The Good Wife Review: The Nuclear Option

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With The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 22, the writers potentially shook things up enough to have a very eventful Good Wife Season 6.

All we know for sure is that people are mulling their options. All of the really traumatic business was out of the way early, so the focus was on the internal struggles of Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner later on.

There are many perils to the electronic age as politicians and celebrities have found out times over. When Lockhart/Gardner left their video feed open after a conference with Florrick/Agos, not only did it give the latter firm information about the case they were fighting, it whipped up a frenzy between all of those involved when it came to light that Diane was still interested in a merger.

Canning wanted to destroy Florrick/Agos, so it seemed like a valid reason not to shut down the feed. What was interesting was how quickly the infighting between the partners of both firms mirrored each other with each new piece of information. Canning and Diane were battling for Howard Lyman's vote to become managing partner and Alicia and Cary were suddenly in need of votes for and against a merger.

From Cary's perspective, he didn't want to go back to where they came from and he felt responsible for the jobs of 60 people in their firm. Alicia was just tired. Even she couldn't pinpoint exactly what she was tired of, but the fight had gone out of her.

Cary was also being driven by anger at what he saw in the video feed. Confirmation that he was being used by Kalinda. Kalinda has no heart. I really liked the scene between the two of them when Cary said he's not one of her girls and he won't just go slowly because she wanted him to. Ironically, she's never soft when with a woman. If Cary only knew.

Canning went to Diane with the nuclear option. He vowed to terminate the partnership of a firm he had barely entered if he was not awarded the role of managing partner. Like a child stomping his feet if he didn't get his way, he used the ultimate threat. His ammunition was the poor way Will managed things before his death. Diane was stuck.

Peter's decision not to support Finn for States Attorney further complicated matters. Alicia still wanted Finn to run, but Finn ultimately decided against it. I'm not sure what to think about Finn. He has very little passion. With every conversation he appears to be on sedatives. Perhaps he is and that's something we'll learn about him next season.

For those rooting for a relationship between Alicia and Finn, I just hope not. He's missing an essential spark that brings life to Alicia. She can barely stay interested long enough to represent him.

Diane was a bit put off by Peter's request that she be their next candidate, and I can't say I blame her. What a rousing endorsement. You're our third pick and you're already vetted, so come on! For a minute there, I thought she was going to do it.

Kalinda: There's always option number 3. You could run for States Attorney.
Diane: I don't think I have the fight left in me Kalinda. If Will were still here, I...
Kalinda: I'm here. Have you decided?
Diane: Yes.

I think Diane's call to Peter indicates that Florrick/Agos accepted her into their firm. That was something I expected to happen even before Will died, when she started to see in Will a corporate hunger that she no longer had. She missed the indie startup feel of the Florrick/Agos offices and that feeling obviously never left her.

Joining the firm would be absolutely wonderful. Especially if Alicia takes Eli up on his final proposal -- to run for States Attorney. The look on his face as he looked at her, putting together the puzzle pieces was brilliant. 

Of course, it may not happen, but from a series perspective it's a perfect move. Alicia would be working closely with Peter, Diane would be working closely with Cary instead of Alicia and him butting heads and Alicia would be Finn's new boss. Everyone would be accounted for and in interesting new roles. Now we just have to wait four or five months to find out what happens!

Zach's graduation and the in-laws participation in it wasn't nearly as interesting or entertaining as I expected it to be, but Jackie did learn about Peter's marriage hitting the skids. Alicia has half an empty nest, but for as often as she's home with the kids it shouldn't affect her too much. It might also be the thing that propels her to accept Eli's offer.

Other items of note:

  • Canning won't dissolve Lockhart/Gardner, but will the name stay the same with both partners gone? Maybe it will be Canning/Lee.
  • Howard Lyman has never cross examined a witness. Amazing. It makes sense, but still.
  • Did we ever learn what happened to Marilyn? Don't yell at me because I don't know, just inform.
  • Does anyone else hope Canning is dead before the start of Season 6? Sorry. His character has no redeeming qualities.
  • Now that Cary knows what's up with Kalinda, would he accept her on board with Florrick/Agos with Diane or would she be stuck at Lockhart/Gardner?
  • Am I the only one who wishes we had at least touched base with Diane's husband Kurt since Will's death? It seems like knowing where they stand as a couple during this trying time would have some meaning.

