'The Good Wife' season premiere review

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THE SHOW "The Good Wife"

WHEN | WHERE Season premiere Sunday night at 9 p.m. on CBS/2

WHAT IT'S ABOUT In a darkened room, Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) sits, waiting . . . for what, or whom? Her gun is at her side. Suddenly comes a knock at the door, which opens slowly and then . . . Seriously, you actually think I'm going to tell you? The fourth season begins as the third season ended -- with Kalinda in trouble, and a massive part of her hidden back story about to be revealed.

Also in deep trouble: Lockhart Gardner, which is $60 million in debt and seeking relief from its creditors, one of whom now happens to be partner David Lee (Zach Grenier), who can't wait to take his money and run. Desperate times call for desperate measures, or at the very least, a lowering of standards.

A strange new client walks in the door. As long as his money is good, Diane (Christine Baranski) and Will (Josh Charles) don't worry too much about his past. Meanwhile, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is driving with the kids back from Washington, D.C., where son Zach (Graham Phillips) has been looking at colleges. Zach's behind the wheel when he's pulled over by a police officer. Why? You can be certain that Peter Florrick's (Chris Noth) gubernatorial race will ultimately have an impact on this seemingly routine traffic stop.

MY SAY There are many pleasures Sunday night, and a partial list -- of necessity, obtuse -- hints at just some of them: An elevator . . . dogs . . . iPhones . . . social media . . . and YouTube. They all push along a sinuous plotline that only begins to offer clues where the fourth season is going, namely Alicia's growing involvement with Peter's campaign, and further reveals about Kalinda's dark and stormy past. Two newcomers arrive tomorrow night as well, although the TV reporter played by Kristin Chenoweth will not be around long. (Chenoweth was injured in a freak accident on set over the summer and has since left.)

The other is Nathan Lane. His character is a trustee appointed by the court to help Lockhart Gardner restructure its debt. Fair to say you've never seen Lane in this kind of role before. Ever.

BOTTOM LINE Fun, wild start to the fourth season -- and that's just Kalinda's story.

GRADE B+

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