"The anticipation for this has been so big, it's kind of overwhelming," co-creator Robert King tells TVGuide.com. "You will not be disappointed, or I hope you won't be! We think it will be very satisfying."
Whether or not that includes tequila shots, King and co-creator Michelle King promise that it will be "very emotional," since it doubles as Panjabi's actual farewell. So what else can we expect from the big reunion? Do they regret separating Kalicia for so long? Can Alicia start a firm on her own? Will Season 7 be the last? Find out below.
I liked Kalinda's first exit. It was very her. Were you expecting the negative reaction to it — that it was too small and brief?
Robert King: We always wanted an encore to her exit. We knew the audience knew she was leaving at the end of the year, but we didn't want them completely primed for the last episode of the season. We wanted to lead them up two episodes earlier. We understand people being upset by it. It was abrupt, but wait! She'll be back. We wouldn't not give her a proper exit. And Kalinda always has something up her sleeve.
Michelle King: We couldn't do Josh Charles' exit because everybody knew [she was leaving]. This was our own trick.
Why does she come back into the picture?
Robert: Wallace Shawn's character Charles Lester comes back and he is Lemond Bishop's kind of fixer. It was always so funny that Wallace Shawn doesn't really seem like anybody's henchman, but he's also very dangerous. He's back and because he comes back into the picture, intimidating Alicia, that causes Kalinda to come back and help her. It's something only Kalinda can do, but is she also risking her life by coming back?
And Kalicia will finally reunite.
Robert: Yes! [Laughs] They'll be in a scene together. It is happening. There's no way Archie could leave without that. Of course we're doing that. That's completely what [fans] have been waiting for. It's lovely and great to have the audience wetting its lips for something. ... The other thing about it is that it's also very emotional because it's also goodbye to this great character and great actress.
Looking back at their relationship and how the past two years unfolded, even with Archie leaving now, do you have any regrets keeping them apart for so long at the expense of story lines?
Robert: I think we stumbled into part of a good idea, which was the longer they were apart, the more the audience wanted to see them together. People noticed after a while and there was an urge, this hunger. I think that's always a good thing. But that wasn't the intent. The intent was after the revelation of Kalinda sleeping with Peter (Chris Noth), I think we all - the actresses, the writers - felt like we were trying to get over that problem too easily in Season 3.
Michelle: It felt inevitable. We had to take a step back and reevaluate what was happening, and this made sense.
What, if any, missteps do you think you had with the separation? It seemed to have just snowballed, and some of the set-ups and phone calls between them have been comical.
Robert: [Laughs] Sometimes we like to have fun. I would agree there were some [missteps]. Nothing's perfect. Kalinda and Alicia drinking at a bar together are some of the most fun moments in the whole series, the first two seasons. It was difficult to see that they could return to that place. Maybe if Alicia were a different type of person, yes. It felt anti-climactic for this big thing to happen and you couldn't have them joking and laughing like nothing had happened because that didn't feel true to reality. I think we're doing the second best thing other than rewriting history and wishing what happened never happened.
How will her exit affect Alicia? Her career is at a crossroads again for the third straight year and now she's losing her former best friend too.
Robert: That's right. I think you'll see in the finale how much it does even though they've been apart. It wouldn't feel right for it not to.
Should Alicia be going back to law? I do like the idea of her starting from the bottom.
Robert: We agree. Yes, I think she can go back to law. We like how every finale is the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. One of the things we're looking at is an Alicia who's lost everything, including her public image, which is harder for her than she thought. I think she always thought it was a joke, the St. Alicia thing. But now that people in our fictional universe know the reality, it's very hard on her. It's an embarrassing moment. She's living Peter's scandal for herself. What is she gonna do
Michelle: The irony for Alicia is while Peter did sleep with prostitutes, she didn't fix an election, so she's suffering for something she didn't in fact do.
I'm sure you've heard the theory that Peter was behind the election fixing.
Robert: [Laughs] We have heard that! I understand thinking Peter might not want her to win, but we've always thought of them as Bill and Hillary [Clinton] types. As much as Bill feels like he wants to fill the stage himself, there's also room on the stage for another winner.
I also like how Alicia is back to where she was when the show started, but worse off - there isn't a Will helping her with a job, she has to do this herself - and it's Peter who's giving her advice. Was that purposeful?
Robert: Yes, we like that too. This [State's Attorney story line] was building towards this. Like she said, she's having a crisis of confidence. And what you also want to do is make it satisfying television for binge-watchers. I think somebody who's watching it over six months will have a more novelistic sense of where it begins and where it ends, and will see these parallels more clearly.
The misunderstandings between Alicia and Diane (Christine Baranski) the other week were Three's Company-esque. Where will she stand with Lockhart, Agos & Lee by the end of the finale?
Robert: [Laughs] There is this paranoia that comes out — is this the new normal or are they gonna find some stasis? That will be the beginning of Season 7. You'll see a little bit played out in the finale, but we're gonna tackle that head-on next year.
Will there be a cliff-hanger?
Robert: Yes, it's going to be similar to last season and the one before. The last three seasons are sort of the same package.
Michelle: We like to end the season with a question mark and an exclamation point.
Robert: Oh, Michelle, I like that! [Laughs] I think everybody's going to miss Kalinda. It's very sad to see a character so strong and unique leave. I mean, my uncles love Kalinda. They are gaga for her. That's always going to be what you want to play as a reality of losing someone from your life and what's that's like. But you also don't want the show to live in tragedy all the time.
Will we find out what was in Kalinda's note?
Robert: You'll find out more, but I don't know that you'll find out exactly what. There's always an element of mystery, which is welcome, but you'll find out more.
Alicia's love life took a backseat this season, except for that hot kiss with Johnny. Will she turn her attention back to it next year?
Robert: Yes, definitely. We can't say exactly what, but that will happen.
Michelle: We consciously took a break from that this year to let everything with Will breathe.
Will it be with Finn (Matthew Goode)?
Robert: [Laughs] I cannot say any more!
You've said in the past that you've envisioned seven seasons for the show. Is that still the plan or something you haven't discussed yet?
Robert: I think it's best to leave that up in the air. It's always best to focus the viewers' attention on the seventh season. We have said that in the past. We just don't want to go off half-cock without talking to CBS.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
Relive all of The Good Wife's elevator moments: