The Good Wife Creators Post Letter to Fans, Explain Bombshell Twist

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The Good Wife delivered a major shocker last night in the final 30 seconds of last night's episode, one that send shockwaves through the television world.

Calling it a "shocker" may be an understatement, considering the gravity of the moment and impact these developments will have on every character.

Now, as its viewers ponder what just happened and what comes next, The Good Wife co-creators and showrunners Michelle and Robert King are speaking out.

Follow the link to watch The Good Wife online at TV Fanatic and see it before we give anything away. Then continue reading their open letter below ...

At the tail end of The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 15, we saw Will Gardner shot and killed in a courtroom by one of his clients in a devastating twist.

Julianna Marguiles' Alicia, the show's protagonist and his sometime love interest, does not yet know. As Eli phoned to deliver the news, the episode faded to black.

Why did the show's braintrust kill off Josh Charles' beloved character? How can the show carry on without him? Read what Michelle and Robert King say now:

"We, like you, mourn the loss of Will Gardner. And while Will is gone, our beloved Josh Charles is very much alive and remains an integral part of our family."

"The Good Wife, at its heart, is the 'Education of Alicia Florrick.' To us, there always was a tragedy at the center of Will and Alicia's relationship: the tragedy of bad timing."

"And when faced with the gut punch of Josh's decision, made over a year ago, to move on to other creative endeavors, we had a major choice to make."

That choice, the Kings said, was to do something drastic with Charles' character (which they did) or "send him off to Seattle" and have him just fade away.

They chose the dramatic option because "there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle."

Good Wife Letter

His death, on the other hand, "speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing" to an extreme, and provides new direction for both Alicia and the show.

"Finally, we chose the tragic route for Will's send-off for personal reasons. We've all experienced the sudden death of a loved one in our lives."

"It's terrifying how a perfectly normal and sunny day can suddenly explode with tragedy. Television, in our opinion, doesn't deal with this enough: the irredeemability of death."

"Your last time with the loved one will always remain your last time."

"The Good Wife is a show about human behavior and emotion, and death, as sad and unfair as it can be, is a part of the human experience that we want to share."

The letter went on to thank Good Wife fans for "watching and caring and inspiring" the writers to rise to the viewers' level of "passion and intelligence."

The couple noted that Charles will be directing one of the remaining seven episodes this season, all of which will deal with the aftermath of Will's death.

"Julianna does some of the best work of her life," the husband and wife team wrote. "Archie, Christine, Alan, Chris, and Matt, as well. Life does go on."

"We've always taken as a guiding principle of this show that drama isn't in the event; it's in the aftermath of the event. We think you'll find that true of this episode."

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


To the people saying the writers ruined the show and they'll never watch again...did you actually read the letter or any of the articles? Josh Charles WANTED to leave, it was his decision, and the writers just had to go with it. Wouldn't you rather that Will Gardner gets an epic ending, that he's remembered, not just written off and forgotten?

@ Grace

He could have left with the option of coming back. He was a major player and the show won't be the same without him.

@ Barbara

It seems funny that he wanted to leave before season 5 but they talked him into staying a little longer. Reading between the lines he saw the light down the line he wasn't getting any praise for his staring role, everybody else did.
He has been locked into this since 2009 with no chance to try other things but others did, I kind of smell a rat in the wood pile!!!!

@ Barbara

And how would that have worked with Will and Alicia's on-again, off-again relationship? If they just sent Will somewhere else, there would not have been any real closure on that story. It would have been half-hearted. Will Gardner's death was necessary to the story, and quite honestly, good TV.


I have watched since episode 1 season 1. I am done. Will made Alycia the good wife. Tuning in was about them and their relationship. We were robbed. The show died with Will.

@ Deep Sixed Wife

We weren't robbed Josh was, he was out in the middle of major hwy acting as the 2nd chair for five season unable to move on. We have known for quite some time he was looking to leave, there was no awards for him in this role where other members were nominated and won only one from golden globes (he lost)


I love that Josh Charles's character was kept such a secret. Usually, they show so much in the commercials, that you don't need to watch it, you just piece it together. Kudos to the good wife for keeping a secret for a year. I love it!!!!!!


