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."
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."