The Good Wife Season 4 Premiere Recap: Arresting Developments

CBS’ The Good Wife opened Season 4 with an assessment of two fractured marriages as well as the state of the “family” at Lockhart Gardner.

NICK AND BRUISES | Picking up where Season 3 left off, Kalinda trains her gun on the man who knocks and then enters the Kalindacave. And unless your Internet has been down since June, you know straight away that the visitor is not her estranged husband Nick. “It’s not just the money; he wants you back,” Bill-the-goon announces. The tension is pierced by the ring of Bill’s cell, which distracts Kalinda enough for a tussle to ensue… until, that is, she brings her sledgehammer down, hard, on her guest’s mitt. “Hi, honey. Bill’s here,” Kalinda says to Nick, on the other end of the phone. “I’ve moved on; you should, too,” she suggests. As if. No, Nick is in the midst of bringing his shady business to LG, where Kalinda first becomes aware of just how close he is. She confronts him, to say the least, in the elevator down to the garage, in a flurry of hand-to-hand combat and general roughing-up of each other, an encounter that ends in… animal-like, lusty stares at each other.

Later, we find them on Kalinda’s bed, where Nick assumes, “You missed this.” Kalinda counters, “Don’t flatter yourself,” then moments later, with gun trained on him, tells Nick to leave Chicago, forever. But he tells some tale about his new ink and how it denotes a new start for them. “You could’ve run,” he notes. “But you stayed.”

DOGGED BY THE LAW | Alicia wakes from a nap in the car just as Zach, driving, is pulled over. Officer Robb asks Zach to step out of the car, then tells Alicia that her son was driving suspiciously. Robb asks to have his K-9 partner give the car a sniff test, and sure ’nuff the pooch woofs, affording probable cause to search. Robb ultimately finds “shake” (loose pot, my friends tell me) under the driver’s seat, and is about to let Zach off with a warning until he sees that the lad is recording their encounter with his iPhone, which is against the law. When Zach emails the video instead of deleting it as told, things take a turn for the worse and he gets a court date. In the meantime, he Googles his rights and learns that it’s only an offense to record audio of a cop, and his iPhone in fact was still playing music. The States Attorney’s office for Madison County, though, is out for blood and adds an “obstruction of justice” charge. Why? “Tell your husband that cops like their pensions,” Madison’s SA tells Alicia. She later loops in Peter, who then practically makes his counterpart wet himself. “I’m the States Attorney of a county that actually matters,” Florrick growls.

When Zach discovers that others were subject to identical traffic stops by Robb, and Alicia learns that Robb cued the canine to give a false positive, she argues that they were victim’s of Madison County’s “forfeiture corridor,” a stretch of highway used by drug traffickers coming out of Canada. This prompts the Madison SA to tell Peter they’re going after Zach “to the fullest extent of the law.” In the end, though, after Zach shames Robb with a damning viral video, the rule-breaking cop calls to apologize, agreeing to expunge Zach’s record. Possible future plot thread/liability for Peter: Zach conspicuously cues up a live-streaming porn site after Robb’s call.

STAND BY YOUR MAN | On the personal front, Alicia is interviewed by Peggy, a reporter (guest star Kristin Chenoweth) who has taken note of Mike Kresteva’s family-oriented gubernatorial campaign, and as such asks about the state of the Florricks’ separation. For example, do they share a bed? “That’s none of your business,” Alicia snaps back. “My life is mine.” Pressed on why she stays with her cheating husband, at risk of looking like a “doormat” and taking the women’s movement back to the ’50s, Alicia argues, “This isn’t about other women or the ’50s; this is about me.” Annnnnd served. Later, Alicia and Peter meet to discuss the “message” of their marriage. “We should say we’re working on it,” Peter suggests. “Are we?” Alicia asks both as a sincere question and with a bit of hope, maybe even a trace of anticipation in her voice. Possible wrench in the works: Peggy wants to talk to Will — not Diane, only Will — about Alicia. But Will plans to dodge the newshound’s request.

THE SOFT FIRM | In court, Diane — with still-suspended Will sitting in the cheap seats — asks a judge for five months to settle LG’s $60 million debt, but his Honor has had his fill of money-bleeding law firms, and thus forces a trustee on them. This Clarke Hayden (played by Nathan Lane) meets with Diane and Will separately to “Mao” them into declaring the other dispensable — but neither takes the bait. (Great line from Will: “I added ['a man at the top'] just to piss you off.”) Will and Diane agree that as much as they’d like to see Davie Lee walk out the door, they need his cases if they have any chance of settling the debt. David, though, is angling to exit — until Hayden says that, as a creditor in name, he’d only get $150,000 against the $3 million he poured into the firm as a partner. And he’d get his money last, because, Hayden explains, “I don’t like people who quit.” David Lee then pledges his “loyalty” to Will and Diane. Later, Will and Diane toast Will’s return to law and the “odd year” gone by. Alicia, arriving with her own champagne bottle, witnesses their quiet revelry and furtively exits.

