Here on the East Coast, we’re waiting for Hurricane Sandy. But in Alicia Florrick’s Chicago, it’s not bad weather they’re waiting for — it’s bad news.

This week’s The Good Wife takes place over the course of one very long, very lousy day for just about everyone. Alicia and Diane anticipate the arrest of their client, drug dealer Lamond Bishop. Eli and Peter must deal with an escalating crisis relating to the fake-affair story. And Nick returns to give Kalinda some unsettling information about FBI agent (and sometimes squeeze) Lana Delaney.

Opening Arguments

What you need to know about this week’s episode, “Waiting for the Knock”:

Some clients are more complicated than others. Bishop calls Alicia and Diane to his home because he’s been tipped off about an imminent arrest. When they get there, they find an attorney from his “primary law firm” — meaning, the ones who handle his drug cases — also waiting. No one knows what part of Bishop’s world the arrest might involve.

In fact, it’s not the cops who are after Bishop, but the FBI, led by Agent Lana. We know Lana’s been obsessed with catching Bishop for years, and now she may have something to bring him down: the disappearance of a confidential informant involved in selling steroids at one of Bishop’s health clubs. He’s furious that his right-hand man allowed the drug business to seep into his legit enterprises. But it’s too late to make things right. When the FBI finds the missing woman’s body, they come for Bishop, even though we have no reason to believe he committed the crime (yet).

What’s the matter with Mattie?
Picking up from last week’s episode, Eli is at the Illinois Democratic Party straw poll, which Peter wins handily. Unfortunately, the evil blogger, “Jimmy V,” still plans to post a story about the national magazine squashing the (disproved) Peter-had-an-affair article. Eli can’t get him to stop, even after Will threatens V with a cease-and-desist order. But Peter, secure in the knowledge that he’s innocent, doesn’t worry too much.

Maybe he’s a little too complacent. Mattie, the software mogul bankrolling his campaign, wants more proof. She even summons Indira Starr, the girl who spread the lie, for a face-to-face interview. Afterwards, she tells Alicia that she’s pulling her support for Peter, but won’t say exactly why. The kicker — she wants to stay friends with Alicia!

It’s Nick this time. He’s baaaack! Nick is still using Lockhart & Gardner to help him set up a legitimate business (there’s that term again). Outside the conference room, he reminds Kalinda he’s unhappy she’s sleeping with a woman, especially an FBI agent. Later, when Lana tells Kalinda that her place was ransacked — presumably by a vengeful Lamond Bishop — Kalinda has her suspicions. They’re confirmed later when she finds Nick back in her apartment looking for money he claims she stole. She’s about to call the cops on him, but thinks better of it when he shows her that he found some of the missing cash. (Oops!)

More intriguing, when she confronts Nick about rousting Lana’s apartment, he warns her about the fed. He shows Kalinda photographic evidence that Lana has been watching our favorite P.I., probably for months. Stalking or surveillance? Is she just part of Lana’s plan to catch Lamond Bishop? We don’t know yet, but for once, Nick gives Kalinda information she can use.

The Best Evidence

My favorite moments in “Waiting for the Knock” come wrapped in small packages:

  • The show opens on a shot of Lamond Bishop making lunch — a ham sandwich — for his son. Given how many convolutions the FBI goes through to arrest Bishop for anything, it’s reminiscent of the old legal saw (used often on the show) that “a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich.” (Kudos to Mike Colton for making Bishop so believable as both a shady operator and a loving father.)
  • When Cary must hunt down a possible leak in Bishop’s businesses, former CPA and current bankruptcy trustee Clarke Hayden lends a valuable hand. After their work ends, Clarke sheepishly admits he liked helping out the firm. Cary, impressed with Clarke’s ability, suggests he offer his services to the Family Law department.
  • Nick overhears Kalinda on the phone with a “girlfriend voice.” He thinks it’s Lana, but she says “You’re wrong; it’s work.” Umm … it’s Alicia, actually. What does Kalinda really feel about her sometimes boss and gal pal?
  • Alicia bonds with Bishop’s adorable young son, Derek, as the feds search his dad’s house. He’s genuinely impressed that she saw Michael Jordan play (during her first date with Peter), even though she confesses she knew nothing about basketball at the time.

Finally, I was worried that Kalinda would buy Nick’s story when he plaintively tells her, “You made me love you. I can’t love anyone else. I’ve tried; you are in my head.” Fortunately, Kalinda knows that abusive lovers often say such things. Her response: “Nick, I’m not the same. You can see that. You want me to be what I was.”

After he gives her the dirt on Lana, she walks out on him again, and later gives Lana a well-deserved brushoff. But what is the Special Agent after?

Summary Judgment

“Waiting for the Knock” deliveres a solidly plotted hour that sets up action for weeks to come. And despite Nick’s reappearance, it finally looks like we may be seeing the old Kalinda again. No caving to his demands, even after he shows his vulnerable side. No kinky sex after a go-round with knives and pistols. Giving Kalinda back her power gives TGW fans back one of our favorites.

Overall, nothing is resolved this week — but I’m okay with that. Because Bishop’s arrest appears to be bogus, I’m guessing we’ll see his court case in the future. (In fact, it’s hard to believe that guest star Annabella Sciorra, as his “drug lawyer” Lesli, won’t be back, too; she’s a pretty high-profile guest for a relatively small part.)

Even more important, we don’t know why Mattie seems so determined to believe Peter’s a cheater — or why she’s so fixated on being friends with Alicia. Given how important her money is to Peter’s campaign, a lot could be riding on the answers.

So what do you think? Were you happy or annoyed to see Kalinda and Nick together again? Does Kalinda use a “girlfriend voice” with Alicia? And what’s Mattie’s game, anyway?

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV