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‘The Good Wife’ preview: Robert and Michelle King on Will’s big decision

Will (Josh Charles) has a big decision before him in this week’s The Good Wife — an episode billed as a must-watch. (Personally, aren’t all of them?)

As you’ll recall, in last week’s episode, Nelson (Eric Bogosian) gave Will 48 hours to decide whether or not he’ll testify against Peter (Chris Noth) in the voter fraud case. And, as creator Robert and Michelle King discuss below, the issue is more than two-folds. The pair breaks down his options and talks much more about one of Good Wife‘s best seasons yet below.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Will has 48 hours to make up his mind about what he is going to do. What is going through his head?
ROBERT KING: It’s a really tough place to be in because there’s a lot of issues on the career front and on the personal front. On the professional front, he’s an attorney. At one point he was suspended, and the last thing he wants to do is breach his attorney-client privilege. Even though his client is someone he despises — Peter Florrick — he still represents him. On the other hand, lawyers have gone to jail for exactly this kind of thing — for covering up a conspiracy — and voter fraud is a conspiracy. So the argument being made here by [Nelson] is that if you basically hide the voter fraud, then you are just as guilty and can go to jail. That’s kind of a paradoxical situation that an attorney can be in –- they’re bound by attorney client privilege until they are aiding and abetting the crime itself.
MICHELLE KING: What makes it even more difficult for Will is that if he were to breach attorney client privilege, it would basically be career-suicide for him because no client then wants to work with that attorney. So it’s not just selflessness on his part.
Robert King: And then there’s the personal side where he does not love Peter Florrick and he no longer loves Alicia, so it creates this odd difficulty, which the Eric Bogosian character is trying to provoke and to take advantage of. [Nelson] doesn’t know that they slept with each other yet, but he knows that Alicia stole some of Will’s top clients.

So Will is contending with that this next episode?
Robert King: The next couple episodes, really. Episodes 15 and 16 are when things come to a head. There’s the dilemma of what should Will do and what will he do. And ‘what are the repercussions of his decision?’ Will it cause Alicia problems or Peter problems? Will it put Alicia and Peter in the same camp? It’s different from the other years where Eli (Alan Cumming) or Peter or Will were in trouble and it was just themselves. Here, it crosses that line of Will difficulties and Peter’s difficulties.

These days, I find it hard to sympathize with Peter. Is that the way it’s supposed to be?
Robert King: Each year, I feel different about Peter and what he’s about. I think you’ll find that some of the audience has gone to Peter because he has apologized as much as he can for the infractions in the past, and he is really trying to be as good a man as he can — given that he’s a politician and a governor.
Michelle King: And as good a governor as he can. I think he doesn’t pay too close attention to the dirt that goes on in order to allow him to be a good governor, but I do think he’s trying.
Robert King: I do think people were sympathizing with him after he did something good for Alicia in the 505 episode with everything hitting the fan. In theory, there should be a little bit of a question mark about which guy you’re sympathizing with since Will has his problems, too. He’s angry at Alicia, and he seems to be mostly on the other side from her. He is just as willing to skate the ethical lines.

So the timeline for this storyline is through episode 16?
Michelle King: [Episodes] 15 and 16 are like a box set. The surprises in 15 play out in 16 too.

Let’s talk about Cary (Matt Czuchry) and Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). When do we get clarification of the nature of their relationship?
Michelle King: You probably will by the end of the year, but I can’t say exactly which episode.

Carrie Preston was as fantastic in last week’s episode — as she usually is. How much of her are we going to see of her as the voter fraud moves forward? P.S – the anti-Semitic bear incident had me dying of laughter.
Robert King: The issue with her is that she’s on True Blood, so we can only use her a couple times a year, but that problem goes away next year. [Ed note: True Blood is entering its final season.] But this year we’re going to be a little constricted in our ability to use her. And that cuddly bear was based on something that really happened in Central Park. There was this Elmo who was anti-Semitic and when you took pictures he would rave about Jews in Israel. I think some New Yorkers will remember that.

So we went through this big shake-up at the beginning of this season with the split. Are you planning another shake-up at the end of this season? Tell me the thesis for these last episodes.
Robert King: The whole year has been about separation and you’re right, we are trying to make each year a chapter in Alicia’s life. We are heading toward another shake up at the end of this season. While we are always trying to look towards impacting Alicia emotionally and professionally. So we’re hoping that at the end of this year there will be a shake up.
Michelle King: You can say that the whole series has a thesis, which is every act has consequences. This season is no different. So splitting up the firm, choosing which clients to take — all those decisions have consequences and the hope is that the rest of the season just naturally plays out those consequences.

Now I have to ask because our recapper was very curious — when will Jeffrey Tambour be back? He left that lunch with Alicia very abruptly.
Michelle King: I know, poor Alicia.
Robert King: He’s been amazing this year. He’s on a new Amazon series called Transparent, which is fantastic. Whenever we can steal him, we will. We don’t feel like we’ve ended that story….In theory that ending was supposed to be self-explanatory that he had his nose out of joint because Alicia wasn’t treating him well. The guy has a crush on her. He was giving a professional guise to the lawyer and the judge meeting, but he had a crush on her. He liked her feminine attention and her sense of humor and the fact that she came to lunch and treated him like any other schmuck, I think every guy that was mistreated in high school has that gene in them that makes them think like if a pretty girl is arriving late then f— her. That’s where his head was at.

Last question, give me a great teaser.
Michelle King: Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) is coming back to create his usual difficulty and he’ll be there for more than one episodes.
Robert King: Dylan Baker is coming back. He’ll be coming back with a fiancé and Alicia gets wrapped up in his life in a way that has more to do with he being a witness than a lawyer. That creates problems for him. We have Zach Woods back as one of the NSA guys that he played earlier in the year. A

So we’ll hit the NSA thing again?
Robert King: Yes. That’s a story that we thought would pop up in a comic and dramatic way, so you’re like, “Oh yah those guys are still listening.” We want to continue that. And there’s such good comic chemistry in those offices.

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