The Good Wife Season 5 Premiere Recap: 'Are You Having Second Thoughts?'

The Good Wife Season 5 Premiere RecapWarning: If you haven’t yet watched the Season 5 premiere of The Good Wife, proceed directly to some other TVLine article. Everyone else, jump on in!

What could be scarier than being strapped to a gurney to be executed for a crime you didn’t commit, only to have the on-call nurse not be able to locate a viable vein for your lethal injection? How about being called into a room with the entire partnership of Lockhart Gardner when you know you’re in the midst of double-crossing them?

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OK, OK, maybe the death-row scenario is slightly more harrowing — but not by much. With Diane Lockhart peering down over the tops of her glasses and David Lee (Zach Grenier, now upgraded to series regular — woohoo!) dropping bombshells about examining internal phone records, would anyone have blamed Alicia for holding up her hands, confessing her plans to jump ship with Cary and the other fourth-years and begging for the mercy of her overlords?

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Fret not, that’s not what our “First Galactic Princess” did. But, yes, Alicia had her hour of doubt. So without further ado, let’s recap the action in the Season 5 premiere, “Everything Is Ending”:

AGOS-FLORRICK (OR FLORRICK-AGOS?) | The action picks up right where the Season 4 finale left off: With Cary at Alicia’s door — ready to discuss mutiny — on the night of Peter’s election as Illinois governor. (“Oh, wow, I forgot,” says Alicia, in the night’s second-funniest line, after Cary congratulates her.) After a little joshing about whose name will go first on the company letterhead, our conspirators disperse. But later that week, at the office, David Lee sees “Other Cary” (Ben Rappaport) and the fourth years gathered in conversation and — suspicions raised — puts a reluctant Kalinda on the case of checking their phone records, seeing how said phones are company property, after all.

Alicia breaks the news of her new enterprise to Peter and Eli — but not to Diane and Will, since they’re all neck-deep in a death-row appeal. But she’s taken aback when she finds her new partners all gathered around her car — “What’s going on: West Side Story?” — and they inform her they want to delay the Florrick-Agos launch until after Lockhart-Gardner gives out bonuses.

As if on cue, the partners shortly thereafter call Alicia into a locked-door meeting, and for a minute, it looks like the jig is up. (True confession: The start of this scene left me full-on freaking out for a good 30 seconds!) Turns out, though, the partners think Alicia’s still one of them: David reveals he’s looked into the fouth-years’ phone calls and discovered they’ve been on the horn to the big-money clients; Diane suggest Alicia “get closer to them”; Will wants her to “find out if they’re happy.” And our heroine nods and smiles and exits the room like someone just took a stun gun to her temples.

Cary, having witnessed the meeting through those tell-all glass walls, drops by Alicia’s house to find out what went down. “We need to leave by the end of the week,” she says, not wanting to reveal more and potentially open herself up to a lawsuit. And then she starts waxing poetic about how she likes to watch Will and Diane at work, wondering if Florrick-Agos will be able to take pro-bono cases like the current death-row appeal on which they’re toiling. “Are you having second thoughts?” Cary asks, and you can tell he’s wondering if Alicia is about to do him wrong again. But no, she has pledged her allegiance, and she warns him that the mutinous attorneys must stop using Lockhart-Gardner phones to drum up new business — a warning that, I suspect, may come back to haunt her later in the season.

“ANAL’S WHAT WE NEED RIGHT NOW” | Peter, meanwhile, is dealing with some ethical issues of his own. He’s liaising with the head of the Illinois Ethics Commission (Melissa George) and the problem is the lady is smokin’ hot. Eli being Eli, he starts harping that the “optics are wrong” — in other words, that Peter shouldn’t ever spend too much time in the company of a woman who could easily be playing the role of Hot Librarian in an ’80s heavy-metal video (and a woman who’s not afraid to speak out against the ethics behind Eli’s choice for chief of staff).

