“The Good Wife” wrapped its fifth season with a couple of bombshells — Diane seemingly leaving the firm she started to join Florrick/Agos, and Eli Gold asking Alicia Florrick to run for State’s Attorney. Zap2it spoke with “Good Wife” executive producers, husband-and-wife team Robert and Michelle King, about the latest developments and what this means for Season 6.
Zap2it: Is Diane leaving Lockhart/Gardner for Florrick/Agos a direction you always knew the show would go once you were faced with writing out Josh Charles’ character Will?
Robert King: We knew that it was going to be Diane joining Alicia, we just didn’t know how. Some of our decisions are based on what casting we can get. We knew it would be a threat internally with Diane, but we didn’t know where it would come from. We didn’t know if we would get [Michael J. Fox] or Martha Plimpton or one of our other lovely go-to villains.
Michelle King: There’s an odd trio now with Diane, Cary and Alicia and that causes even more problems. I don’t think Diane respects Cary as much and Cary doesn’t really like Diane, and Cary’s worried that the two women will gang up on him, so all those things start flying.
Will Florrick/Agos welcome Diane, or at least welcome her money?
MK: We’re hoping to play that question out in Season 6.
RK: We’re not going to back away from it, that’s going to be a lot of the dispute going forward.
We imagine Diane wil want her name on the letterhead.
RK: [laughs] That does seem like the first argument, doesn’t it?
Aside from Diane seemingly leaving Lockhart/Gardner, the other big moment was Eli’s thunderbolt idea about Alicia running for State’s Attorney. Is that something she’ll actually consider, might she run?
MK: We try not to ask questions that we don’t entertain, so that also is something that we plan to play with. We’ll pick up the next season hopefully right after that question is asked and move forward from there.
RK: One of the tings we like about it was the comic value of having that bombshell thrown at Alicia and the audience. It’s different from the Season 4 ending, which was “I’m in,” which was a decision of hers. This is more of a “What the hell?!” Is that even something that Alicia would consider? I don’t think the audience has to worry that [Alicia] would go into something that seems so alien to her right away, I don’t think that is in the cards, anyway.
What about Alicia’s personal life? In the wake of Will’s death, is the Alicia-Peter rift permanent or will Season 6 explore the possibility of salvaging their marriage?
RK: The simple answer is we are going to explore that. The only question is is that even possible? Can you have a marriage that is sort of just for professional purposes? What you have on the plus side of that working is that Alicia and Peter really do respect each other, but sometimes respect isn’t enough.
There’s also the sense that Peter has still got some feelings for his wife, but Alicia’s just been put through the wringer so much that she’s not sure if that’s possible. The next year is exploring the power couple difficulties. Is it possible to have a marriage that is better on paper than reality? … There’s something very strong and likable about [Peter] and his
willingness to go to the mat for his family, even if going to the mat
means that he puts himself in a very vulnerable ethical position.
MK: As we have from the beginning of the show, we really do like to explore a marriage and how it evolves as things happen. There are events that happen and that change the dynamic of the relationship. … It’s a very complicated relationship and our hope is that it becomes even more complicated as we move forward.
What about Finn Polmar? There’s been fan debate about whether he’s even meant to be a love interest for Alicia.
MK: I think we view the character simply as he’s entered Alicia’s life, which at this moment, he is a professional she respects and she has a connection to because he was there with Will at his last moments. At this point there is no romance between them. But who can ever say in one’s life whether romance will develop?
RK: One thing we wanted to do was not have someone come in like he was off the assembly line as a replacement for Will, because it doesn’t feel like life serves up people that way. Also, the way Matthew Goode is playing it is very different from Josh’s character, so you don’t want it to be “Oh, here’s the next hunk.”
On the other hand, there is a sense of there being an odd balance on our show of male and female energy. We were worried that we had so many powerful women on the show that we didn’t want it to be overwhelmed. And part of it is Matthew Goode doing an incredible job and is very well-liked, so he’s kind of becoming the anti-Will. I don’t know where it will head next year, but we’re thrilled that Matthew is going to be with us next year.
Speaking of next year, do you know what Season 6 looks like in a general sense?
RK: What we know is pretty much what we knew about Season 5 at this point — the real tent-poles. At this point going into Season 5, we knew were going to have the break-up of the firm at episode 5, Will and Alicia being at their lowest point in episode 10 and then Will’s death in episode 15. We know what we’re doing for Season 6 at those big peaks and part of the glue of the show is how do we get from place to place in an organic fashion. That’s what the writers’ room and we are putting together right now.
Have you talked at all about including a storyline about Louis Canning’s deteriorating health?
RK: Yes, we have talked about that. Michael, as I understand it, would love to come back next year and we’re building it in. We would like to explore someone who is an excellent lawyer and uses his personal life to gain an advantage in the law, even as he becomes possibly a more pathetic creature because as his health is deteriorating, could actually become more dangerous. As Michael says in the episode you just saw, if I don’t work, I’ll die sooner. It’s like he becomes an even greater villain because he is even more passionate about it because it’s keeping him alive. It’s like the Winchester Mystery House — if you stop building it, you die. I think the same thing is going on with Louis Canning.