The Good Wife season premiere recap: The Estranged Husband
Alicia and Zach take on a state trooper, Will and Diane deal with the firm's financial problems, and Kalinda's husband returns in the season premiere
Will: “An odd year, huh?” Diane: “I think we’re heading toward an even odder one.” Yup. That closing line from last night’s season 4 premiere of The Good Wife pretty much sums it up. Buckle up, because if the first episode is any indication, it looks like Alicia & Co. are prepared to deliver another drama-fueled, exciting season. So let’s get to recapping!
We’ve been not-so patiently waiting all summer long to see what, or rather who, was on the other side of Kalinda’s door. I fully expected her estranged husband to be the owner of those ominous knocks. So I was surprised, but not disappointed, when one of her ex’s cronies, Bill, appeared. Bill (played by P.J. Brown) came bearing important news: “He misses you. It’s not just the money. He wants you back.” But Kalinda, not willing to accept any of his BS, chose this opportune moment to open up a can of whoopass. Fight! Fight! Fight! Their brawl ended with Kalinda taking a sledgehammer to Bill’s hand—he had some choice words for her after that one—and telling her ex over the phone that she’d moved on and he should too. But Bill warned her, “You run again, he’ll find you.” Please tell me I wasn’t the only one sweating during that intense opener.
Meanwhile, Zach, Grace, and Alicia were traveling home from a college visit when Zach was pulled over by a state trooper. How fast was Zach going? Turns out, not that fast. Officer Robb said that Zach hit the brakes when he spotted the officer and then sped up again. That particular roadway was a major conduit for drugs, money, and weapons. And as such, Robb decided his canine should check out the car, giving him probable case to search the vehicle. He only found marijuana shake, which basically means he didn’t find anything. But it was enough to give Zach a ticket and a warning. Unsurprisingly, this pissed Alicia off who felt they were being unjustly profiled. Still unsure of why they had been pulled over, Grace suggested that they use Peter’s name to get out of the ticket, but Alicia had a simple answer for that: “We don’t use dad’s name. We use the law!” (And now I want someone to make a T-shirt with Alicia’s face on it that says, “We use the law!” Christmas is just around the corner, guys.)
As Robb was writing out the ticket, he noticed Zach had been recording the whole thing on his phone. A crime fit for the digital age. Robb demanded that Zach erase the recording. Instead, Zach emailed it too himself. Ooops! And an even bigger ooops when Robb decided to arrest Zach. It’s now that I’d like to point out that you shouldn’t mess with the good children of the good wife. Zach was given a preliminary hearing, and Alicia was none too pleased that it would end up on her son’s permanent record. And all because a cop wanted to make a point.
NEXT: Zach goes to court; Diane and Will deal with the financial woes of Lockhart/Gardner
So off to court they went. Alicia used a friend of Kalinda’s** to prove that Officer Robb manufactured a false positive with the dog, thus there was never probable cause to search the vehicle. But the prosecution countered with an additional obstruction of justice charge. Alicia then had the more difficult task of proving the legality of the traffic stop in the first place. And just to thicken the plot a little, it appeared that Phil, the state’s attorney for Madison County, was making Zach’s case about Peter. “Tell your husband the police love their pensions.” Peter countered with a threatening phone call to Phil, insisting that he drop the case, expunge the arrest from Zach’s record, and make Officer Robb apologize.
(**Wow. Kalinda really has chemistry with everyone! You could cut the sexual tension between her and Melinda with a knife!)
Zach took his fate into his own hands by becoming quite the investigator. He found other people who had been stopped by Officer Robb in the same police forfeiture corridor. Instead of trying to stop drugs, the police had been confiscating money made from the drug sales. Embracing the power of social media, Zach made online video that showcased the injustices of Officer Robb. The video quickly went viral, gaining more than 500,000 views. And what does 500,000 views get you? Dropped charges, a clean record, and an apology. That’s what. The power of social media is even greater than name-dropping Peter Florrick. Who knew?
