Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy waits 15 years for girl to separate from husband. And then girl breaks up with boy ... because she "can't." Yes, The Good Wife's Team Will fans had to close the door on "Willicia" almost as quickly as those elevator doors opened just a few months ago.
"We don't want this show to be in that Cheers mode of "when will they or won't they" kind of thing. As good as that is, we wanted to show the reality that Alicia has a lot of things pressing on her and a lot of guilt trips and emotions that factor into whether she carries on an affair," co-creator and executive producer Robert King tells TVGuide.com. "There was an emotional moment last year where Grace says, 'Mom, you need to protect us more.' That has been nagging at Alicia all this year."
However, King and his wife, co-creator and executive producer Michelle King, stress that doesn't mean those doors have shut forever. "In our minds, Will is in love with Alicia. There is, yes, romanticism about the past and a romantic instinct towards finding commitment in your life," Robert King says. "But there will be the tension for both Will and Alicia once Will starts seeing women again, if he does. There can't help but be this pang with Alicia because she is a highly charged sexual being now."
Romance will be the furthest thing from Alicia's mind though as she returns her focus to her kids and especially her career. "Do you choose the route of Diane, who is someone who put family on hold and put career first? Is there any way you can do that with family?" King says. "I think when things are not about emotional risk, they are about advancing your job."
Alicia's continued struggle to balance her career and her family will bring Peter (Chris Noth) back into the picture. "Peter and Alicia share a lot of difficulties and a lot of pain," King says. "What Alicia shares with Peter is something she could never share with Will, which is that they are trying to raise children. But with Peter, obviously comes the baggage of Jackie, and how many Molotov cocktails she can throw into this."
On top of Jackie's scheming, spying ways, there's also the issue of the Peter's office's investigation into Will (Josh Charles), which Alicia (Julianna Margulies) has yet to find out about. "Clearly, he wanted to hurt Will in private. It was also sort of a political advantage to pursue the Will investigation. It is very difficult when those two things are aligned: something that you want and yet something that advances your career," he says. "Does that undercut the honesty of it? Alicia is going to have to face that with Peter too."
"Ultimately these two characters are really bonded with each other and care about each other as friends. While their relationship and intimacy level has deepened, I think what's happened right now feels right," Charles says. "He has his hands full with trying to remain a lawyer and stay out of prison."
It will take a lot to keep Will out of the prison, as the investigation brings more than a few skeletons out of his closet. "It brings in a lot of major threads that have been pursuing Will for a while. Will has always cut very close to the ethical line, sometimes crossing it," King says. "That stuff doesn't go away. If there is any lesson the show has sent, it's that the sins of the past keep coming back."
The investigation will also further open Will's eyes about his desire to have more in his life than just a corner office at Lockhart & Gardner. "Will is going to have a brush with death, in terms of his career because of what is happening with this investigation," he says. Will's search for commitment "is going to really nag at him over the course of the second half of the season. He is going to come to a decision by the end of the year."
Does that mean there is hope for a reconciliation between Will and Alicia? "That doesn't mean that it wouldn't bring her back into Will's sphere in some way. It just would have to be a very different permutation because you don't want to just go backwards with the narrative," King says. "There is this constant forward momentum to who Alicia is becoming."
The Good Wife airs Sunday at 9/8c on CBS.
(Additional reporting by Robyn Ross)