For those awaiting Part 2 of our character study on Kalinda, it’s on its way in a week! In the meantime, please enjoy our five stages of grief about her departure.
Gemma: Wow. There is cheap, and then there is what just happened.
Rasha: OK, YES I HAVE SOME THINGS TO SAY. I just looked up the Kubler-Ross model of the stages of grief.
G: Well, sh*t.
R: Because I was definitely in DENIAL earlier this season, and only half-heartedly watching TGW because the reality of Kalinda’s departure had not sunk in.
Then you and I get to be ANGRY together every time we blog about this damn show.
G: (I am considering staying on ANGRY, for the record.)
R: (Well, most models admit that grief is not linear and we can experience more than one stage at once.) Eventually we started BARGAINING to have Kalinda in the Witness Protection Program or to get her own spinoff with Dylan as her apprentice. And while I am definitely back to ANGRY AS A M*THERF*CKER for how heavy-handed and ultimately empty that exit was, I am also feeling a hollowness inside that I may never see that character again. I haven’t felt this way since Ondaatje killed Alice in In The Skin of a Lion. I FEEL LOSS. DEEP, PROFOUND LOSS.
G: The last time I really mourned a character was Nate on Six Feet Under, and then EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE SHOW WAS WITH ME. This was rushed, and ludicrous, and inconsistent, and cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap.
R: The only character on TGW who knows how I feel is that hole in the apartment wall.
G: Seriously. And the show isn’t going to call Cary to account here, either. Because the merciless klutziness of his choices … wow.
R: That stupid white boy. I said last episode that he was sacrificing her by trying to sacrifice himself.
G: You did. So Cary triumphs in MARTYRDOME, and we are screwed.
R: I think this show doesn’t know how actually and infuriatingly accurate it is for a dude to think he’s saving any girl and thereby actually put her in more danger. Multiply that times infinite when it’s a white dude putting on a show for a woman of color.
G: No, the show doesn’t know, and that’s what makes this episode and this exit so alarmingly terrible. It’s trying to forgive or absolve Cary because he mourns and because he went through a lot at the beginning of the season.
R: And Alicia, don’t even. Margulies just tossed the damn letter on the counter.
G: Well, the small mercy is that they didn’t do a voiceover. But the utter repulsive tease of having Kalinda wait for Alicia in her house… And I’m sorry, every TV show ever, but WOULD PEOPLE PLEASE STOP LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHS AND BEING SAD??? It is hollow.
R: They had Kalinda playing guardian angel too much on the damn phone. Like she’s got to do her last good deed on earth and get Alicia and Diane back together. As soon as I saw her in that phenomenal blue jacket, I realized this was the last episode.
And then they played DEATH MUSIC over her kissing Cary, which actually, is not the kiss I care about. Again, WHERE IS LANA WHO COULD BE HELPFUL?
G: Oh, but Cary’s looooooove is truuuuuuuue, don’t you GET it?
R: Naw, actually I do not.
G: I can’t.
R: I do not get that. I am not and will not and refuse to get that.
He does not know that girl! You know, I will say this: in some ways, having her just pack and leave as she was about to do at the end of S3 is actually about right for who Kalinda was. But it’s a shame that the show didn’t take the promise of who Kalinda was on her way to growing into—in terms of accountability and connection to Alicia, really, who is the reason Kalinda stayed at the end of S3. I mean, it’s truer for her to leave now that there isn’t much to hold her character here.
R: There are some poor souls who are going to hold on for the chance that Kalinda might return in future seasons. I’m gonna tell y’all right now that is a false hope.
G: Archie Panjabi knows better.
R: Yes, she does.
G: I thought she’d be around another week or two. [ED: looks like she will be back.]
R: Yup. I didn’t realize until yesterday that there was an episode this week. It’s like they were trying to isolate this ep so that the end of the season wasn’t overshadowed by Kalinda’s departure.
G: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Gawd, I’m so pissed off.
R: You know what that conversation at the end with Peter and Alicia feels like, though? It feels like this could be the end of the whole damn show.
Is Alicia really going to write a book that we realize in a final episode is the basis for the show we’ve been watching the whole time. Will this be like some f*cked up How I Met Your Mother twistiness where we find out we’ve been watching the show based on Alicia’s book the whole time? IT WOULD MAKE SO MUCH MORE SENSE. ALICIA, YOU ARE A TERRIBLE WRITER. Also selfish.
G: Oh, ouch. I wanted to throw up as soon as he mentioned the book.
R: It’s like the circle of life.
G: It does not move us all.
R: You know what, TGW, if you’re going to try to have some kind of Shakespearean comedy of errors, give it more stakes. The Good Wife writers should start watching Empire and learn how it’s done.
G: You’re ultimately right about smugness. There’s this deep sense, for me, that the writers and producers have stopped working hard. Yes they have craft, yes they use parallelism, but they’re coasting on the respect they earned in the first three seasons. Yes, there was some brilliant craftsmanship in S5—the firm split, Will’s death—but there has never been any attempt, with Kalinda, to recover from the slovenliness of S4—and whether or not Margulies had you by the balls, you could do better. And we have lost Kalinda. So The Good Wife becomes a show about polarities, rather than what lies between, which was why Kalinda worked and why we all started watching in the first place.
R: Damn, you just threw that grenade out there. Yup, and boom. How did it happen that when storylines for Kalinda got worse, everyone else on the show simultaneously got stupider? That is not a coincidence.
G: Well, we will save some of this for the next character study, but in the metanarrative of the show, Kalinda is and always has been nuance. Kalinda undercuts gender dichotomies, sexuality dichotomies, racial dichotomies, and forces you to look to the overlaps and the margins. She always has.
R: Acting for a moment like I care, where does Alicia go from here?
G: I don’t even understand whether she could come back to the firm or not.
R: It seems like a clear no. Unless she murders Oliver Platt.
G: They can afford to lose Oliver Platt, he just appeared like four episodes ago. This show makes no sense.
R: The writing reads like a bunch of drunk 50-year-olds who keep changing the topic of conversation depending on what they want to pontificate about.
G: I still respect the craftsmanship, and I still want to be Diane Lockhart when I grow up.
But yes, they are exactly like that. And they have just marginalized one of the most iconic queer characters of color of all TV time.
R: We have 5 more minutes to talk about this ep. I am resisting going off on a Kalinda tangent that is perhaps better served in the character study.
G: We can leave it here. The producers certainly didn’t give their decisions any more time than this.
R: Damn, you on fire today.