When Peter wasn’t threatening people on his son’s behalf, he was busy ramping up things for his gubernatorial candidacy. His opponent, Mike Kresteva, was making his campaign about family values. Kresteva clearly has the upper hand on that front since Peter, you know, slept with a prostitute and is currently separated from Alicia. (Also, seeing Eli Gold roll his eyes at a cancer patient reminded me just how much I missed Eli Gold during the show’s hiatus.) Peter found himself having to defend his shaky relationship with his wife to political reporter Peggy Byrne (guest star Kristin Chenoweth). And later, Alicia was in the same position, giving one-word answers to the persistent Byrne. But I’d expect nothing less. Alicia is a private person and Peggy called her a doormat. Yet another person learning a valuable lesson: Do not make Alicia mad!
Diane and Will faced their own issues at the firm. More specifically, Lockhart/Gardner is $60 million in debt and staring down bankruptcy. Additionally, David Lee planned to quit and then sue Lockhart/Gardner, which he made clear wasn’t just a threat. Diane and Will had to take their money woes to the court where they were assigned a trustee to supervise their future decisions. The partners weren’t too happy with that news, but they managed to avoid liquidation, which was clearly the lesser of two evils.
NEXT: Kalinda’s husband returns
Enter Clark Hayden (guest star Nathan Lane) the trustee assigned the task of dealing with the current staffing situation, a.k.a. staff reduction. Hayden tried to turn Diane and Will against each other, and get them to drop one of the named partners. But that backfired. Even David Lee decided to stay he was so irritated by Hayden. Still, 30 percent of Lockhart/Gardner’s staff must be cut. The silver lining in all this is that Will’s suspension is finally up. He’s a lawyer again. Cheers!
But I’ve really buried the lede here: Let’s talk about Nick (Marc Warren). A new client came into the Lockhart/Gardner offices looking for some advice. As the owner of a tow-truck company, he was trying to outsource his work to the government. But thanks to his arrest record he needed a businessman to partner with him for the bid. He wanted to firm to vet his options, and help him choose the best partner. Sounds like a job for the firm’s investigator, Kalinda.
The Good Wife seems to have a plethora of great elevator scenes, but I think Nick and Kalinda’s fight is my new favorite. We’ve been waiting for their reunion for a while now, and it didn’t disappoint. Series co-creator Michelle King told EW earlier this year that “once you see [Marc Warren], you can’t imagine Kalinda being married to anyone else. He’s that perfect.” And I have to agree. Their chemistry together is sheer perfection. I think I actually squealed with joy at one point. Their battle continued—even after the elevator ride ended—proving once and for all that Kalinda doesn’t need a baseball bat to do some serious damage in a parking garage.
Later on, we found the Mr. and Mrs. in bed together. And now I direct you to a quote from co-creator Robert King, who told EW the following: “It’s not exactly Fifty Shades of Grey, but the spirit of sexual dominance mixed with who’s dominating who. It just sounds like a fascinating way to see Kalinda.” And it was pretty fascinating. The glimpse we got into Kalinda and Nick’s volatile relationship is only the beginning. Speaking of beginnings, Nick claimed he was ready for a new start with Kalinda. He showed off a new midnight sun tattoo that he’d gotten for her. But she still insisted things were over, and said she wanted him gone from Chicago forever. But based on what little we know about Nick, I imagine he’s not the type who heeds Kalinda’s advice. If she’s not careful, Kalinda’s going to end up with more than just bruises marking her husband’s return.
So now I turn it over to you. What did you think of the season 4 premiere? Are you pleased with the casting of Marc Warren as Nick? Did you love those steamy Nick/Kalinda scenes? There wasn’t enough Cary in this episode. Are you worried that Lockhart/Gardner’s financial troubles are going to effect his new job? And what about Will and Alicia? She brought him champagne to celebrate the end of his suspension, but walked away from it when she saw he was with Diane. Share all your thoughts in the comments below. And do yourself a favor and take Eli’s advice: Never shop when you’re hungry, and don’t do any interviews when you’re pissed.