'The Good Wife' premiere recap: It's been an odd year

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Season 3 of "The Good Wife" left viewers with several cliffhangers, and the Season 4 premiere dove headfirst into the action. The episode opened with a bankruptcy hearing for Lockhart Gardner, Kalinda getting into a fist fight, and Alicia's son getting harassed on a traffic stop. It only got more complicated and entertaining from there.

Lockhart Gardner

After a judge decides that a law firm that's $60 million in debt has some management issues, court-appointed trustee Clarke Hayden (Nathan Lane) arrives to rework the finances. Diane and Will aren't thrilled with this development, especially when the trustee questions everything from the art on the walls to whether they really need two partners running the place.

Lane is wonderfully understated, his character at first seeming like a sullen, nitpicky accountant who's just there to make everyone miserable. Then there's a scene with David Lee, where Hayden informs the departing partner that since he's leaving a sinking ship, he'll only get five cents on the dollar that he's owed -- and that he'll be paid last. After Lee incredulously asks why, Hayden snaps, "I don't like quitters."

When Lee pastes on a smile and announces to Will and Diane that he's staying with the firm, they decide that maybe Hayden isn't so bad at all. Until Diane learns that they're going to have to cut 30 percent of the workforce next.

The Florrick Family

At the end of Season 3, it seemed that the worst blow to Peter's campaign was going to be the fact that he's separated from his wife. Then Zach, Alicia, and Grace get pulled over by a Madison County policeman on the way home from checking out colleges. Things escalate as the officer checks the car for drugs, and finding nothing, arrests Zach for illegally recording the encounter with his phone.

Sometimes "The Good Wife" goes awry with its portrayal of the Florrick children, but this storyline gives us a Zach that has the right balance of intelligence and teenage impetuousness. Alicia is extremely proud when his savvy use of the Web helps him locate other victims of false arrests by the same officer, as well as a loophole in the "illegal recording" law.

Once Alicia discovers the local DA has it out for Peter, she goes after the entire police department in court. Peter also makes one of those intimidating phone calls to the DA, and Zach puts together an unflattering online video of the officer that goes viral. The case gets dropped and Zach's record is cleared, but the Florricks just made a big enemy in Madison County.


Just when we thought maybe we were starting to understand Kalinda, her husband shows up. He's determined to get back into her life, both for her and the money he feels she stole from him. After Kalinda beats up one of his goons, she has a knock-down drag-out fight with her ex in the elevator at work that ends up with sex at her place -- and then pointing a gun at him. Clearly their relationship is complicated, and we're guessing it'll get even more messed up in future episodes.

At the end of premiere, Diane and Will toast the end of his suspension. "It's been an odd year," Will says. Diane assures him it's probably going to be "even odder" from here on out. Fans of the show won't complain, since the series has always been at its best (wicked humor included) when things get wacky. Seems that "The Good Wife" continues to do odd pretty well.

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