Good Wife Post Mortem: Matt Czuchry on What Makes Cary 'Re-evaluate' His Future at the Firm
Well, that was bold.
Going up against their bosses in a mock trial was the least of Alicia and Cary’s concerns in Sunday’s The Good Wife – especially when, after having their offer of partnership rescinded, Cary suggested he and Mrs. Florrick start their own firm.
But then Will and Diane re-offered Alicia — and only Alicia — equity partnership, which she accepted (!), leaving Cary on the outs.
Below, Matt Czuchry talks about his character’s future at Lockhart Gardner, Cary’s more confident attitude, his mysterious moment with Kalinda and more.
TVLINE | This was a very big episode for Cary. Is this a signal that there’s a lot more Cary screentime to come?
Well, it opens up a lot of doors for Cary in terms of him pondering what his future is at Lockhart Gardner and what his next move is within the firm or outside of the firm. This episode certainly opens up a lot of doors for that potential for the character to grow as we move into the end of the season.
TVLINE | This was perhaps the most ambitious and aggressive we’ve ever seen Cary and Alicia. Is this the start of a new, different side of Cary?
I believe [the change came] when Cary’s father came in and tried to use him for some help with Diane, and Cary stood up to his father and said, “No, I’m not going to help you.” That was really a turning point for Cary in terms of realizing that he has to make his own way [regarding] what he wants for his own life… And then in this episode, that idea, yes, absolutely is furthered. I have a scene in this episode where Cary’s in court and he’s questioning somebody on the stand. We see Cary is relaxed and tense at the same time. So there’s a new confidence in Cary and that is something that is going to continue to grow throughout the rest of the season.
TVLINE | He and Alicia really challenged their bosses. Is that going to come back to bite them in the behind?
Cary knows what his worth is as a lawyer, so he’s willing to stand up to Alicia within the firm — or Diane or Will. He’s willing to stand up to anybody within the firm because he knows he’s good at his job and he has that renewed confidence. So I would say… if there is some push back from his bosses, then that would be OK with Cary. He would be fine dealing with that and handling it.
TVLINE | They offered the partnership only to Alicia, so Cary and Alicia aren’t on a level playing field anymore. How’s that going to change their dynamic?
On one level, Cary feels that he would do the same exact thing if he was in her position, so he understands… On the other side, it certainly makes Cary re-evaluate what his worth is in the firm and what his future should be at the firm and what he wants to do in terms of his career. Cary and Alicia, for four seasons, they’ve been competitors, they’ve been adversaries, they work great together as lawyers. So we’ve seen a full dynamic of that whole relationship over the course of the four seasons, and what’s nice about this episode is you see little pieces of all those aspects of their relationship. You see the competition, you see the adversarial aspect, you see them on the same side against Will and Diane and doing a great job in court. They have a very complex relationship in this episode and now that Alicia has become partner and Cary hasn’t, the complexities of that relationship are going to continue to grow.
TVLINE | Are they still sharing an office? They wouldn’t be, right?
Alicia is a partner and Cary isn’t, so there is going to be a status change there. How Alicia handles it is very interesting, and how Cary handles it is very interesting. Of course, the elements that Diane and Will place on both of them is interesting, as well. Change of office is a piece of that.
TVLINE | Alicia also knows that Cary was thinking about starting a new firm. Is that a point of tension between them?
It’s a thought that has slowly been developing for him, and he was genuine when he asked her. Then of course, Alicia was asked to become partner, and like I mentioned before, Cary says, “That’s smart. I would take that too.” So the fact that Cary’s looking to his future and protecting his future just like Alicia’s protecting her future, I think there’s probably a mutual respect and mutual understanding [between them] in that they both have to do what’s right for them individually.
TVLINE | Are we going to see Cary’s starting-a-new-firm storyline continue to play out?
One of the storylines that this episode opens up… is Cary’s future and where does he want to go? If he stays at Lockhart Gardner, where does he want to go after? Does he want to start his own firm? That is going to be a storyline for Cary that is going to carry out through the end of the season… He’s certainly going to look towards his future in a very calculated and specific way.
TVLINE | In the last scene, it seemed like Kalinda and Cary were maybe plotting or scheming. Should we be reading something into that scene?
It really speaks to that last question you asked in terms of, is Cary going to go out on his own? Or is he going to create alliances at the firm to further his position within the firm? Cary and Kalinda were standing there, outside the glass, for a reason as Alicia was shaking hands inside the glass. So that was certainly a poignant moment that was very specific and intentional.
TVLINE | It was very symbolic, especially considering that Cary and Kalinda are the two characters that have been passed over for promotions recently.
I liked the scene with Cary and Kalinda in this episode. In Season 2, Cary would constantly be the one helping Kalinda out, and in this episode, we saw Kalinda give information to Cary that really broke the case in a big way [so] Alicia and Cary [could] win. We’re seeing, also, Kalinda supporting Cary. [They] are ships passing in the night, but in that specific case, they were right there together, side by side, because Kalinda helped Cary out. As you mentioned, Kalinda has been slighted and Cary has been slighted, so they have mutual interests right there at the end of the episode.