The Good Wife Scoop: EP Robert King Answers Burning Premiere Qs (Where's Kalinda?), Sheds New Light on Upcoming Will-Alicia Throwdown

The Bit BucketOne downside to all the hysteria surrounding Sunday’s superb Breaking Bad finale — it drowned out all of The Good Wife‘s watercooler buzz.

While Walter White was executing his final revengenda, CBS’ underrated drama was kicking off its fifth season with a superb episode that found Alicia (Julianna Margulies) trepidatiously moving forward with her plan to jump ship.

Below, series co-creator Robert King answers our (and your) burning questions from both the episode and the insanely spoilery promo that followed.

VIDEO | Good Wife First Look: Will Flips Out on Alicia

TVLINE | The cold open clocked in at more than 10 minutes — why so long?
Every first episode [of a season] we try to do that. You want to hang onto that audience as long as you can. And, also, for people checking in who aren’t familiar with the long arcs of the show, it gives them a little bit more to hang onto with the case. It’s like, “OK, even though you may not know everything everyone is talking about, you should stick around for this case.”

TVLINE | The music during the cold open was amazing.
Wasn’t it beautiful? That was [composer] David Buckley. We’re trying this year to have more than one template for music… He found the perfect metaphor for the episode. [It underscored] the rushing-around quality. All I kept saying was, “Rossini mixed with Bourne Identity.”

TVLINE | Where did the idea for “Skype Commuting Monica” come from?
[Laughs] There is this advertisement for Double Robotics. And they had a teleconferencing robot, which was the funniest thing I’d ever seen, because it was treated very seriously. Everyone is walking beside these Segway-like machines with iPad-shaped heads. In the ad, everyone was having fun talking to this robot, and I was like, “No. That’s not how these things work.” It was ridiculous.

TVLINE | Where did the actress shoot her scenes?
We had a little living room set off the main set. We did not do it live. We recorded her [line readings] after the fact and then edited them in.

kalindaTVLINE | Some of our readers were concerned that the lack of screen time for Kalinda in the premiere is a harbinger of things to come. Can you put their minds at ease?
I would like to. I think they’re going to find that there are episodes she figures very big in, and some less so. And that is truly a function of scheduling and other difficulties. I think they’ll be happy [when they view the season as a whole]. They’ll even be happy [when they view the first] month.

RELATED | The Good Wife Season 5 Premiere Recap: ‘Are You Having Second Thoughts?’

TVLINE | Eli seemed particularly angry toward Melissa George’s Marilyn. What was the nature of his beef, beyond the potential conflict she posed for Peter?
He really likes Alicia. Even thought it was a relationship that started in pragmatism, he really respects her. And [Marilyn] is a pretty girl that could possibly turn the head of Peter, and he worries it will endanger [Alicia]. The other angle is he hopes to [lead] Peter to higher political office, and he knows that his shelf life will be very short if there is a return of his bimbo problem. And the third thing is he’s worried about having his own position and influence curtailed. One thing he does not have is sex appeal. He worries that someone who has a worse argument could win because they have sex appeal and can flirt their way into a “yes” response from the governor.

TVLINE | Her warning that they were making a mistake getting rid of her seemed almost like a threat. How potentially dangerous is she going to become?
She’s going to be potentially dangerous just because Melissa George is a lot of fun at playing that. But she’s also playing the realist card. When [you] terminate too many of your ethics commissioners, you will be seen as doing something shady.

TVLINE | Is Grace delighted, horrified or both at her new “hot” status?
It’s a combination. She’s stunned, because the last thing she thinks of herself as is pretty. And then there’s a growing sense of worth beneath that. She always thought Zach was the looker. So it’s odd to her but also satisfying.

TVLINE | Why is she looking at guns in the new Season 5 promo?
I can’t say.

willTVLINE Speaking of the promo, Will’s reaction to finding out Alicia is leaving almost seems violent. First off, did anyone get hurt shooting that scene? It looked like some of those airborne books could take a person’s head off.
[Laughs] No. No one got hurt.

TVLINE | Was that his reaction to learning she was leaving?
I’d rather not say what that’s regarding. The audience may be surprised what that’s about.

