The first reaction when Will Gardner was shown lying dead, blood covering his body from gunshot wounds this season on "The Good Wife" was: "WHAT?" Then came the other: "But Alicia!"
The shocking death of the renegade lawyer, played by Josh Charles, in the season's 15th episode threw fans into a frenzy.
Charles stopped by the Los Angeles Times on Monday to talk about the show's reenergized fifth season, which critics have lauded. Among the topics discussed, the push-and-pull dynamic between Will and protagonist Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) — a central component to the show.
The season had largely been propelled by the former lovers being at odds after Will discovered Alicia, whom he brought into his law firm when no one wanted her, sneaking around to start her own firm.
The tension between the eternal flames was high throughout the season — and the two hadn't yet fully called a "truce" when Alicia received the heart-stopping call from Kalinda that Will had been killed. Asked about his thoughts on how things ended for Will and Alicia, Charles said the untidiness felt appropriate.
"I think that's part of the intent," he said. "You kind of see the ice thaw a little bit and so maybe you get a hint that things could one day improve. And then they don't. The rug gets pulled out from under you. That happens in life, I think. I don't know. I was always drawn — maybe it's the dark part of my personality — to the tragic element of their relationship. Because we've seen the other stuff done a lot. And I think the idea of two people who really do feel a connection, but for all these different reasons [their timing] is off — I always responded to that element."
Charles added that he never discussed with creators Robert and Michelle King what they thought their end game was for those two characters. But he has his own thoughts on it.
"My feeling, my own opinion, is that I don't know that it ever was the end game," he said. "I think there was always going to be something between them, a connection. I felt like the ending — you got a sense, I think from that episode, that they were going to find a mutual respect again. It was going to happen. Because, like I said, with time and distance and healing, Will could sort of take his emotions out of it. He could look at the move and go, 'You know what, maybe I would have done something similar.'"
For more on what Charles had to say about his time on the show, check out the video above.