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March 24, 2014
Facebook/The Good Wife

Last night's episode of CBS drama The Good Wife ended with a twist so shocking that co-creators Robert and Michelle King have taken an unusual step to justify it: Writing a personal letter to the show's fans explaining the decision.

(Spoilers below.)

(Seriously, if you care about The Good Wife, don't read any further.)

(Last chance!)

In an extended note on CBS.com, the duo explains that everything from the need for a new "dramatic hub" to their philosophical belief in "the irredeemability of death" was a part of their decision to kill off Will Gardner (Josh Charles), one of The Good Wife's most pivotal and popular characters:

The Good Wife, at its heart, is the "Education of Alicia Florrick." To us, there always was a tragedy at the center of Will and Alicia's relationship: the tragedy of bad timing. And 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. [CBS.com]

To read the rest of the letter, click over to CBS.com. Scott Meslow

7:18 p.m. ET
Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images

After confirming Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday evening, 98-1, the Senate approved the nomination of former retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, 88-11. Kelly, who retired last year as head of the U.S. Southern Command, will take over a department with more than 240,000 employees who oversee everything from border security to protected the president and America's electrical grid. Among Kelly's most controversial items on his roster of duties will be carrying out Trump's orders on immigration and building a Mexico-U.S. border wall.

Trump said at a luncheon after his inauguration that Mattis and Kelly were straight from "central casting," pointing specifically to his new defense secretary. "If I'm doing a movie, I'd pick you, Gen. Mattis," he said. Trump reportedly took looks into serious consideration when assembling his Cabinet. Peter Weber

6:47 p.m. ET

Despite a beautiful sunrise over Washington, D.C., on election day, the skies turned cloudy with scattered light rain on Inauguration Day. Maybe that's why President Trump's inaugural crowd was notably smaller than former President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration — when he was also, to be fair, the first African American to be sworn in as president — and also Obama's crowd after he was re-elected in 2013. Also, maybe the weather is why CNN decided to show video of Obama's 2013 crowd and Trump's 2017 swearing-in side-by-side, without comment:

Other possibilities: Obama had more high-wattage star power at both inaugurations, and home-team advantage — only 4.1 percent of Washington, D.C., voted for Trump in the election (versus 91 percent for Hillary Clinton), versus Obama's 91 percent in 2012 and 92 percent in 2008. Clinton also won neighboring Maryland and Virginia. Trump, of course, won the Electoral College, which is why he is president. Peter Weber

5:38 p.m. ET
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Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis was confirmed as President Donald Trump's secretary of defense late Friday afternoon. The Hill reported the Senate "easily" confirmed Mattis, who is the first of Trump's Cabinet members to be confirmed.

Mattis will be the first recently retired service member to lead the Pentagon since "President [Harry S.] Truman nominated Army Gen. George C. Marshall for the job in 1950," The Washington Post reported. To be confirmed, Mattis had to obtain a waiver from Congress to bypass a law prohibiting members of the military from assuming the position for at least seven years after they leave the service. Trump's first order of business after being sworn into office Friday morning was to sign a waiver allowing Mattis to serve as defense secretary.

Mattis will be in charge of the Defense Department's $580 billion budget and its 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists. Becca Stanek

5:30 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump and the rest of the first family arrived at the White House for the first time Friday evening, hours after Trump was sworn into office at the U.S. Capitol. Scenes from the new first family's arrival to their new residence, below. Kimberly Alters

5:19 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

On the final half day of Barack Obama's presidency, the S&P 500 stock market index closed up slightly at 2,271.31. Counting from this day in 2009, when that same index closed at 805.22, that marks a total gain of over 282 percent. The NASDAQ is up even more: 386 percent. Though that's without accounting for inflation, it's still the largest gain of any president since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, as Reuters demonstrates.

Great news for stockholders, though it's worth noting that median wages have not shown nearly the same upward trajectory. Again leaving aside inflation, they only increased by about 14 percent from 2009-2015 (the most recent data that is available). Ryan Cooper

4:53 p.m. ET
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

The Bible passage read on the morning of President Donald Trump's inauguration reportedly referenced his plans to build a border wall. Though the traditional inauguration prayer at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., was closed to the public, a transcript obtained by Time revealed Pastor Robert Jeffress chose to read an Old Testament passage from the Book of Nehemiah that "focuses on the rebuilding of walls around Jerusalem," CBS News reported.

"When I think of you, President-elect Trump, I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel," Jeffress, a Trump supporter, reportedly said. "The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah."

Jeffress, whose stances on Islam and homosexuality have made him controversial, reportedly went on to say that the "first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall," and that Nehemiah's wall was specifically commissioned by God "to protect its citizens from enemy attack." "You see, God is NOT against building walls!" Jeffress said, according to CBS News.

Per Jeffress, Nehemiah's wall was completed in just 52 days. If Trump sticks to that timeline, we'll have a big wall on the U.S.-Mexico border by mid-March. Becca Stanek

4:45 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton attended the inauguration ceremony of President Donald Trump on Friday, making her way to the U.S. Capitol to "honor our democracy and its enduring values." In doing so, she watched as Trump took the presidential oath of office, the culmination of their election rivalry after Trump defeated her in the election last November.

By returning to Washington, D.C., Clinton was also back face-to-face with some of her adversaries in Congress — like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has been a ferocious critic of Clinton's as chair of the House Oversight Committee. But when Clinton walked up the stairs past Chaffetz at the Capitol, the congressman shook her hand:

So pleased she is not the President. I thanked her for her service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.

A photo posted by Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) on

But a warm embrace of bipartisanship, this was not: Check Chaffetz's caption, where he reaffirms he is "so pleased" Clinton is not the president. As MSNBC's Chris Hayes notes, Chaffetz was once none-too-pleased at the prospect of a President Trump, either. But hey, it's Washington — minds change all the time. Kimberly Alters

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