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46 Comments
  1. Nicole says:

    I can’t be the only one who immediately thought of robot Sheldon from that episode of BBT, can I?

  2. Jared says:

    Best drama on television, PERIOD! Network or cable. Hands down.

  3. Vicki says:

    I must be the only one in America who watched all of “The Good Wife” and switched to Breaking Bad only during commercials. Great first episode!

  4. sophonisbe says:

    I hope they don’t think we’ll be happy just because they plan to give kalinda a potential girlfriend. She needs to be a part of the main storyline, as she was before, not some strange sidestory like what we had to bare during season 4.

  5. Tav says:

    Thank you, it was really irritating to see Kalinda shunted off to peripheral tasks while new kid on the block Robyn is running point with Diane and Alicia etc. But I guess that’s an outcome of the “other difficulties” (euphemism for Julianna) of which Robert King spoke.

    Additionally, how much faith should viewers have in Peter’s fidelity/integrity when (by the show’s timeline, I believe) no more than a couple weeks have passed since he presented Alicia with a ring seeking re-commitment; yet he can’t keep himself from checking out another woman? And so then has her removed! I mean, what even… and people should like him??

    • Nicole says:

      Do Julianna and Archie have a problem working together? That makes me sad, if so. I would hate to see that effect the show.

      • Tav says:

        Well the problem is a one-way street in that Julianna takes issue with Alicia remaining friends with Kalinda. Per her interviews (that infamous HuffPost one from spring, in particular) Julianna finds their friendship “doesn’t seem realistic”, and is “not going to happen” and thinks “there are only so many scenes at a bar you can do.” And as recently as yesterday (in another HuffPost interview) is still trying to hammer home that they’re done and should move on.
        On the other hand, Archie discusses the Kalinda/Alicia relationship in nothing but amicable terms and even mentioned “the audience knows best” (Emmy Watch interview from summer). Which is pertinent considering basically every other viewer/critic/journalist is wondering what happened to the friendship. However, the Kings themselves have stated “We won’t get into a public fight with Julianna on this because she knows this character almost better than anyone.” (Daily Beast interview from spring). So I guess we know where the problem lies, and whose rulebook we’re playing by.

        • Josh says:

          I don’t get why she’s so anti-Kalinda. I think, yeah, it’s not super realistic but it’s a little sad that she forgives Peter, the husband who lied to her, and not Kalinda her friend of two years. When one thing happens to be one of the strongest parts of the show(Kalinda and her relationship with Alicia) than the audience is able to suspend disbelief. We are for all the crazy law stuff they all do, so we can do it for this.

          • Lily says:

            Do you even have to ask? Margulies is jealous of Kalinda’s popularity. Archie beat her to the punch for the first Emmy, Kalinda trended on twitter in the US several times (and never Alicia or The Good Wife as a show), and worst offense, after the “betrayal” was revealed, people didn’t start hating Kalinda, (in fact 96% of viewers polled by CBS thought Alicia should forgive her).
            Margulies is a very ballsy lady stuck in the part of a woman often perceived as weak and here comes this supporting character, this “walking cliche” (as she called her) who wears mini skirts and boots and kicks ass and is adored by the public, not for which guy she will sleep with this week, but for her inherent qualities, and just like that, her thunder was stolen.
            So yeah, she hates Kalinda. She also hates us for liking Kalinda, she made that pretty clear in several interviews taking cheap shots at us, pathetic losers (and most likely jobless) who have nothing better to do than to discuss the show and to dare ask for Alicia and Kalinda to be reunited.

        • Nicole says:

          Thanks for the reply, I didn’t know any of that.

          That really makes me sad for the show. I understand where she’s coming from but like the person below
          me said, how can she support Alicia going back to Peter but not Kalinda? She should give up both using that train of thought. On a side note, It’s gross the way people (women in particular) are so quick to blame the mistress/what’s the male equalivalent but not the spouse. I’m looking at you, Brad Pitt.

