Bob Bestler | TV show death didn’t come as a surprise

May 3, 2014 

Editor’s note: This column may contain spoilers about the TV show “The Good Wife.”

Some of the names in this little episode have been eliminated to protect the guilty, but, as they say in “Fargo,” a lot of it is true.

My wife, aka Elaine, and I were at home one morning about a month ago. She was cleaning or something and I was rummaging through my computer.

Suddenly I saw something that threw me: Will Gardner was dead.

Now, I have to confess that we are not actually couch potatoes, but there are a few TV shows in which we get invested.

“West Wing” was one; in fact, we have the entire series on DVD. Some day, when we’re bedridden, maybe we’ll watch all seven seasons.

The current one is “The Good Wife.” We’ve not missed an episode yet, though we normally record it for later viewing.

So it was on this particular Monday. We had recorded but not yet watched the episode in which Will Gardner (Josh Charles) was killed.

We went immediately to the TV, coffee in hand, to watch the death of one of our all-time favorite TV characters. We knew it was coming, but it was still chilling and emotional.

Not long afterward, Elaine went to her phone and found a text message from a friend, aka Friend.

She responded, adding that she would have answered sooner but she was in mourning for Will Gardner.

The friend texted back that he was sorry to hear about Will Gardner. A few minutes later, he added further condolences for her loss and wondered if there was anything he could do.

While we were sort of chuckling, she got a third text. It went something like this:

“I am an idiot. I just found out that Will Gardner is a fictional character.”

A recent news story about the death of Will Gardner called it “a colossal jolt” because he was murdered in midseason – “just like that, crisply and swiftly as you’d snap a pea. That got everyone’s attention.”

Well, no, not everyone.

Contact BOB BESTLER at

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