"What?" That's how The Good Wife season five ended.
Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is at a crossroads, again. Will she throw her hat into the political ring and run for State's Attorney? Plus, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) made a game-changing decision at the end of the finale and thankfully, nobody died. So what's next? More changes for The Good Wife.
Robert and Michelle King, The Good Wife co-creators and executive producers, already have season six mapped out. Rest assured, everything that happened in this year—even Will Gardner's (Josh Charles) death—had a purpose and the payoff will continue to be felt. Let's break it down.
Will Alicia run for State's Attorney?
Robert King: You know what? We ended season four with "I'm in," where it was given that she and Cary were going to leave the firm even though there was some question…We start next year exactly where we left off this year and Alicia's reaction is, 'Are you f---ing insane? That's the last thing I want to do.' But things tend to change on the show.
Michelle King: We can't tell whether she runs for State's Attorney, but we can tell you that thread is definitely not being dropped.
How does this fit in with the journey you're crafting for Alicia?
Robert: Very early on, I think it was in the second season, we set her up as Maria Shriver to Schwarzenegger where she went on TV to swear for her husband, and the interviewer said, 'Have you ever thought about running for office?' … and she said, 'Never.' What we want to do with Alicia is Alicia takes on more and more responsibility and gathers more and more power. In many ways if it did work out, it was all along the lines of what we've been planning for Alicia Florrick.
Last time we spoke you said you would be exploring more episodes without court cases. Is that still the plan?
Michelle: Yes it is, we'll see just as in season five, we'll see some episodes that are light on court and others that are more traditional.
Robert: …I think we're going to do more of that in the sixth season and play with the structure more almost in the way some of the cable shows do.
What was the genesis behind Diane's decision?
Robert: Diane—ever since Will's death, we've been playing as a real punch to the gut. As most people have had a love one die close to them or a major disaster, she begins to question what she's about, what she's doing. Where we're kind of heading is toward her taking on some of the characteristics of Will. In many ways, she didn't have to be the tough fighter because she had Will. Without Will, she's taking on some of his characteristics. What's lucky for us is that Christine is so youthful in her portrayal of Diane in the second half of the year, so what we decided to do was make her even more ballsy in her choices.
Michelle: We wanted to show with Will's death how the people that were closest to him changed more dramatically—Alicia, Diane and Kalinda—other characters were changed, but to a far lesser degree. Diane is unique in the sense that she's not only changed internally by Will's death, but then there are external circumstances changed dramatically also. She is the one that really has to fight back.
Will Kalinda go with Diane to Florrick/Agos?
Robert: Yes. The relationship between those two is just too pure and too great not to continue.
Speaking of Kalinda, will we see fallout between her and Cary?
Robert: Yes, you saw a little of it in the finale. It's picked up right away in the beginning of next season…It's too interesting to see how Cary, who thinks he's disrespected by Kalinda and Kalinda now thinks Cary is pushing things in an odd direction with her, how they're either going to make up or get worse.
Will Matthew Goode be sticking around?
Robert: Yeah, we love him. We love what he's doing. What's nice is he's a very different color to have on the show. It's almost like a feature-like pacing in his acting…You're very aware of it. You're aware of these off-beat pauses that he brings to it. It's very theatrical and very not Josh Charles, which is good too, so it doesn't feel like we're copying things.
You had politics in the forefront for season four. Was there any hesitation in bringing it back for season six?
Robert: Yes. Yes, there was a hesitation. I think part of our feelings why politics are interesting or uninteresting is how it affects our main characters, so I think whenever we thought politics was uninteresting on the show, was when we thought it did not impact our characters emotionally in big ways.
Will Michael J. Fox and Jill Hennessy show up?
Robert: I'll tell you what our hope is and what our intent is: They really love working with us and we love playing with them, so we're hoping to get them for as many episodes as we can.
What are you most looking forward to exploring next year?
Robert: I think a different structure. What i'm most excited about is I think CBS has always given us a pretty clear signal that we can explore the way we want. But I think we wanted to be the good kids, we tried to do self-contained stories…What i think we'll do this year is play with the structure of 22 episodes. The year is going to be divided in half, it's going to be 11 episodes and then we're off for a few months and then 11 episodes. That gives us an interesting dynamic for the year, but also the ability to jump between comedy and drama based on structure is fun for us.
Michelle: The other thing that I'm looking forward to is the thing I look forward to every year, which is the continuing education of Alicia Florrick. I think we've seen her become increasingly pragmatic every single year and this one she has a firm she needs to protect, a possible move into politics—I think she's just fascinating.
Do you think this coming season will be as traumatic?
Robert: There are some traumatic things we've already built. I don't think we have it in us, another surprise like Josh dying.
Michelle: But again, surprises tend to be surprising.
Robert: We didn't start this year thinking it would be the most traumatic season, but I think it did end up being. We thought it'd be a wild ride, but I think viewers took to it even more wildly than we thought.