          • Liz says:

            To be fair, she’s never expressed a desire to have Alicia go back with Peter. She’s actually talked about how shocked she is when people tell her they want Alicia to be with him, it makes little sense to her. So I guess her being back with Peter can all be blamed on the writers.

        • Anyone says:

          People are wondering what happened to the friendship? Did you really just say that? Kalinda slept with Alicia’s husband! That’s what happened to the friendship.

          • Lily says:

            And you are reducing the whole problem to a two line answer, like Margulies does. Don’t be silly, we all know what she did, although it was never made clear why she slept with Peter (and it was supposedly to get his help escaping her husband but that was never properly explored), but she didn’t know Alicia when she did, she took huge risks for her again and again, to protect her and to help her, she’s been her friend from the start. Shouldn’t that count for nothing? She’s been her loyal friend longer than she has slept with Peter, let me tell you that.
            She only lied because she knew the truth would devastate Alicia. If you were in her boots, wouldn’t you do the same? She couldn’t go back and un-sleep with Peter. So what was her option, once she met Alicia and became her friend? Tell her and hurt her?

  6. Matt says:

    “The music during the cold open was amazing.”

    I second this. I LOVED the music/score throughout the whole episode. Ausiello, you should’ve asked it they could make it available somewhere. I’d gladly buy it.

  7. Chablis says:

    Better that Peter removes the perceived temptation than keep it around.

  8. THE GOOD WIFE IS PERFECT says:

    Is it just me, or am i the only one who is a little confused on the last question and answer?
    TVLINE | Was that his reaction to learning she was leaving?
    RK: I’d rather not say what that’s regarding. The audience may be surprised what that’s about.
    Maybe it’s more than just her leaving . . . maybe they have another moment o.0

    • Fluff says:

      It’s stupid editing trying to make you think it’s about Alicia. It’s probably just a dumb moment about the case. Will lost his cool before when confronted with bad news. I bet it has nothing to do with her leaving. That’s why he plays coy about it.

    • redjane12 says:

      I think the obvious is that it is about Alicia leaving but it was implied in the moment with Dianne that Alicia was downloading files so perhaps Will is angry at her leaving but also that she may be taking stuff with her (clients of course but also proprietary information)

  9. ggny says:

    Im gonna go out on a limb and say Grace gets a stalker

  10. Fluff says:

    What a joke. “I would like to”. If they’re not going to use her to appease their Diva’s jealousy, why don’t they just kill her off? Of course not, they’re too afraid to lose what few viewers they still have. They’d rather just keep her on for one meaningless scene per episode to keep us idiots watching expecting more.

    I’m done.

  11. Cat says:

    Why can’t Will and Alicia be together? She and Peter have zero chemistry together!

    • lily says:

      Totally agree – no chem whatsoever! They need to be together…like now!!

    • redjane12 says:

      Although I agree with you on the chemistry (it is very much a political marriage by now, maintained to support his career and keep the family unit together for the good of the kids), I have the feeling that the Will-Alicia ship has shipped for good. Julianna’s declarations seem very much against it (or certainly about the soapy aspects of the love triangle that has been there since the beginning) and with Will discovering Alicia’s ‘betrayal’, I think he is going to be cured of any leftover feelings he may still have for her…

      • KC says:

        I wouldn’t say the ship has sailed for good, though it probably has for the better part of this season. Julianna’s recent comments actually are a little optimistic regarding Will/Alicia. Recently she said that “Alicia’s heart will always be with Will,” and that she’s running away because she loves him. Julianna is definitely against the love triangle, but not necessarily against her being with Will, and she’s definitely more against Alicia staying with Peter.

        • redjane12 says:

          Hadn’t read that so that sounds interesting although it could mean many things I guess… Anyway, we’ll have to see how this season progresses… The show has never been stronger, so many interesting plots… Too bad the ratings are so bad… Makes me worry that the 5th may be the last season. Such a loss!

          • Neera says:

            Oh no, cannot be! But if it would be the last season I so hope Alicia and Will end up together and I hope Alicia will stay at Lockhart/Gardner. Please give us one show that will be perfect.

