The Good Wife's Alicia Florrick has been through quite a lot.
The close gubernatorial election. Her ugly exit from Lockhart/Gardner. But just when it seemed the worst was behind Alicia (Julianna Margulies), an incriminating video surfaced suggesting that Peter (Chris Noth) had rigged the election.
"We wanted to be true to the idea of the relationship and what started at the beginning of the series, which was this incredible betrayal," executive producer and co-creator Michelle King tells TVGuide.com. "Then, yes, they came together, but even when there's a whiff of something for her to lose her trust, she reacts a lot because of that initial betrayal."
Even worse was Alicia's son Zach's involvement in the brewing scandal, since he was the one who first discovered the unsealed box of ballots and then testified in court about those ballots. "There's a problem there," executive producer and co-creator Robert King says. "[Alicia's] cynical enough or pragmatic enough to not mind that there's some dirty work to be done with the job. What she's really against is when the dirty work throws back on their kids. And that's one area that she will draw the line [on] no matter what."
After Alicia made it very clear that Peter needed to "fix" the situation in order to protect Zach (Graham Phillips), it will now be Eli's (Alan Cumming) job to try and keep Peter on the straight and narrow. "The problem Eli has is he knows Alicia is a benefit, but he also knows that Peter is most willing to break rules when it's about his family," Robert King says. "That's this delicate dance for Eli: How much can he guide him towards Alicia's ideas and how much away from Alicia's ideas?"
So what will Peter have to do to make this potential career-ruining mess go away? It might look a little bit like a real-life political scandal currently plaguing the governor of another state. "It's all about Chris Christie. It's so much about people in charge trying to deflect things on their underlings," Robert King says. "When investigators follow things, do they follow the smoking gun or where the money goes? Does it always go up higher and higher? Peter's in a lot of trouble, actually."
While Alicia is dealing with these new challenges in her personal life, she will also be facing new challenges in her professional life — particularly a change in her relationship with Will. The producers say they will move slightly away from those heated Alicia vs. Will (Josh Charles) courtroom showdowns that have been happening frequently since Alicia went off on her own with Cary (Matt Czuchry). "The bottom line is how are they going to find something they can live with each other about," Robert King says. "You can't live in that level of passion forever." Adds Michelle King: "It isn't like we're never going to play that again. We're going to find different ways to go at the issue."
In the meantime, Will will have someone new to go up against in court: Matthew Goode joins the acclaimed drama later this season as a prosecutor. "He's a witty intellectual who is very much Will's peer. They compete against each other in the court with the Hunter Parrish case," Robert King says.
The Weedsalum guest-starred earlier this season as a college student named Jeffrey Grant who is arrested on a fake DUI and then accused of murdering a female classmate he claimed he had never met. Will represented Jeffrey, but after his DNA was found to be a 100 percent match for the killer, the case was set to go to trial and Jeffrey was left waiting behind bars. "He's like a likeable foil," Robert King says of Goode's character. "You like him, but he also applies an intellect and a wit to his prosecution."
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)