'The Good Wife': A Look Back at the Many Lives of Lockhart/Gardner

THE GOOD WIFE -Verdict -Julianna Margulies-H 2016
Jeff Neumann/CBS

Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has come a long way since the first season of The Good Wife, and so has her place of employment. Thanks to in-fighting, exodus and mergers galore, the name of the firm at the center of the legal drama has fluctuated almost as much as Alicia and Peter's relationship status. So it's no surprise that with the end in sight, the firm appears to be readying another overhaul with Diane's recent attempt to woo Alicia for a female-led firm. As the team prepares for another regime change, and as viewers brace for the May 8 series finale, THR looks back at the many lives, and names, of Lockhart/Gardner.

Stern, Lockhart & Gardner (-2010)

When The Good Wife began, Jonas Stern (Kevin Conway) was nowhere to be seen. The most senior partner was on a year-long sabbatical when he suddenly was charged with a DUI and Alicia was tapped to represent him. During the process of the trial, she discovered he was privately dealing with Dementia. He invoked attorney-client privilege to keep her from telling fellow partners Will (Josh Charles) and Diane (Christine Baranski), and after she got the charges cleared against him, Jonas left and started his own firm — taking a third of the staff with him.

Lockhart/Gardner (2010-2010)

After Stern left, Diane and Will were forced to contend with major budget cuts and subsequently turned against each other, as their ideas about how to get by grew further and further apart. Those budgets cuts also precluded the duo from keeping both Alicia and Cary (Matt Czuchry) on as junior associates. Alicia, after convincing Eli (Alan Cumming) to come on board as a client, got the job, and Cary went to work for the State's Attorney.

Lockhart/Gardner & Bond (2010-2011)

At the beginning of season two, Diane and Will found their saving grace in the form of Derrick Bond (Michael Ealy), an old friend of Will's from his Baltimore days. Derrick conspired with Will to take out Diane — who spent much of season two aligned with David Lee (Zach Grenier) and Julius Cain (Michael Boatman) — but Will ultimately changed his mind and instead, Derrick was voted out. However, Derrick is probably best remembered for bringing in a second investigator, Blake Calamar (Scott Porter), who uncovered Kalinda's (Archie Panjabi) previous identity and her rendezvous with Peter (Chris Noth) — the latter a revelation which ruined Alicia and Kalinda's friendship forever.

Lockhart & Associates (2011-2011)

After going back to LG for the first half of season three, Gardner was temporarily removed when Will was suspended for six months by the bar association for borrowing $45,000 from a client 15 years ago (even though he paid the client back). Lesson learned: Don't sleep with the state's attorney's wife. This was during the brief time when Eli (Alan Cumming) operated his crisis management company out of the firm  — remember the videos of cute kids throwing up cheese? 

Lockhart/Lyman (2011-2011)

Eli found himself knee-deep in office politics during Will's suspension. Although Eli has always excelled at actual politics, his fight for power within LG was far less fruitful. Although he aligned with Julius against David and publicly supported the former to take over Will's spot as a name partner, Will and Diane went in a very different, and surprising direction in order to ensure that Will would be able to return as a name partner after his suspension. Will instead suggested the lawyer with the most seniority replace him, which was none other than Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler). Best known for his midday naps, bad hearing and disdain for wearing pants, Howard was the perfect lame duck. It was also during this brief time that Diane brought Cary back into the firm after he had been promoted, and then demoted, at the State's Attorney office under Peter (Chris Noth).

Lockhart/Gardner (2011-2013)

The third coming of LG was fraught by financial woes… again. With more than $60 million in debt, a judge allowed Diane and Will to reorganize but also assigned a trustee (Nathan Lane's Clarke Hayden) to make sure they were managing the money right. Although David tried to leave the firm during this time, he stayed when he learned the small amount of money he would get out as a buyout. Instead, he convinced Will and Diane to extend partnerships to a number of fourth year associates, including Alicia and Cary, in order to get more money, and then convinced management to rescind said offers, except for Alicia's, when the firm was back in the black. Several months later, in season five, Alicia and Cary then used that to their advantage when they left to form their own firm, Florrick/Agos, and took many of those disgruntled fourth year associates with them.

Lockhart/Gardner & Canning (2013-2014)

After spending months bickering over clients and cases, the war between Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner ended the minute Alicia got the call about Will's death. Alicia and Diane not only mended fences, they cried on each other's shoulders and drank midday post-funeral martinis together. Enter, Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) who, after buying Jonas Stern's firm following his death in season two, came onboard as Diane's partner in season five. (So technically, this kind of marked a return to the original trio, except while Stern did everything he could to hide his illness, Canning did everything he could to showcase and subsequently exploit his own health issues.) It did not take long for Diane and Canning to butt heads, which led to…

Florrick/Agos & Lockhart (2013-2014)

Diane leaving at the beginning of season six to join forces with Alicia and Cary. Although Cary was firmly against it, he had little say in the matter after he was arrested in the season six premiere and spent a good chunk of first half of the season behind bars. Oddly enough, Diane's old firm also kept her name (and even more strangely, that of the long-gone Will) and so when Diane tried to get her new partners to abandon their digs at the "trendy" former t-shirt factory, she was forced to evict her old partners. However, when Diane, Cary and Alicia moved back into their old digs, the space was too big and Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode) moved in, renting office space to start his own much smaller firm after leaving the State's Attorney office.

Lockhart/Agos & Lee (2015-2016)

When Alicia, briefly, was named State's Attorney in season six, her name had to be removed from the letterhead at the firm. After years of throwing his weight around as the head of family law, and after leaving an ailing Canning to join the firm several episodes earlier, it was David Lee who finally got bumped up to a name partner. Alicia soon had to resign her office amidst scandal, and found herself starting over at the top of season seven as a bond attorney. Eventually, she joined forces with another bond attorney, Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) to launch a small firm out of Alicia's apartment. Midway through season seven, the two joined Lockhart/Agos & Lee.

The future?

Cary quit several weeks ago, but since Alicia and Diane had their hands full with their respective husbands, as well as an NSA case in Canada, it remains unclear if the firm's name has already been changed, or will be changed to just Lockhart & Lee. The most likely switch will likely involve Alicia, whom Diane has been courting for a female-led firm. If the photo above from the penultimate episode of the series is any indication, yet another new sign is on the way. Thankfully, such alterations are now officially old hat for Diane, Alicia & Co. Maybe at this point they're even entitled to a discount on new business cards at Staples?

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS.