'The Good Wife' recap: Diane's feud with Alicia boils over

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Note: The following contains spoilers from "The Good Wife"

In another setback for their on-again, off-again friendship, Alicia Florrick's (Julianna Margulies) onetime mentor Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) becomes furious with her on Sunday's episode of "The Good Wife."

Things turn sour between the female attorneys after elderly Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler) asks Alicia to be his lawyer in an ageism lawsuit against the powerhouse firm of Lockhart, Agos & Lee. Howard believes Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) is trying to phase him out of the company because he's too old.

But Alicia bluntly tells him the truth: That he's lazy!

"You don't do anything, Howard," Alicia says, and although she refuses to represent him, she advises the old lawyer to work harder, bring more money into the firm, and keep notes of any perceived ageism.

Meanwhile, Howard romances Alicia's mother-in-law Jackie Florrick (Mary Beth Peil) after running into her at Alicia's apartment, and the two senior citizens wind up kissing on a dinner date.

Howard impresses his colleagues with a case and Cary comments, "Someone had a good nap," with the older attorney asking him to repeat the joke.

Diane, who is frustrated that a young female lawyer shows no interest in being mentored (as she mentored Alicia years before), suggests to the partners that they feed Alicia their overflow cases so she won't team up with their feared rival Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox).

Later, Diane visits Alicia in her humble apartment/legal office and offers to give her the firm's extra cases. A grateful Alicia confides to Diane that "it's been a bit of a struggle" being on her own.

But then, Diane's partner David Lee (Zach Grenier) overhears a phone conversation between Alicia and Howard that sounds as though Alicia is actually representing him against the firm.

He instantly tattles the news to Diane (although, in fact, Howard was telling Alicia he'd decided NOT to file suit). A furious Diane storms over to Alicia's home and accuses her of representing Howard just to try to get back at her for their past troubles.

Alicia tries to tell her it isn't what it seems—but a disappointed Diane charges, "You told him exactly what he needed to do to sue us."

While the women's relationship is again in tatters, Howard is flying high as Jackie gives him a contact that results in a $33 million dollar legal deal, stopping Lockhart, Agos & Lee from treating him as a second class citizen.

Also on the episode, Peter Florrick's campaign manager Ruth Eastman (Margo Martindale) comes up with a "family first" theme for his Presidential run and warns Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) that as Alicia's Chief of Staff, he must make the candidate's wife more visible.

She then forces Eli to work back in the Governor's office in a cramped closet- like space.

Eli decides to persuade Alicia and her mother Veronica (Stockard Channing) to get past their tense relationship and appear on a reality show called "Mama's Homespun Cooking."

But the show is a disaster as before they go on air, Alicia accuses her mother of drinking -- and once the cameras start rolling, they bicker instead of cook, with Veronica saying, "I stayed away for two years because you didn't call me."

While Eli is amused by the incident, Ruth is furious.

Sunday's episode also shows Alicia representing Roland Hlavin, a bond court client who got arrested for manufacturing GHB. All isn't as it seems, however, and Alicia finally discovers that Hlavin is working for the FBI.

At first, Alicia fears she's being set up by one of Peter's enemies, as Hlavin accuses her of suggesting that he commit perjury. But then, he makes it clear that Judge Don Schakowsky (Christopher McDonald) is his target—the FBI is trying to see if the judge will accept a bribe to dismiss his drug case.

If the judge rules to dismiss, the FBI will move in and arrest him, Hlavin tells Alicia.

After Alicia talks about her case to Eli, he goes behind her back to warn Judge Don of the corruption sting operation. The judge doesn't dismiss the case and tells Eli he owes him one for tipping him off.

Alicia's wily chief of staff replies to Don that he needs "a little help" with Democratic political boss Frank Landau as the episode ends.

"The Good Wife" airs Sundays on CBS.