I was absolutely pissed when I heard about this. When I saw the tag line that said a character was killed off, I never imagined it would be Will. I couldn't understand it. He and Alicia seem SO passionate about each other. But now that I know the actor wanted to move on, I get it. The writers were right to do it this way. Alicia and Will were never over no matter what they said and did. The tension and magnetism drawing them to each other was constant. They had to break it completely for Alicia to be able to move forward or there would be no way for her to commit to anyone old or new in the future. I feel like she made her choice to go back to Peter last season but it was just a choice in a moment and not permanent because of that cord between her and Will. Now that cord is cut and frayed and she has to deal with it. She has to absorb it and move on. And while I will never be happy they killed him, I am excited to see how they all handle this shocking death. I really really agree that most of the shows do not handle how sudden death can be in a realistic way. And having virtually no closure for anyone with him fits real life in a profoundly haunting way. It made me remember everyone I've ever lost and I thought about everyone I care about now. It's thought provoking and sad but I do want to see what comes next. Although I might leave it on the DVR for a couple weeks so some of this sadness for the sudden departure of pretty much my favorite character, can fade and ease.

@ ShockedFan

Writers of Good writers of Mentalist....have messed up a good show. Ruined it...prob lose most of your viewers


.. when my parents and my teachers told me Reading Was Better Than TV- they didn't mean for the reasons I am feeling sad today. but it has to be said ! Trollope and Dickens and George Eliot and Henry James and (et. al.!) did NOT have to worry about characters not wanting to re-up contracts ! they did not have to worry about dragging out a plot longer than it felt right to do, to make more 'Seasons'$ and advertising revenue ! a beloved character's death was chosen- decided upon- for its dramatic 'rightness' in the novel, the integrity of The Story honored.. I made the mistake of getting attached to the characters/storylines on The Good Wife. I don't regret that it was darned good t.v. fine actors, excellent dialogue, intriguing characters and plots.. but when Mr Josh Charles wanted to move on, the writers had to bend to external situations no novelist faces.. and I'm done watching simply because I wanted another story to continue. I feel silly and childish but it's anonymous here and I'm just going to "post it like it is." I wanted my happy ending.. deliberately teased and encouraged by the writers-- (an ironic, maddening twist: Eli was responsible for the first "phone fielding"- he prevented Alicia from receiving Will's important 'text message' in Season 1, the one that said it all- I love you and I have a plan.. and here, at the end of it all, Eli is again fielding Alicia's calls- almost preventing Kalinda from reaching her..) Poor Alicia and Will ! oh well. I hope Alicia wakes up and becomes The Good Divorcee ! but I'm not going to stick around ! I'm gonna go buy myself a good novel to disappear into !


That's terrific. I can't stand it and I'll not watch the show anymore. This finale was stupid and sadic. not well done, Kings.

@ Paola

A perfect ending.

@ Yelonda

Paola you commented the same thing on the review comments............get over it. Josh Charles chose to to leave the show to pursue other endeavors......GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!! It's a new beginning for the show.............

@ Terrie

I too am upset and shocked over this. But after a few hours of digesting this new development to one of my favorite characters in the show, I'm glad this was the end for him. If he had to leave, make it dramatic and messy.


I’m going to miss the character of Will on the show tremendously. He’s the character you love to hate. He was young, smart and over confident. It will be interesting to see the aftermath of this episode on the show.
My mom recently passed, I can so relate to life being fine, and then suddenly everything changes and it feels like your life has been turned upside down. Life is never going to be the same and you are thrust into looking at life with different lenses. I wish Josh the best on his new endeavors and I hope we will get the pleasure of seeing him in his next Project.


death on tv is not shocking anymore. game of thrones, teen wolf, need I say more... we should just stop watching tv!

@ lee

Actually I thought this death was more shocking than any of the recent ones I've witnessed on all of the sci-fi/fantasy shows I've watched lately. It was the most realistic to life in my opinion.


The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 15 Quotes

Alicia: Hey, we might have our differences, but you're the better lawyer.
Will: I am, aren't I?
Alicia: (laughs) And the more humble.

Alicia: No it's just that when you say you're seeing her...I thought she was gay.
Cary: Bi or something.