  12. dev says:

    Interesting interview, though I hate to see Melissa George’s character described as representing a continuation of Peter’s “bimbo” problem. A bimbo is a beautiful woman who is not very smart. That is certainly not how Marilyn was written or acted. It will be a much more interesting turn if she continues to be both beautiful and smart, and it turns out that Peter needs the latter more than he wants the former.

    • bitchstolemyremote says:

      That’s how Eli is worried the public will see it – I don’t think that’s what the characters or the Kings think of the character.

    • Fluff says:

      I believe he uses “bimbo” here because of the expression “bimbo eruption” after Clinton’s many mistresses came out of the woodwork to get their 15 mn of fame during the Lewinsky media bonanza. Also, “slut” is not polite.

    • redjane12 says:

      I agree the Bimbo term here is unfortunate as Marilyn is clearly a smart lady but that is what makes the storyline more interesting. Because the tabloid media will just see a ‘bimbo’, she has to be removed from Peter’s proximity because of his track record… Not fair on her that is for sure…

      I think she may be the blonde in her underwear hovering over Will in a bed scene in the season preview which could create all sorts of a mess since Will still has the video that shows ballot tampering done by Peter’s campaign…

  13. a great episode – complex, adult and intelligent, how often do you see that on a network? grace is obviously going to get stalked, the two carys will lead to some info going to the wrong cary, most importantly when is colin sweeney coming back?

  14. Deb says:

    I’ve watched every episode and wonder when CBS will stop messing around with this show. Once again it started late and once again I’ve lost the last 15 minutes. It’s not as if they even have it available to watch within a week of air date on the CBS website. It’s such a wonderful show, and might get more audience if they just aired it on time, even if they moved the tine slot.

  15. Savannah says:

    -Great interview. You asked all the questions I was curious about after the premiere and that fantastic sneak peek. The scene where Will was so angry with Alicia was particularly powerful. They really have this great chemistry. I hope they don’t just let that go.
    -I find it interesting that Melissa George’s character’s name is Marilyn.
    -One of the great things about this show, besides the great actors, is the fantastically nuanced and detailed writing. I love hearing the Kings speak in interviews because you can tell so much thought and care goes into the writing of these characters.
    -I’m glad we’ll get some good Kalinda time and I’m glad we’re getting some good Carey time this season already too.
    -Another thing about the writing: I love how they show diverse viewpoints with respect. Even if you agree or disagree or think that something someone did was morally wrong, they don’t make the characters 2-dimensional. And you understand the motivations behind what these characters (even a one episode character) do.
    -Great show. It and “The Mentalist” are the only two I watch on Sundays and they are well worth it.

  16. Audrey says:

    It’s a true testament to the quality of this show that even though I’m upset that Kalinda was sidelined, I still loved the premiere.

  17. Iris says:

    “And that is truly a function of scheduling and other difficulties.”
    What does this even mean? Archie Panjabi has another show/project we don’t know about? ( which would be great for her by the way. ) Or more likely, he means the Great Leading Actress can’t be the same room with her? Just look at how hard they had been trying to avoid the leading role and the supporting role. This is like a joke.

  18. Aisha says:

    If those jelousy rumours are true, c’mon Jullianna, dont stoop so low, i respect you a big deal for that. And as much as i love Kalinda, you got the big guns. Dont play the mean girl please, you two are the dream team. And yes we want the friendship back together, if you can forgive Peter, why not Kalinda too.nxaaa

  19. barbara says:

    it is ashame it getting lower ratings as is mentalist because of football overflow. as far as will knocking everything off desk sometimes they overdo with the promos like with alot of shows and might not have anything to do with alicia. and i agree no chemistry with peter.

  20. Jean wyman says:

    I can’t stand Julianna’s jealousy of Archie! Kalinda put that show on the map but ever since, she’s been downplayed more and more. But I think it’s Daddy King’s fault. He hasn’t been able to take advantage of Chrisine’s considerable talents, and saddling her with that dip, Macvey shows he has no idea who Ms. Lockheart is. I think really, he can’t write women, so he relies on Julianna to tell him how to write Alicia and thus we get this petty jealousy from Julianna. Arggg.

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