The Good Wife premiered last week, and amid the excitement of Cary's incarceration and Diane's big career move, you might have missed some potentially sad news: this could be the penultimate season for the beloved, Emmy-winning CBS drama. The secret warning sign is hidden in the episode titles.
Observe. All of season one's episodes had one-word titles: "Conjugal," "Bang," "Fleas." All of season two's episodes had two-word titles: "Double Jeopardy," "Two Courts," "Getting Off." Season three's episodes had three-word titles: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," "Long Way Home," "Pants on Fire." Season four episodes had four-word titles: "Anatomy of a Joke," "Je Ne Sais What?" "A More Perfect Union." You might be getting the pattern.
But then something strange happened. According to the pre-established pattern, season five of the show should have had episodes with five-word titles, but it didn't. Instead, it returned to three-word titles: "Hitting the Fan," "Whack-a-Mole," "Dramatics, Your Honor."
And now all four announced episode titles for season six have two words: "The Line," "Trust Issues," "Dear God," and "Oppo Research." If history has taught us anything, that means the seventh season will be a one-word season, which could maybe signal the end of the series. And if it doesn't, then what? Negative words for season eight?
CBS did launch Madam Secretary this fall, which seems like it is meant be a stand-in once The Good Wife is off-air. In its sixth season, The Good Wife has to figure out how to be a successful series without Will Gardner, who was often the key to Alicia's emotional and professional drama. But does that mean it needs to end? The show titles seem to signal a calculated plan that would end the series right around the time Alicia's estranged husband Peter could run for higher office and her daughter Grace would leave home. And the series' creators, Robert and Michelle King, love carefully structured plans. But for right now, this is all just speculation.
CBS did not respond to requests for comment.