'The Good Wife' Spinoff: 6 Burning Questions for the CBS All Access Series

8:00 AM 7/1/2016

by Kate Stanhope

THE GOOD WIFE -END-Christine Baranski - Chris Noth-Cush Jumbo-H 2016
Jeff Neumann/CBS

Fans of The Good Wife still have a long wait until the highly anticipated spinoff debuts on CBS All Access in spring 2017. But with the final season of the legal drama recently making the rounds for one last Emmy push, and thanks in small part to that impossible-to-forget slap, particular nagging questions about the spinoff continue to burn bright.

Ahead of the new project, which will see Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo reprise their roles as Diane Lockhart and Lucca Quinn, respectively, THR looks at the biggest question marks lying between The Good Wife series finale and the off-shoot.

  • Where Exactly Do Diane and Lucca Stand?

    As many have pointed out, it's a little hard to imagine just what kind of relationship Diane and Lucca have beyond simply co-workers. Lucca was brought into the firm by Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and was one of her closest confidantes as Alicia navigated returning to her old stomping grounds, getting over the death of Will (Josh Charles) and getting into a relationship with Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). However, not only did Alicia basically throw Diane and her marriage to Kurt (Gary Cole) under the bus to protect Peter, she had Lucca toss the body since it was Lucca, not Alicia, who questioned Kurt's supposed mistress on the stand for all to see and hear. Obviously, it was clear who pulling the puppet strings, but it's hard to imagine Diane and Lucca walking away from the brutal trial without a scratch. Did they confront the incident head-on and decide to move past it? Have they just not talked about it in the year since the events of the finale? Whatever it is, here's hoping it's not the bitchy boss template that everyone expected to take on at the beginning of The Good Wife.

  • What's the Status at the Firm?

    Over The Good Wife's seven-season run, Lockhart/Gardner took on many different incarnations – nine to be exact – and it seems likely the firm will have undergone yet another makeover by the time the spinoff premieres. After all of Diane's hard work to get Alicia to sign on for an all-female-led firm, series creators Robert and Michelle King said the slap was probably the final chapter in their up-and-down relationship. "I don’t know how you get past this. You never say never, but that is a relationship that seems like it's torn asunder," Robert told THR the day after the finale aired. "That's a hard one to get past." Also keeping in mind that Margulies will not be reprising her role full-time on the new series, it seems most likely that Alicia left the firm and Diane either went back to partnering with David Lee (Zach Grenier), found someone new, or went solo. Which brings us to…

  • Which Other Characters Will Be Returning?

    The Kings have hinted at other characters might be appear on the spinoff, but no announcements have yet been made besides Diane and Lucca. It seems safe to assume Alicia won't be back, save for a brief return, and ditto for her disgraced soon-to-be-ex-husband Peter (Chris Noth), their kids and probably even Peter's campaign manager Eli (Alan Cumming) – that is unless there's another cheese epidemic. The candidates most likely to return are many of Diane's old firm colleagues, such as David, as well as Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler) or maybe even Julius Cain (Michael Boatman). After all, David Lee's status as the head of family law made him a crucial part of the firm's annual revenue, and Howard's return could also give the writers a good excuse to bring back Jackie Florrick (Mary Beth Peil), his new wife.

  • What Is Diane's Marital Status?

    Sure, Kurt never played a huge role in original series. Although he and Diane had been romantically involved going all the way back to season one, and had been married since early season five, Kurt kept his distance because his business was far from the city, (and because Cole has been a series regular on Veep for three seasons.) However, after seeing the two lovebirds decide to actually live together and devote more time to their relationship in the final episodes of season seven made the questions about Kurt's fidelity all the more painful. Did he really cheat on Diane? Was it just Alicia doing whatever it takes to get her way? Kurt didn't downright deny the accusation, which makes it entirely plausible that she will be a single woman once again when the new series starts up. If so, it will be interesting to see what Diane's love life looks like post-divorce. After all, she was hardly looking for a ring when she and Kurt decided to tie the knot in the first place.


  • What's the Deal With Lucca?

    Unfortunately, Lucca came onto the scene at the beginning of the end, which meant all of the informative, meaty scenes Jumbo got at the beginning of the season to give viewers a deeper understanding of her character went out the window so that the writers could properly service the Carys and Graces and other characters that had been around far longer. So far viewers know that Lucca likes martinis, dancing, and is fairly frank when it comes to good news, bad news and everything in between. There was also that oh-so-brief window into her love life courtesy of her one-episode-and-done romance with "Thicky Trick" musician Rowby Canton. But beyond that, things become much more undefined. After Lucca spent the second half of the season basically only listening to Alicia go on (and on) about her steamy affair with Jason, the former bond count attorney deserves a juicy romance of her own, no?

  • What Will the Tone of the Show Be?

    Despite previous reports, the Kings will not be writing the first episode of the spinoff. While busy with their CBS summer drama BrainDead, they are instead handing the reigns to executive producer Phil Alden Robinson. “I don't feel like we've completely handed it off,” Michelle told THR in a recent interview. “Phil Robinson is such a talent and is bringing so many good ideas to it that no, it actually feels sort of like a gift."Although Robinson is no stranger to The Good Wife, having directed two of the last episodes of the series, his major writing credits include one 2000 TNT movie, Freedom Song, and several older film titles including Field of Dreams and Sneakers. (The former earned him an Oscar nomination.)  This leaves questions of how the spinoff will balance case-of-the-weeks – if that is still a major part of the series – with more serialized, character-driven arcs a huge unknown.