For those of us who love The Good Wife, was there any doubt that Julianna Margulies would be gracious and graceful when she accepted her much-deserved Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Emmy? If ever a role seemed tailor-made for an actress, it’s Alicia Florrick for Margulies. And kudos to Margulies for gently poking fun at Alicia’s uber-somber manner by claiming (during presenting duties) that she’s the “funniest woman on television–you can look it up!”

So while the “who will win the Emmy?” cliffhanger has been answered (Alan Cumming, you wuz robbed!), there’s still plenty to look forward to when The Good Wife returns Sunday for season three. Uppermost in our minds: Did Will and Alicia have their “exceptional moment” after that steamy elevator ride in the final moments of last season? Based on the equally steamy promo shots of Margulies CBS has released, I’ll take a wild guess and say “yes.”

A Season 2 Brief

But before we find out what happened at that fateful hotel room door, let’s take a look at how we got there.

In TGW’s second season, Alicia Florrick really came into her own. She’s no longer the shell-shocked political wife forced back into the workforce when her husband goes to prison a corruption charges. She’s now a hard-charging associate at the law firm of Lockhart-Gardner, deeply involved in the firm’s biggest cases.

Even more important than her professional progression, this season showcased Alicia’s personal growth, starting with her marriage. After all, Peter gained release from prison, but he’s wasn’t home free yet. Though the corruption charges turned out to be bogus, he most definitely betrayed his wife with a hooker, something Alicia could’t easily forget.

But just as Peter was on the verge of gaining Alicia’s trust again, she discovered he had (at least) one other affair. Unfortunately, that indiscretion involved her best friend and colleague, Kalinda Sharma. Just because it happened long before the two women even met carried no weight with our Alicia.

Despite the heavyweight dramatics of these revelations, they weren’t the only highlights in an outstanding year. So let me bring you up to speed:

Lockhart-Gardner nearly lost its soul in a merger with a DC law firm. But Diane, Will, and a few hardy co-conspirators not only threw off the marauding Derrick Bond, they did it with wit and style. (And kudos to the producers of The Good Wife for not dragging this plot line out over years.)

Peter made a political comeback. With Eli Gold’s (willing) maneuvering and Alicia’s (grudging) support, the former State’s Attorney is once again in office. But with his eyes set on the governor’s mansion, his split with Alicia has more than just personal consequences.

Even tough cookies have soft hearts. In separate storylines, Diane Lockhart–the liberal backbone of L-G–nearly chucks her career to run off with conservative ballistics-expert Kurt (guest star Gary Cole). Even more surprising, cynical Eli revealed a sentimental side when he fell for a younger woman (a luminous America Ferrera) who inadvertently became entangled in Peter’s campaign.

Cary never forgets. As the show ended last season, Peter took over the State’s Attorney’s office once more. Cary Agos–spurned by Lockhart-Gardner at the end of season one–seized the opportunity to use his insider knowledge about Alicia and the whole L-G team to cozy up to Peter and protect his job. Will he get his revenge on our legal eagles this year?

And aside from the Will-Alicia rendezvous, the most important thing you must know about season 2:

Kalinda is a bigger mystery than ever. Besides the big reveal about Peter and Kalinda’s one-night stand, we also learned she may be living under an assumed name, apparently on the run from her husband. What isn’t in doubt is her ability to swing a baseball bat, which she used to painful effect on rival PI Blake Calamar.

Check out photos from Season 2>>

New Night, New Time, New The Good Wife Goodness!

With great dialogue, twisty legal plots, realistic office politics, and outstanding guest stars (including the promise this year of Michael J. Fox’s return and at least three episodes from House’s Lisa Edelstein), there’s a reason TGW is consistently called the best show on network television. Not surprisingly, it was the only network show in the running for a dramatic series Emmy against such cable and premium powerhouses as Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, and Game of Thrones.

With all that going for it, CBS is relying on the loyalty of TGW’s fans to follow the program to its new home on Sundays at 9pm. Before you say, “But now I can watch it an hour earlier!” just remember that through January, we run the risk of late starts because of football games. Be prepared to pad your DVR with extra time, and if you watch it live, be flexible–show the loyalty, show the love.

So get ready–court is almost in session!

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV