The Good Wife's Emotional Punch to the Gut: Kalinda, Alicia and a Letter

Kalinda!!! What was in that letter?

By Chris Harnick Apr 27, 2015 2:07 AMTags
Julianna Margulies, The Good WifeJOJO WHILDEN©2015 CBS Broadcasting

Oh my Good Wife!!! That last scene. Take a minute and catch your breath because if you're anything like me you inadvertently held your breath the entire episode while sitting on the edge of your seat. No judgement here if a tear or two were shed.

OK, everybody good? Let's talk The Good Wife's "The Deconstruction."

Let's start at the beginning with that big role-reversal scene. Obviously you watch The Good Wife so you see the parallels between that scene and the scene from the very first episode when Peter gives his scandal press conference. Poetic and heartbreaking. "What do I do now?" she asked Peter. What does Alicia do now? Has her fate ever been so uncertain? Alicia went back to Florrick, Agos and Lockhart to discuss coming back to the firm. They welcomed her back and she breathed a sigh of relief—I did too, naturally—but of course it's never that easy, especially when David Lee is involved. A client called Alicia and told her Diane called him and said she wasn't coming back to the firm. This set off a series of chats and sneaking around and Alicia attempted to strike out on her own. After lots of scheming, Alicia and Diane confronted each other. I gasped. You gasped. Everybody gasped.

Diane: "Because you betrayed us."
Alicia: "No, Diane, because you betrayed me."
Diane: "Get out of here Alicia. Get out of here now."

Eventually, at the behest of Kalinda—yes, Kalinda called Alicia—Alicia and Diane made up. But it didn't last. To quote Heidi Klum, "One day you're in and the next you're out." R.D. (Oliver Platt) told Diane if Alicia's in, he's out. They couldn't let Alicia return to the firm. What is she supposed to do? Write a book according to Peter! "You can come back from this, I know it," he told her. Hey, she still has Colin Sweeney.

After she received the devastating blow, Alicia found a letter addressed to her. From Kalinda. What did it say? Something that made Alicia drop it and crumble in tears. (Here's where you cried too.) Kalinda?!?!! And now we need to rewind…

Justin Stephens/CBS

You'll recall Kalinda, Diane and Cary were all in a terrible predicament after Diane told the court she unknowingly presented evidence that Kalinda faked to get the drug charges against Cary dropped. The State's Attorney's office said if Diane turned on Lemond Bishop and gave evidence that would lead to his arrest, all charges would be dropped and everybody would live happily ever after…while fearing for their life while Bishop sought revenge. Cary told Geneva Pine he'd give her evidence. Kalinda told Geneva Pine she'd give evidence. Geneva Pine just wanted evidence. So Kalinda took a USB drive from one of Bishop's men and copied Bishop's hard drive (Here's where you shouted at the TV and said, "KALINDA WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!")…but she didn't eject it properly so Bishop saw somebody was on his computer!!! Bishop got arrested and his man became wise to what Kalinda did.

Bye, Kalinda. Even though Cary told Dexter he flipped, Kalinda ran. She's in the wind. But before she went, Kalinda called Alicia, filled her in on her exit package/return to the firm and urged her to make peace with Diane.  She also called Diane and had what sounded like a pretty final phone call. "I'm glad, life's too short to be mad," Kalinda told Diane. "I'll see you Diane…take care of yourself, OK?" (Here's where you teared up again.)

While Alicia and Diane were making amends, Kalinda went to Alicia's apartment…but she wasn't home!!! This was The Good Wife writers trolling the fans just a little bit, right? Ugh. She looked at Alicia's mantle and lingered on a photo of Alicia, Peter and the kids—obviously thinking of the hurt she caused and what the family has been through—and a photo she took of Alicia at the firm. So there was a Kalinda and Alicia scene…even though they clearly did not film that scene at the same time. She left a letter for Alicia with Grace and took off.

Even with no scene between Alicia and Kalinda, this episode packed an emotional punch. We've been with these characters for six years. Their pain was palpable. For viewers who  have seen the relationship between Alicia and Kalinda blossom, crash, level out and then disappear, this episode was heartbreaking. The story is not over, but the end is so near. We're finally getting a proper ending to a story that has been the backbone of the show. Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi put in two wonderful performances.

During all the other drama, Diane defended an elderly lady, Louise Nolfi (Phyllis Somerville) caught with drugs. There was commentary on mandatory minimum sentencing and Linda Lavin came back, but really, who was paying attention to this while so much turmoil was going on with the characters? But it was a Big C reunion of sorts with Somerville and Platt.

With only two episodes left, the stakes couldn't be higher and this episode was outstanding.

Gasp count: 3

Some other things:

"This is home, Alicia. Welcome home." — Diane before the nastiness.

Grace and Alicia watching To Kill a Mockingbird

"You can come back from this, I know it." — Peter to Alicia. And suddenly this is the first time I'm actually liking the dynamic between the two of them. Peter actually was there for Alicia.

The Good Wife airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on CBS.