The Good Wife Finale: EPs Preview a 'Satisfying' Last Call for Kalinda, Tease Alicia's 'Next Chapter'

Kalinda Leaving Good Wife

Kalinda Sharma isn’t the only character who’s not returning to The Good Wife in Season 7.

“St. Alicia” — the rose-hewed public persona of Illinois’ first lady and recently disgraced State’s Attorney candidate Alicia Florrick — has disappeared without a trace heading into the show’s Season 6 finale (Sunday, 9/8c on CBS), say showrunners Robert and Michelle King.

“We knew the [season’s] first 13 episodes would be about Alicia being dragged into politics, but what we really wanted to show was the disparity between Alicia’s image of herself and the fictional public’s image of her. Those were so far apart,” explains Robert King. “The people thought of her as St. Alicia, but she knew that she’d had an affair with Will and had all these other things going on. We needed to use the political sphere to break that image.”

With only an hour left in the season, he adds, Alicia “has nothing left, in a way. She doesn’t even have people considering her saintly. We wanted to get there, and we couldn’t if she only remained a lawyer. And that’s why we wanted to do the political thing.”

Michelle King says the show’s writing staff knew from the start of Season 6 that “that was the outcome we were racing toward. It was fun to watch Alicia reluctantly get into politics, think it was a triumph for her, and then at the end wind up being so utterly humiliated — a little bit by what she’s done, but ultimately, she’s a victim. She had nothing to do with what the [Democratic] party finally decided, with them taking [her elected office] away from her.”

TVLine caught up with the husband-and-wife team to find out details of the final scene between Mere Mortal Alicia and Kalinda (and whether they’ll physically interact), the Season 7 arcs they wish they’d had more time to explore and the possibility of a cliffhanger at the end of the finale.

TVLINE | Let’s start with Kalinda: You said in a recent interview that Archie Panjabi will be back for the finale — and that you’ll be answering a lot more questions about her character. That said, she bid her farewells (in enigmatic Kalinda fashion, of course) and sneaked out of town in “The Deconstruction.” Why not leave it there? Why have her back?
Robert King: We didn’t have the element of surprise we had with Josh Charles — where there was a real shock associated with it, except for [TVLine], thanks very much! [Laughs] What we wanted to do was have the surprise in that [Kalinda’s goodbye] wasn’t the last episode — and then have the feeling Cary does coming off of that: “Really, is that it? Is that my goodbye?” We obviously knew we had Archie ’til the end of the year — and she was excited to do more — so we wanted to have these little encores. [Laughs] It’s not wrong to be disappointed by the abruptness of Kalinda leaving in Episode 20 because we knew we had these two little encores. And again, it’s playing with form — so people are thrown a little bit by the moves. And by the way, this was instinctual. We didn’t really have a plan. At one point we were thinking, “wouldn’t it be fun if we ended Kalinda’s story much earlier than everyone [expected]?” But then stories came out of that, and this is the one that felt like it would be the most satisfying in the long run to fans.

A Material WorldTVLINE | What kinds of questions about Kalinda will be answered— and might one of them be the contents of her note to Alicia?
Robert King: Other than the note to Alicia, what Alicia and Kalinda think of each other now that they’ve all been humbled by the experience of the last six years. They had a breakup, essentially, at the end of Season 2. What they feel about all that has happened, I would say. We have Wallace Shawn for this last episode, as Bishop’s fixer-lawyer Charles Lester. There will be issues he raises that only Kalinda can answer. Is Kalinda’s life in danger? Questions like that are in the mix.

TVLINE | At least half the comments on my recap of last Sunday’s episode, “Don’t Fail,” were from fans expressing frustration that the flashback bar scene between Kalinda and Alicia was shot in a way where it wasn’t clear that Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi were in each other’s physical presence. How would you respond to that frustration?
Robert King: That was intentional. [Laughs raucously.] I mean, we’re sorry, we’re kind of having fun. We don’t want to frustrate fans, but we also want it to be one whole experience over the course of the year. Look, part of it was that when Alicia imagines things, usually that is [a] two-camera [setup]. We’ve had these Ferris Bueller-like scenes where people talk directly to the camera — and that is supposed to suggest we’re in Alicia’s imagination. But I think — and I will put my emphasis on “I think” — fans will be satisfied once they see the last episode. And I know it’s hard to see a continuum — it’s not like Transparent or House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black, where you can race from episode to episode. And we’re trying to use that as a strength of the show, that there’s a little bit of anticipation, at least for hardcore fans, between episodes. Otherwise, I don’t think we’d be having this conversation. If you could download them all and watch them at once, we’d be having one conversation: What was the point of the whole year?