What did you think of The Good Wife‘s return? Do you hope to see Alicia and Peter in fact “work on it”? Are you shocked by the Kalinda/Nick dynamic? (And after meeting the dog trainer, again I ask: Is there anyone Kalinda doesn’t have chemistry with?)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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44 Comments
  1. teamo says:

    I love The Good Wife but this episode was only so so..

  2. Che says:

    Great way to start. I like that the kids had more screentime. Also, felt a sense of freshness to the whole episode. Hopefully we are in for a great season.

  3. I didn’t see anything I thought would need passing of the censors.

  4. mia says:

    Really strong outing. Weird case, great character development. And it was really nice to see Alicia’s kids doing something that isn’t annoying for once.

    • tp says:

      Not only were they not annoying, especially the daughter, they acted like regular kids. I liked the part when the S.A. had the cop call and then said “kids…”.

  5. Kiki says:

    Alicia/Peter MORE PLEASE!!!

  6. Shannon says:

    Love Marc Warren!!!

  7. Saint Alicia says:

    A strong premiere; really enjoyed it! The B plot of Zach getting pulled over coalesced nicely with Alicia and Peter’s legal/political wheeling and dealing (just love how this show always ties things together). Also, really liked Nathan Lane’s trustee; a crafty character but not at all what I was expecting. As for the Nick/Kalinda dynamic; not really feeling it (yet), particularly the bedroom scene. Maybe if she had seemed more “into it” then I could be into it, but as it’s looking that is some battered wife syndrome BS. If they’re planning on turning Kalinda into some frail, abused woman I won’t be watching. Hopefully their ~relationship will “even out” and Kalinda will demonstrate a little more personal agency/authority.
    But still a great ep, and showcasing Alicia’s trust/reliance in/on Cary was a nice way of building their friendship, while of course Will & Diane’s (platonic) love and loyalty are heartwarming. Good stuff, can’t wait til next week!
    Oh, and as soon as I saw the promo pics of the unfamiliar woman (revealed as dog trainer) and Kalinda, I guessed there was “something” between them! Kalinda is just too sessy ;)

    • Deena says:

      Will & Diane’s relationship is fantastic. It’s one of my favorite parts of the show. Their chemistry as business partners & friends is so well done. It has evolved so nicely from the beginning of the series when it seemed like they were constantly going to be checking up on the other behind the other one’s back.

    • Dick Whitman says:

      “If they’re planning on turning Kalinda into some frail, abused woman I won’t be watching.”

      Did you miss the elevator scene?

    • Rose says:

      What porno pics that were later identified as dog trainer? I guess I missed something? Can someone explain?

  8. Donna says:

    Nathan Hale played a great part and he really handled David Lee. Kalinda and her former husband had some interesting scenes together. Do not like the Peter and Alicia storyline because he is soon going to show his true colors again so what is the point. I would like to see her back with Will because they were so hot together. I do not like the fact she is going backwards since she was done with Peter.

  9. Tina B. says:

    Awesome episode, I like Kalinda and her husband Nick, can’t wait to see how Cary gets in there, also LOVE Cary and Alicia working together finally! I like Peter and I like Alicia but not together just as parents. Loved the Will and Alicia scenes, hope they get back together. Once again Zach proves himself useful, jury is still out on Grace, and last but certainly not least I loved ALL the guest stars the nosy reporter, the nosy trustee and the husband, all awesome! More please. A+

  10. JoeyTVWatcher says:

    Great way to start off a new season, and the tone of the episode felt a lot like OLD good wife episodes..you know, the better episodes. Would’ve liked to see more Cary though, and hope that he gets some moments to shine this season and maybe even help Kalinda with her husband a little bit?

    • Lucy says:

      Cary and Kalinda seem to live in two different shows right now. And those writers don’t seem to care about their relationship anymore. I bet that as usual all that Nick storyline will end up in a predictable “Kalinda just cares about Alicia” finale so I don’t really want to see again Cary helping her, then being left in a corner alone and with no other storylines.

  11. Mandy says:

    Kalinda/Nick = Oh la la so much hot

    And nooooo I don’t want to Alicia and Peter to “work on it”… I hate Peter.

    Will and Alicia 4ever!!!

    • thatgirlp says:

      I agree Peter is a lying azzhole! She should give Will and her relationship another chance they have a better chemistry and she is MUCH HAPPIER with him!!!

  12. sashaW says:

    Alicia/Peter = Ewwwww!!

  13. Ashly says:

    I find the cases really interesting, but the main characters are unlikable to me. I might be the only one who feels this way. Like the entire Florrick family is just ugh. I do like Will, Kalinda and Eli though. Also great guest appearance by Chenoweth.

  14. Glenda says:

    I really enjoyed and actually the Kalinda and Nick relationship made a lot of sense to me. Some relationships are just toxic, neither partner is good for each other and neither is the innocent party. There is this undeniable chemistry but the people in the relationship manage to bring out the worst in each other. That’s how I view Kalinda and Nick dynamic and I feel like TGW depicted it pretty well.

  15. Karen says:

    I thought it was a good episode – but not a great one. But I think that has to do with some missing context still to come. Also, I’d have loved some more Cary Agos, but hey with all those incredible cameos (I’m already in love with Nathan Lane – yet again) it’s okay – for now.

