Warning: This story contains spoilers from the series finale of The Good Wife, which aired Sunday on CBS.
Whether you loved it or hated, The Good Wife finale has people talking — including show co-creators and executive producers Robert and Michelle King.
After explaining that ending in a video, the husband-and-wife duo penned a fitting tribute to the end of the seven-season series — which aired its final episode Sunday — in the form of a goodbye letter published on CBS’ website.
“Dearest Good Wife Friends,” the note begins. “ ‘Thank you’ is easy. ‘Goodbye’ is harder.”
The Kings go on to outline their plan for the series, which initially stood on shaky ground as they hadn’t anticipated to have much success.
“After we realized we wouldn’t be cancelled after 13 episodes, we started to devise a vanishing point we could write toward. That structure, in our minds, was simple. The show would start with a slap and end with a slap,” they write of the Julianna Margulies-fronted drama. “Each slap would involve Alicia. This would be the bookend. She would slap someone who victimized her at the beginning of the series; and she would be slapped by someone she ‘victimized’ at the end. In this way, the victim would become the victimizer. This is the education of Alicia Florrick.”
The pair point out that Alicia’s actions in the series finale resulted in Diane (Christine Baranski) being hurt. Alicia’s decision to undercut Diane’s husband Kurt (Gary Cole) on the stand during Peter’s (Chris Noth) trial revealed once again her maternal pull. Alicia wasn’t motivated out of concern for Peter, but rather to protect their daughter Grace (Makenzie Vega), who claimed she would delay college to support her dad if he was convicted and sent off to prison. The Kings say Alicia was trying to “keep Grace from following in her path. She didn’t want Grace to put her future on hold in order to stand by Peter.” This betrayal of Diane, the Kings say, completed the full-circle transformation Alicia underwent from episode 1 to episode 156.
“On one level this is empowering. It allowed Alicia to control her fate. But it also changed her. Ironically, at the exact moment she found the power to leave Peter, she realized she had become Peter,” the Kings write of Alicia selling out her friend and partner Diane. “And that’s tragic. Yes, Alicia’s story contains tragedy. We still love her. And we hope you do too. The ending is supposed to be unsettling. But we don’t think characters need to avoid tragedy to be embraced… In the end, the story of Alicia isn’t about who she’ll be with; it’s about who she’ll be.”
The letter closes with an emotional sendoff. The pair says they’ve comes to terms with the unique mix of feelings that accompany the end of a series as they thank fans for their longstanding dedication.
“We loved writing this series. We loved the comedy, the drama, the tragedy,” the Kings admit. “It’s hard to not write for these characters anymore… We’ve had fun. Thank you for having fun with us. We’ve also felt sad. Drama embraces both. So thank you for feeling sad with us too. And mostly, thank you for allowing these characters into your home every week for seven years.”
All things considered, do you think Alicia got a proper send-off? Cast your vote in EW’s poll.