Ardor in the Court: Behind the Scenes with The Good Wife's Hot Couple
The Good Wife
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains some details that will be revealed on the November 6 episode.
You might say a love affair that kicks into high gear with a steamy embrace in an elevator is predestined to have its share of ups and downs. And sure enough, as external pressures start to close in on The Good Wife's Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and Will Gardner (Josh Charles), their clandestine courtship is in for a very bumpy ride.
After two seasons of anticipation, Willicia supporters — as opposed to those who continue rooting for a reunion of Alicia and her estranged philandering politician hubby Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) — are finally being rewarded for their patience with a passionate payoff each week. The once dutiful spouse at the center of the drama has been transformed into a woman who giggles(!) and says yes to lunchtime lust with her fellow lawyer — but there's still plenty working against the fledgling couple. "What we like so very much about Will and Alicia is that there are so many reasons for the two of them not to be together, yet emotionally, it feels so right," says executive producer Michelle King, who along with husband Robert is responsible for the sophisticated CBS drama that earned nine Emmy nominations this year — along with a best-actress win for Margulies.
Among those reasons? First and foremost, Will is Alicia's boss at Lockhart & Gardner — and as far as the public knows, she's still living under the same roof as the powerful, newly reelected Cook County State's Attorney. "We want to explore the ramifications of sleeping with someone you work with — especially if that person is your supervisor," says Robert King. "On this show, that impacts the equilibrium of everybody around them. It doesn't just have a private component; it also has a political one." In other words: Cue the covert investigations, machinations, manipulations and confrontations that have become The Good Wife's hallmarks.
"Will and Alicia's relationship really works — when they're in their own little bubble," says Margulies with a laugh. That bubble is showing signs of bursting — thanks in no small part to the recent discovery of their romance by no-nonsense firm partner Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). "Diane is in a state of extreme uneasiness about what is going on," says Baranski. "She is going to have to act decisively, and that could have a huge impact on personal relationships." From Diane's standpoint, Alicia is becoming a liability — and frankly, she's got a point.
As a direct result of Alicia kicking Peter to the curb, Lockhart & Gardner — currently under investigation by the now-squeaky-clean S.A.'s office — is more vulnerable than ever. Peter has long harbored suspicions about Alicia's feelings for her former flame, and the ongoing RICO (racketeering) case involving Will's gambling past gives him plenty to sink his teeth into. While the would-be future governor can chalk up the crusade to the pursuit of justice, "Peter is still human, and there's a slight sense he's manipulating things to make it harder for Lockhart & Gardner," says Robert King. "People who are trying to be ethical sometimes get what they want done anyway."
Will made his suspicions about Peter's possible ulterior motives clear in the November 6 episode, during a loaded confrontation that hinted at the clash that may be to come. "It was a great mano a mano scene," says Charles. "What was so interesting is that Will assumed that Peter knows about the affair, but he really doesn't." Make that yet: With Peter's meddling mother, Jackie (Mary Beth Peil), snooping around Alicia's apartment, that could quickly change.
As the task of keeping their status on the DL becomes more difficult by the moment — and the consequences keep piling up — in the November 13 episode, Will and Alicia will be forced to broach the big question: Is it all worth it? And, perhaps more important, if the answer is yes, do they even have what it takes to make it? "When the relationship was not possible, it was very easy for them to think, 'Alicia's the one,' or 'Will could be the one,'" says Michelle King. "Now, they're faced with a moment of truth: 'We could theoretically make this our future.'"
For established eligible bachelor Will, going the distance would require overcoming some serious Peter Pan tendencies. "Will is trying to figure out whether he can make room for commitment in his life," explains Robert King. Alicia is in no rush to play house again either, he says: "She is in the adolescence of a new relationship." Then there's the matter of her teenage children, Zach (Graham Phillips) and Grace (Makenzie Vega), who up until this point have been kept in the dark about their mom's extracurricular activities. "The second Will gets into the kids' world, this relationship becomes dangerous to her," says Margulies. (They got a small taste of that already, when a nervous Will ran into Zach at the office.) "When we open that door, all hell will break loose."
For more on The Good Wife, pick up this week's issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, November 3!
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