TVLINE | Speaking of that, looking back at the season as a whole — what arc are you happiest with?
Robert King:
I’ll start with character and then move to a theme. I’m happiest with the character development from Cary’s arrest leading into Kalinda’s accidental faking of evidence into Kalinda having to leave. There’s a strong through-line from one to the other. The only way you can handle a 22-episode season is to tell one story in the beginning of the season, and then a second story in the latter half. What I like is that one flowed right into the other — one caused the other.

I also liked the idea, thematically, of using movie-making and editing to tell a lying narrative about someone’s life. I very much like how that got developed through the year — through the various editing rooms we’ve seen. I’d like to play with that even more.

TVLINE | Was there any arc this season you weren’t as happy with — that you wish you had time to tweak or that you want to revisit in Season 7?
Michelle King: I had some unhappiness as a result of too much happiness — because David Hyde Pierce was so wonderful [as Alicia’s political rival Frank Prady], I wish we could’ve had even more of him. He went off to direct a play on Broadway, so we couldn’t get him for the last episodes of the season — and as far as I’m concerned, that was a pity.
Robert King: I love what we developed with Christine Baranski and Oliver Platt, and I wish we’d had more time to spend on that, but he’s going over to a show on NBC [Chicago Med].

Untitled - 622TVLINE | Was Alicia asking Finn to be her law partner the end of their romantic connection?
Michelle King: I don’t think we can answer that.
Robert King: The last episode will answer that.

TVLINE | How surprised will viewers be about who’s behind the door — and how excited are you for them to find out? A TVLine reader poll put Kalinda at #1, “Will” at #2 and Lemond Bishop at #3.
Robert King: [Laughs] We’re very excited for them to find out.
Michelle King: That’s another “stay tuned,” Michael.

TVLINE | Well, I had to at least try to get some hints.
Michelle King: [Laughs] Sorry!

TVLINE | Season 4 ended with a knock on the door — and Alicia not seeing Will, but rather Cary, which was the start of them splitting off and forming Florrick-Agos. Season 5 ended with Eli’s question about Alicia running for office. Can we expect some kind of “Boom!” moment at the end of Sunday’s finale that will be the focal point or activating event for Season 7?
Robert King: We’ve been enjoying that kind of balance at the end of the season, where there’s a knock at the door or a question that sets up the next chapter of Alicia’s story. It isn’t really a cliffhanger, it’s more of a way to figure out where the show might be headed. And, yeah, we will continue that at the end of this season.

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43 Comments
  1. Dawn says:

    I just wanna know about kalinda and lana. i know jill flint is doing a show but the writers seemed to act like the scenes between kalinda and lana werent a big deal. Kalinda made a huge step saying that Lana was important to her just to have kalinda act like her and cary are some item. i just dont understand! i wish there was some resolve in this story line.

    • CJ says:

      Exactly! What the hell happened to Lana? Are they going to answer that question? Kalinda was starting to get serious with Lana and then they don’t even mention her name anymore. A little follow through with that would be nice.

  2. Gabriel Anthony says:

    I’m happy about the interview, but at the same time said about the politics storyline ending this season. I was really excited about Alicia and her career in politics. And i know that i’m alone at this

    • You’re not! I was excited too! But I didn’t mind what they chose to go with in the end. I will always trust the Kings with whatever they bring to us!

    • abz says:

      You’re not alone. I thought having her be SA would have been a new and different direction for them to take the show in and was kinda bummed after they took it away from her, but I am open to this new journey with her new firm startup (I hope Finn agrees to join her). I’m not that keen on her returning to Lockhart/Agos. I want to see her interact with them, sure, and possibly oppose them on cases or join them on cases, or help out with her old clients who may still be at the firm and go drinking with Cary and Diane, but I don’t want her to return there. She needs a new journey and not going back to the office politics and David Lee scheming which, while fun at times, can be tiring after a while.

      • Gabriel Anthony says:

        Maybe for me the best scenario for a final season would be Alicia somehow running for governor, or that in a way she become something more than Peter. I was really really said about her resignation on the SA office, really really sad.

    • aph1976 says:

      I was also happy with Alicia possibly been the state attorney because it put her on the other side of the law and that is been a prosecutor and not a defense attorney.However i think right now Alicia is planning to start her own law firm but i’m thinking whoever is at her door will change her plans.

    • gortezy says:

      No, you’re not. I love the politics story line as well!

  3. Hayes says:

    I just want it to be Florrick, Agos, and Lockhart again and watch them kick the SA office’s butt.

  4. abz says:

    @Hayes: Why? So we can have more office politics and David Lee causing problems and firm name changes, etc. That stuff gets old and going back to the case-of-the-week thing could get old too. I think the balance they’ve done this season with politics and cases every now and then is a great format. Her starting a new firm this time around might be a lot more different than when she started with Cary. She’s learned a lot. She’s hit rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up. This time around there isn’t much animosity between her and Cary and even Diane like there was with Will which made their start-up difficult. She doesn’t have clients worth millions. She’s gonna seriously start over. I wouldn’t mind seeing her face off with Cary/Diane again or even joining together on their cases too. They still represent many of her clients right, so that doesn’t mean that just because she isn’t at their firm that can’t interact with them or be friends.

