Tag Archives: Kalinda Sharma

Letting it Go on The Good Wife

11 May

In The Good Wife finale Alicia talks about how losing the election finally allowed her the chance to let go of anger, jealousy and not caring about what other people think. The latter is not so set in stone as she spent part of the last episode wearing a hat as a way to go incognito and there are several things this week that point very much in the direction of caring. It is an important sentiment nonetheless as the impact of the election scandal has given Alicia the chance to reassess where she is with her career and how she feels about the scrutiny of being in the public eye.

The Good Wife  6.22 Alicia and PeterThe latter comes into play when Peter tells Alicia he is going to run for president – which is met with laughter from Alicia until she realizes he is being serious – not as a viable candidate for this position, instead vying for the veep spot. The big family conference about this has Zach reacting in the same way, but his chuckles are far friendlier towards his father with Grace taking on a more concerned approach while also asking the big question about this now pretend marriage. The camera lingers on Alicia as she takes in her daughter’s reaction noting how it instantly makes Grace uncomfortable. Peter points out they aren’t pretending as they are still married and yet Alicia is quick to acknowledge the charade.

This prompts her to pull Peter to one side telling him she can see through this whole thing; he has already decided and really this is all pomp and ceremony asking for approval from his wife and children. He claims otherwise so Alicia tells him she doesn’t approve of this run for political office as it is just inviting the press in once again (how many times is this now?) to tear them to shreds and put unnecessary pressure on their kids (and especially Grace).

The Good Wife 6.22 Alicia and KalindaOne thing Alicia does on multiple occasions is tell people how she really feels in a super calm fashion from Peter to Lemond Bishop’s lawyer Lester as he tries to intimidate her – Wallace Shawn is so terrific in this role – and we even get the big chat with Kalinda; in a bar and with the long ago tradition of tequila shots. I spoke about the leather clad elephant in the room last week and it is impossible to talk about this scene without mentioning how something seemed off and by off it has a certain Orphan Black quality in both the wide and over the camera angles. It sucks that a scene as important as this in a relationship that at one point was the heart of the show has come down to this and that behind the scene rumblings mean this whole moment was underscored with external distraction. Please Good Wife oral history fill us in on what really happened. I didn’t want to have to address this stuff again and yet it is impossible when the sight lines don’t quite match up. But I do want to discuss the sentiment of the scene because it is important to who these characters are/were.

Kalinda’s final season storyline has been all over the place with her involvement with Bishop as her exit arc. It has also been clear they have struggled with this character for some time now, dating back to the introduction of her awful ex Nick. Alicia has never really had that many friends as she tends to be pretty closed off and protective of herself. Some of this stems from how those closest to her turned their backs when the whole Peter scandal happened, but there have been some exceptions. These close relationships have included the romantic (Will, maybe Finn), ones that were for political strategizing (looking at you Maura Tierney), others have been hampered by romance (oh hey Amanda Peet) or have been more about work (Diane and Cary). With Kalinda it was different and Alicia let her guard down over shots of tequila in bars and drinking beer in bed; this makes the whole thing all the more bittersweet.

In this bar scene Alicia discusses how it is nice not to care since the scandal and ultimately how she misses spending time in bars with Kalinda. Kalinda also uses this moment to point out how their time together was the best she had and she messed it up. The way this is discussed is like exes coming back together to talk about the good times and where it went wrong; as I have mentioned on several occasions friendship breakups can be more devastating than romantic ones. With Alicia and Kalinda it was a double whammy as it involved a romantic betrayal of sorts and killed two relationships for Alicia. Even though they are sharing the same space I found the previous version of their goodbye to have a greater tear filled impact on me, maybe because there were less distractions present.

The Good Wife 6.22 KalindaSo long Kalinda, you deserved better. But you still look fantastic in leather and sunglasses. Make sure you take a baseball bat with you.

Alicia’s position of not caring about what other people think is put into question in relation to getting sucked back into the political sphere again with Peter’s presidential bid and the memoir commissioned as a way to soften Alicia’s public persona. The concern from Alicia is that she is being remade as a homemaker or rather as ‘the good wife’ and this is far from something she is comfortable or even a little okay with. Alicia is calm and steadfast in how she refuses to give Eli anything that he wants from her or wants her to be setting up one conflict for next season.