At first, Peter dismisses the concerns, but after catching another glimpse of Marilyn’s gams, he asks Eli if he thinks Alicia’s move to launch a new firm might’ve been motivated by her feelings for the latter half of Lockhart-Gardner. And then he makes a decision that, I suspect, may come back to haunt him later in the season: He instructs Eli to promote Marilyn to the Transit Authority Board. “Did I do something wrong?” she asks. “You did something right: It’s a promotion!” Eli responds, but his tone is tinged with contempt — as if Marilyn should somehow be aware of the damaging power of her beauty. It’s a total douche move on Eli’s part — and, to be honest, it’s a douche move on Peter’s part to not deliver the news himself. “You guys are making a mistake,” Marilyn says, and methinks she might just be formidable enough to drive that point home like a stiletto heel to the jugular. Note, girlfriend did make mention at the top of the hour that four of the prior eight Illinois governors had gone to jail. Foreshadowing?

Oh, and Peter offers Eli the Chief of Staff gig — then drops this unintentional double entendre: “Anal’s what we need right now.” Admit it: You howled, too.

THE HOT DAUGHTER | Zach notices everyone — his friends included — taking a sudden interest in Grace. And then, in the kind of accidental Internet sighting he’ll never be able to scrub from his brain, he discovers his little sister has made’s list of the Top 10 Hottest Politician’s Daughters. Actually, she’s No. 4. He eventually shows it to Grace, whose stunned expression doesn’t indicate if she’s secretly pleased or horrified — or both.

CHEATING DEATH (ROW) | The week’s central court case is an intense one — and it begins with Diane and Alicia attending an execution that’s held up for 2 hours and 20 minutes while the on-call nurse tries to locate a suitable vein in the prisoner (a terrific Malik Yoba). By the time the guy’s arm starts dripping blood, Diane is doing what she does best, shutting s*** down by informing the warden, “This is the definition of torture!” Lockhart-Gardner piggybacks the innocent man’s case with a class-action suit fighting the death pentalty — arguing that Eddie is “evidence” regarding torture that must be “preserved.” Ultimately, with the unexpected/not-entirely-willing help of ADA Pine (who has history with the case), Diane and Will are able to refute the testimony of a jailhouse snitch who bought information on the case from a state typist moonlighting as a “prison broker.” When the judge (Jeffrey Tambor) reluctantly refuses to overturn, Will makes a final “Hail Mary” play — calling in the DEA to stop the execution on the grounds that the lethal injection was transported illegally via U.S. Postal Service. It works — and Gov. Florrick the Indiana governor (where the case is occurrin’) suspends the sentence, thinking that “third time’s the charm” shouldn’t apply to sending a man to his death. Hugs! Tears! Happy ending!

MERRY-NOT-GO-ROUND | After several aborted (and awkward) half-conversations, Alicia tries to come clean to The One That Keeps Getting Away/The Boss She’s About to Piss Off: “Will, I need to tell you something…” But Mr. Gardner doesn’t realize she’s trying to resign from her job — not explain why she didn’t return his election-night call after THAT KISS THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO FORGET ANYTIME SOON, ROBERT & MICHELLE KING! And so he tries to play it cool: “We were on a merry-go-round, and we needed to get off. So we’re off. That’s all.” He smiles. “Don’t end up hating me,” Alicia whispers, but he doesn’t hear her, and so she bids him good night as he goes off to have a celebratory drink with Diane. Yowza.

BONUS | Has there been a more hilarious indictment of useless technological advances than “Monica” telecommuting via Skype screen on wheels, and David Lee’s episode-long disgust and disdain? I chortled every time girlfriend bumped into a wall or missed the opening of a door or struggled to see beyond the “happy face” picture David had taped to her screen!

What did you think of The Good Wife Season 5 premiere? Were you terrified by the partners’ meeting? Did you understand Alicia’s momentary hesitance? And do you think Peter and Eli have made a terrible mistake? Sound off in the comments!

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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  1. Gabriel Anthony says:

    It is the best scripted drama on a broadcast network sooooooooooo far! Amazing premiere! Looks like season 5 will be the best of them all.

    • Eli says:

      Agreed and to think this time last year we suffering through that horrible storyline about Kalinda’s husband…

      • Sara says:

        Yuck don’t remind me about that! By the way, what was the Sweeney offer they were talking about at the beginning

        • ClarkKent_DC says:

          The Sweeney offer happened in last season’s finale. It was from Colin Sweeney, the smarmy wife-killing murderer who pops up from time to time and likes Alicia. He got wind of the breakaway startup law firm because Cary was looking at office space in a building he owns, and he offered them a break on the rent if they provide him with free legal services for two years.

