A death that no one saw coming has just shaken the world of "The Good Wife" fans. On March 23, the show bid farewell to one of its major and original characters as the actor decided to leave the series after four and a half seasons.
In the episode titled "Dramatics, Your Honor", [SPOILER ALERT!] Josh Charles' Will Gardner met his demise after he was shot by his client Jeffrey Grant in the middle of the courtroom. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital with Archie Panjabi's Kalinda and Christine Baranski's Diane watching his lifeless body on a gurney.
As fans are still reeling from the latest twist, co-creators Robert and Michelle King discuss the impact of Will's death on Julianna Margulies' Alicia, his former love interest. "If someone you care about dies suddenly and violently, it isn't just going to impact you for a week," Michelle tells TVLine. "It will probably reverberate the rest of your life. And certainly the next few months."
Robert adds, "One of the reasons we wanted to have this incident [to take place] two-thirds into the season and not at the end of the season is so that you really could see the outcome of all of this on all levels in Alicia's life." Moreover, Will's death will affect Alicia's kids, "especially with her daughter who believes in God," Carry "who has never had the best relationship with Will," and Michael J. Fox who returns as attorney Louis Canning.
Losing Will will make Alicia question her love life and "all of her choices in her life." Robert continues, "Did she make the right choices in her life and career? And it's complicated by the fact that Will was not the [most] ethical guy, either. It's a little bit of a mix of whether she's doing the right thing with her life on five or six levels."
Josh, meanwhile, has talked about his decision to leave the show. "It wasn't anything bad," he says. "Creatively, I was just ready to move on to the next chapter. After having a long conversation with Julianna, and with [series co-creators] Robert and Michelle [King], I liked the idea of coming back and doing a finite amount of episodes."
"Once the decision was made and we knew what we were doing, it made it very special for me because I knew going into this season that this would be my last year, that I would be doing these 15 episodes. And it gave everything a real heightened quality for me."
Michelle admits there was "a combination of sadness at not having Will Gardner in the law firm anymore" and "some excitement at the opportunity of telling a really exciting story for our characters" when Josh told her and Robert that he was leaving the show. Seeing the positive side, Robert says, "It's about showing how the world changes, but, more particularly, how Alicia changes based on what happens to her. And this felt like a perfect way to charge her into both a new world but also challenge her by a world she's leaving."
Josh additionally reveals that co-star Julianna "was sad, but very supportive and understanding" when he informed her about his plan to leave the show. As for his reaction when he learned how his character would be written off the show, he claims, "I was very supportive of it. I thought it sounded really powerful and strong and shocking."
Will is still going to appear in next week's episode in a series of flashbacks from Alicia's POV. Josh teases the said episode, "The shock is in Episode 15, but Episode 16 is where you see the ripple effect of how everyone is taking the news. Reading the script was very hard for me. The scenes between Alicia and Diane... it really broke me up reading it. It was beautifully written and crafted and I was thrilled to be a part of it."
He goes on dishing, "There's a moment at the end of the episode where Alicia is dealing with her memory of the day that it happened... Let's just say that there was a phone-call moment that I had [which was] the last piece of real acting that I did on the show, and that was a very emotional moment for me. I think we did about five or six takes. And as each take progressed, I found myself getting more and more emotional, because I realized this is the last time I'd be talking as this character. This emotion came from some sort of deep place inside of me. And I had to kind of contain it somewhat. But that was when it hit me. That moment was one I will remember for a long time."
The Kings also address the latest twist in a letter to fans. "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 open the letter posted on Twitter.