Now that we’ve had a chance to let the dust settle after Sunday’s intriguing season three finale, it’s time to go into analysis mode: what did it all mean? How will Lockhart Gardner pick itself up after being blindsided by the dream team? What did that elevator scene between Alicia and Will signify? What will become of Kalinda with the clashing of her past at her doorstep (literally)? Thanks to some in-depth interviews with The Good Wife‘s creators and actors, we can dissect the many plots and relationships of the finale and look forward to the stories to come in season four.

Kalinda’s Breaking Point and the Arrival of Her Husband
Kalinda has had a rough year on The Good Wife, what with losing her best friend Alicia, falling out with Cary and the threat of drug kingpin Lemond Bishop over her head. The finale seemed to be a climax to that difficult process, when Alicia accidentally stumbled upon Kalinda’s husband, a man who sounded so dangerous over the phone, Alicia smartly cut him off. But that wasn’t enough to stop the man from seeking out Kalinda’s new life and come pounding on her door. In an unlikely twist, Kalinda ditched her plan to flee (her go-to solution) and sat awaiting him, in the dark, gun loaded.

According to TV Guide, Archie Panjabi (who plays Kalinda) revealed her husband is an important character the show has been seeking to cast for a while, but didn’t want to introduce him until the right actor could commit. Similarly, show creators Robert and Michelle King told EW Kalinda’s husband is someone with a long arc in season four who sheds light on a vulnerable, fearful side of Kalinda we’ve yet to see. (EW also conducted a poll as to who fans would want to portray this vital role — the common consensus seems to be Idris Elba, of the miniseries Luther).

Will’s Soul Searching and Getting Back in the Game
Speaking of challenging years, Will experienced some obstacles himself: after finally consummating his relationship with Alicia, the affair quickly sizzled out, he was put under a grand jury investigation regarding judicial bribery and placed on a six-month suspension from practicing law. But actor Josh Charles tells the Los Angeles Times it was an enjoyable learning process to explore the characterization of the normally highly capable Will Gardner. As his character looks forward to practicing law again next season, Charles is interested to see how the humbling experience of season three will affect his cunning approach: “It’s difficult for someone like him who’s such a competitive animal, and you get into the world of law, the game of it really taps into his addictive personality.”

On his relationship with Alicia and that last elevator scene, Charles says he “really liked” that scene, as it showed the relationship between these two characters “goes deeper than sex, than being together; it’s a mutual respect.” Echoing this sentiment, the Kings believe “Will is truly in love with Alicia, and Alicia – if it were another time… would reciprocate in the truest way.” To sum up their impossible romance, Robert King said, “I think that is the tragedy of that relationship: They caught each other a little too late in life.”

Alicia’s Ongoing Struggle to Balance Competing Roles
The finale ends with Alicia standing outside her old home, looking in on Peter and their kids through the window, innocently enjoying a night of pizza together. Through those steely eyes we see a glimmer of longing, that desire for things to be simple again, when her life is clearly anything but. The Kings describe the latter half of this season as a “tug of traditional” for a modern working woman like Alicia.

The show’s title character seems to always be caught between these two roles of supportive mother and wife (even to a cheating but remorseful husband) and an independent woman making her own way, choosing her own decisions for herself. Clearly that is where her bond with Will gets complicated, and with her recently amicable dynamic with Peter, who knows where her character will go next season. But the wonder of actress Julianna Margulies is she can enchant us with the mystery of a single silent gaze.

Surely there will be more developments revealed in the off-season of this complicated legal drama (apparently the dream team of Michael J. Fox and Martha Plimpton will return), so keep checking back – and in the meantime you can hold on to the intrigue of that final, lingering look.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Jenn Lee

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jenn grew up in Ohio before moving to Seoul, Korea, where she attended international school and failed to learn Korean. From there she went on to earn a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania before settling in Seattle, where she now spends too much time pondering the power of narrative in TV shows and novels. While she loves a good smart comedy (a la Community or Parks and Recreation), her favorite current show is Breaking Bad; all-time mentions include Arrested DevelopmentLost and Friends. When she’s not consuming television or literature, she’s savoring pastries and searching for the city’s ultimate sandwich.