  5. Gloria says:

    Kalinda is going to be missed bigntime!!
    Why is she leaving? Any chance she will be back? She is a BIG character!! BIG mistake.

    • Stephanie says:

      The character that played Kalinda has moved on to another show, that’s why she won’t be back :(

      • Fluff says:

        No. Panjabi is leaving the show because they have wasted Kalinda on nothing since season 3 when Margulies starting hating Kalinda because people liked her.
        Archie’s new show won’t be airing before 2016 so she could have stayed. She just chose not to and I can’t blame her for that.

        • Nkaiferi I says:

          Do you have any solid proof to support your claim? Otherwise you’re making that statement based on rumours… And that’s really not okay.

  6. Amanda says:

    Could Cary be at the door wanting to go into business with Alicia again?

  7. MzTeaze says:

    I think the person at the door is Louis Canning. Or Colin Sweeney.

  8. XR says:

    Did we ever find out what happened to Kalinda’s no-goodnik ex-husband, who mysteriously disappeared after menacing her for several episodes? I can’t recall if they ever resolved that storyline but they owe it to viewers to finally explain his fate.

    • Yes, it was resolved. Kalinda found out about his heroin business and called the cops on him : he could I either leave the country, or get arrested (and quite probably end up in jail). We were never told which option he took, but either way it explains why we never saw him again.

      What the show really needs to explain is: “Where the heck’s Robin?”

  9. matty says:

    I have an idea for the show… if Alicia starts her own firm, I’d like to see her pair up with Elsbeth Tasconi (Carrie Preston) or here’s a weird one, Geneva Pine (Renee Goldsberry). Some characters she typically doesn’t interact with.

  10. gortezy says:

    I was excited with Alicia’s SA story line, and was sad when it was taken away from her. I really don’t know how she will rise from this downfall. I hope she learns from this..

    • LCL says:

      I didn’t like the SA storyline, it didn’t feel genuine to me, something that her character would do, but at the same time, I didn’t like them shaming her either. Not sure where they are going with this, but I’m hooked and will watch to the end. She needs to get together with Finn.

  11. TGW fan says:

    Well I am glad to read that the door scene is not how the season ends and we don’t have to wonder about that all summer . JM just did an interview saying we “won’t be disappointed”. So I am counting on that!

  12. Joan Dwyer says:

    If I see another episode with Louis Canning it will be too soon. Been there ,done that , move on.

  13. I can’t remember a fictional character on TV who has drawn me in as deeply as Alicia. Smart, sexy, vulnerable and warm. What a delightful combination.

  14. Luk says:

    it seems they give a 7th season for granted.

  15. Jerry says:

    I’ve loved this show from the beginning, but it needs to be put out of its misery already. Sad what has happened to it this season. Hopefully next season is the last one as the ratings demo continue to sink.

  16. MdaVT says:

    ‘lying narrative’……..gotta love it.

  17. kygail says:

    I think it’s Alicia being served with divorce papers from Peter.

  18. Fish says:

    Darling, you’ve been frustrating the fans for 51 episodes. There is no making up for that.

  19. mrsfoxxe says:

    Show stinks cancel

  20. mrsfoxxe says:

    This show is terrible. A man & women that sleep around. It’s time for it to go

  21. mrsfoxxe says:

    This show is awful. Everyone sleeps around. It needs to go!

  22. Fluff says:

    Yeah that explains everything. Robert King’s idea of “fun” is to frustrate the viewers and disappoint everyone. Figures.

  23. Patty Michaels says:

    I’m tired of Alicia and her pompous attitude. She’s the reason I don’t care anymore.

  24. Kalinda gave us the punch this show needed. You never knew what side she loyal to or how she got results the lawyers needed. Bad move to take Kalinda out. We love Alicia as the main character soooo please DO NOT knock her off the show. You’ve stripped it down enough.

  25. VancyP says:

    PLEASE do not have the Michael J Fox character be the new partner. That will end the show for me!

  26. Lee says:

    Michael J. Fox’s character is the most irritating character ever to be on this show. Have mercy on us, the viewers, let him mercifully die, at the earliest possible episode.

  27. Judy says:

    Find a way to bring back. Will

  28. Josh Zellar says:

    What producer with a brain would want to shoot a scene between characters separably using green screen. George Lucas has said “you tell a story using tools” and you do NOT “use tools to tell a story”. I think Lucas has a little more talent in film-making than Julianna Margulies. And shooting a scene TWICE is twice as expensive. You only resort to that technique when one of the actors dies before filming completion. So I guess #JuliannaMargulies thinks the public is stupid because she is BLATANTLY LYING. The Kalinda character was played brilliantly by Archie Panjabi — and the Kings would be stupid the let that character go.