Another comes in the form of Alicia’s new firm and after Finn accepts her partnership offer he later recants after they have successfully won their first case together. They make an excellent team in court and over drinks; work is one thing but the sexual tension is too much and Finn can see something bad happening. By bad he means something very good, right? Okay he is being professional and he also happens to be trying things again with his ex-wife so spending this much time with Alicia in bars, alone in her car or at her apartment is maybe not the best way to aid this reconciliation or even start a professional partnership. But it still doesn’t stop me from yelling “KISS HIM” at the screen as he continually makes his excuses to go. I am only human after all. The back and forth between them has been pretty consistent and Finn references this when he explains why they can’t work together; hopefully Matthew Goode will be back next season to explore the notion of “not always do or don’t.”

The Good Wife 6.22 Alicia and FinnAlicia explains that she doesn’t want to work alone and she doesn’t have to as Louis Canning is there at the end to offer partnership; a partnership fueled by anger at Cary, Diane and David Lee because they fired his wife from their firm. Simone got a job by using her maiden name and while Diane is more than fine with her working there both Cary and David Lee raise concerns and their majority wins. In a heartbreaking scene Simone tearfully tries to get Diane to reconsider (she isn’t the issue) with “I did this on my own. This was me.” Simone like Alicia has a surname which comes with preconceived ideas.

In the finale Diane doesn’t really have a great deal to do except purse her lips in frustration at her partners. Hopefully there will be far more for her next year (same goes for Cary), but in the meantime here is one final Diane Lockhart costume parade for the season.

The Good Wife 6.22  Diane and CaryGiving good ‘what?!’ face with Cary in striking white and bold red lip color.

The Good Wife 6.22 DianeThe power necklace offers no support in her argument to keep Simone. Maybe stick to the chunky chain link ones in the future when fighting these kinds of battles.

The Good Wife 6.22 Diane LockhartExcellent lip color and jacket combination but none of this is helping against Louis Canning’s threats to pull this firm apart. I think Diane is regretting her partner choice.

All signs point to Canning teaming up with Alicia and considering how she left the firm she created there is a chance she will get on board with his scheme, except I can’t see her wanting to destroy either Cary or Diane. While this finale isn’t as strong as previous ones (and as the season was so all over the place it would have been very hard to deliver a slam dunk episode) it does do a good job of tying up the loose ends while also setting up conflicts for next year. Now the Kalinda storyline has been wrapped up we might get a more streamlined (maybe final) season as we continue the education of Alicia Florrick.

Going Back to Basics on The Good Wife

4 May

Alicia returned to court in “Don’t Fail” after spending her post election scandal days sharing a whole lot of nothing to help her ghost writer with the structure of her memoir while waiting for 5 o’clock to hit so she could crack open a bottle of wine. An old case (one we have not seen before from Alicia and Cary’s first year at the firm is the shot in the arm Alicia needs to re-evaluate exactly what she wants to do with her career now that her political one is in tatters. If the election was intended to get Alicia into this position it is a shame that it took most of the season to get here and really Alicia’s doubts about her profession started just after Will died.

What the law means, whether it is good or bad are some of the preoccupations of this episode and of The Good Wife in general and “Don’t Fail” looks back to the past to inform the present. The Alicia on the tapes is different to the Alicia listening to them, but there are plenty of similarities between the person she was then and who she now is; scandal is still dominating her life.

The Good Wife 6.21On the 2009 tapes the Peter comments are still rife, but even in the present day Peter’s indiscretions get the same amount of attention as her own recent issues at the polls. Aya Cash guest stars as a new lawyer Amber (much to my delight) and not only is Amber a massive fan, but her mother loves how she stood by her husband. This echoes the Lexi tape from the investigation as she also mentions how cool it is that Alicia is standing by Peter. The past and the present are forever entwined with matching opinions. Matan even puts in a Peter reference as a dig rather than a compliment and he essentially pushes Alicia into taking the case with these suggestive taunts. Much in the same way Castro needled Alicia enough into starting the whole SA race in the first place and this is pretty much the equivalent of calling Marty McFly a chicken; Alicia will not back down after a moment like this.

