‘The Good Wife’ Premiere: The Calm Before the Storm

by | September 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM | Fall TV 2013, The Good Wife, TV News

Alicia (Julianna Margulies) works the phone in Sunday's season premiere of "The Good Wife" (Photo: CBS)

The Good Wife” launched its season with an episode titled “Everything Is Ending.”

It’s true in one sense: the show’s familiar dynamics are changing. But in fact, it’s an episode about beginnings. Peter is starting his tenure as governor. Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Cary (Matt Czuchry) are preparing to start a new firm.

While the episode lacked the excitement of the finale, it did a good job of setting up what seems like it will be a very juicy season.

The Firm

We pick up immediately after the finale ended. Alicia and Cary discuss the new firm over shots. Alicia is nervous about Will (Josh Charles) and Diane’s (Christine Baranski) reaction to their departure. Cary thinks it’s the circle of life. Will and Diane will understand. They plan to tell them the next day. But Alicia ends up on a death row challenge and decides to postpone until the case is over.

David (Dallas Roberts) notices Cary celebrating with the other defecting attorneys, who, judging from their behavior in this episode, did not graduate at the top of their law school classes. He asks Kalinda Archie Panjabi) to find out what they are up to by finding out everyone that they called on their company owned cell phones. Why wouldn’t they go to Best Buy and buy some cheap burner phones? Kalinda, who knows exactly what’s going on, pretends to be in the dark.

The new firm meets in the parking lot because apparently they are incapable going to a coffeehouse to talk. It’s like they want to get caught. The other lawyers want to wait three weeks before leaving so they can collect their bonuses which is not a concern for partner and newly minted First Lady Alicia. But she gets outvoted.

Watch “The Good Wife” Season Premiere & Past Seasons

The partners ask Alicia if she knows if the fourth year associates are starting their own firm. She lies that she has no idea. They tell her to get closer to them to find out. Alicia decides not to tell Cary about the meeting because she is still a partner and could get sued. Cary calls her out on having second thoughts about leaving. She talks about how great it is to work with Will and Diane, but Cary reminds her this is her chance to be Diane. She tells him that the firm is going to look at all of their texts.

The Governor’s Office

Peter (Chris Noth) meets with Marilyn, who is charge of ethics. She thinks that Peter’s candidate for Chief of Staff is inappropriate. Eli (Alan Cumming)  thinks Marilyn it too hot to work with Peter. he calls it “bad optics.” Alicia tells them she is starting her own firm. Peter is thrilled for her, and perhaps even happier she will not longer be working with Will. After he catches himself looking at Marilyn, he takes Eli’s advice and “promotes” her to a job on the transit authority. Then he offers Eli the Chief of staff position.

The Kids

Grace, who has discovered the joys of the flat iron, turns up on a website list of the hottest politicians daughters. She seems both disgusted and flattered.

The Case of the Week

The execution of Diane and Ailcia’s death row client goes wrong. The technicians spend hours trying to find a vein while he screams in agony and announces to the witnesses that he is innocent. They manage to get a temporary stay on eighth amendment, cruel and unusual punishment grounds. Then they argue that their client is evidence in Barry Schreck (playing himself in the show’s latest policy wonk cameo) class action lawsuit about the death penalty. The main witness in the murder case was a lying prison snitch who was fed information by a guard and a court typist. The judge on the case is unwilling to hear an appeal based on the client’s innocence on such short notice, which seems like an incredible miscarriage of justice. Finally, Will manages to stop the execution by having the DEA bust the warden for illegally shipping the execution drugs via the post office. That seems like it would never work, but justice prevails, at least if you consider an innocent man spending the rest of his life in prison to be justice.

Afterward, Alicia tries to tell Will she’s leaving the firm. He thinks she’s trying to explain why she didn’t call him the night of the election when he stepped up and told her to leave Peter for him. he says he understands and there is no need to discuss it. It’s a typical television misunderstanding, but there’s definitely a lot of unfinished business between them, and he is going to be furious when he finds out that she is starting her own firm with a lot of his clients.