The Good Wife is a drama starring Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who boldly assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband's very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Pushing aside the betrayal and public humiliation caused by her husband, Peter, Alicia Florrick starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney.
After having to return to work following her husband's corruption scandal and incarceration, Alicia Florick is assigned her first case – a straightforward retrial of a woman accused of murdering her ex-husband. Since her firm successfully deadlocked the first jury, sticking to the same strategy should work again, but Alicia soon discovers that she has a real fight on her hands.
Alicia and Will represent a stripper who was raped at a bachelor party by the groom, a wealthy young man from a moneyed Chicago family. On the personal front, Alicia confronts Peter over his indiscretions; debates whether or not the children should visit him in prison and finds doctored photos of Peter’s indiscretions that the kids hid from her.
Alicia must return to her old neighborhood and social circle prior to her husband’s scandal when she represents the son of a former friend who’s been accused of felony murder.
Alicia must determine if jury tampering has occurred in a class action suit against a drug company. As her husband prepares for his appeal, Alicia is asked to testify on his behalf.
Alicia and Will represent three widows of train engineers who have been accused by the company that they, not the company, were responsible for their deaths in a train crash. Alicia and Will have 72 hours to find the smoking gun to prove that the company was responsible. On the home front, Jackie and Alicia clash when Jackie goes against Alicia’s wishes and takes the children to visit Peter in jail for his birthday.
Alicia and Will work on the appeal of a death row inmate accused of killing a police officer. Knowing that her client was convicted of the crime under Peter’s regime as state’s attorney, Alicia agrees to his request of a conjugal visit in order to obtain any information Peter may have regarding the original case.
While representing the daughter of one of the partner's at the law firm, Alica finds herself attracted to her co-counsel and his unorthodox approach to defending their client.
While doing witness preps for an arson trial, Alicia uncovers the real arsonist. Peter goes to court to begin his appeal process.
When the senior partner in the firm is arrested, Alicia ends up representing him in court. At the same time, Peter's evidentiary hearing hits the skids, leading Alicia to believe that Peter may in fact have been guilty of corruption.
While working a case, Alicia discovers that the judge, a good friend of Will’s, is receiving kickbacks from the private detention centers he’s sentenced the convicted juveniles to.
When a Glenn Beck type TV commentator continually accuses a Chicago mother of killing her missing 3 year old child, she commits suicide. The firm represents the grieving husband in a wrongful death suit against the TV commentator and his television network. Alicia represents the wife of her husband's nemesis, Glenn Childs in a divorce case.
When a star high school quarterback dies from an overdose of painkillers, Alicia represents the doctor who prescribed the medication. On the personal front, Jackie suffers a stroke. Alicia tells Peter that Childs taped their home phones.
In probate court, Alicia defends a wealthy, immoral client who's innocence she questions in the death of his wife. Peter's appeal begins.
Alicia is second chair to Will on the Colin Sweeney civil suit case. Sweeney was found not guilty of murdering his wife, Carolyn, but like OJ Simpson, the general public believes he’s responsible for her death including Charlotte, Carolyn’s daughter, who has brought the civil suit against Sweeney in the hopes of regaining her mother’s money and company. Will and Alicia are up against Nancy Crozier, who plays up her rehearsed inexperience which wins favor with the judge in the beginning. As the trial plays out, evidence of a dummy corporation created by Charlotte is found by Cary, which was taking money from Carolyn’s company and putting into a bank account only Charlotte had access to. When some of Carolyn’s body is found in the courtyard of the building Colin and Carolyn used to live in, Kalinda discovers that the remains were first buried on farmland owned by Charlotte. When the rest of Carolyn’s remains are found on Charlotte’s farmland, she is arrested for her mother’s murder. When Diane’s life is threatened by an inmate who is about to be paroled, she asks Kalinda for help in obtaining a gun. On the personal front, Peter’s appeal for a retrial gains momentum. Childs offers Peter a deal: immediate release with time served. We end the show with Peter considering Child’s offer.
