Just a week ago, we witnessed the painful, chaotic birth of Florrick, Agos & Associates — and a daring rebirth of the entire Good Wife storyline. 

But as this week’s episode, “The Next Day,” reminds us, once that baby’s born, the real work begins. While Alicia and Cary’s new firm struggles to take its first steps, Will’s determined to trip them up.

Post Break-Up Wake-Up Call

It’s a new day for the current and former members of Lockhart & Gardner. Diane wakes up to jitters about arguing her final case before joining the State Supreme Court (or so she thinks), and new hubby Kurt reassures her. Will wakes up with new hottie girlfriend Isabel, eager to take on the world. Alicia awakens to an already-dressed Grace, who tells Mom she’s leaving for school. By the way, the entirety of Florrick, Agos is already hard at work in the living room.

First order of business for the newbies: find office space, since David Lee’s dirty tricks cost them their original lease. The only offer on the table comes from a fracturing tax firm that will share its square footage if they’ll partner up. Alicia wants her partners to consider the deal, but the others fear merging with another firm before they’ve even had a chance to establish themselves.

Second order of business: deal with Heather Sorrentino, the widow of a man who died when his gun misfired as he took aim at burglars. Though L&G has represented Heather in her case against the gun manufacturer for two years, she shows up at Alicia’s doorstep asking Alicia and Cary to take over. 

Uh-oh — that’s Diane’s final case. Imagine her surprise when the judge announces in court that there’s been a change of representation. The fight by F-A to get the full case files from L&G drives much of the action throughout the rest of the episode. Rather than go to court, however, Alicia cannily brings her plea to the same legal disciplinary committee that suspended Will for ethics violations two years ago. 

The Smoking Gun

Meanwhile, Heather’s new team has to find a way to win her case. Suing gun manufacturers for murder is a legal nonstarter, so Cary and Alicia must prove that the gun itself was defective. Who better to help them than Kurt, ballistics expert extraordinaire?

His decision to work with Diane’s former protegees sparks an argument between the newlyweds, even though they’d previously agreed never to interfere in each other’s business. He reminds her that proving the weapon was defective would put a win in the gun control column — a cause dear to her heart.

In court, his testimony proves effective, but not necessarily enough to sway the judge, especially since the gun manufacturer’s lawyer is Nancy Crozier, a Good Wife favorite. (By “favorite,” I mean “someone we love to hate.”) She scores points against Kurt, insinuating that  heat and humidity might have caused the misfire. (Who knew that guns could benefit from anti-frizz products?)

Determined to prove he’s right, Kurt runs more tests, and brings Alicia a key piece of evidence: malfunctioning firing pins. In a confab with Alicia, Cary and “the other Carey,” private eye Robin suggests they switch their legal strategy from product liability to warranty violation, for selling a defective product. 

Unfortunately, the one set of files the disciplinary board didn’t make L&G hand over were those related to the gun’s warranty. Faced with losing her case, widow Heather switches back to Will and Diane. Ms. Lockhart proceeds to change her strategy from product liability to — you guessed it — warranty violation. 

Anything for Family

With everything else going on, Alicia also has to contend with repeated visits to her apartment by Peter’s new ethics chief, Marilyn Garbanza (like a chickpea, but with an A). Marilyn wants to find out if the new governor knew that Florrick, Agos competed for the Chumhum account before he made his Internet taxation speech. She gets some insider info from a distracted Cary, much to Alicia’s chagrin. Alicia manages to convince Marilyn that Peter didn’t know about the Chumhum deal because they were gettin’ busy in the bathroom during the discussions.

Marilyn’s not all bad news, however. She really seems to like Alicia and does Ms. Florrick a favor by asking her to warn Peter against interfering in the new firm’s business. Otherwise, Peter’s going to wind up with ethics violations — he can’t seem to stop intervening on behalf of his family. 

And breaking news: Marilyn’s pregnant! I’m guessing it’s not by Peter — she seems like too much of a straight-arrow to be making friends with Alicia while throwing up in her bathroom. So there must be a baby-daddy out there who isn’t the governor-elect. One red herring out of the way (probably). 

Partners Again? 

Not-so-breaking news: Diane’s out as a possible State Supreme Court justice. (The information pushes Diane to tears, just as the firm’s break-up did for Alicia last week.) Peter’s moving on to other candidates — making the kind of family-based business decision that Marilyn warned Alicia about. When she learns that there won’t be any confirmation hearings in her future, Diane offers the possibility of rejoining Lockhart & Gardner to Will. 

Gardner accepts her back on one condition: she has to join him in his quest for world (or at least national) domination. “I’m taking this firm to the top, Diane,” he says. “We’re going to rip through our opponents. No votes — just decide and go. If anyone gets in our way, we kick their asses, fire them or buy them out. Can you handle that?” When she tells him, “I’m through being polite,” he welcomes her back to the fold.

Their first order of business: buying out the tax firm that wanted to merge with Florrick, Agos. They get new blood and leave F-A office-space free yet again. An exultant Will closes the deal, knowing he’s won this round. 

Summary Judgment

While not the game-changer of last week’s episode, “The Next Day” proves that the folks behind The Good Wife are all-in on the break-up of the Lockhart & Gardner team. Everyone’s affected — from the main players to their spouses and even their children. (Grace, stop flirting with “other Carey” already!)

There’s so much to look forward to. Can Will continue his winner-take-all strategy? Can Diane face off against the people she once mentored? Is Peter doomed to damage his political career out of an uncontrollable need to avenge slights against his family? Will the Florrick’s bathroom continue to get so much action?

The gloves (make that baby booties) are off! Who needs politeness when we have season 5 of The Good Wife

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm (barring football overruns) on CBS.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV