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'Good Wife' actor says 'eyes have not recovered' from Sunday episode

It's all his doing.

Cary Agos, the cryptically cool, ambitious Harvard-educated lawyer played by Matt Czuchry on CBS legal drama "The Good Wife," got us here. He's the one that wanted to break free from Lockhart/Gardner, the central law firm in the series, to start his own enterprise. He's the one who cajoled Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) to ditch the partnership she had recently secured -- alongside her former lovaah Will Gardner (Josh Charles) -- to join him. He's the one to send thank-you cards to because in Sunday's episode, aptly titled "Hitting the Fan," everything Cary had set in motion came to a head. Will and Diane (Christine Baranksi) know.

A desk was manhandled. Laptops were roughed up. People were fired. Sex was had. It was a doozy of an episode.  (If you haven't watched, we have no sympathy for you. Get on that.)

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We spoke with Czuchry last week about the episode, which he himself had not yet seen (he was waiting to watch in real-time Sunday night).

My response after Sunday’s episode was very simple: Dudeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Ha! I like that. I’m going to take that very positively. It’s a great script written by Robert and Michelle King.  They seem to know what they're doing, don't you think?

I think that's fair to say. And your character is the reason for all this mess!

He definitely is. Good ol' Cary.

Let me get the superficial part out of the way before we dig in:  Cary’s tie is way better than Will’s tie in this episode.

I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t comment on that -- I don't remember. But now it’s going to be the only thing I focus on when I watch the episode!

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What went through your mind when you read the script? 

I think it’s one of the best scripts we’ve had in five seasons of the show. For Robert King and Michelle King, I mean -- it’s just an excellent, excellent script. When I read it, I was wondering if everyone felt the same way I did about it, so when I went to set and everyone was like, “Did you read the script??!!” -- every single person. It’s a rare thing when you find everybody so excited.

For the first stroke of episodes, I had sat down with Robert and Michelle, and we talked about the first arc for Cary, so I knew it was going to happen. But again, when I read the script, it was so much better than what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t know how it was going to all go down and this episode just had my eyes wide open every time I turned the page. My eyes have not recovered. It’s a great episode for the show because it builds off of all the characters’ histories. We’ve seen all these relationships develop through the seasons and now we’re kind of tearing them apart.

It’s very rare that you can build this sort of buzz in the fifth season. All the critics have been hyping this episode.

It is very rare. I mean, we’ve been following Lockhart/Gardner for four seasons. One firm. In season four, having Alicia make that decision to go with Cary and start a new firm was a huge cliffhanger and a huge shift in the storyline. There was a renewed excitement at the end of season four. And with the buildup this season, it comes to a head. It’s incredibly rare, especially when you’re talking about a show that has 22 episodes like we do, that there would be this much excitement is incredible. That credit really goes to Robert King and Michelle King and all the writers for breaking the storyline.

Cary has said that he views he and Alicia as the next Will and Diane. Does he really believe that? We've seen her question that. And, I mean, she was the reason he got passed over.  Does he realize she’s not to blame or is it all just a ploy for the sake of a good business decision?

I definitely think Cary thinks he and Alicia are the new Will and Diane. Although they’ve had their differences, Cary has always respected her as a lawyer. On top of that, she is the governor’s wife, so he understands her value as a lawyer and her value from a business sense. It’s a genuine smart move by Cary.

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Let’s talk about your entrance in this episode. A lot goes down before Cary gets to work. Which had me thinking: 1) Did he sleep in or was he at court? and 2) Why didn’t he take the stairs?! That elevator was just not in the mood.

Oh, man. Why was he so late? Oh, why was he so late. Maybe he was doing mushrooms before he showed up? Is that an option? I love that moment when he’s pushing the buttons and the elevator won’t close because that’s what happens in real life! When you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry, it feels like the world is working against you. That’s what is so great about the writing. It’s a fun moment. That adrenaline.

The elevators at Lockhart/Gardner are their own character. So much goes down in them. And it makes me sad, because nothing like that happens here at work! The most exciting thing is maybe me spilling coffee or avoiding eye contact.