Sonya Rucker, whose company is a client of SL&G, has a crisis. Her babysitter, Lisa Pruit, was murdered at her home and her husband, Jason Rucker, is the lead suspect. Will and Diane call in Alicia and Cary to help with the case. Cary thought he had the following day off and has taken mushrooms with a friend in from Seattle, but now must pull himself together for the next 48 hours. When contact is finally made with Jason, who claims to have been in a movie, they bring him into the firm and have him take a polygraph test before the police arrive to arrest him. As Will, Alicia and a tripping Cary question Jason, they discover that he was at his studio where he works on his graphic novel. Lisa was his muse on the project and would spend time at the studio, but their relationship did not go any further than that. At first Kalinda suspects the neighborhood security guard is responsible, but turns her attention towards one of Lisa’s classmates, Max, who got Lisa pregnant, but when she wouldn’t have an abortion, he killed her and tried to frame Jason for it. On the personal front, Peter is released on electronic monitoring and we end on him at Alicia’s door as she opens it.
Alicia and Diane wrestle with spousal privilege laws in a murder case that hinges on their ability to get a wife to testify against her wealthy investment-banker husband. On the personal front, Alicia, Peter and the kids adjust to him being home.
Bodyguard, Brad Boussard, is accused of killing his client, Miles Wagner, a partner in a mutual fund that was the largest feeder of money to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Brad was found covered in the victim’s blood giving CPR to Mr. Wagner. He also carries the same caliber gun that killed Miles, a 9mm, but the gun and Mr. Wagner’s briefcase filled with $50,000, were not found at the scene. Diane brings in a ballistics expert, Kurt McVeigh, who paints a different picture of the crime scene with his expert analysis, the first hole in the case against Brad. Jeremy Knox, Brad Boussard’s partner is put on the stand to testify, but Diane believes he’s lying and wants his alibi, provided by his wife checked out. Because of a donation made by Rachel Knox, Jeremy’s wife, in the amount of $50,000, when their bank counts were frozen, they’re able to put her on the stand where she testifies that her husband was not home at the time of Miles Wagner’s murder and he told her to get rid of the $50,000 upon his return. On the personal front, Peter gets acclimated to life at home and gathers his team at the apartment to discuss strategy and damage control.
Alicia and Will defend an attorney who's arrested for murder because he allegedly leaked the witness list to his client, a drug lord, which resulted in the murder of the star witness. Now under house arrest, Peter strategizes how to handle his retrial the next steps in his public rehabilitation.
Alicia and Cary meet with attorney, Francis Dorfman, about combining lawsuits on a furlough lawsuit when Federal Agents, led by ASA Rivers rush in and arrest Dorfman charged with the first degree murder of Kelli Gerber Smith. Rivers claims that Dorfman leaked the witness list to his client, Leron Bishop, a notorious drug dealer, which resulted in Kelli’s murder. During the chaos of the situation, Dorfman cites that SL&G will represent him. Back at the office, Cary and Alicia bring Will and Diane up to speed on the situation. Alicia, Cary and the partners are unsure of taking Dorfman’s case, but they change their minds and take the case after ASA Rivers threatens Will about how damaging their involvement would be to their firm if they represented Dorfman. After a rocky first day, Will evens the playing field in the courtroom, earning the respect of Judge Pam Lester, who clearly favors ASA Rivers. When speaking to Dorfman after court, Alicia realizes that his daughter, Teri, gave the witness list to Bishop because she wanted to prove that their firm could handle him as a client. Not willing to let his daughter take responsibility, Dorfman sends a note to Bishop who arranges for his muscle, Bill Gurstelle, to confess to the murder. On the personal front, Eli Gold, newest member of Peter’s team, threatens Zach’s girlfriend Becca after he discovers that she is tweeting inside information about the Florrick family.
