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Moment of Goodness

It’s Complicated: Kalinda Decides to Stay, The Good Wife “Getting Off” 

Photo Credit: CBS

Welcome to a new column we’ve started called, “It’s Complicated.” There are so many moments in our favorite shows where something happens that complicates things. In fact, it happens all the time. But this column will focus on that thing – big or small – that could set the trajectory of the show on a new path. We’ll discuss what we think it means and how it may change the show. What better way to kick this new feature off than with The Good Wife? We’re going to spend some time discussing what it means for Alicia, for Will, and for Peter that Kalinda has decided to stay at Lockhart Gardner.

Alicia and Kalinda are besties no more – at least for now. I didn’t cry when the inevitable breakup came but I was so sad. Part of me feels like I can argue both sides. In fact, let’s do that right now:

Alicia has every right to be furious with Kalinda. Kalinda was someone Alicia felt she could trust completely. Alicia let her guard down and Kalinda knows what she went through in trying to forgive Peter for his infidelity. Kalinda was the first person Alicia connected with “out in the real world” after she was thrust into the spotlight by Peter’s bad behavior. There was a level of trust and comfort there that it might be impossible to get back. I get why Alicia feels so betrayed by Kalinda and I get why Alicia feels she can’t forgive her.

Kalinda should be allowed to defend herself. We know what Alicia’s friendship means to Kalinda and we saw how devastated she was after Alicia kicked her out of her office. I didn’t expect tears and I have to admit I was really moved by them. Kalinda slept with Peter before she even knew who Alicia was. Yes, it was still wrong but Kalinda admitted that it meant nothing to her. I know that doesn’t make it right but Alicia knows what kind of person Kalinda is, and she’s known that for almost as long as they’ve been friends. It’s just not as black and white as Alicia is making it.

Putting all that aside, I’m still on Alicia’s side. Someone – either Peter or Kalinda – should have come forward to admit their affair. They both know what kind of person Alicia is. Even if they thought they could keep it a secret, they both should’ve known how she was going to react to this news. I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too because this really was an impossible situation. With both choices – either telling Alicia or not telling Alicia – they were screwed. I do think both Kalinda and Peter would have preferred that this secret go to the grave with them. It would have made things easier for everyone. Way less exciting, but easier.

Even though Kalinda looked for and got a new job, I’m so happy she’s staying at Lockhart Gardner. I feel like by being in the same physical space she and Alicia will have to come to terms with each other. Now that Kalinda has explained herself, I think she’s done explaining and apologizing. Did you see her face at the end of the episode when she sat down across from Alicia? It was defiant. I have to admit that I loved that.

So what does Kalinda staying mean for Alicia, Peter, and Will? Let’s start with the obvious. Kalinda still has Alicia’s back, whether or not Alicia knows it. Who told Will Alicia has separated from Peter? Kalinda. Who still wants to see Alicia happy? Kalinda. Kalinda knows what Alicia really wants and she’s still going to try to help her get it. Even if Alicia finds out Kalinda talked to Will, Kalinda didn’t really say that much to him. Will’s response to the news of Alicia’s separation was very interesting though. He didn’t even mention Tammy’s name. We’ll see how that plays out in next week’s episode.

Kalinda’s ultimate act of loyalty was turning down that other job. She can’t possiblity work for Peter – in any capacity – and expect to salvage any kind of relationship with Alicia. If Alicia ever finds out about that, I hope she realizes what that action cost Kalinda.

Kalinda and Alicia have to find a way to work together. I don’t think I can really imagine Alicia giving Kalinda an inch, but I can see Kalinda taking it. I want Kalinda to worm her way back in and I think she can do that by playing Alicia’s game. I’m not saying Alicia is actually playing any games. She wants no part of Kalinda and she’s very direct about that. But by doing her job and not backing down, I think Alicia might come to respect Kalinda again. We’ll see. In the meantime, I think some uncomfortable scenes between Kalinda and Alicia can be expected. Exciting! I kind of want to see these two women go toe to toe (but without any more metaphorical bloodshed).

I don’t know if we’re going to see Peter again before season three but Jackie is certainly advocating for her son. I wonder what she meant by that comment to Alicia. What does Jackie thinks she knows? What does Peter think he knows? Remember when Peter found that condom in season one? We know he thought it was Alicia’s (when it actually belonged to Zack). And even if Peter thinks Alicia’s been unfaithful, he still can’t claim the high ground. Maybe they’re both in the wrong. I would argue that Alica has been having an emotional affair with Will off and on since season one. Will’s presence in Alicia’s life has certainly made her think about physically cheating but she’s never gone through with it. Part of me wants her to. Part of me wants Peter to continue fighting for Alicia but he needs to step up his game because it’s going to take a lot to win her back again. I think the best thing he could do is get Jackie to stand down. She is so good at stirring the pot though.

So how will all this change the show? With every new exciting and surprising delveopment, I feel like this becomes a fuller, more complex and satifsying show. The constant – Alicia – has been affected by this complication the most so going foward I think Alicia will do whatever she needs to do to protect herself. She’ll be brutal and unforgiving to the people who have wronged her. I just hope Will doesn’t get on her bad side. I think that’s the change we’ll see in this world.

Ok, clearly I could keep writing about this but I gotta save something for next week’s finale. Did you see the sneak preview? Wow. I want to see that finale now. Right now.

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