Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Will Gardner, we hardly knew ye

NEW YORK - While the rest of the country - or so it seems - is still in mourning over the tragic death of Will Gardner in Sunday's episode of "The Good Wife," at least one woman sees opportunity in his untimely passing.

As Josh Charles explained in a conversation with series creators Michelle and Robert King and co-star Julianna Margulies earlier this week at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater, the reaction to his character's demise has been touching and heartfelt - not unlike attending his own funeral. There was one notable exception.

Shortly after the episode aired, Charles received an email from an eager Realtor who recently sold an apartment in his building: "So sorry to hear this news. I was so devastated by the episode. Does this mean you're moving back to L.A.?"

Charles' response? "I was, like, that is some chutzpah!"

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    The discussion followed a preview screening of this Sunday's episode depicting the aftermath of Will's death (spoiler alert: It's intense). Here are some other things we learned:

    _ Charles decided to leave the series because he felt "a little fried."

    When his contract was up for renewal last year, "it coincided to the same time I was proposing to my wife. I'm now married, and I did a lot of soul searching," he said. "It's a very long season doing network television, and somewhere in year four I felt a little burned out. . . . That's no reflection on how I feel about the show. . . . The show's meant everything to me."

    _ You can thank Margulies for convincing Charles to return this season at all. The actress learned last March that Charles wasn't going to renew. Since the rest of the season had been mapped out at that point, writing Will out in a thoughtful way would have been virtually impossible. "It kind of meant his character was just going to disappear . . . and I couldn't accept that," Margulies said.

    _ The Kings decided to trick the audience into thinking "Willicia" would reunite in Season 5.

    The show structures each season around two pivotal events. The first this year was Alicia starting her own firm, creating a rift with Will. The second would be Will's death, but viewers were misled by plot hints at a reconciliation between the characters.

    _ If you're upset about Will, let Charles know on Twitter. He might call to console you, as he did the mom of one of his Twitter friends.

    _ Most important of all, in light of recent events, Margulies is not sick of playing Alicia. "I'm playing a character I truly love," she said. Will's death "is a game-changer, and it makes you, hopefully, a better person for it. I think you'll see this tremendous loss for [Alicia], but the choices she makes from then on are incredibly careful."

    MEREDITH BLAKE Los Angeles Times
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