That's about it for this year. It's been a pleasure interacting with you each week. Thanks for your conversation and support.

Which is a more exciting prospect?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (70 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


It was painful seeing Cary realization that Kalinda has been using him all along...
I didn't like the way Alicia "handled" the discussion with Cary...I mean, go to not a clear point to push to merge with L&G...
I am with Cary at this point...
Alicia needs holidays...for sure! she is tired of everything...nonetheless I would not like her as SA, wouldn't it be a little of a conflict of interests? she is still legally the gorvernor's wife...too much power in one family hands?! I'm rooting for Diane to join F/A...great move D! and I agree with Carissa, I'd have loved to see her husband again...;-)

@ Fra

So you are ok with Cary going behind everyones back to sabotage the merger and Diane at her own firm. Alicia wanted to vote, Cary went to Canning to get his way

@ jschoi

I'm ok with Cary doing whatever he can to save something he fighted and worked for since Alicia is not able to think about it like a partner should do. A merger with L/G would have been a big mistake and would have frustrated everything they've done with the firm. Plus, they left L/G because they didn't like how they operate so why should they merge with them? They would end up being eaten alive from L/G. Cary was right. Also Alicia and Diane went behind him back too when they started to talk about the merge without consulting him too. Both of them showed really little respect for Cary.

@ Carmen

You are assuming I wanted them to merge with L/G, I didn't. I Wanted Diane to join them. I'm more willing to give Alicia a break because I just graduated 2 years ago and my mom was a wreak and I wasn't leaving town and she didn't have a job to worry about. In the end no one handled it well, but the result was good.


As per the author's commentary within the article at the top of this page, Canning had no earthly idea, that he hadn't shut off feed entirely. The character lacks the insight or capacity to purposely orchestrate the significant turn of events that followed. He's sharp, but I believe he was genuinely unaware of the malfunction/debacle. I don't believe anyone would take such a risk, hence his nuclear option regarding Diane, once all else failed concerning her ouster. Meanwhile, I may be the only one who thought to herself, " Alicia can write her own ticket, as oppose to being just the governor’s wife!" This move will definitely put their already stressed marriage under a microscope even more so, for certain! Poor Peter. He can't catch a break, although he has attempted to make amends. Finn is definitely going to be her new love interest, with Will's passing. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Kelinda and Robin working together again, hurray! Always excellent TV! This is my fav show! Love TGW!


Alicia, Cary, Diane and Kalinda, I hope will be together at Florrick and Agos next season. It will be interesting to see Cary and Kalinda create a new and different relationship, other than just a manipulative sexual one. Kalinda is good energy for Florrick/Agos. Eli's proposal for Alicia to run for office is preposterous. Finn and Alicia have no romantic chemistry. I, too, hope they bring back her jurist friend as a romantic interest for Alicia next season. It will be interesting to see how the voter fraud thing plays into next season's Peter & Alicia relationship. I look forward to next season.

@ Thelyla

Contrary to what people think or say, yes there is still a relationship its just that we don't see it. Before the end there will probably will be a death defying episode that comes and only one person can help. Guess who ?

@ Hugo Ness

Please stop.

@ Carissa Pavlica

GO back to your sifi tv-fantics, they need your comments ! The last time I checked the 1st amendment gives me the right.

@ Thelyla

There is no relationship with Peter and Alicia other than them being a power couple which has been alluded to many times on the show...............


Just a few comments about the finale from an old season 1 fan. I don't like the Diane trying to come on board F/A there's more to her motive, as for Kalinda there has been talk she wants to leave the show.
The Eli suggestion to Alicia about running for SA would be a royal bombshell, her life would be turned upside down and inside out which would put all her dirty laundry on the table.
And lets not forget the ballot box which Peter didn't have anything to do with but Eli did, as said it has been buried by the writers so just move on.
Marilyn where is she maybe on maternity leave she was pregnant and moved on with her life who knows.
Well we all will have to wait 4 more months to clear are heads and get ready for the another episode of what will Alicia do now.


