The critically acclaimed and award-winning “The Good Wife” kept fans titillated for two seasons as it built the sexual tension with the will they-won’t they consummate their relationship storyline between Alicia Florick (Julianna Margulies) and Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Finally, at the end of Season 2, the couple disappeared into a hotel room — but it was not until the premiere of Season 3 that we saw their clandestine — after all, Will is Alicia’s boss — affair play out — and with negative consequences.
The surprise twist is that it is Will who has to pay the piper, so to speak, when Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) gets his revenge by hiring a special prosecutor to investigate what may be a case of illegal bribes to judges. In an attempt to make it look as if it is not a personal vendetta, Peter hires Wendy Scott-Carr (Anika Noni Rose), the woman who ran against him in his bid to become District Attorney. She then takes things much farther than Peter had intended, seizing on the opportunity to further her political career by putting Will’s future in jeopardy.
The wonderful thing about “The Good Wife” is that every episode is jammed packed with story, so there is always some other delicious bit of business going on as the cases go to court, and it is peopled with fascinating characters, such as Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi, who won an Emmy for the role), the firm’s investigator, whose life is placed in jeopardy this season by a spurned lover; Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), who is Peter’s campaign manager and a conniving partner at Alicia’s firm; Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) who lost his job at Lockhart-Gardner to Alicia and until the third season’s penultimate episode was her main opponent in the D.A.’s office; and, on the personal front, there is Jackie Florrick, Alicia’s mother-in-law, who wants nothing more than for her daughter-in-law to return to Peter and be “The Good Wife” and mother she was before Peter went to jail.
With just one episode left of the season, we checked in with co-creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King to get their take on “The Good Wife”‘s third season before the finale airs on Sunday, April 29 at 9/8c on CBS.
Take us inside your approach to the finale and what you wanted to accomplish.
We usually think of the last three episodes as a unit– sort of the third act in a movie. Last season, the last three episodes focused on the aftermath of Alicia’s discovery of Kalinda’s betrayal. This year, it’s about Alicia’s future as a person who’s taking control of her life: seeing how it impacts the political sphere; the office; and her personal life: especially her relationship with Kalinda.
Who’s Out to Destroy Alicia? Preview the Season Finale:
Did anything disappoint you about this season? Anything you wish you could have done, but didn’t have the time, forethought or resources?
We wanted and intended to do two episodes that actually occupied the same three-day period of the characters’ lives; both episodes would start with the same scene and end with the same scene, and they would require Alicia to bounce back and forth between the case in the first episode and the case in the second episode: so she would exit a door in the first episode and you wouldn’t see what happened on the other side of that door until the next episode. It was a very complicated structure that was done in by the limits of TV budgeting. The main cast in one episode would become the supporting cast in the other (sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) and vise versa. This became too expensive, requiring double the cast budget for two episodes. But it’s a lovely idea that we would still like to crack.
What should fans look forward to next season? And if you haven’t gotten that far yet…what would your dream season be?
The fans should look forward to an Alicia who is more in control, but finding things just as difficult. And they should look forward to a Kalinda who has to deal with the biggest threat of her life.
What were the high points of the season?
We liked “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” for the beauty of its execution and its willingness to tangle together so many plot lines. We very much liked “Another Ham Sandwich” for the way it delivered a movie-like comeuppance. But we also liked “Blue Ribbon Panel” for the way it complicated the usual cheering underdog moment. And, finally, we loved the casting this year; there were so many great guest parts.
Do you have a favorite episode, line, or scene from this season? If so, what?
We did like the sexual harassment video. We loved the way Julianna copied Carrie Preston in that episode: “I’m swamped. Look at all this paper.” The structural fun of seeing the redacted transcripts played out with bleeps. The loving but tough way Diane (Christine Baranski) confronts Will (Josh Charles) about sleeping with an employee. The way Will handles Alicia breaking up with him. Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) subtlety in questioning Alicia about the missing document. Matt’s (Cary) fantastic performance watching Alicia being questioned in front of the grand jury. We have a stupendous cast.