Viewers weren’t the only ones caught off guard by the twist in the closing moments of Sunday’s Good Wife finale. The clever bait-and-switch — which found Alicia rendezvousing with new business partner Cary and not longtime crush Will — left the latter’s portrayer, Josh Charles, in a state of shock and awe, too.
“My first impression when I read [the script] was that I was surprised, in a really good way,” the actor tells TVLine. “I did not see that coming. I thought it was a brilliant stroke of writing and storytelling that sets the show up really nicely for next [season].”
Making the cliffhanger all the more satisfying was that it was “organic and authentic” as opposed to a stunt intended to “shake stuff up just to shake it up.” Alicia’s decision to launch a new firm with Cary “makes sense [because] these seeds have been planted a while ago and they’ve been building… So much of the show is about Alicia’s evolution personally and professionally and the moral tightrope she walks, and she’s seen a lot of things as partner that haven’t been very pleasant. So maybe she feels like this is an opportunity to explore running a business the way she wants.”
Furthermore, echoing what series cocreator Robert King told TVLine, Charles views Alicia’s decision to quit Lockhart Gardner as, at least partially, a way for her to separate herself from Will, although he acknowledges that it “doesn’t resolve” the triangle. If anything, Charles speculates, it could set the stage for Will and Alicia to be an official item at some point down the line.
“There are a lot of reasons why these two probably shouldn’t be together, and one of the big reasons is he’s her boss,” he points out. “And you take that element out of it and… while I don’t think it necessarily means they’re going to immediately end up together or anything, it takes out one obstacle. Alicia is not going to be working under Will.”
On the flipside, they’ll be professional rivals for the first time. “It’s going to be interesting to see them be competitors,” he says. “I think it’s going to bring out a lot of great conflict, both for the show and those two characters.”