Where we left off: Amy's brother, Vincent (Dan Futterman), was lying in the street unconscious or much worse, surrounded by licking flames; an old friend had just blown himself up in a nearby van. Amy (Amy Brenneman) was inside the courthouse, dealing with the possibility that this event was her fault (she had ruled against the man in a child-custody case).
The big news: Is it curtains for Vincent? "That's the one secret were keeping," says executive producer Barbara Hall. "If Vincent is dead or if he's not dead, there has been a huge tragedy in the family, which is going to affect everybody."
Love-o-meter: Will Amy find love or at least a night of passion anytime soon? "I think so, or she'll explode," says Brenneman. She won't say who the love interest will be, but the working relationship with court officer Bruce Van Exel (Richard T. Jones) "will percolate nicely." Maxine (Tyne Daly) has been having better luck: Her hot romance with Jared (Richard Crenna) is still on, despite his son's view of her as a gold digger.
Matt says: The biggest surprise hit of last season, Amy earns a positive judgment for giving the mature Maxine (wonderfully played by Daly) a thriving love life. Now its Amys turn.