The Good Wife 6.21 Finn and AliciaAlicia’s scandal is very PG in comparison to her husband’s and as Finn points out in the grand scheme of things “you’re not that important.” Prostitutes and jail time is far more likely to stick in the minds of the public so just ignore the stink eye the dude in hardware store is giving you Alicia. Maybe he just doesn’t like your terrible hat. Finn is the drinking buddy everyone needs as he is the voice of reason and super dreamy to boot. He also happens to stop by court at the exact right time to realize he has the piece of information that could stop this case from going to trial. In this instance he takes on the magical case solving unicorn role Kalinda inhabited on a weekly basis so it makes complete sense that Alicia would name Kalinda as her source. And she makes the perfect patsy since she has now left the jurisdiction. For Finn, Alicia extends an offer; sadly it is only business related and that sound you hear is me yelling KISS HIM and then realizing this is going to be unlikely if they start a firm together. Finn doesn’t give an answer to Alicia’s offer and while it would put a dampener on any romantic action, they do work well together.

The Good Wife 6.21 Alicia and Cary“Don’t Fail” also reminds of us of the era in which Cary and Alicia didn’t really like each other all that much, no I’m not talking about now but when they were in competition with each other during the first season. A lot has changed since then with several different jobs and plenty of contentious moments in-between; however despite recent events their bond is still strong. Cary is at first dismissive and slightly hostile over the phone giving Alicia ample opportunity to flex her already incredible eye rolling skills, but later on things soften between the pair over wine and memories. Cary brings evidence files to Alicia’s apartment; files she hasn’t seen before as they used her line of defense the first time they tackled this case. Kalinda’s departure comes up and there is so much history here that no matter how much shit has gone on between them there is still a strong sense of compassion with an appropriate amount of arm squeezing.

Experience is one thread that binds the episode from how Alicia is a seasoned veteran of the political scandal circuit to how much better they are as lawyers. On the other end there is this idea of being completely green to a situation so while Alicia is used to scrutiny it is new for her to be the one front and center of accusations. In court Alicia is commanding and dominant; it is like she has come home and it is glorious to see her in full lawyer mode where as Amber plays the role of novice as she stammers and finds it hard to have her voice heard over Matan. At the end of the episode Amber says she wants to learn from you and Alicia is pretty friendly but firm when she tells her “no you don’t.” Alicia isn’t one for mentoring and yet I would be more than happy to see Amber return and be part of the potential new firm (as long as it doesn’t interfere with You’re the Worst).

Alicia misses “looking at the law as something good” as now she sees it as being neutral. Her idealism has been tainted along the way as she pretty much lives in the murky grey; has she compromised herself too much? Can a new firm reignite her passion as it does in this episode? I am pretty excited to find out and hopefully The Good Wife can get over this messy bump of a season to deliver an excellent and quite possibly final outing next year.

The Good Wife 6.21 Alicia and KalindaLet’s talk about the leather clad elephant in the room and the way this episode meshes memory pops with flashbacks using the taped conversations is the usual high standard when playing with narrative devices. Until we get to Kalinda and as with most things Kalinda related this season it has been effected by whatever is going on behind the scenes. First of all the flash of Alicia and Kalinda drinking and in the same shot is not a new scene filmed for this episode. Instead it comes from “Hybristophilia” and Alicia’s celebration drinks with Kalinda after she won the competition against Cary in season 1. This scene is pretty much burned into my brain so when that brief shot flashed up it was instantly recognizable. Later on we do get a brand new Kalinda and Alicia scene where they are in the same room, but not really as their coverage could have been filmed at different times and I wouldn’t bring up the behind the scenes ‘whatever’ except it is incredibly distracting. And this certainly doesn’t make up for Kalinda’s departure last week, but there is still one more outing and one more chance for satisfying closure. Don’t fuck this up show.

