Alan Cumming Teases Good Wife Election Day (Eli Blackmails Alicia!), 'Insane' Season Finale

This Tuesday on The Good Wife (CBS, 10/9c), the state’s attorney election is finally upon us, but to secure a “W” for Peter, Eli will have to lean on Alicia harder than ever. Can the cunning campaign manager get his candidate’s Mrs. to publicly forgive past indiscretions? Or will Alicia learn, at the worst possible time, that Peter once bedded her BFF Kalinda? Alan Cumming shared with TVLine a look at the thrilling night ahead, as well as teased how the CBS drama’s second season will end.

TVLINE | Election Night is here. I imagine that’s something the cast has been waiting for as much as the viewers.
I know, it feels like the longest election [cycle] in history! I’m quite happy to not have to do scenes on a set that’s entirely covered with Chris Noth‘s face. I’m sure he is, too.

TVLINE | Will the campaign be dealt any last-minute curve balls?
Yes. Yes, indeed. There’s a little drama where Eli basically emotionally blacks Alicia (Julianna Margulies) into doing something she really doesn’t want to do, to help the campaign.

TVLINE | Yes, we touched on that last week: What is it ideally that Eli needs her to go out there and say?
There’s still a big thing about how she hasn’t very publicly come out and said that she forgives Peter and supports him. She really can win or lose the election for him, and Eli knows that. And in this episode, Alicia begins to know it too. Especially when [campaign rival] Wendy Scott-Carr’s husband does a big interview, Alicia’s lack of comment becomes a comment.

TVLINE | Alicia is supposed to learn about Kalinda and Peter this week. Does that come at the worst possible time for the campaign?
There’s never going to be a good time, but it’s really heartbreaking, actually. I saw the whole episode [on Sunday] night when I was doing ADR, and I was all teary. It’s devastating. What’s amazing about it is Alicia is this steely woman, and then this thing happens…. You finally see her crack. For me, it’s more about the fact that she values her friendship with Kalinda, and now that will be pulled from under her. I wonder what will happen. I just got the script for the last episode – juicy! Juicy!

TVLINE | Do you only read your parts, or did you read the whole thing through?
No, I read it all. And this one is really insane.

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TVLINE | What were your expectations for this role going in, versus what it evolved to be?
Remember, I went in for just three episodes or something. I thought he was just going to be this sharky, ruthless, political figure, and I had no idea that he would be so funny. I didn’t understand how fun it is to play someone who’s like this, because when things do burst out, they’re very telling, and very hilarious.

TVLINE | Do you have any favorite moments or scenes?
I really liked when you saw Eli’s softness, with his daughter and with America [Ferrera, as a possible romantic interest]. And I like big, heavy scenes with Julianna. There was this one time where she had to say, “If this becomes a big thing, it could hurt a lot of people, ” and instead she said, “If this thing gets big, a lot of people are going to get hurt,” and we just lost it. [Laughs] We can find dirty jokes in even the most formal, legal language.

TVLINE | Speaking of departures from legalese, your UK miniseries, Martina Cole’s The Runaway, premiered two weeks ago. What’s the trickiest thing about playing a transvestite?
[Laughs] The trickiest part is keeping your voice up in that [higher] register, especially in emotional scenes. Also, the heels – horrible. And loofahing my entire body every morning so I don’t get ingrown hairs, because my all my body hair has been [removed]? Not pretty. Getting in early because of the hours of makeup – not nice. But the interesting thing about it is how vulnerable you feel when you’re dressed as a woman, because everything about it is restrictive. You can’t really open your legs, you can’t run very fast because of the heels…. But it’s the perfect antidote for Eli. To suddenly go from playing a repressed man in a suit to a transvestite in 1960s London left Eli in the dust for a while!

Good Wife fans, are you looking forward to tonight’s heaping serving of drama?