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‘The Good Wife’: Julianna Margulies Previews Alicia’s New Frenemy and Peter’s Campaign

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The Good Wife returns for its seventh season Sunday, and viewers will see an Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) they haven’t before. It’s clear from the exclusive video preview above that she has not (yet) accepted the offer to partner with Michael J. Fox’s Louis Canning, who continues to try to woo her.

“Alicia needs to make some money, and no law firm will hire her. So in the premiere, you see her go to bond court,” Margulies says. The welcome isn’t a warm one. “At first, [the other lawyers] are very hostile towards me. Everyone just assumes she’s too snobby. … The judge won’t even entertain the fact that she’s in the courtroom.”

Related: ‘The Good Wife’: Vanessa Williams to Recur as Love Interest for Eli

But then, another female lawyer, Lucca Quinn, played by new series regular Cush Jumbo, decides to play nice and teach her the ropes. “She has this incredible ease about her that I think Alicia wishes she had,” Margulies says. Jumbo describes the two as “frenemies,” but while they’ll have their ups-and-downs and trust issues, Lucca knows that Alicia isn’t cut out for the $135-a-case assembly-line bond court and could be an excellent mentor.

The preview also shows that Alicia’s daughter, Grace (Makenzie Vega), will serve as her unofficial assistant as she tries to start her own law firm in her home — and that Alicia’s relationship with Peter (Chris Noth) is as complicated as ever. Now the governor of Illinois, he’s about to enter the presidential race in the hopes of becoming Hillary Clinton’s pick for veep, which means he needs his dutiful wife by his side. “The campaign is hilarious because we have the fabulous Margo Martindale, who is playing Peter’s campaign manager,” Margulies says. “Eli Gold is playing Alicia’s campaign manager as First Lady.”

That could hint at why Eli (Alan Cumming) is seen yelling at Peter in the latest promo for the show’s Oct. 4 return, and why The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King told Yahoo TV that Martindale’s Ruth Eastman — seen in action in the preview — will have “a real battle” with Eli.

Related: 'The Good Wife’ Adds Peter Gallagher in a Recurring Role

“We really wanted him to have a challenge, a character who could stand up to him and be just as strong as he was,” Robert said. “There are probably a handful of people who work in TV that you could imagine going toe-to-toe with Alan Cumming and coming out the victor — and one was Margo Martindale. She also brings this great new comic and dramatic energy — kind of what she did with Justified. That character [Season 2’s Mags Bennett, which won Martindale an Emmy] was the most powerful character I’d seen on TV in a long time, and yet she always had one leg in the comic, too. So we’re getting some of that from Margo this year.”

P.S. For those wondering, Jeffrey Dean Morgan makes his debut as private investigator Jason Crouse in the season’s second episode, airing Oct. 11.

The Good Wife Season 7 premieres Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. on CBS.