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Fans Of 'The Good Wife' Rocked By [Spoiler Alert]

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Fans Of 'The Good Wife' Rocked By [Spoiler Alert]


Fans Of 'The Good Wife' Rocked By [Spoiler Alert]

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Fans of the CBS legal drama "The Good Wife," especially those who saw last night's episode, will know what we're going to hear about next. If you missed it, you might want to cover your ears for the next three minutes. As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, "The Good Wife" shocked its loyal followers with a major plot twist.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: "The Good Wife" centers around smart, attractive, Chicago lawyer Alicia Florrick. She's the good wife because she stood by her politician husband, who cheated on her. But the most compelling storyline is between Alicia and another lawyer, Will Gardner.


JULIANNA MARGULIES: (As Alicia Florrick) We might have our differences, but you're the better lawyer.

JOSH CHARLES: (As Will Gardner) (Laughter) I am, aren't I?

MARGULIES: (As Alicia Florrick) (Laughter) And the more humble.

BLAIR: If you don't want to know what happened last night, stop listening.


ARCHIE PANJABI: (As Kalinda Sharma) Shots fired at Cook County courthouse.

SHAUNA MILES: (As Sherriff Hardy) Everyone stay put.

BLAIR: Will Gardner was killed in a courtroom shooting. It's safe to say that longtime fans watching the show were stunned. Susan Anastasi, a fan in Maryland, says then she got angry.

SUSAN ANASTASI: I was so mad. I thought, how could they do it? Because the sexual tension between Alicia and Will has always been the heart of the show. And we've been rooting for the two of them to get together since the show began. But she kept going back to her cheating husband.

BLAIR: Even TV critics, who can usually sniff out these explosive episodes ahead of time, were caught off guard. James Poniewozik is Time Magazine's TV critic.

JAMES PONIEWOZIK: It sort of took me a while to kind of wrestle with my feelings about the episode beyond just shock.

BLAIR: As soon as the episode aired last night, CBS began explaining the decision to fans. In an online video, Josh Charles, the actor who plays Will, said he wanted to leave the show.


CHARLES: However much I've enjoyed the experience - that I was ready for the next chapter of my life, both creatively and personally.

BLAIR: A big problem for the show's creators, Robert and Michelle King. After five banner years, their male lead decides to leave. Knowing the outrage would be swift, the Kings posted a letter on the CBS website. They write that they could have sent Will Gardner off to Seattle, or had him disbarred. But, they said, there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle. So they killed him. They hoped the event will propel Alicia into, quote, "her newest incarnation."

Some fans and bloggers were not impressed. Vulture writes "Why The Shocking Twist Betrayed the Show's Characters." The headline on NPR's pop-culture blog Monkey See, "Ugh: 'Good Wife,' Bad Idea." Killing off a major TV character is nothing new. Think Matthew Crawley, on "Downton Abbey"; and Brian Griffin, on "Family Guy." Time Magazine's James Poniewozik isn't sure how this death on "The Good Wife" will play out.

PONIEWOZIK: I liked at least the adventurousness of it. Whether or not it ruins the show, you know, tune in next week.

BLAIR: No doubt there will be lots of tears and, since this is a legal drama, some jockeying for Will's position. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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