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Who are Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), the good wife and the bad husband?
When we first met Alicia and Peter, they were walking into the press conference in which he, then the Illinois State?s Attorney of Cook County, denied that he ever traded lighter sentences for financial or sexual favors — but admitted to cheating on his wife of 15 years with prostitutes that he paid for personally. Flash forward six months and Peter has been sentenced to 10 years for bribery and corruption. Alicia, who last argued in a courtroom 13 years ago, has just moved her two children (Zach, 14, and Grace, 13) out of the suburbs and into a downtown apartment as she starts a job as a junior associate at the Chicago law firm Stern, Lockhart & Gardner. While Alicia entered a six-month contest with another junior associate, Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry), for one permanent position, Peter began his appeal process, which pit him against the man who put him behind bars, his replacement Glenn Childs (Titus Welliver).
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What is Alicia?s relationship with her boss Will Gardner (Josh Charles)?
Complicated. Alicia and Will went to Georgetown law school together and, in her words, ''had... whatever we had'' there. After Will heard that Peter would return home with electronic monitoring while he awaited his new day in court, he tried to lighten Alicia's hours at the office. When she confronted him about taking her off a case, we got one of the sexiest scenes between two non-touching people wearing suits ever. She told him she wanted to be there. He told her he wanted her there. She told him to use her. (It's hotter when you add in the pauses and stares.) It wasn't until after Will thought he'd blown a case that she put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him, and he put his hands on her face and kissed her. She kissed him back, then broke away and ran. She got to her car before she turned around and headed back to his office. Unfortunately, while she was at his office looking for him, he was at her office looking for her. Alicia went home that night and made love to Peter in the guest room, where he's stayed since he got out of prison. Will heard that Alicia came back and decided they would talk about their situation at dinner in a week's time. Alicia didn't want her work life to be as messy as her home life; he knew they?d always had bad timing so he wasn't going to pressure her. The dinner never happened until the season finale. More on that later.
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Is firm partner Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) really the bitch we thought she'd be?
Yes, Diane made EW's 2009 list of TV's best bitches, but by the time The Good Wife graced our cover in March 2010 as ''the best TV show right now,'' she was simply known as ''the mentor.'' She's smart, classy, and not afraid to sacrifice for her beliefs: She was asked to run for judge, but lost the committee's support when she wouldn't stop Alicia from blowing the whistle on a juvenile court judge who appeared racist. Even though she's been at the forefront of gun control (her father wrote the first legislation into the Illinois Constitution), she let Kalinda talk her into getting a handgun when a convicted murderer she represented was being released; she eventually gave it back when she started to like it. She got up and left the restaurant table when she found herself falling for a Republican ballistics expert (guest star Gary Cole) who has a picture of himself with Sarah Palin in his office to match the one Diane had of herself with Hillary Clinton in hers. Of course, she bucked the three generations of Democratic ancestors on her shoulder and slept with him anyway — a fact that was used against them in court since prosecutors saw them in the hotel and he was her firm's expert. Frankly, that just means she's human and makes her even more likable. She and Will have occasionally butted heads on what needs to be done to keep the firm afloat, but they respect one another enough to keep fighting for it. They'll bring in a new partner in season 2 (FlashForward's Michael Ealy) to replace their vindictive, dementia-stricken former founding partner Jonas Stern (Kevin Conway), who took a third of their clients when he left.
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What do we actually know about Kalinda Sharma (Emmy winner Archie Panjabi), the firm's in-house investigator?
Kalinda is one of the show's great mysteries, and not just because she's gotten busy with both a male detective and a female FBI agent. The underpaid 25-year-old, who drinks milk during the day and shots of tequila at night, worked for Peter for two years until he fired her because she took a second job for Childs spying on him. She'll find a way to get whatever information she needs — her breasts are better than subpoenas, she's said, but we've also seen her out-shoot a cop at the firing range to win a bet. And she can talk herself out of any situation. Childs subpoenaed her to testify against Peter, assuming she'd say Peter lied when he told the judge he never had sex with his $3,500-a-night call girl Amber Madison in his marital bed. Kalinda, however, again working both sides, not-so-subtly let the judge know that if he allowed the line of questioning to continue, she'd be forced to explain how she came to know the identities of all the lawyers and judges with potential ''bimbo eruptions,'' which included this judge. Kalinda has been a good friend and ally to Alicia, even if she never talks about herself.
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Who's out to get the Florricks now?
