[WARNING: This story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Good Wife. Read at your own risk.]
He survived the wrath of Peter Florrick and the State's Attorney office, but Will Gardner (Josh Charles) was no match for the Illinois State Bar Association on Sunday's episode of The Good Wife. Faced with the possibility of losing his law license forever, Will took responsibility for that $45,000 loan and agreed to a six-month suspension. So what's next? How will his time away from the law change Will? How will
Lockhart Gardner Lockhart and Associates, and Alicia (Julianna Margulies), change without him? TVGuide.com spoke with show bosses Robert and Michelle King to get our burning questions answered.
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How long has this been in the works?
Robert King: We started this year thinking the theme would be about risk. It really turned fairly quickly into being about consequences. Our people have a lot of close scrapes and get off. This one felt like it should come down like a lot of bricks on Will's head. And we didn't want to just disbar him completely.
Why was it important for Will in particular to kind of face more serious consequences?
Michelle King: It felt real. There were big threats against Will and we wanted to show that yes, in fact he was going to feel the pain and there were going to be changes in his life and in the show.
Robert King: It's like the first year when there was a competition between Cary and Alicia. There's a term TV writers called 'Schmuck Bait,' which is the idea that there are some plots that you know aren't going to happen, like Superman is not going to die. Having Cary actually be fired in Season 1 felt like we were taking these threats very seriously and avoiding 'Schmuck Bait'. For Will, it felt like there really needed to be repercussions from it.
How will Will continue to be a part of the show if he can't practice law or go to the firm?
Robert King: He's in every episode, but it is a delicate dance. There is the dance of what you are allowed to do as a business partner in that firm, and what you're prevented from doing as a lawyer. This is difficult for Will and he really wants to honor the suspension too.
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Will viewers just see him at home or will he take up new hobbies or maybe a new job?
Robert King: We're going to see his home and meet his sisters. This allows us to open up a little more of Will's private life.
How is he going handle being away from the law in the long-term?
Robert King: In the episode, Diane says, 'You can't take six months. It will kill you.' There's a part of Will that wants to prove people wrong. That there is stuff that he has put aside. He really wants to take this seriously and rebuild his private life and who he is. It gives us a new flavor in who Will is.
But on the other hand, the high intensity work in the law is a drug. There are withdrawals associated with that. There is something built into Will that is competitive and that is also a corner cutter. Some of these things can't be worked out of him and they're just going to find other outlets.
Now that he has more free time, will there be new special someone in his life?
Michelle King: You'll have to tune in to see.
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How will Will's absence affect Alicia?
Robert King: It will be interesting to see how much they can pivot to a new level in their friendships/working relationships especially with this monkey wrench thrown into Will's life. Alicia feels guilty, but she does not want to stoke fires that could take her in a dangerous direction. You can prevent yourself from being put in places where you have that kind of emotional connection.
Michelle King: In addition to that, Alicia's life gets more complicated because one of the main partners is on suspension and suddenly everyone in the firm has to take on more work including Alicia.
How else will his suspension affect the rest of the firm?
Robert King: Will was someone who carried quite a bit of the load for the firm. A lot of that gets disbursed and there's also a power vacuum which draws a lot of interlopers. It makes things much more complicated. ... We're going to see David Lee, Julius Cain and Eli Gold butt heads because we just enjoy it. The three of them playing together is like watching the Marx Brothers.
How long will this suspension last on the show? Will this continue into next season?
Robert King: I think we're going to suggest that the six months takes us through the end of this season.
How will the firm change during his sabbatical?
Robert King: The reality is that you have to fight your way back through because, in many ways, you've lost your clients to other lawyers. You don't just come back with all the clout that you left with.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.