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Pilot is the first episode of the first season of The Good Wife. It premiered on CBS on September 22, 2009. It was written by Robert King and Michelle King, and directed by Charles McDougall.


After having to return to work following her husband's corruption scandal and incarceration, Alicia Florrick is assigned her first case-a straightforward retrial of a woman accused of murdering her ex-husband. Since her firm successfully deadlocked the first jury, sticking to the same strategy should work again, but Alicia soon discovers that she has a real fight on her hands.



Amidst dozens of camera flashes, Peter Florrick walks up to a podium and declares that an hour ago, he resigned as State's Attorney of Cook County. Although he insists on never having abused his office, he has to apologize to his wife, Alicia, and their two children. Alicia stands next to her husband, acting like the "good wife" while thinking about how Peter cheated on her and betrayed her trust. Once they leave, she stops in a hallway. When Peter asks if she is allright, she slaps him across the face and walks away. Not wanting to face the reporters outside, she is obviously lost in the seemingly helpless situation.

Six months later, Alicia is waiting in a conference room, but nobody else is around. A staffer tells her that she is wrong by one floor. She quickly collects her things and moves to the right conference room, where Will Gardner and Diane Lockhart, senior partners of the law firm Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, brief the staff about the workload of the day. Alicia is assigned a pro bono trial. After the conference, she tries to have a talk with Will, but he redirects her to Diane. The chief litigator of the firm assures her that women should help women, and offers to be her mentor. She then briefs her of the case in question: 26-year-old second grade teacher Jennifer Lewis stands accused of killing her ex-husband, and the jury came back dead-locked and now there will be a retrial. Alicia is surprised when she hears that the meeting is on the same day.

Back in the hall, Cary Agos, the other new associate the firm just hired, offers to carry Alicia's paper box and introduces himself. He leaves saying, "may the best man win", leaving Alicia even more baffled. She then meets Kalinda Sharma, the firm's lead investigator who used to work at the State's Attorney's office but was fired by Peter. Kalinda explains that there was gunpowder found on their client's hand, and that the prosecution argues that she killed her ex-husband in a fake carjacking in order to keep him from getting custody of their daughter. At the courthouse, Alicia gets a call from her daughter, Grace, who asks about her father's sex scandal, which her friends talk about at school. Alicia is a little shocked, but has to get off the phone.

Then, suddenly, after thirteen years as a housewife and mother, Alicia Florrick is back in the courtroom. The state attorney makes fun of her and tries to use her husband's bad relationship with the presiding judge against her, but Judge Richard Cuesta makes it very clear that that will not work. Mrs Lewis is granted pre-trial release; Alicia's first day at court is a success.

Some time later, Alicia and Kalinda interview Jennifer, who tells them about how she met with her ex-husband, Michael, and they had a good time. On the way back, they had a flat tire, and he got out to fix it when a red pickup stopped not far away. A man came up to them and shot Michael. However, Kalinda points out that a nearby surveillance camera did not show the car leaving. Alicia investigates further, and discovered that the jury was actually split eleven to one, with only one voting for innocent. The jury then voted six to six in order to get declared locked. The juror in question, Mrs. Duretsky, did not act out of logic, but mainly because she had "a feeling" and liked Diane Lockhart.

Will later tells Alicia that the firm only has one associate position open, so she and Cary have to fight for the position over the next six months.

On the next morning, Alicia visits Peter, who is in jail because of the abuse-of-office charges against him; he has to sign some paperwork, including the sale contract for their old house. He tells her one more time that he is innocent of abusing his office, to which she answers that she does not care about them; a video of him and a prostitute has gone viral. He asks about her case and tells her that something was wrong about it, something had been burried. He also informs her that he may get an appeal on his case, and everything will go back to normal. Alicia tells him that nothing is ever going to be as it was after what he did.

Kalinda and Alicia continue their investigation and discover that the second page of a police report is missing; they also find out that the security officer at the company with the surveillance camera near the murder site regularly falls asleep on the job from his assistant, even though the security officer insists on having made his usual round on the night of the murder.