That’s the meat of the episode as we see Alicia regaining her confidence after such a huge professional setback by taking on a case which reminds her why she loves this job and at the same time it gives us the chance to bask in nostalgia with both the flashbacks and seeing Alicia in court. Last week I offered up a Diane Lockhart jacket picture parade as a way to make up for the sadness; this week’s general picture offerings are here so we can soak up the joy of this episode. And it is only appropriate that I start with Diane.

The Good Wife 6.21 DianeDiane only shows up via 2009 and her brooch collection was just as strong back then.

The Good Wife 6.21 Cary and Alicia flashbackFlashing back to 2009 means revisiting this Cary haircut or at least the approximation of this haircut. Their coat game is excellent.

The Good Wife 6.21 AmberSpeaking of fantastic outerwear as Amber’s blue coat is both striking and matches Alicia’s scarf (this is me taking it as a sign that they should definitely work together again). In the present day this is one of the only instances where Alicia wears bold color as she is in mostly black and dark purple in court in an attempt to blend in rather opting for the red which symbolizes her confidence.

The Good Wife 6.21Most accurate representation of what I would look like in this moment. Also in terms of Amber’s court costuming all of her outfits look slightly off with either jackets that age her up far too much or polka dots which are too distracting. It makes sense that a novice lawyer would not necessarily have it all put together in this department yet and Alicia’s s style has definitely evolved over the last six years.

The Good Wife 6.21 hoodieThe hoodie of sudden crying makes an appearance as part of Alicia’s restless wardrobe. This gets ditched for a nice cream sweater later on when she is more settled with her career plan.

The Good Wife 6.21 new officeA plan which involves a new home office. Hope you like a door for a bed, Zach.

The Good Wife 6.21 ZachSpeaking of Zach and some costume continuity as this striped top is also what he is wearing in “Hybristophilia” so this is a pretty good memory of what Zach wore around that time (he has a different color long sleeve tee underneath in that episode).

Next week is the season finale and if it manages to deliver the same quality and narrative development then maybe the election storyline will have served some purpose.  Oh and hopefully Kalinda will make one final appearance.

 

Misunderstandings, Heartbreak and a Diane Lockhart Jacket Parade on The Good Wife

27 Apr

The Good Wife has a tendency to swing left when you expected it to zig right and while this season has been on the messy side at times, I can certainly say I did not expect to be left with Alicia in a crumpled heap with just two episodes to go. The Saint Alicia brand has been destroyed by the election scandal and she is now out of a job at the firm she helped start in the heart of her home. “The Deconstruction” also features the apparent departure of Kalinda and despite a lumpy final story for her I was left in a teary mess by her silent goodbye to Alicia. This is not the farewell Kalinda deserved after several seasons of storyline limbo and it is disappointing to not get a face to face encounter between long ago confidants. To try and make up for the lack of Alicia/Kalinda shared screen time there will be a Diane Lockhart jacket parade at the end because there are plenty of marvels on display.

The Good Wife 6.20 AliciaMemory pop of the week belongs to Kalinda surveying Alicia’s collection of photos on the mantel; most are of family and the pain of seeing Peter and everything that represents is still strong. A happier memory comes in the form of Alicia holding up a handwritten sign of her own and it is a photo Kalinda took. Considering Stern is still in the title of the firm it must be from season one and a time when Kalinda and Alicia were super close. Regardless of whatever has or has not been going on behind the scenes the loss of the Alicia/Kalinda friendship comes with the same feelings as a romantic breakup and the Kings have repeatedly asserted the betrayal is so strong they could never go back to being the tequila drinking buddies they once were. Instead what we are left with is a hoodie and jean wearing Alicia reading Kalinda’s goodbye note and responding as if she has been sucker punched. As far as outfits go it isn’t the sadness sweats and yet it is unlike Alicia’s typical polished appearance.

The Good Wife 6.20 KalindaMy tears flowed freely when Kalinda left Alicia’s apartment without seeing her former friend followed by Alicia’s gut punch reaction to whatever Kalinda wrote in her note – Kalinda’s amazing stationary game is one of my favorite things about her – and this is in part a reaction to the overall loss of this friendship even if the initial event took place forever ago.

