Adding to the drama is the fact that, after her politician husband, Peter (Chris Noth), humiliated her with his public sex scandal (as the series began), Alicia had an affair with Will.
Adding more drama is the fact that Alicia and Peter reconciled — and Peter is now the governor-elect of Illinois. And, as you might expect, he's not a fan of Will's.
Sunday's episode of "The Good Wife" is filled with tension, drama, humor and unexpected plot twists. Just when you think you know where it's going, there's a sudden twist. Or two. Or three.
It's a masterful episode written by "The Good Wife" creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King, who have been building to this since an episode in the middle of last season. Alicia and Cary faced off against Will and Diane in a mock trial "and what was so fun was seeing these characters that you loved fighting," said Robert King.
The show has done a great job of bringing in worthy adversaries for the regular characters to do battle with in court, but the Kings realized they had the worthiest of foes right under their noses. And reality to draw from for Sunday's episode, titled "Hitting the Fan."
"We've been interviewing a lot of partners about what it's like when they leave and take clients," Robert King said. "And it's a s--- storm."
Which makes for great TV, in no small part because viewers sympathize with Alicia, Cary, Diane and Will. And because Alicia — who's always been at the center of the show — doesn't come off as a backstabber.
Margulies pointed out that Alicia is quitting Lockhart/Gardner because if she stays, Will will always be "in her peripheral vision." She won't be able to "move forward with her commitment" to her family and to being first lady of Illinois "as long as she and Will are working together. And I think in her heart of hearts, she thinks that's the smart move."
It's certainly a smart move for "The Good Wife," with endless follow-up episodes to come. If we're lucky.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.