the finale for me could have been better i no there's always cliffhangers but just too much. i enjoyed the scene with alicia and peters moms. mj fox still has to go. kalinda of course is using cary thats what she does. still think diane should merge and her acting last nite was great.alicia as state attorney don't like that either


Diane and the actress who plays her is class personified! I would love to see her move to Florrick/Agos. Alicia continues to evolve--further and further away from her family. The Good Wife isn't so good anymore. For one thing, she is not a very good mother. She could have left the law firm fray earlier to join her son and family on his big day--instead she "chose" not to do so. The scene between the two mothers was hilarious. Finally, good for Cary for standing up for himself and to Alicia. She has run roughshod over him in the past, using her age and 'wife of the governor' card to full advantage. Loving this show, and looking forward to next season.

@ Philada

First you say the show isn't good anymore then you say you love the which is it???????

@ Terrie

Terrie: I was referring to Alicia who is "The Good Wife," and NOT the show itself. Thought that was evident, but perhaps not. She, Alicia, is not so good anymore. Love the show.

@ Philada

No need for the snotty comments but thanks for clearing that didn't say ALICIA......the SHOW is called THE GOOD WIFE.............

@ Terrie

The Good Wife isn't so good anymore is about the character, not the show - DUH...!!!

@ Annon

Annon, exactly! Thank you. As Homer would say, "Doh."


At the end I'd thought Eli had put it together that Diane would be joining Florrick/Argos.........him asking Alicia to run for States Attorney surprised me.......... Diane had a tough decision but I certainly don't blame her for not accepting Peter's offer. She's now done the only thing she thought she could do to keep the firm she built from being dissolved--and that was leaving.............Since Canning is dying I still am unsure of his motives of wanting to destroy Diane and Alicia and Cary......... Cary should have known all along Kalinda was just using him. That should not have been a surprise to him. Was he developing true feelings for her?? Peter all of the sudden not supporting Finn is of no surprise either especially after the picture was revealed and even though nothing happened with Finn and Alicia. I also expected more with Jackie and Alicia's mom..... I have to wonder what has happened to the ballot stuffing investigation? Best I can recall--that was not finished and was temporarily side tracked. And as you alluded to Carissa, just where is Marilyn??? Did she quit?? I do not want Finn and Alicia together romantically -- there's nothing there. She has more spark with her jury friend and I hope he's coming back......I don't want Alicia back with Peter either and it does seem they both have realized there's nothing left in their marriage....... Carissa I hope you can gather up some of your co-horts from the site here and definitely do a round table on this episode............


I hope Alicia doesn't run for States Attorney, but if she does maybe Kalinda would join her.


For me it was actually a strange episode. I didn't get why Diane wanted to go to Alicia and Carey. Carey was being an a...hole. Alicia was acting wierd and what will they do with Finn now? I like him so I hope he will be back. Kalinda used to be one of my favourites now I would like to see her leave the show. And Alicias for states attorney? Why? Doesn't that sound a bit corrup? After a great season the finale was so disappointing.

@ Hege

She wants to go to them because it's the only way to keep the firm she started going.........what I don't like is, in a way, Diane is letting Canning and David Lee win............HOWEVER, with her taking her 38 million in billing with her .....that will have to hurt them.........


I'm really glad Diane made that move. Offer from Peter felt like a slap in the face, I would really respect her less if she were to take it. As for Lockhart/Gardner, without Will, it's not the same firm anymore. Diane and Will were like a good old marriage (without the benefits, as they once joked) and I can see why, just like Alicia, Diane is tired of fighting. I really look forward to seeing Diane working with Cary, when the series started they had a special bond and I'm curious how they partnership will look now. Plus, I hope Kalinda goes with her. Ok, she used Cary, but come on? Even since when he worked in State' Attorney's office she has been going to him for information and he knew it. I can see why he was upset to see it on the feed, he has always held a torch for her and now it seems like the only reason she was sleeping with him for because Diane told her to get info from Cary. And Carissa, you not the only one, I'm dying to find out what happened to Marilyn and see ballot box affair blow in Peter's face! Actually, I'm a little disappointed the writers decided to downplay this scenario...

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The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 22 Quotes

People think adding zealously to everything makes it alright.


Alicia: Jackie, can I call you back?
Eli: Oh God! What does she want?