An emergency courtroom is set up in a hospital conference room. Will represents Kate Willoughby, whose unborn child requires an in-utero surgical intervention on its heart. Lifestate, Kate’s insurance provider, has put a stop to the surgery two days before it’s scheduled because they don’t cover experimental procedures. SLG is also in charge of a class action lawsuit against Lifestate and the case with the Willoughbys would set the precedent for the 68 other cases where Lifestate denied coverage. Lifestate’s lawyer offers Will a deal, drop the class action suit and they’ll find the money to save her baby, but Will says no. When it looks like the outcome will be in favor of Kate, Lifestate’s defense claims that Kate’s husband inaccurately filled out their application for coverage and thus voids their contract for insurance. With Kalinda’s help, Will gets leverage on Lifestate’s unethical practices and rather than the information becoming public, a settlement is reached and the baby’s surgery is a success. On the personal front, Peter continues to repair his reputation through religion while at the office, Alicia and Will share a kiss which leads to Alicia sleeping with Peter.
Alicia and Will defend a college student accused of killing her roomate. As they defend their client Will and Alicia must deal with the tension that exists between them since the night of their kiss.
Bianca Price stands trial for the murder of her sorority mate, Heather Cross. Bianca, Heather and Josh Mundy, a guy Bianca had casually been seeing, engaged in a threesome while on the sleep aid, Volpidem. Because of the effects of the drug, Bianca is unable to recall the specifics of the event. Will meets with ballistics expert Kurt McVeigh, but McVeigh won’t take the case because the evidence he’s reviewed finds Bianca guilty. Diane’s feelings toward McVeigh have not waned since their last encounter and she agrees to dinner at his hotel while he’s in town testifying on another case. Digging deeper in the details of the case, Kalinda discovers that the victim and Josh Mundy were stealing laptops and other electronics from campus buildings and dorm rooms. She also finds a video which shows Josh Mundy in a leather jacket that he removed from the room after Heather was shot. With the new evidence, McVeigh discovers that the shooting was accidental. Heather was going through Bianca’s drawers looking for valuables when she accidentally shot herself with Bianca’s gun. The defense is still unsure of the verdict as Diane’s and McVeigh’s relationship is brought up in court, casting a shadow on McVeigh’s testimony. Unwilling to take a chance with the verdict, Heather takes the plea bargain of second degree murder with a sentence of 10 years. We end on the jurors votes in the trash all reading “Not Guilty”.
Jeffrey Sanborn’s widow, Karen Sanborn, is seeking punitive damages for her husband’s death which her new attorney, Jonas Stern, claims was the intentional act of SLG’s client, Charles Clay, owner and editor of The Cook County Vindicator. A Muslim extremist group claimed responsibility for the pipe bomb explosion at the newspaper’s office after Charles published a controversial political cartoon that showed the image of the Prophet Muhammad being humiliated. Managing editor, Jeffrey Sanborn was killed in the blast. As Jonas and his team try to convince the jury that Charles published the cartoon to sell more newspapers, SLG looks closer at the crime scene and realizes that the bombing was an inside job. Also, Alicia plays on Jonas’s dementia, throwing him off during the trial while Cary foils Jonas’s attempt at poaching a number of SLG associates. On the personal front, Peter and the family attend a church service, but he uses this opportunity to secretly meet with Gerald Kozko about his potentially damning testimony. Alicia is furious at Peter for making her believe he had found religion and was trying to be a better man. She leaves and we end on Peter going after her with the electronic monitoring alarm going off.
