Review: ‘The Good Wife’ – ‘The Deconstruction’: Bye, Kalinda?

A few thoughts on last night's “The Good Wife” – and the season as a whole so far – coming up just as soon as I improperly eject this thumb drive…

For reasons that have somehow been kept secret in our age of over-reporting all things entertainment, Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi haven't physically appeared together in a scene since midway through season 4. This has been a problem, given that the Alicia/Kalinda friendship had been the heart of the show for so long, and it took a character in Kalinda who almost never had good storylines on her own and forced her to exist entirely on the fringes of the series, occasionally interacting with Cary or Diane in person, but mainly on the phone with the other regulars. That's a big problem, and it turned Kalinda's exit – which involved missed phone calls, a note, and a brief video snippet – into an emotional muddle, when it should have been much more powerful.

But even when you take away whatever was going on between the two actors, you have a lot of strange “Good Wife” creative decisions of late, both in this episode and for much of this season. Having Alicia and Diane go to war over a simple misunderstanding was dumb, whereas they could have generated an entire episode of tension out of the firm deciding whether to go along with RD's demand. And while opening the episode with a mirror image of the very first scene of the series was effective, was it worth the amount of time this season forced us to slog through the campaign with Alicia? Your mileage may vary, but the show's political material has never been as compelling as what's happening at the firm, and between the campaign and Cary's trial, too much of this season had too many characters existing apart from one another.

What does everybody else think? How you feeling about this season? Did you like Kalinda's goodbye? Are you disappointed Alicia won't actually get to be State's Attorney? And if she's really never going back to the firm (and we'll see about that), what direction do you want to see Alicia's life go in for however long “The Good Wife” has left?