When it was announced that Archie Panjabi would be leaving at the end of this season I wrote about why this made sense for Panjabi as the writers have been finding it hard to utilize her beyond her magical unicorn case solving ways (she does this in this episode too). I also discussed the Alicia/Kalinda dynamic and this show has been at its most sob worthy (aside from the obvious devastation last season) when this pair have been involved. Kalinda’s elevator breakdown stands out as one of these moments and even though Kalinda’s departure has been common knowledge/they haven’t killed her off I am still left feeling super shitty about it. Part of this is down to her lack of agency in the clusterfuck of a storyline she has been involved in as she became a glorified babysitter and pawn in a much bigger game. All of the sighs.

There is some Cary and Kalinda stuff going on as he tries to take the fall for her; instead he just clues Dexter in on what Kalinda had done with the pen drive. It’s not your fault Cary, but the white knight routine was never going to work here. They get a goodbye and to be honest I was far more emotionally affected by Kalinda’s phone call farewell to Diane and her non-goodbye to Alicia. Sorry, Cary.

At the firm which has a new, new name – it is hard to keep up but now they are Lockhart, Agos & Lee – there is a whole lot of misunderstandings going on with Alicia coming back. Diane and Cary want Alicia back and Alicia wants to come back; instead we end up with an episode of them thinking the other is stabbing them in the back. If they took a moment to actually talk to each other then it would all get sorted out very quickly, instead they all play a game of ‘secure the clients’ with David Lee taking the helm. There’s an upsetting “how dare you” moment between Diane and Alicia with me crying out for more martini drinking between these amazing ladies (there is a friendship drinking theme).

Kalinda plays mediator pointing out the mix-up to both sides and even though everything gets resolved Alicia still ends up on the outs and with no clients. This is thanks to Oliver Platt’s RD sticking his oar in pointing out what a joke the Florrick name is as a result of yet another scandal. It is a little disconcerting seeing Diane put so much faith in RD’s opinion, but he does bring a whole lot of money to the firm. Maybe now Finn can get a decent exit package for Alicia.

The Good Wife 6.20 kitchenRed wine drinking has mostly been a solo experience for Alicia swilling a goblet in the kitchen of her apartment. Since the election scandal Peter has joined her making it a much more social experience showing how far Peter and Alicia have come; the constant bickering and backbiting has ceased and this is the first huge press conference where they are united both in front of the cameras and behind them. There is nothing romantic between them at the moment and Alicia ruled that out a few weeks ago, however this scandal has brought them together rather than tearing them apart as the one that started the show did. Peter is an expert in how to deal with negative press and he suggests she writes a book. As long as it is better quality than those emails then I would read it.

Alicia likes order and now she is completely untethered; earlier she asks “What do I do now?” and this question still presents itself at the end of the episode. The book idea is fine and yet this doesn’t feel very Alicia; the uncertainty about where we will be when season six comes to a close is exciting, but I also don’t feel as confidant as I have been with The Good Wife in the past. This year has been ambitious and yet it has also stumbled along the way. So as a way to break the tension here is the Diane Lockhart jacket parade as promised.

The Good Wife 6.20 Diane jacketThe zips! That ring! Diane means business.

The Good Wife 6.20 Diane statementNot a good sign when your statement necklace blends in with your jacket. The statement is lost and this is when the initial Alicia misunderstanding takes place. That lipstick choice is A+ though.

The Good Wife 6.20 purpleToning it down in deep purple for a visit to Joy, the court appointed officer but you can’t hide a chain necklace that big.

The Good Wife 6.20 gold jacquardAnd back to Diane Lockhart power jacket choice in gold jacquard. No statement necklace or brooch in sight so Diane is not completely on top of her game.

The Good Wife 6.20 black jacketLater on when Diane returns to see Joy she once again completely tones it down covering her bold gold with a black coat, but you can still see it peaking out the top.

The Good Wife 6.20 double chainAnother gold patterned jacket and a double chain necklace which feels like it is part of this jacket rather than blending in, as the chain necklace did earlier on when she was stumbling a little. There is also something a little 70s sci-fi space admiral about this whole ensemble and I’m digging it. Diane got a win for her client and while she failed in the Alicia department her relationship with Alicia remains intact.

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