Archie Panjabi, Alex O’Loughlin, Emily Van Camp
Who died? Who lived? This season's TV finales left fans with a host of the normal cliff-hangers, but the biggest burning question on many viewers' mind was who is going to play that role? A number of big shows left the door open to introduce pivotal characters in the fall, including one mysterious husband, and not one, not two, but three long-lost or believed-to-be-dead moms. Before production returns for the fall and casting kicks into high gear, we thought we'd take a closer look at these exciting series cast additions and make our own suggestions. Let the casting games begin!
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Kalinda's husband, The Good Wife
The Dirt: Viewers first learned that the "flexible" Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) had a hubby back in Season 2 before she woke up one day and decided she didn't like her life, fled and changed her identity. Thanks to FBI Agent Delaney's probe into Kalinda's taxes and Alicia's all-too good investigative skills, the good wife unknowingly called Mr. Kalinda's Toronto-based F&E Construction "company," and received a threatening callback. We also know he has a creepy laugh and that he is one of the few people who gets Kalinda shaking in her boots of justice.
The Role: Little is known about what kind of man Kalinda's husband is. When speaking with TVGuide.com about the Season 3 finale, Panjabi said, "Next year it will either be the season of the bad wife or the good husband, meaning her husband. We don't know what he's going to be like." However, the biggest requirement for this role is the most obvious: He's got to be able to hold his own with fan favorite Kalinda, or should we say Leila. Chicago's toughest private investigator went to great lengths to keep her past a secret, including smashing Blake's car to pieces with a baseball bat and using said bat to beat the crap out of Blake himself.
Our Pick: Idris Elba. If there is anyone that can mix charm, intrigue and menace, it's the man formerly known as Stringer Bell. Yes, these days the Golden Globe winner is already busy with another TV project — BBC's Luther — but it's a miniseries. Plus, it would let creators Robert and Michelle King cross another Wire alum off their list.
McGarrett's mom, Hawaii Five-0
The Dirt: At first, McGarrett's mom was believed to have been killed in a car accident when Steve (Alex O'Loughlin) was just 16. It was later revealed that her death was no accident, but actually a homicide caused by Steve's dad's secret investigation into the powerful Yakuza gang. However, it was only after Big Bad Wo Fat was finally put behind bars at the end of Season 2 that the real truth was revealed by Joe (Terry O'Quinn): Not only is McGarrett's mom alive, but she's Shelburne, the only person Wo Fat feared. In the final moments of Season 2, Joe brought Steve to Japan to reconnect with his mom face-to-face.
The Role: Keeping in mind that she is the only person Wo Fat was afraid of, it's safe to say that Mrs. McGarrett is a bada-- with a capital B. Besides that? Details are scarce.
Our Pick: Just going on the fact that she's been rogue for the last 15-something years and that she was the only person Wo Fat feared, our top choice is one of the top female action stars of all time: Alien's Sigourney Weaver. Geena Davis, who showed off her impressive combat moves and shooting skills in films like The Long Kiss Goodnight and Thelma & Louise, would also be a good contender.
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Emily'sAmanda's mom, Revenge
The Dirt: Is there any chance that David Clarke (James Tupper) left another mysterious wooden box lying around with all the info on his former wife, because we don't really have much else to go on. "Momanda," as the Internet has dubbed her, was rarely ever mentioned until Nolan uncovered that old video of Victoria saying she was alive.
The Role: Again, there is little intel out there, but from what series head Mike Kelley said in interviews last week, Emily's mom sounds pretty fragile underneath that hard shell (à la Homeland heroine Carrie). "It would be really great for her to be as formidable as Madeleine [Stowe], but it's a completely different part," Kelley told Entertainment Weekly. "What you're going to discover about the woman who was Emily's mother is the circumstances under which they were separated and you're going to find that there's some deep psychological issues with her, which I think is going to be fun for us to explore. For Emily (Emily VanCamp), she's going to start seeing some of the psychological damage that her mother has in herself."
Our Pick: When it comes to tough ladies of the small screen, Lost alum Elizabeth Mitchell immediately comes to mind. Her character, Juliet, was considered by many to be one of the ABC drama's best villains, but she still had viewers reaching for the tissues when she died in the Season 6 premiere. A more twisted — but possibly brilliant — casting would be Desperate Housewives' Nicollette Sheridan, who wore emotionally unstable so well when she faked her own suicide on Wisteria Lane and who we would pay good money to see in a catfight with Stowe.
Tessa's mom, Suburgatory
The Dirt: It's hardly a secret that Tessa's mom left her and George (Jeremy Sisto) behind a long time ago, but what started out as Tessa (Jane Levy) playing the "my mom left when I was young" card to win over her cool poetry teacher slowly morphed into a much bigger emotional void. Her mom's departure hardly sounds amicable, as first hinted by Tessa's maternal grandmother. "You imagine that there was some sort of court battle between them," show boss Emily Kapnek told reporters at a May screening. "In my mind, George probably threw down some sort of an ultimatum with her as she was on-again, off-again after Tessa was born, saying, 'Be here or don't be here, just be consistent.'"
The Role: When producers were originally casting the role for Season 1, "Alex" was described as a neurotic, artistic mess who shared a passionate but futile relationship with George before she felt overwhelmed by the pressures of motherhood and peace-d out to go find herself. In most recent interviews, Kapnek has said that the character will also share Tessa's sharp tongue and wit. "If there's way to do that without making her seem like a total a--hole, that's my goal. We don't want her to be a villain," she said. "She's certainly not perfect, but that you can have some compassion for what she went through."
Our Pick: Funny woman Judy Greer's comedy pilot didn't get the green light from ABC this season, which leaves her ample time to stop by Chatswin. The perennial rom-com BFF has always been able to bring humanity and wit to characters not afraid to tell it like it is (see: 27 Dresses, Mad Love). After years of mining for funny moments in dramas like True Blood and The Good Wife, the versatile Carrie Preston could also be an unexpected treat.
Who do you think should play these roles? Share your suggestions in the comments below!