The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi: Kalinda Has Had a Tough Year
She lost two of her closest — maybe, only — friends. She's under investigation by the FBI. And now she has a drug kingpin on her tail. Don't let the baseball bat and those boots of justice fool you — it's not a good time to be Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife. And judging from the preview for Sunday's Season 3 finale (9/8c on CBS), things might be getting worse before they get better. "The stakes are very high with this one," Archie Panjabi tells TVGuide.com.The Emmy winner also shared what's next for Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda's road back to friendship, Cary's return to the firm and the upcoming introduction of Kalinda's husband.
First, we have to talk about that steamy scene from last week's episode. What was your reaction when you read the script?
Archie Panjabi: Yes, that was interesting, wasn't it? I occasionally re-read scenes and then suddenly I'm not sure if the audience has the same reaction. Suddenly there will be a scene with Kalinda where you just did a double take because you know she is doing something dangerous or unconventional or something that is going to get people to talk. But then, combined with the severity of what is going on; what just happened with Lemond Bishop, I was actually quite scared for her as well. It is something I often feel for her.
Finale Preview: Get scoop on how your favorite shows are ending their seasons
There has been an interesting debate going on among fans: Some people said Kalinda was showing genuine fear and others said she was just trying to manipulate Lana. What did you feel when you were playing that scene?
Panjabi: We have seen her seducing men and flirting with women. She's really so fearful of her life because of Lemond Bishop — that's something that's going to be so difficult to beat. So I thought wouldn't it be nice if she did use her usual tactics, but then we suddenly see this genuine fear.
This was one of the only times Kalinda has showed vulnerability in front of another person.
Panjabi: One person we least expect to see it is in front of Lana Delaney because there's always this sexual chemistry between the two of them, and suddenly you see them in a very different light. What I did like about the scene is that you also get to see Lana Delaney in a different light. You realize that there is something quite special between these two women. It's not purely sexual, though whether there continues to be something special after this, who knows.
Watch full episodes of The Good Wife
Going into the season finale, how else will we see this threat from Lemond Bishop affects Kalinda and push her?
Panjabi: She's had a tough year this year, because as we know Alicia hasn't yet quite forgiven her. Then her friendship with Cary was damaged when Dana came along and they got her arrested. Then she had a problem with the IRS. And now Lemond Bishop has just threatened her. To top all of that, somebody from the past comes into her life in the finale, which could pose an even greater threat than Lemond Bishop. Is that connected to Lemond Bishop? You have to wait and see.
In an interview earlier this year, you said that the show was going to introduce Kalinda's husband. Is that something that will happen in the finale, or later on?
Panjabi: They were going to bring him in a lot earlier, but then, because it's a pilot season, it was difficult to get a commitment from somebody. Kalinda's storyline was so badly hurt by losing Sophia, played by Kelli Giddish [who joined Law & Order: SVU this season], that they wanted to make sure that they had a full commitment from somebody. The only way they could get that would be after pilot season. Kalinda's husband would be such an important character, because it's a big reveal to an insight to her past. Let's put it this way, in the finale, you might see him. You might and you might not. But definitely something will happen, where you'll get a little idea.
The Good Wife: What is Alicia thinking?
Why is now the right time to introduce this character?
Panjabi: To play a character for four years on TV is great fun, but also filled with challenges. How do you keep that character interesting for yourself to play and interesting for the audience to be absorbed in? And how do you get the audience to want to learn more about a character? So I think it's the perfect time that they're bringing in her husband, because we'll all get to learn so much more about her than we've every learned in the past two seasons. I make a joke saying next year it will either be the season of the bad wife or the good husband, meaning her husband. We don't know what he's going to be like.
The end of the last episode also featured a nice moment for Alicia and Kalinda where Alicia turned the chair around. What do you think is next for them?
Panjabi: It got to a point where just as Kalinda was about to move on, Alicia displayed a degree of warmth, so that definitely is a ray of hope for her. The time has come now where if we continue the ice between the two, the audience is going to get impatient. So I think the timing of the two getting together is spot on. People just love that friendship so much. I've always known it tested well in the pilot. But when you actually hear people from different backgrounds and different countries rave on about it, you really realize just how much people love that bond. ... The writers are very keen to move it on to that place. I think their friendship might be different, but hopefully the two of them will be buddies again.
Do you think Alicia will forgive Peter for what he did with Kalinda?
Panjabi: I almost feel like he is guiltier than she is — because he is the one that was married. So, maybe there is a realization on her part, at some point, that he needs to pay a price for his actions as well.
The Good Wife's Matt Czuchry on Cary's return, tension with Will and what's next with Kalinda
This last episode also saw Cary come back to Lockhart & Gardner. How will that affect Kalinda's relationship with him?
Panjabi: I am so glad that he has come back to the firm, because I missed him in the office. The first day he came back, it was strange having him there because I so often associate him with the state's attorney's side, which is always the opposition for us. I don't know what that chemistry is, but there is always a chemistry between those two characters even when they were annoyed with each other. They care about each other, but then when they were in court fighting against each other, they would both get a buzz from winning over each other.
What else do you hope to see for Kalinda next season?
Panjabi: I would like to share some more scenes with Chris Noth. I think it would be really interesting to see them both accidentally meet in a bar to fight each other, sharing a tequila. I have missed him this year and it would be nice to have scenes with him. ... Hopefully more scenes with Michael J. Fox, because he is an absolute gem to work with. And maybe a bit more of the old Kalinda coming back. People have mentioned to me that they would love to see the old side of Kalinda with the baseball bat again. You do see a bit of that in the finale.
Are you excited to see the old Kalinda return in the season finale? Can Alicia truly forgive Kalinda? And, most importantly, who do you think should play Kalinda's husband?
The Good Wife's season finale airs Sunday at 9/8c on CBS.