In the evening, Alicia is in the kitchen with her mother-in-law, Jackie. They argue because Jackie still insists on defending Peter. Grace is also rather unhappy with her grandmother's presence.

Next day, the court hears the testimony of Michael Lewis' second wife, Cindy, who says that her husband was worried about Jennifer wanting full custody of their child. The next witness is the police officer in charge of the investigation, who testifies that the case was untypical for a carjacking; Alicia asks him what the "pit" is, and he explains that its police slang for evidence thought irrelevant to the crime scene. When she asks if anything was "pitted" in the Lewis case, Judge Cuesta takes the attorney back to his chamber where he tells them in very certain terms that the prosecution will produce the missing evidence, and that Alicia should be very careful about using information she being fed from her husband.

Alicia is called to a meeting with the senior partners, where she informs Diane about the new evidence. Diane is angry about Alicia's behavior, but Will tells her that she is just getting competitive around strong women. Meanwhile, Alicia organizes for Jennifer being able to speak to her daughter. Kalinda later tells her that the police found a greyhound hair at the crime scene, and that Cary will replace her as first chair the following day. In the eveing, while she review the surveillance video one more time, Alicia sees a news report anout Amber Madison, the callgirl Peter slept with and who now intends to write a book about the affair. Ignoring it as best as she can, she discovers a bag of paper being blown over the parking space on the video, identical to another bag on another video.

Back in the courtroom, the security guard testifies that he saw nothing on his round on the night of the murder, in accordance with the video from the surveillance camera. However, Alicia gets more TVs inside, and reveals that the video of the murder night is the same video as any other day, because the security guard just dublicates the tape from the previous night when he does not make his round -- there is no tape of the murder night, and he did not see anything because he was sleeping. State's Attorney Glenn Childs, who has been monitoring the trial from the back of the courtroom, turns around to leave.

Alicia and Will discuss the case in her office; they talk about old times at the university when Alicia points out that Cindy might serve as an alternate suspect as Michael reportedly missed his life with his first wife.

On the next day, Glenn Childs approaches Alicia and tells her not to make herself "collateral damage" for her husband. She answers by accusing him of leaking the sex tape of Peter and Amber, and that he has obviously never made a woman angry before. In court, Alicia questions Cindy about the whereabouts of her brother, Danny, at the time of the murder. She also mentions the greyhound hair and lotion used at dog racetracks which were found at the murder scene, and that Danny worked at a dog racetrack at the time. Judge Cuesta substains the procecutor's objection, but the police officer in charge of the investigation, sitting back in the room, gets up and leaves.

Alicia and Kalinda go out for a drink and talk when they are called back to the court. Judge Cuesta informs her that the police has re-opened the investigation into the murder of Michael Lewis, and found proof that his brother-in-law had his employer's pick-up truck on the night of the murder. Childs has decided to drop the charges against Jennifer, and press charges against Cindy's brother instead. Alicia has won her first case.

As she prepares to leave, Will comes by Alicia's office and gives her a bottle of champagne, telling her that she will now serve as his second chair in a big case. She then checks her missed calls, and hears a message from Peter, who tells her that his appeal will be heard and that he has a good chance at getting out of jail soon.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]

Background Information[]



  • This episode first aired in on September 22, 2009.
  • On its first airing this episode attracted 13.714 million viewers.

Deleted Scenes[]


  • Diane Lockhart has a picture of herself meeting Hillary Clinton in her Office. Hillary Clinton's husband (former president) Bill Clinton was involved in an infamous sex scandal, similar to Peter Florrick's.

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors[]


  • Alicia: (to her client) You won't feel like it. But put on nice clothing. Force yourself, too. Not for public. For you.
  • Diane Lockhart: (to Alicia) When I was starting out I got one great piece of advice. Men can be lazy, women can't... and I think that goes double for you. Not only are you coming back to the workplace fairly late but you have some very prominent baggage. (Points to a picture of her and Hillary Clinton) But, hey, if she can do it so can you.


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