Characters: The Good Wife
(An incomplete list) of characters to be found in the television series The Good Wife
Alicia Florrick (née Cavanaugh)
Played by: Julianna Margulies
The titular good wife
of the series. Formerly a litigation lawyer until she married Peter and had their kids. After Peter is involved in a public sex scandal and faces the threat of prison, she goes back to her former career to support herself and their children. After being away from the job so long she has to start as a junior and make her way up the ladder from scratch.
Played by: Chris Noth
Alicia's husband and former Illinois State Attorney who fell victim to a major sex scandal that triggered the plot of the series.
- The Atoner: Trying to make up for what he did both as a public, political figure and as a husband.
- Papa Wolf: Which makes goes well with Alicia's attitude towards their kids.
- Your Cheating Heart: Oh boy.
- Cheated on his wife with prostitutes pre-series;
- Covered up Kalinda's name change for sexual favors, pre-series;
- Suspected and averted with Marilyn Garbanzo in season 5;
- Suspected and double subverted with the intern in seasons 5-6. It wouldn't quite be cheating because he and Alicia are only together for appearances... then you find out he isn't sleeping with his intern, he's sleeping with her mother, and has been since before Grace was born.
Played by: Christine Baranski
Managing partner of Lockhart/Gardner
- Badass In Charge: Notable in that, like Will, Diane is a named partner of Lockhart/Gardner and a talented, tenacious lawyer, as opposed to many of the equity partners who are content to let lower-ranked members of the firm do their work and just collect a paycheck.
- Being Good Sucks
- Only Sane Man: Routinely has to be above it all when dealing with either the defendants or her coworkers. Because of this, it's allowed her to see Bond attempting to oust her, Will and Alicia willing, and Alicia, Cary, and the fourth years leaving to start their own firm. Also, given Will's own brushes with the wrong side of the courtroom, she serves as the voice of reason for when his ideas can cause problems for the firm, or for him.
- Opposites Attract: Dates ultra-conservative weapons expert Kurt McVeigh.
- Which leads to marriage, as of Season 5.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Will. To the point of platonically slow dancing.
- Specs of Awesome
Played by: Josh Charles
The other managing partner of Lockhart/Gardner and the partner who decided to take a chance on hiring Alicia after Peter's scandal, thanks in part to their ambiguous but important past friendship from law school.
- Amoral Attorney: Was one in the past, and still displays some signs.
- Hello, Attorney!
- Jerkass/Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold: Veers regularly between the two: Will can be vindictive, coldly calculating, and unapologetically manipulative. He also seems to have a soft spot for certain, emotionally-charged cases, is quite loyal to those he cares about (particularly Diane, Kalinda, and Alicia), and is, oddly enough, probably the biggest romantic on the show.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Diane.
- The Strategist: Has proven an unconventional brilliance when it comes to navigating the world of law.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Has apparently been in love with Alicia for the better part of two decades, but can never seem to get past their "bad timing."
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Alicia.
Played by: Archie Panjabi
A crack investigator with Lockhart/Gardner.
Played by: Matt Czuchry
Began the series as an associate at Lockhart/Gardner with Alicia, competing for one permanent slot. Eventually bounces around until finally striking out for professional independence.
A fixer employed by Peter Florrick to deal with the fallout from his sex scandal. Later his campaign manager and chief of staff.
- Adorkable: Whenever Natalie Flores is around.
- Berserk Button/Hair-Trigger Temper: "I hate AMATEURS!"
- Don't do anything to hurt Eli's campaign if you don't want him to spit coffee and throw books or strangle you.
- Homoerotic Subtext: While Eli is not gay, his actor, Alan Cumming, is openly bisexual, and has been married to a man since 2007.
- Informed Ability: Eli Gold is supposedly "the best" political manager in the business, but in early season 2 he misses huge problems or plays into a lot of serious screw-ups.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Might embrace the nastiest elements of politics to get himself and his candidate ahead, but also grows to genuinely care about a handful of people, most notably the Florrick family and Natalie Flores.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Pet the Dog: They start showing up right and left in season four. Respects Alicia's decision about the interview, snaps at the interviewer when she gets rude, shows deep guilt about prying into Alicia's private life and explicitly says that he's protecting Alicia, not just Peter, from malicious rumors.
Played by: Zach Grenier
Head of Family Law
Played by: Matthew Goode
An ASA who goes up against Will in court, only to find himself embedded in the politics and personal life of the main cast following a terrible tragedy.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Tries to stop the bleeding when Will is shot; failing that, holds and tries to comfort him until help arrives.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In a world full of Grey and Gray Morality, even among the "good guys," Finn definitely has the straightest moral compass, shying away from his "hero" image following the shooting and even quitting his ASA job upon discovering Castro's true intentions.
- Nice Guy: Genuinely kind, charming, funny, and warm, particularly towards Alicia.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Fills the leading-man gap left by the departure of Josh Charles, particularly in his evolving friendship with Alicia.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Season 6 really ramps this up between him and Alicia.
Peter's successor as Illinois State Attorney.
- Amoral Attorney: The closest person the show has to being this trope.
- Big Bad: The closest thing to one. At least for the first two seasons.
- The Rival: To Peter Florrick.
- Smug Snake
- Villain Decay: Glenn Childs went from rather cunning and vicious in Season One to fairly incompetent and even approaching Jerkass Woobie status in Season Two.
Played by: Steven Pasquale
An in-demand, blunt political advisor who becomes the campaign manager for a later State's Attorney race.
- Adorkable: Turns out that for all his quick thinking and strategic ruthlessness, when it comes to his feelings for Alicia, he turns into a stammering dork who can hardly meet her eyes.
- The Cynic: Starts out utterly utilitarian and cynical when questioning Alicia about motives for running, but gradually comes to truly believe in her.
Alicia: How do you know that I can do better things than Prady?
Johnny: Because I... I've talked with you, and been with you, and...I believe in you.
- Foil: To Eli. Both are political advisors/consultants working with a Florrick on a campaign, but Eli is immensely snarky and hot-tempered, while John tends towards a calmer, more thoughtful demeanor.
- Manipulative Bastard: A job requirement, though to a much lesser degree than Eli.
Wendy Scott Carr
Played by: Anika Noni Rose
Peter's opponent in the race for State Attorney in Season 2.