      • lila says:

        ugh hate that storyline. good riddance

    • Dee says:

      Agree completely!

  2. sccates says:

    LOVED IT! The future scenes make me wish this was Netflix and I could binge watch this whole season tonight!! Did not disappoint!

  3. Jenny says:

    I don’t think Peter is the one who stayed the execution, actually. He is not yet the governor, so that should be the current incumbent of the office. Great episode!

  4. KenBud says:

    That “telecommuting via Skype” bit was HILARIOUS.

  5. Joyce says:

    The murders took place in Indiana, not Illinois, so Peter wouldn’t have been the governor involved. Also, side note, Illinois issued a moratorium on executions several years ago. I was ready to call Good Wife out on the error until they said the murders happened in South Bend.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Good catch…you’re right, Peter would not have been “the governor” in question.

      • rowan77 says:

        Even if it was in Illinois and they didn’t have a moratorium on executions, Peter still wouldn’t be the governor who in question because he’s not the governor, yet. He’s the governor-elect.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Great opener. Loved the season preview at the end…so much potential for a good season with many twists and turns.

  7. Leah says:

    So glad TGW is back! The telecommuting bit got me everytime. The look on Zach’s face when he looked at that website was priceless, too.

    Also, Robyn is becoming my new favorite.

  8. Stacy says:

    Awesome premiere, right down to the death row appeals music. After the pace of this episode, I can’t wait to see where this season is headed. I just hope they don’t drag out the “to leave or not to leave” storyline much longer.

  9. Gigi says:

    Yes, the partners’ meeting made me think the jig was definitely up!! But they didn’t even suspect Alicia could be involved. Her lying to them is going to bite her in the butt though. I definitely think that Peter made the right choice. If you know something (or some one) will be a temptation to you, put it out of sight/reach. However, the way it was done will likely cause a problem.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      Agree here. I’m sure the way it was done (poorly and implying alterior motives) will come back to haunt them. I mean Eli is a seasoned pro, he should have been able to deliver that news (or yes, Peter should have) without missing a beat.

    • Paloma says:

      Eli could have found her a much better job than Transit Board. This lack finesse, which is so unlike Eli. It’s going to come back and bite them in the butt later in the season.

  10. Mark13 says:

    Why do they have a death row scenario anyway. The people’s republic of Illinois abolished the death sentence. Leftist tripe

  11. abz says:

    Awesome premiere! This show continues to be must-watch TV and I can never get enough of it. Can’t wait till Will/Diane find out Alicia snaked them. The [bleep] is gonna hit the fan and I’m looking forward to every second of it. One thing I’m just hoping they steer clear of is the cheating storyline. I really don’t wanna watch the drama of Peter cheating all over again.

  12. rowan77 says:

    Great premiere! Loved it!

  13. Loved the pace of the episode ,
    Great was to start the season ,

  14. Babygate says:

    My only that I feel like Kalinda is being phased out. She is being underused. Outside of that, this episode left me wondering: how do they do it? How do the Kings manage to make such a phenomenal show that’s head and shoulders above most of the usual fare on tv nowadays. Every element comes together perfectly. The previews left me wanting more. Awesome job. I can’t believe this show is so underrated. I’m glad it was renewed.

    • Tav says:

      I fear the same about Kalinda and worry TVLine’s earlier prediction might be correct. Which is crazy since she’s such a layered/interesting character (popular to boot), but the writers don’t seem to know what to do with her. Especially now that Julianna has put the kibosh on any Alicia/Kalinda friendship. That effectively nixes a huge chunk of screen time available since apparently they can’t even be in the same scene (as evinced by the premiere and latter half of season 4). Such a shame.

    • C says:

      Although this could just be another case of TGW’s missed opportunity (50/50 odds say that it is), I suspect that they might be going somewhere with K’s lack of screen time right now. I’m not at all happy about it, but unlike the last 10 episodes of S4, I think there could be a reason they have her on the back burner. A surprise case of misdirection? Focus on X so that you don’t see Y coming? Hope springs eternal anyway.