  16. Kat says:

    This show is fantastic at juggling multiple characters and storylines and last night’s season opener was a great example of that. I was interested in every story and every character. The show has given the audience evidence over the past three seasons that Kalinda is a bit damaged, and I think we are about to see how deep the damage goes. Nathan Lane did a great job. TGW is comfortable casting actors against type, and it works. I loved that they let Peter be aggressive. That is exactly how that type of politician would have reacted, especially in a state like Illinois. And last night reminded me why I really enjoy Alicia. What a well-written, well-acted character.

  17. tp says:

    Someone above mentioned battered wife bs. I don’t think it’s bs. It seems like it’s the reason why she ran away from him. All in all I really enjoyed the episode except the possibility of Alicia and Peter getting back together. Especially after seeing her with Will. I like Peter just not with Alica. I really liked the answers Alicia gave the reporter. Looking forward to the season.

    • Saint Alicia says:

      Suspect you might be referring to my comment, and to clarify, I don’t think battered wife syndrome is BS, I think that the show incorporating it into Kalinda’s character is BS.
      As others have stated, it’s clear she is damaged, but making her a victim (and continuing to victimize her) is disturbing. It undermines a lot of the confidence and toughness we’ve seen from her character, and (based on several interviews with Archie/the Kings) it seems like TPTB are going to run with the idea that Kalinda is weak and helpless in the face of Nick, which just boils down to character assassination for me. THAT is some BS.

      • tp says:

        I think everyone has someone in their life that, no matter how much you’ve grown as a person, the dynamic doesn’t change. She will probably only be helpless in his presence until she snaps. Hopefully Alicia and Cary will help get him out of her life while furthering their respective relationships.

      • Lucy says:

        I’ve always thought that strong women didn’t need a bat or boots to show they’re strong. So I’ve always thought Kalinda was using a camouflage to hide her real inner and broken Kalinda. I don’t think she’s weak. I think she’s human and they needed to show it. I just don’t like how they’re doing it. It’s too much about sex, kung fu and too little about abuse and hurted souls.
        Said that I need more Cary. Robert Kings promised AGAIN that we’ll see more of him. But he has also to assure us that finally that season Cary will be given his own exciting story-arc. It’s mandatory.

  18. James says:

    this was great I need more suspense leave us hanging for next week wife and I would like to see more kilinda stop with the money trouble on the law firm already need more cases less money trouble

  19. Polly says:

    slow start this season.
    let’s see how we go from here.

  20. Isabel says:

    Absolutely loved it. Yes, it wasn’t the best episode we’ve ever seen but even when TGW isn’t at its best, it’s still really good.

  21. Olivia Lynn says:

    Will & Alicia!!!! COME ON PEOPLE!

  22. Dee says:

    Another great episode. Only problem was, as usual, not enough Cary. I’m expecting the Kings to keep their word this year and give us more Cary. He’s a terrific character. If this happens it will be another great season.

  23. Ash says:

    I am totally rooting for Will/Alicia. I do not like the Kalinda/Nick dynamic, and maybe I’m a prude, but I’m not looking forward to their racy “pushing the primetime tv barriers” sex scenes. I was kind of overwhelmed by the premiere, but since this show is one of my favorites, I am figuring (and hoping and praying) I will become more interested as the season continues. *Also, I would LOVE more Cary, as well. I am loving the Cary/Alicia friendship and would love to see more of that.

  24. Caro says:

    I HATE Alicia with Peter! She belongs with Will! I love Cary and Kalinda but cannot stand Peter! Can’t they set up a nice political assassination? Or more appropriately, an angry husband looking for revenge?

  25. Brit says:

    Alicia and Peter “working” on it is ridiculous. It makes her look weak, even with the great speech she gave to the reporter. i prefer her with Will, but I’ll talk anyone over Peter. He slept with prostitutes and continued to lie about it until he was caught. Every time she gives him another chance, she catches him in another lie. He shouldn’t get any more chances.

    Loved the Cary and Alicia friendship that is building and actually liked the kids in this episode.

  26. Britta Unfiltered says:

    The Florricks were annoying as crap in this episode. Especially the son. So he got pulled over? So freaking what. It happens to people every day. Just take your ticket, go to traffic school, and get on with your life. They made into some huge drama that it really wasn’t, and it’s super annoying to me the kid pretty much got what he wanted in the end with mom’s loving proud approval. What a great lesson for people. Be a disrespectful ass to the cops who work hard to protect your life and your property, and it will work out perfectly for you. The only thing that saved this episode for me was Kalinda and her husband. They’re fun. Still not looking forward to the ice cream scene though, because that just sounds really gross.

    • But the police officer was completely corrupt. They were running a scheme to generate revenue from completely innocent people. They weren’t speeding and there weren’t drugs. Even the dog was coaxed into a false positive. I can’t believe you’re ignoring all of that. Not to mention certain laws in certain areas that outlaw recording police officers who are supposed to be public servants and don’t (or shouldn’t) have things to hide like police brutality and falsified evidence. The story wasn’t about rebelling against the man, the story was about justice over corruption.

  27. Kay Cee says:

    What was the name of the song they played in court? LOL