“The Good Wife” is no longer, technically, a wife. Alicia kicked her husband, Peter, out of the house after learning that he slept with her best friend Kalinda. Though she was thoughtful enough to find him another apartment, it signaled that Alicia has decided to take charge of her life. It was the moment fans had been waiting for since the series began. The show’s second season has been all about Alicia’s odyssey from dutiful political wife to strong, independent woman. Will the May 17 season finale find Alicia borrowing Blake’s baseball bat to pay Kalinda back for sleeping with her husband? Or will she finally tell Will, the man she has been pining for since the series began, that she loves him? The show’s executive producers Robert and Michelle King previewed the finale and took a candid look back at the highlights and lowlights of the second season.
Take us inside your approach to the finale, and what you wanted to accomplish. This year we were actually trying to avoid what we perceived as a weakness in last year’s finale: a cliffhanger. To be honest, last year’s finale wasn’t meant to be such a tease. We liked the idea of an ending similar to the unresolved ending of the first “Italian Job” (1969) when the movie literally left the heroes hanging on a cliff. We thought it would be comic to leave Alicia in a similarly unresolved place. The problem with cliffhangers is they really need a resolution that is just as powerful as the tease, and that requires its own super-structure of plotting and storytelling. So our approach to the finale this year was to complete a story: to resolve the issue of the season; to leave the viewer with a feeling of resolution.
Did anything disappoint you about this season? Anything you wish you could have done, but didn’t have the time, forethought or resources? Yes. The green screen work at the beginning of the otherwise good fourteenth episode, “Net Worth,” is just atrocious. Our apologies for that. Also we were often frustrated in our storytelling by various casting issues. We thought we had Chris Noth for some episodes, and it turned out we didn’t. We stretched out a subplot longer than we thought we would because we couldn’t get Michael Ealy and Scott Porter for certain shows. And of course some of the cases weren’t as interesting as others. But we had more happy moments than sad ones this year.
What should fans look forward to next season? And if you haven’t gotten that far yet…what would your dream season be? We’re building the season now, and I think we might change a few things up. But no musical episodes.
What were the high points of the season? We liked the episodes that commented on and satirized current events: the Al Gore masseuse non-mini-scandal; the “Social Network” lawsuit-that-didn’t-happen; the Google-Zuckerberg do-si-do in China. We also liked exploring a stronger use of pop music in the episodes. We love editing, and one of the purest forms of editing is cutting images to music. We think we did this better this year, and made the music more essential to the plotting. We thought we got more cinematic this year which is always fun.
Do you have a favorite episode, line, or scene from this season? If so – what? For scenes: we very much liked Kalinda’s destruction of Blake’s car in the fourth episode, and we liked the moo-cow satire of “The War Horse” in the fifth episode. We liked the realtor opening from the twentieth episode that set up all the various plot threads. We liked the comic breaking fast scene in the third episode. Finally, we very much love the last five minutes of the last episode this year. We think it really works well. Hope this all doesn’t sound hubristic; we’re usually very critical of our stuff, but this year we’re feeling uncharacteristically benevolent. Next year might be a disaster.