March 23, 2014 10:48pm PT by Philiana Ng
'The Good Wife' Bosses Sound Off on Shocking Exit
[Warning: Major spoilers ahead.]
"We, like you, mourn the loss of Will Gardner," their joint letter begins. "And while Will is gone, our beloved Josh Charles is very much alive and remains an integral part of our family." Charles, who opted to exit the show after this season, directed an upcoming episode of The Good Wife as he transitioned out of his role as a series regular.
"To us, there always was a tragedy at the center of Will and Alicia's relationship: the tragedy of bad timing. 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," the Kings explained.
The Kings revealed that they toyed with multiple endings to Will's story: "We could 'send him off to Seattle,' 'he could be disbarred, or get married, or go off to Borneo to do good works.' " But ultimately, those seemed like soft endings to what they saw as a tragic story. "The brutal honesty and reality of death speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing for these two characters," the Kings wrote. "Will's death propels Alicia into her newest incarnation."
With a death hitting so close to home for the core Good Wife characters, it "created a new dramatic 'hub' for the show," they wrote. "These turning points keep the show from slipping into a numbing sameness and keep the characters fresh because you see how they react to a completely new status quo. Will's death in many ways becomes a hub for the whole series, violently spinning everybody in new directions."
The Kings explained that they opted to write Will out of the show in a violent courtroom shooting "for personal reasons," saying, "We've all experienced the sudden death of a loved one in our lives. It's terrifying how a perfectly normal and sunny day can suddenly explode with tragedy," they penned, emphasizing that television doesn't deal with "the irredeemability of death" enough.
With seven remaining episodes in the season, the Kings promised that it won't be "all tears -- there is comedy too," touting the returns of Michael J. Fox (four episodes), Dylan Baker, Dallas Roberts and Stockard Channing.
"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," the Kings wrote.
Will's surprising death in Sunday's episode, "Dramatics, Your Honor," came as a shock to viewers, as the character of Will had been an integral centerpiece for The Good Wife, first acting as Alicia Florrick's (Julianna Margulies) superior at Lockhart/Gardner, then rekindling their romance and then serving as an adversary. In fact, several trending topics on Twitter on Sunday evening were devoted to The Good Wife, "Will Gardner" among them.
Charles, currently filming the Sarah Silverman indie I Smile Back, took to Twitter on Sunday evening to thank the fans for their support:
Sending out all my love to #TheGoodWife fans! Playing Will Gardner was an honor and a pleasure. Thanks for all of your support & kind words!— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) March 24, 2014