In many ways we had a lot of hints that this would be the final season of The Good Wife. The show’s executive producers and creators, Robert and Michelle King, announced they would be leaving at the end of this season. Star Julianna Margulies joked recently that she would be unemployed by April. And, perhaps most tellingly, the series was back to one word episode titles, just like they used in season one.
And still, it was a bit of a shock when The Good Wife announced during the Super Bowl that this seventh season would, in fact, be the last. The series finale will air on May 8. What can viewers expect as we prepare to say goodbye to Alicia, Cary, Diane and Eli? The Kings did a conference call on Monday with reporters, and here are the nine things we learned, as The Good Wife heads into its final nine episodes.
After the show was picked up for its first full season, the Kings began considering “the full story” they wanted to tell, and that’s when they mapped out a seven-season story arc. “What you’re seeing in the final nine episodes is the third act of the movie,” Robert explained.
But, of course, it’s not going to be a completely happy and smooth reunion. “There’s a timelessness to office politics,” Robert said.
The series is known for its amazing guest stars and the Kings are working on getting a lot of the gang back together—particularly characters viewers haven’t seen in a while. They are really hoping to get Jess Weixler, who played investigator Robyn Burdine, to appear in one of the final episodes. Gary Cole will return as Diane’s husband Kurt McVeigh and Carrie Preston is back as fan-favorite Elsbeth Tascioni on February 21. They promised a few other surprises as well.
Will Gardner is dead,so don’t expect to see Josh Charles. The producers also shut down the idea of Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda returning, saying they wanted to “honor” the way Kalinda departed the series. Also Lemond Bishop, whose criminal empire was the focus of season six, won’t be back either. Mike Colter, who portrayed the smooth and endlessly watchable villain, is busy with his new Netflix series Luke Cage. “That was a difficult one, because he really was a part of the family,” Robert said.
Many series like to end with a flash forward to the future, to show viewers where the characters end up. But that won’t happen here. “Our show has always been built on the continuity of the moment,” Robert explained. “We’re trying to make it fit seamlessly to what’s come before.”
“At this point nothing is off the table, but there’s nothing formal,” Michelle King said. “We’re not saying ‘no’ to anything at this point.” Robert also name checked Elsbeth Tascioni and Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton) as “characters we wished we had more time with.”
Where Alicia and Peter end up is going to become one of the main story lines for the final episodes. Will Peter and Alicia finally divorce? That is the big question, and, of course, the Kings wouldn’t say for sure.
“It’s Eli Gold’s dream that Alicia get into politics,” Robert said. “It’s part of the development of Alicia’s character. That’s one of the things we want to pursue, but we better not say anything or you wouldn’t watch the show,” he added.
While they wouldn’t talk specifically about their plans for the final moments of The Good Wife Michelle said her favorite series finales are ones that simultaneously seem inevitable and surprising. Robert says he likes series that end with some resonance. Fans will certainly be expecting a powerful goodbye to one of the best shows in television.
Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.