We’re back in the apartment from Zach's and Grace’s perspective. When Peter crosses the threshold, the electronic monitoring alarm begins to sound followed shortly by the phone ringing. Grace answers the phone before the fifth ring and tells the sergeant that her father is in the shower, but the sergeant hangs up when she’s unable to put Peter on the phone. Zach grabs his skateboard and smashes the alarm. When the police arrive, Peter is back in the apartment and Zach blames a skateboarding trick gone wrong on the broken sensor. On her way to work the following morning, Alicia follows police officers to her building manager, Simran’s, apartment. They’re questioning her son, Amal, about the travel agency where he works, but Alicia recommends that Simran ask the police officers to leave if they’re not charging Amal with a crime. Because Amal did not cooperate, immigration takes Simran away to be deported because she’s been living in the US illegally for 27 years. If Alicia can get information on the identity theft ring Amal is suspected of being involved with, they’ll put in a good word with immigration to stop Simran’s deportation. Amal is tasked with downloading files from where he works, but someone tips off his bosses, the Pujari Brothers, that they’re being watched. Before the travel office is investigated, Kalinda takes a box she saw one of the brothers hide before the police can confiscate it. Inside the box are sapphires which Kalinda tries to track. When the box, not the sapphires, leads Kalinda and Cary to the only store that carries that brand, they realize that its Amal’s sister Frida who was the courier for the Pujari’s. Though she’ll face some jail time, this information helps free Simran from deportation.
SLG divorce lawyer David Lee is representing Olivia Lyons, the soon to be ex-wife of rock star Max Lyons. David has asked Alicia to join in the proceedings. David and Max’s lawyers agree on the terms of the divorce agreement, but Max winds up in a coma after a motorcycle accident soon after. David acts quickly before the divorce is finalized by removing Olivia’s signature page from the settlement so that Olivia will still be married to Max and be given power of attorney over his estate. His plan is for Olivia to get half of Max’s estate instead of the annual amount according to the divorce agreement. Max’s new fiancé, Shaina, had a son with Max, so there’s a fight over who should control Max’s estate. The judge gives both sides a day to prepare before he decides. While trying to make an argument for keeping Max alive, Kalinda finds a video of Max just before his accident where he appears to be intoxicated, but the original toxicology report came up clean. When a second report shows that anti-freeze was in his system, Kalinda catches Max’s manager, Jay, by his ringtone, the same one heard in the video of Max before his crash. Jay wanted to cash in on being named in Max’s will. The remaining sides come to agreement where Shaina receives $1 Million dollars annually while Olivia receives the remainder of the estate and full guardianship of Max. The competition between Cary and Alicia comes to end with Alicia winning a position at the firm while Cary is let go.
Alicia is celebrating her victory with Kalinda when she gets a request from Will to get client, and accused wife killer, Colin Sweeney, to sign off on the new language in his company’s merger. When Alicia arrives at Sweeney’s apartment she finds him handcuffed to a dead woman and his dog has been stabbed to death. The woman is identified as court reporter, Sheila Warburg. She was stalking Colin after his murder trial and he played along, but during there last encounter she was trying to kill him and he was only defending himself. As Alicia and Kalinda start putting together their case, they discover that Colin killed his own dog in an attempt to make his story more believable, but they also find that the victim, Sheila Warburg, had a history of stalking criminals. With Sweeney’s company’s merger looking stronger without him in the picture, SL&G plead out and Sweeney agrees to an eight year sentence. Though he still claims his innocence, he admits to Alicia that he did kill his wife, so this is just. On the personal front, the charges against Peter are dropped and he is a free man. Also, after being fired by Diane and Will, Cary is approached by Glenn Childs about working in his office and he accepts.
Alicia and Diane facilitate an immunity deal for an undercover cop who will testify in front of a grand jury that his fellow officers, Task Force members, have been conspiring with gang members to deal in illegal firearms. Two hours later, the cop is dead. The cop’s widow files a multi-million dollar wrongful death suit against Cook County and the City of Chicago and Alicia is her lawyer. Now working for Childs, Cary offers $300,000 to settle the wrongful death suit. Alicia rejects the offer and preps for trial. Kalinda finds the cache of illegal weapons, but the Task Force officers maintain their innocence in the death of their comrade. Further investigation reveals that the cop’s widow was the one who tipped off the gang member of her husband’s true identity. Alicia confronts her and the widow confesses, her husband was physically abusive, beating her on a regular basis and by telling the gang he was a cop, she knew they would kill him and this was her way out for her and her children.