fans of the hit series were left reeling when Josh Charles' character, attorney Will Gardner — a sometime love interest for Julianna Margulies' leading lady Alicia Florrick — was shot and killed in a courtroom by one of his clients (Hunter Parrish, who might want to steer clear of any Alicia/Will shippers for a while). Watch the bombshell video here.
Now, as viewers wonder how the show can possibly go on without one of its most beloved characters, Good Wife creators/showrunners Michelle and Robert King have written a letter to fans explaining their decision.
"We, like you, mourn the loss of Will Gardner. And while Will is gone, our beloved Josh Charles is very much alive and remains an integral part of our family," they wrote in a note posted to the official Good Wife Twitter account on Sunday night.
"The Good Wife, at its heart, is the 'Education of Alicia Florrick.' To us, there always was a tragedy at the center of Will and Alicia's relationship: the tragedy of bad timing," they continued. "And when faced with the gut punch of Josh's decision, made over a year ago, to move on to other creative endeavors, we had a major choice to make."
That choice, the Kings said, was whether to do something drastic with Charles' character (like they did last night) or "send him off to Seattle" and have him just fade out of Alicia's life. They chose the former, because "there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle." Death, on the other hand, "speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing" — and provides new direction for both Alicia and the show.
"Finally, we chose the tragic route for Will's send-off for personal reasons. We've all experienced the sudden death of a loved one in our lives," the creators explained in their letter. "It's terrifying how a perfectly normal and sunny day can suddenly explode with tragedy. Television, in our opinion, doesn't deal with this enough: the irredeemability of death. Your last time with the loved one will always remain your last time. The Good Wife is a show about human behavior and emotion, and death, as sad and unfair as it can be, is a part of the human experience that we want to share."
The letter went on to thank fans for "watching and caring and inspiring" the writers to rise to the viewers' level of "passion and intelligence." It further noted that Charles would be directing one of the remaining seven episodes in the season, and that those episodes would deal with the aftermath of Will's death.
"Julianna does some of the best work of her life," the Kings wrote. "Archie, Christine, Alan, Chris, and Matt, as well. Life does go on. We've always taken as a guiding principle of this show that drama isn't in the event; it's in the aftermath of the event. We think you'll find that true of this episode."
Tell Us: What did you think of The Good Wife's shocking twist?
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