The fifth season finale of The Good Wife airs Sunday at 9 p.m., and oh, what a season it’s been. From the blowup at Lockhart/Gardner to Will’s murder in the courtroom, the CBS drama has had it all. (Seriously, let’s give this show all the Emmys!) In the season 5 ender, Zach (Graham Phillips) graduates from high school and Alicia (Juliana Margulies) entrusts Jackie (Mary Beth Peil) and Veronica (Stockard Channing) to plan his graduation party. Meanwhile, the future of Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner hangs in the balance. Here, Juliana Margulies and the show’s co-creators, Robert and Michelle King, tease the episode and look forward to the future of the show:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease about the season finale?
JULIANA MARGULIES: Basically, this s— hits the fan at Florrick/Agos. Cary and Alicia are on very different pages. There’s tremendous unrest at Florrick/Agos, and the truth is, Alicia is tired of just trying to keep above water with this firm. And she’s looking for something else. And I don’t know if it’s just about the firm or her life, but everything seems to be difficult. I think she is at the end of her tether, so to speak…. Eli poses a question to [Alicia] that comes out of thin air and totally shocks her. And you’re sort of left with this idea of, “Wait, why wouldn’t I do that?” What it does, is it brings politics back into the foreground, and it makes for a wonderful platform to jump off of for the next season.
ROBERT KING: [The finale is] really what we felt was strong about this year, which is we didn’t bring in a lot of guest cast. We wanted to bring it back to the core characters. That’s the same thing that happens here. The episode basically happens in the two law firms—Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner—and there’s not even a second in court…. We love our actors this year, so we really wanted to give them a podium to do what they do best and not cloud of the scene with a lot of extra characters.
Is there a big cliff-hanger?
RK: It’s a cliff-hanger much more similar to the end of season 4. I don’t know if I would call it a cliff-hanger when Alicia says “I’m in” to Cary and starts all the dominoes falling for season 5. It’s only a cliff-hanger in that it’s like the end of the chapter and it makes you want to move on to the next chapter.
The episode loops back to the failed-adoption lawsuit from earlier this season. Will there be any resolution to that situation?
RK: No. It’s something that will carry over. And in fact, that’s just a spring-board for the episode. In our work through the east and west coast we work with a polycom system, which is a teleconferencing system where you see each other on a TV. What we’ve found is that you can accidentally leave it on without knowing it. You’ll turn off your screen, but not realize the camera is still on. That’s what happens in this case. They’re doing a teleconferencing deposition, and Lockhart/Gardner forgets to turn off the camera. People at Florrick/Agos can see and hear what’s going on in the board room. So there’s all these moral and ethical dilemmas…. So anyway, that is the core of the episode.This year has been about surveillance with the NSA stuff. So now Alicia is put in the position of someone who is the person listening in.
Where is Alicia on a personal level?
JM: I think the realization of [her arrangement with Peter] permeates through their relationship. And because Peter suddenly seems to just go with it, there’s a tremendous sadness there. All of the sudden, it’s that feeling of, when you’re with the wrong person, life has never been that lonely. You’re better off alone. There’s this tremendous loneliness for both of them that sort of reveals itself. So this is our life now. This is who we are.
Where do things stand at Lockhart/Gardner with Louis Canning still in the picture? He’s definitely up to something.
JM: As with Florrick/Agos there’s tremendous unrest and people you don’t trust. What ends up happening with Lockhart/Gardner/Canning is that they catch him at his own game. In the end, you know it can’t maintain that kind of tension for long. I don’t want to ruin anything, but it certainly can’t stay that way without there being a major change.
Are there any shocking deaths?
JM: [Laughs] No. I can assure you. There are no deaths in the finale. There’s death in other ways perhaps, but not physical deaths.
Was it hard to maintain the level of drama in the episodes following Will’s death?
MICHELLE KING: It was always a very interesting to us to see how Alicia would react to Will’s death, so for us, it didn’t feel anti-climactic. It was more dual climactic because the second climax was Alicia reacting to what happened in [episode] 5-15.
RK: I think that what has made it easier for us is that we know what we’re writing toward. We’d realized that if we’re drifting, the audience knows in a heartbeat. They just know that you’re kind of improvising and picking things up as you go. And we kind of know what we’re writing toward so that has made it a little easier.
So looking forward, will Michael J. Fox return as Louis Canning in season 6?
RK: That is our hope. I think Michael has suggested his interest in returning. We don’t know for how many episodes and how often we can get him, but we’d like him [to come back].
MK: We love Michael.
RK: And we love Alicia’s relationship with him. You’ll see more of that.
What about Matthew Goode’s Finn Polmar?
RK: That is our expectation. Matthew is really hitting it off with the cast, and we’re all loving writing for his character.
Anything else you want to add?
JM: I feel very grateful, and I’m just praying season 6 can hold up. I don’t know how we’ll do it, but we’ll try. I have faith. I always have faith in the Kings. [Laughs]