by Chris Harnick | Sun., Apr. 16, 2017 6:00 AM
The Good Fight ended with "Chaos."
The season one finale saw Maia (Rose Leslie) step up in court for Lucca (Cush Jumbo), Diane (Christine Baranski) align herself with alt-right (just briefly) and everybody depend on the law as the saving grace. The final moments featured Maia getting arrested after her father (Paul Guilfoyle) didn't turn himself in and fled.
"I would say thematically the final episode tries to tie together things we've seen throughout the season: You don't know who's ever telling the truth, you may not know what the truth is and yet even amidst that kind of chaos our core characters are supporting each other and believing in the law to get one through it," co-creator Michelle King told E! News.
The Good Fight will return for a second season on CBS All Access and questions will be answered next year—and right now. Below read on for more from Michelle and Robert King about what's in store and why you shouldn't necessarily get your hopes up for Diane and Kurt (Gary Cole) being all happily ever after right now.
Let's get this out of the way: Have there been any discussions for Julianna Margulies in season two?
Michelle King: No, I mean it's really the same as season one: The feeling is that Alicia Florrick's story ended the way we hoped and things are moving forward with these new stories.
Robert King: The one we really want to try and get is Alan Cumming, because that's a story that could be continued on for years, but he's doing another CBS show so we'll see.
The finale ends with a cliffhanger with Maia under arrest. Where do you go from there?
RK: We talked, about halfway through the year, about Maia being left kind of holding the bag, being the brunt of the emotion. What you're always trying to deal with is make your main character an underdog, so we thought about this Lucca-Maia friendship and Lucca defending her and how difficult it is to be a new lawyer and also defending yourself. We have some of it plotted out, we don't want it to be like Cary Agos being arrested at the beginning of the sixth season of Good Wife. In many ways it's going to play out in a different way, I would just say it's going to continue. It's not a cliffhanger that's immediately answered in the first episode of the next season.
What's the biggest challenge you faced with limited episode count and new CBS All Access parameters, if there were any?
MK: I would say it was learning a different tempo in terms of how quickly or slowly you dole out plot in a season doing 10 vs. 22 [episodes], but the benefits far out weigh any concerns.
RK: The other problem is financial. When you advertise, the budgets—over 22 episodes you have much more chance of absorbing whatever big things you want to do, they're compensated by the several small things you do in other episodes. Here, with only 10 episodes, you're kind of running against how much you can amortize that money. Sorry to get all budgetary on you, but that is one of the struggles of showrunners is how to do what you really want to do with the money they give you.
With a shorter episode count was there any desire to move away from the case of the week format and do more serialized stories? Is that something you want to explore?
RK: It is something we're looking at in season two. The only worry we have is—what we like about case of the week format is it allows us to attack something going on in the culture of the moment. The problem with a highly serialized structure is in my mind it slows down storytelling. I've been watching Fortitude online. The storytelling to me comes across slower for some reason because there aren't as many bombshells to be thrown in a novelistic story. There is quicker, faster pacing with a story that has to unfold over the course of one episode.
Where I think we're headed is some place with higher serialized quotient than this year. Probably the closest may be the fifth season of The Good Wife, which had highly action-packed serialized story that took place over the course of the 22 episodes.
Now that you have more freedom, can you please give Christine Baranski the musical episode she's dying for?
MK: Christine and I are both dying for that musical episode.
MK: It is not yet conceived, but it's not for lack of interest on my part.
Fans are going to be very, very happy with what happened between Diane and Kurt at the end of the episode. Are they officially back on? Is there temptation to pull them apart again?
MK: They are officially back on—for the night. I would not assume anything of what it's going to look like in a year's time. They're trying to feel their way forward.
RK: The difficulty is, we always thought that was a great marriage. And even though it has these bumps here and there, how do they mature in that marriage when you're already a mature person who has your own interests and your own desires?
MK: Especially when one of you is already appearing on Veep.
You had so many great characters back this year like Carrie Preston's Elsbeth Tascioni—are you eyeballing secondary characters you didn't get a chance to bring back this year?
RK: [Laughs.] Yes. You know—actually, can I just add to this? One of the things we loved this year was there were all these good new characters. Love what Kevin Pollack did with his judge and Jane Lynch is fantastic in this FBI role and Fisher Stevens as this kind of scuzzy lawyer. So what's great is to fill that out, but yes, there are always people that you want to get. We'd love to get Martha Plimpton back. She was so fantastic… What's good about it—the show is flexible enough that it can adapt to when people are in New York or when they're out of a play. Like, Tony Shalhoub is in a play now, we'd love to grab him when he's out, things like that.
I loved the quieter scenes between Diane and Maia, Lucca and Maia, the more mentor type of interactions. Is that something you want to look into doing more of?
MK: Absolutely. We love those characters. We love those relationships. We definitely want to continue mining them. There's so much more story to tell there.
RK: Well, Maia's story is probably the closest to [Alicia's] story in that it's the education of her. So I think one of things that works with that is Lucca, who is more of a street-wise fighter in court, and Diane who is more elegant and idealistic…and [Adrian], his influence on her, [Adrian] who is a showman in court, all trying to push her into finding her own style as a lawyer I think is interesting to us.
All episodes of The Good Fight are streaming on CBS All Access.
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