A regular character left the CBS legal drama on Sunday's episode

Credit: Jeffrey Neira/CBS

Are any of your coworkers sobbing quietly at their desks?

If they’re fans of The Good Wife, they have good reason: The CBS legal drama hit viewers with a sudden and saddening twist Sunday night as one of its most fundamental characters was killed off from the show.

Read on for spoilers.

Will Gardner, an attorney portrayed by Josh Charles since the show debuted five seasons ago in 2009, died after he was shot in a Chicago courtroom by an unstable client.

Jolted fans took to Twitter with their own assessments of the plot twist on the Julianna Margulies-driven series characterized by its knack for drama.

As viewers wait to see how this bombshell will color next week’s episode, The Good Wife showrunners Michelle and Robert King penned a letter (addressed “Dear Loyal Good Wife Fans”) to explain the decision, which was impacted by Charles’s own endeavor to leave the show.

“We, like you, mourn the loss of Will Gardner. And while Will is gone, our beloved Josh Charles is very much alive and remains an integral part of our family,” they tell viewers (via CBS.com).

“When faced with the gut punch of Josh s decision, made over a year ago, to move on to other creative endeavors, we had a major choice to make.

“We could ‘send him off to Seattle,’ he could be disbarred, or get married, or go off to Borneo to do good works. But there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle.

“The brutal honesty and reality of death speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing for these two characters. Will’s death propels Alicia into her newest incarnation.”

Tell us in the comments below: Did this episode take you by surprise? And will you continue to watch?

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