Death comes calling for two characters

I hate death. In real life, it’s a no picnic to deal with and the same goes for when it happens on television. It affects me almost in the same way. Is that crazy to say? Probably, yes. Although, think about it. If you follow a show from its initial episode, you invest in its story and characters, and you soak up the journey it takes you on then you get what I’m saying. This past week, on two of my favorite shows, ‘Scandal’ and ‘The Good Wife’, I was painfully reminded of that feeling.

First up, last week on ‘Scandal’ we finally got the answer to who got shot. It was surprising to say the least, but fans of the show knew it was either going to be James (Dan Bucatinsky) or David (Josh Malina). I honestly didn’t know which of the two it would be. As it turns out, it was James. Within the first couple of minutes, Jake (Scott Foley) shot him.

The entire episode was filtered with flashbacks between James and Cyrus. Each proved to be so heartbreakingly beautiful, especially detailing their first dance to Gladys Knight’s “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” It was an emotionally charged episode and the last scene was chilling as Jake stayed by James’s side to make sure he was not alone as he died. Was it a little weird that the guy who just shot him sat there and comforted him? Yes it was, but, for true Gladiators (that means fans in Scandal world, for those of you non-watchers) we didn’t expect anything less from Jake, as he’s not that bad of a person. James didn’t go out easily and it was torture watching. Shonda Rimes is one messed up lady when it comes to plot twists, but, God, I love her for it. This show also continues to prove why it is the best at Event TV. Nobody does it better.

Also, this past Sunday, in what was probably one of the biggest, most shocking television deaths in years, ‘The Good Wife’ killed Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Yes, that’s right, main cast member and the second lead character on the whole show is gone. I honestly cannot remember a time in which I was so shaken by a twist in a TV show. There was no hint that character’s death was coming. Not one clue. Well, maybe a few subtly ones, but one would only catch them after re-watching. Only a very few select people knew about Charles’ departure. He actually made the decision to leave at the end of last season. He wanted to leave at the end of season four, but, thankfully, Julianna Margulies was able to talk him into staying for half of this season. Thank goodness she did, because this season has proved to be one of best seasons of a television show I have ever had the pleasure to watch.

Anyways, back to the story at hand. Charles’ character was killed off in a courtroom shooting. We didn’t get to see how it happened, but we heard the haunting gunshots. I must say, I didn’t see this coming. Not in a million years. I was really rooting for Will and Alicia, but, after I had time to pull myself together and gain some sense of reality, I realized that this was sadly enough the right decision. This show is called “The Good Wife”, not “The Good Slut” as Margulies so amusingly pointed out in a Q&A on Facebook this week. The show is about Alicia’s journey. Sure, there are amazing characters surrounding her, like Will, but ultimately it’s her journey we mainly tune in to watch.

It was excruciating to watch and this Sunday’s episode ever so poetically titled “The Last Call” will be even worse I fear. I do appreciate the secrecy of the twist, though. Looking back, being able to watch it without one ounce of knowledge of it happening was awesome and very unusual. For that, I thank the cast, crew, and writers. I also thank them for making the best show on television and never ceasing to amaze me.

Most importantly I would like to thank Dan Bucatinsky and Josh Charles for their awesome portrayals. It was such a privilege and honor to watch each week as they kicked ass in each of their respective roles. It was tough to go through, but in the end it was for the greater good. As for fans of the shows, we can only wait for what greatness awaits us from the talented writers and cast from each show.

‘Scandal’ airs Thursday nights at 10/9 central on ABC and ‘The Good Wife’ airs Sunday nights at 9/8 central on CBS.