We Need To Talk About Last Night’s Episode Of The Good Wife, And It’s Gotta Be Now

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We Need To Talk About Last Night s Episode Of The Good Wife  And It s Gotta Be Now Josh Charles as Will Gardner in The Good Wife season 5 episode 15 jpgUgh, thank god you’re here. I’ve needed to talk about The Good Wife with someone ever since I saw last night’s episode, but none of the friends that I texted in a frenzy had seen it yet, so I feel like I’m about to burst from spoilers. (Which this post will be full of, by the way, and they’re starting right now.)

When it aired on the east coast, the timing got all jacked up with March Madness stuff, so The Good Wife started over half an hour late and went into The Mentalists slot, meaning that a lot of peoples’ DVRs only caught the first half and have no idea that…

(Bigtime spoiler alert — if you haven’t seen the episode, then peace right on outta here.)

…WILL GARDNER DIES. He dies. The secondary main character, played by Josh Charles, the guy that many of us were still hoping would end up with Julianna Margulies‘ character Alicia Florrick, just up and died. He got shot in a courtroom by his extremely overwhelmed and unhinged client Jeffrey Grant, and he effing bled out AND IS DEAD NOW. No big deal, I’ve just had a crush on him for five seasons, I’m sure I’ll get right over it.

Some people are desperately grasping at straws, saying that maybe his death is just a delusion of Hunter Parrish‘s and that they won’t watch another episode if Will’s really gone, but it’s time to man up guys, because this is real. Not only has Josh given an interview to TVLine explaining his departure, but the show’s creators have written and published an open letter trying to address the concerns of fans mourning one of the most out-of-the-blue deaths ever to grace television.

Here’s what we’ve learned.

It was Josh’s decision to leave the show; he wasn’t written off or anything, and he didn’t leave on a negative note. He just decided last year he was ready to go and do something new with a little less of a time commitment, given that he’s newly-married and hoping to start a family.

“It wasn’t anything bad. 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. It all sounded like positives for me and for the show, and that turned out to be true. 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.”

He also supported the way he was written out, saying, “I was very supportive of it. I thought it sounded really powerful and strong and shocking.”

And yeah, that’s the main takeaway here. Michelle and Robert have some big brass BAWLS on them, and I love it. As much as I’ll miss Will, and know that the next few episodes are gonna be really tear-jerky for me, I respect a show that doesn’t mind throwing its weight around to shake things up for major characters, Game Of Thrones style. In their own words:

“We could ‘send him off to Seattle,’ he could be disbarred, or get married, or go off to Borneo to do good works. But there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle. The brutal honesty and reality of death speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing for these two characters. Will’s death propels Alicia into her newest incarnation.”

He will be in one more episode, the next one, and that’s where you’ll see the flashback scene that’s described by Josh as the one of the most emotional of the whole series for him to shoot.

“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.”

We’ll miss him, but the sooner you can give everyone involved some massive props for last night’s incredibly-crafted episode and start looking forward to the changes latent in the rest of the season, the better.