  15. Chloe says:

    Loved the premiere! It looks like season 5 will be the best so far & the promo for the rest of the season especially the showdown with Will & Alicia looks so great, I can’t wait.

  16. Scott says:

    That skype on wheels is actually a real thing I’ve seen before:

  17. sladewilson says:

    Great premiere!!!! The best was actually the future scenes esp when Will absolutely goes Apes**t at Alicia!!! I feel they’re phasing out Kalinda also and that’s a shame just because Julianna feels whatever (I don’t know if it’s threatened but she sure is acting like it) – it’s a bush league move from such a seasoned pro…

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      I must’ve missed this-was there some conflict between Julianna and Archie?

      • wonderwall says:

        Not at all (from what I believe). The reason why is because Julianna doesn’t thing that Alicia and Kalinda could ever be friends again. In fact, she’s vehemently against it.

  18. Saabgirlatx says:

    Loved the episode. It had enough twists and turns that made me second guess Alicia’s choice to go out on her own! Would have loved to see Jackie’s take on Marylin!

  19. gerberdaisy says:

    LOVED IT! So glad TGW is back and is on FIRE!

  20. Lisa says:

    I wish they would get Will and Alicia together…I can’t stand her with Peter!

    • jdbasset says:

      I am also not a fan of her with Peter, although I think they’ve done a great job of showing why she stayed. I don’t necessarily need her to get together with Will, but I do really like their friendship/relationship and I hope that doesn’t end forever when she leaves to start her own firm. It obviously looks like he’s pissed when he finds out, but I hope they can move past it. Same with Diane- her scenes with Alicia are great.

  21. Sharunya says:

    It was a great start that sets the stage for an amazing season of some amazing television. I absolutely love the good wife and I just can’t wait for the rest. The promo was really good and left me wanting for more. Kalinda should have had more air time as she is a much more interesting character, though not saying that I din’t like Robin’s character( she was awesome). Don’t like the fact that a show like this so underrated. One hell of a show.

  22. Dee says:

    A great start for a great series. Very enjoyable with a good set-up for future episodes. I really like Alicia and Cary. They just seem to shine when they are together. Hoping they can work well together because I do not want to see a season based on Alicia constantly regretting her decision to leave with Cary. So far so great!

  23. Karena says:

    Zach found his sister on the internet site list of Politicians Hot Daughters because he was on the phone with a friend and asked him why all his friends are so suddenly interested in Grace and his friend told him about the site. So then he went to the site and saw it himself, it wasn’t an accidental find.

  24. Maggie says:

    Love this show. They can’t write Kalinda out until they tie up the loose end of her husband. Is he dead? Is he buried in the wall where her stash used to be? This and Scandal are the two best adult dramas anywhere!

  25. Jan says:

    I, too, am concerned about the lack of “Kalinda time.” Sad if it’s true that “they” don’t want Alicia & K to be friends; if A can forgive Peter, she should be able to forgive K. I may be too invested in these characters! ;-)

  26. Alex Leo says:

    The season premiere is amazing. It was such a tense episode and I cannot wait to see what the show has in store for us.
    Like most of the posters, I wish Kalinda is shown more. She is one of reasons why I love the show.

  27. Amanda says:

    I just think this season will end up in the same situation season 1 started, BUT the roles will be switch between Alicia and Peter.

  28. Carolyn says:

    The Good Wife is such a wonderful show! Robert and Michelle King are geniuses as far as writing is concerned. Alicia and Cary will be great together, and it looks like Will’s true colors will come alive in Season 5. He’s always been out for himself, and he’ll be determined to see that Florrick, Agos and Associates fails miserably. I love the show and watch it faithfully! I noticed in the 2nd show of the season that Alicia didn’t seem all too thrilled about renewing her vows with Peter. I think Peter is worried that Will will be back on Alicia’s radar! He knows that renewing their vows will mean she’ll really be staying with him. I still believe that Peter read the grand jury transcript before he sealed it as the State’s Attorney back in Season 3 and has known about the Alicia-Will affair the whole time!!! That’s why he fired Wendy Scott Carr. I can’t wait for the remainder of the season because it’s been great so far!!