My personal experiences in elevators is just trying to be absolutely quiet and getting off as soon as possible. I have not had those experiences we’ve had on the show. It’s like one of the most awkward places to be -- the elevator.

Were you disappointed Cary wasn’t there to witness Will taking his anger out on a desk? Cary, of course, has his own showdown with Diana, but no office furniture was manhandled.

I was kind of bummed Cary missed the clearing of the desk. The relationship between Will and Alicia is intense -- you don't want to get in the middle of that. And then there’s the relationship with Cary and Diane. And that’s the one Cary must endure when he gets off the elevator. I think she was in a lot of ways his mentor, so I kind of love that you see Alicia have it out with Will, and Cary have it out with Diane. It’s fun to have that dichotomy there, the new Will and Diane battling it out with the old Will and Diane. I think it was great the way they play both of those partners against each other without having seen the other.

That Cary-Diane confrontation is its own thing. We see Cary, who is always so damn calm and cool, totally caught off guard, letting little details slip. He’s off his game.

It’s an incredibly unique moment. He knows at this point that people are getting fired. And she’s there and she’s caught him -- she has his computer in her hands. It’s an incredibly rare moment for Cary where he knows that this is the end, he know that they’re not going to get their bonuses, he knows that he is about to get fired. It’s an emotional moment, and you’re right, you don’t really get to see Cary expressing much anger or being flustered, so that was one thing I loved about the scene. You see a different side of Cary in that moment.

Do you -- Matt -- think Cary and Alicia were shady in their actions?

Well, I think in terms of the way that Cary sees it, he was fired the first time from the firm. He came back to the firm and was overlooked for a partnership. He was promised partnership and then it was taken away from him. It happened in episode 13 last year, "Red Team, Blue Team." From that point forward, there’s no love lost for Cary in terms of his loyalty because they haven’t shown him any loyalty. As for me, I can certainly understand why Cary would feel slighted. I, as Matt, can certainly understand why he would want to go out on his own. In terms of the way he handled  it, trying to stay as long as possible underneath their noses -- that, I can’t lie, would probably be the way I would handle it, too.

Now: Kalinda. Kalinda. Kalinda. Cary has always had a soft spot for her. And in Sunday’s episode we see how she uses that to her advantage to help Will with intel. But is she really Team Will or Team Cary & Alicia, do you think?

I think what’s going to happen is the key to the storyline for Cary and Kalinda, is that they are going to use each other for information now being on opposite sides. In terms of the soft spot, neither one of them is intimidated by the other. They’re both very competitive and they both look out for their own ambitions. They’re very similar in a lot of ways, I think that’s why they’ve always had a soft spot for one another.

Let’s talk about the fourth-years. They are, uh, sort of a disaster -- very eager and very green, to a fault sometimes. How soon before Cary regrets this decision?

I think part of the first chunk of storylines when they start this new firm [shows that] it's tough. It's tough to get these clients. It's tough to get money. That’s going to wear on people. They’re still forming who they are. That is a concern. ... Who is going to be there when all things are said and done with Florrick/Agos?

What about the other Cary -- Carey. What’s the deal there?

I kind of look at that relationship as a brother relationship. There was one scene in episode three that we filmed that was cut from that episode that I think kind of shed a little more light on that relationship. But in terms of their names being the same, at this point, it hasn’t revealed itself into any major plot point. He’s one of the best four years that’s coming along with the group. 

Also, can we talk about Howard Lyman and his pant problems?

Jerry Aldman [who plays Howard] is truly brilliant and hilarious. He’s been in so many classic TV shows. He’s so good in that role. I loved watching that storyline with him in the last episode. Come on, guy, leave your pants on!

And of course Cary had a hand in it.

A harmless prank that turned into something bigger. Oops.

Last thing: Cary checking out Grace. How awkward was that for you?

Uh, yeahhhh.  I have known Mackenzie and Graham since I think they were probably 14.  Mackenzie and I definitely laughed about it because we’ve known each other for a long time. I promise, I am not a perv.

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yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com

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