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?)