Glenn Childs (Welliver, left) is still a man on a mission even if after all their jockeying, Peter is free. What will he try next? Peter's lawyers have already proven he paid Amber for her services and that the fraudulent real estate cases Childs said Peter declined to prosecute (DP'ed) because he was corrupt weren't even pursued by Childs when he took over. (Peter testified that he DP?d the cases because the resources were needed to focus on an extremist group.) Childs also lost the witness he was blackmailing to testify against Peter, real estate developer Gerald Kozko (guest star Terry Kinney), who mysteriously went missing before the trial and was presumed dead until Peter's lawyer found a photo of him at an ATM in the Cayman Islands. (Peter, who tried blackmailing Kozko into not testifying, has admitted to Alicia that there was a fuzzy line with them: he'd done some things for him as a friend, and Kozko loaned him some money when he wanted to buy Alicia a Cartier bracelet.) Childs also has it in for Alicia, who's occasionally benefited in court from shreds of information Peter has slipped her. Also, Alicia agreed to be used as leverage and represented Childs' wife in their divorce: If Childs didn't throw out the prenup and give the wife what she wanted, she'd tell Alicia what she knew. It worked, but the wife ratted him out anyway: She said Childs has a file on his computer devoted to Peter and Triton Fields, and that he tapped their phones last year. Childs' latest play: He hired Cary (Czuchry, right) after Alicia won the contest at Lockhart & Gardner and Cary got laid off. Even though Cary and Alicia were always competing, they worked well together and even liked each other. (She once covered for him when he got high on mushrooms on what he thought would be a day off.) But Cary didn't think she played fair in the end.
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Who is Peter and Alicia's secret weapon?
Meet Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), Peter's image consultant and a ''wartime consigliere.'' He was brought in when Peter first started considering running again for State's Attorney. He speaks his mind, often creatively. (He started taking down his pants while Peter's original ''reputation manager'' was talking to him so she could kiss his ass, and when Zach's 16-year-old girlfriend started a Twitter account posting information about Peter and Alicia, he took care of it. ''Have you seen Drag Me to Hell?'' he asked her. ''It will be just like that.'') When polls showed that African American women weren't ready to forgive a cheating Peter, Eli hooked him up with a black pastor for what he assumed would be a photo op. Peter, however, started listening to the man, who wanted him to focus on being a better husband before he tried to be a better politician. Peter was going to postpone running for four years until Eli went to Peter's mother, Jackie (Mary Beth Peil), who gave Pastor Isaiah the devil and told Peter he'd apologized enough. Any more and he'd be weak. Eli knows Peter will only win if Alicia is by his side, so he jumped at the opportunity to help her when she asked if any of his high-profile clients needed new legal representation. Diane had told Alicia she'd never beat single Cary on billable hours, but she could use her name and connections, which she'd been reluctant to do. Eli's clients had asked him why his business wasn't with Lockhart & Gardner if he thought so highly of them, so he signed on as a client. When Cary and Alicia were called up to hear the verdict, Eli was in shaking hands with Diane and Will.
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So Peter's children, Zach (Graham Phillips) and Grace (Makenzie Vega), are almost as meddlesome as his mother Jackie (Mary Beth Peil)?
Almost. Zach intercepted the (doctored) photos and video of Peter that Childs had delivered to their doorstep to show Alicia that he had eight years of evidence he could be using against Peter to make this war even nastier. Zach set up a camera in the hallway and captured someone photographing their front door. (Eli knew it was a federal investigator doing scout work for a possible indictment; Kalinda's FBI friend eventually told her they were investigating Florrick and Childs.) He was even more helpful when Peter, who had to answer the phone within five rings if his electronic monitoring alarm signaled he'd left the apartment, chased after Alicia. She'd seen the aftermath of him fighting with Kozko at the church and had enough. She made plans to meet Will for dinner and told Peter it was over. He followed her to the street, told her he loved her and begged her not to leave him. He would've gone back to prison if Zach hadn't smashed the monitor box and attempted some kind of skateboarding move so he could tell the authorities it malfunctioned when he struck it. The kids said Peter couldn't come to the phone right away because he was tending to his injured son. Alicia wanted to restore honesty in the house, so she told the kids the truth when Grace asked who Will was. She'd heard Alicia on the phone with him on an earlier occasion explaining that the idea of them getting together was only romantic because it never happened. Alicia told her kids Will was her boss and a friend and that they'd thought they were attracted to one another but it's over. She'd agreed to give it a go with Peter, though they were still sleeping in separate rooms.
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Where exactly did we leave off?
Will finally brought pizza and beer into Alicia's office and they had their dinner in the season 1 finale. She teased him about the 25-year-old law student he'd had a couple of dates with after serving as a judge for a mock trial. Just when they were about to talk seriously, Kalinda called about work and Alicia had to run out. Will told her they always had options. The season ended how it started — with Peter and Alicia preparing to face the cameras for a press conference. This time he was announcing a campaign, not resigning. As he started his speech and she waited in the wings, her phone rang. It was Will. He didn't want to miss out on something because he didn't make himself clear. He was about to describe his feelings for her when Alicia, always collected and practical, interrupted him. ''Show me the plan. I get the romance. I need a plan,'' she said. She has two kids, a husband, and the media waiting for a whiff of a new scandal. The poetry is easy, it's the parent-teacher conferences that are hard, she explained. Eli was calling her back over, she had to go. She hung up, and Eli asked if she was going to make his life difficult. She was. As Peter reached out to pull her up to stand beside him, her phone rang again. It was Will. And cut!