As you saw in the Notebook earlier this week, The Good Wife is starting its new season this Sunday with Alicia and Cary dealing with defecting to their own firm in different ways.
But that's just the start of what's going on at Lockhart/Gardner.
I sat down with creator Robert and Michelle King and scooped up some serious dish on a number of storylines, from the return of America Ferrara... to new love/competition for Kalinda... to more with the Florrick kids. Scroll down for excerpts from our exclusive Q&A...
TV Fanatic: When Will gets wind of Alicia and Cary defecting is it going to cause a rift between Will and Alicia?
Robert King: I think Jules [Margulies] had a very good answer on that. She said, ‘The difficulty is there’s a real sense of betrayal regarding not just the economics of it, but the personal element.’ The last person [Will and Diane] expect this of is Alicia, partly because they did give her the partnership and partly because of who she is. They kind of count on her.
TVF: America Ferrera comes back, which right away makes me think, ‘Okay, she and Eli had such a nice spark’ when she was on a few seasons back. How many episodes will she be in?
MK: I was going to say right now, she is scheduled to be in one but so many of our guest stars…you don’t know.
RK: America was in school out here and now is in New York so there is a possibility of more. We really felt unresolved about the Eli/[Natalie Flores] relationship, because it was so odd, and the chemistry there was so off-beat. What we were interested in is the idea of a relationship that is renewed but also how it is impacted by the fact that now Eli has more power and trying to figure out where emotion ends or romance ends and power begins.
TVF: What’s in store for the Florrick kids this year? I love how you organically include them in stories like Zach working on the firm’s computers.
MK: Thank you! The kids will remain very much a part of the show, maybe even more so in season five than season four, the way it’s breaking out now. We love them. First of all, we love them as actors, but also we love to see Alicia parent. It’s been very interesting, because they have grown up, and it’s changed what her role is with them and the amount of time it takes. It’s nuanced, and that’s been fun.
RK: The deal we have with Makenzie [Vega] and Graham [Phillips] is they’re all episodes so we’re in first position no matter what. I would say our big drive this year is we feel Mackenzie’s character, Grace, got the short end of the stick of being essential to the plot and in many ways it always felt like Grace was an impediment to her mom’s advance. That is what we’re really intent on correcting this year. They’re going to be essential to what’s going on. They obviously have the connection to power that makes a kid’s life sometimes more interesting and also more difficult.
TVF: Will we see them interact more with Peter, because it is usually with Alicia, for obvious reasons, but is there going to be more Peter stories with them?
RK: Correct, with Chris Noth. I think, first of all, that works out well for all of them. What we really want to see is, in fact, how someone can be a father and govern at the same time.
TVF: What’s Kalinda’s journey going to be whether it’s in the office or her personal life. Either side is always interesting.
RK: Juliet Rylance plays this character [Holly] who, it’s not correct to say out-Kalindas Kalinda because she’s very different, but there’s a real party-girl aspect for her and she’s very up-front with everything she believes and she also thinks Kalinda is too closeted. ‘You should be as upfront as I am’ and really tries to push her there.
The difficulty with the Kalinda character is she’s more and more isolated. The more she breaks off relationships with Cary now, there’s a real sense of betrayal that she’s not being brought to this new firm, so Juliet Rylance’s character really brings out some other aspects in Kalinda.
TVF: When you say “closeted,” you mean her sexuality, right?
RK: Yes, and the difficulty is Kalinda is still someone who wants to be private. It’s not a political choice with her, she’s just not a very public person.
MK: It’s not that she thinks of herself as having her sexual orientation in the closet. As far as she’s concerned, she’d prefer every single element of her life remain in the closet. It’s not just about sex.
TVF: You both utilize social media and the internet so well on the show. Is it safe to say we’re going to see more stories about that medium?
RK: Yeah, the bottom line is, the Snowden revelations has opened up a whole new world regarding the internet. How, in fact, these supposedly independent internet companies, how they might be being used as surveillance binoculars for the government. Is that, in fact, something that we should be more scared of the more we get into social media? The changes our world is making based on social networking is just amazing. Look at Egypt, not even about America, Egypt, Syria. It’s stunning how much the world has changed.
TVF: I feel like I wouldn’t have my job if it wasn’t for the internet. I wrote pretty exclusively for online, and social media’s such a big part of what I do.
RK: It’s how journalism is changing, isn’t it?
TVF: Yes! And not that you have a ton of time but what do you watch for pleasure in your own home?
MK: The Colbert Report.
RK: Orange Is the New Black, which I think is a stunning show. I like House of Cards okay but Orange Is the New Black I think is the show.
MK: Breaking Bad, I adore…Parks and Rec is fun.
RK: I watch basically everything.
MK: The Big Bang Theory, also.
RK: I don’t think there’s really anything we hate or don’t watch. We’re getting into Scandal now. I think we’re a little late on that train…we watch Newsroom, we watch Ray Donovan, we don’t discriminate, probably, the way we should.
The Good Wife Season 5 premieres on Sunday at 9/8c on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.