It wasn’t just fans of “The Good Wife” who were left awed by Sunday’s “Hitting the Fan.”
Stars Julianna Margulies and Matt Czuchry tell Zap2it they knew it was a special episode and a series changer.
“I felt very grateful to be a part of a show that in its fifth season was putting out such a complicated, complex show that people were reacting to in such a positive way,” Margulies says. “It’s rare to have these moments in the fifth season of a show. It’s rare. It felt like a whole new show.”
Margulies chats during a break on the Brooklyn set, where the cast is filming the 10th episode. It’s clear that Florrick/Agos is up and running, though it’s not the sleek operation Lockhart/Gardner was.
All too often when an established series tries a major change, the reaction is that it jumped the shark, and the countdown to the end begins. In this case, fans have been delighted with the changes and can’t wait to see the next episode.
Alicia Florrick (Margulies) had agreed to start a firm with Cary Agos (Czuchry) at last season’s finale. They spent this season trying to do so quietly, but there are few secrets among people who spend their lives looking for information.
Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), poised to become a judge in incoming Gov. Peter Florrick’s (Chris Noth) administration, and mired in negotiations for her exit package from Lockhart/Gardner, discovers what’s going on. A major client tells Diane she plans to go with Alicia and Cary.
In “Hitting the Fan” Will Gardner (Josh Charles) went berserk with betrayal, jealousy, fear – name an emotion fueled by resentment and anger and he showed it in the Sunday, Oct. 27 episode. He had everyone involved with the upstart firm escorted from Lockhart/Gardner. The episode showed Alicia crying in an elevator and later, making love to her husband in their bedroom, while the lawyers for the new firm milled about her living room.
The episode reminded viewers who these characters are: Peter Florrick is the governor-elect, but he is also Alicia’s husband. He knows she and Will had an affair. Florrick tells Eli (Alan Cumming) that he’s no longer naming Diane a judge.
Basically, it’s war, and sets the stage for the rest of this season. The cast knew this was the game changer.
“From the very beginning, it was a great script,” Czuchry says. “Everybody came to the set extremely focused and excited because it was such a great script.
“The reason is so unique,” Czuchry says. “You are talking about four years of the show and have the history of these characters getting turned upside down. You had nearly 95 hours of television getting turned upside down.”
“It was years of build-up and that’s why it’s one of our best,” he says.
The cast and crew, on a set where reporters rarely get to visit, are re-energized. That episode was a huge undertaking, which clearly paid off.
“People were a little surprised that we pulled it off,” Margulies says.
“The Good Wife” airs Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.