swatkat: (the good wife: kalinda wins)
[personal profile] swatkat
Why is it that both shows of my heart (Fringe*and The Good Wife) have so little in the name of discussion on the internets, flist? My soul craves meta—aches for it, and all I get is Tumblr picspams. In my desperation I have taken to reading the TGW TWOP forums, which are surprisingly fun and full of interesting discussion. The Alienation of Affection thread is here, and the Bitcoin for Dummies thread is here—if you're looking for some insightful discussion and speculation (especially on the Wendy Scott Carr plot, which, frankly, is beyond me, I'm happy to watch it as it comes), you should definitely read these.

*I am yet to watch the last two episodes of Fringe, shh don't tell me what happened.



Kicking ass and taking names

I've wanted to talk about the last two episodes of TGW, but I was afraid they would only be "DIANE ♥♥♥" and "KALINDA MY HEART!!1!", which hardly counts as 'talk'. But there is this little scene in 3.13 that caught my interest: the scene where Diane talks to Kalinda about helping Will.

Diane: So you're helping Will?
Kalinda: Yeah.
Diane: I know Will tries to stay brave about these things but I don't wanna be behind the curtain.
Kalinda: You wanna know when to cut your losses.
Diane: No, I wanna know when to help!
Kalinda: Okay, I'll keep you in the loop.

It is difficult to transcribe Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi's facial expressions and glances, but there was… something about the scene: not hostility, perhaps, but Kalinda's audacious 'You wanna know when to cut your losses', bluntly asking Diane if she'll put the firm over Will, and Diane's disbelieving, 'I wanna know when to help!' A sense of distrust, maybe? They both care for Will, and they both want to help Will, but they don't exactly seem to be on the same page at the moment. Diane is certainly not a little girl who can't handle Kalinda's bluntness, but I do wonder how the statement went down, especially since I can't help but recall that in the previous episode itself, Kalinda made things difficult for her by telling Eli Gold about David Lee's insistence on Clause 63. In one of my earlier posts this season I wrote: Diane is the BEST. I love that she's the fixer—she asked Alicia and Kalinda to make it better, she confronted Will and told him to make it go away, she showed Eli Gold who the real boss is. Diane has been seen taking that pro-active, fixer role all throughout this season, right from episode one when she asks Alicia and Kalinda to 'make it better'; as Will flails and flounders, Diane has been talking tough and getting things done and drinking scotch with people who need the companionship. 3.12 was a prime example of just how great Diane is at taking charge and fixing things. Just, look at this screencap:



Diane, standing tall; Eli Gold and David Lee seated like two squabbling little boys. Played for
the laughs, but not mincing words when it comes to highlighting who is in charge.

And you know who else is also a fixer? Kalinda, of course, highlighted yet again in 3.13: her blunt question to Diane, her taking the file from Will, her sweeping in to protect Alicia, yet again (more on that later). If Kalinda does not trust Diane with Will, she certainly does not trust her with Alicia—and we know her fears are not unfounded, because as much as Diane respects Alicia, she will throw Alicia under a bus if it's about protecting the firm's interests (she has already said the same to Will), which I fear will be the case once she learns that WSC is after Peter through Will; her attempts to 'mentor' Alicia, while genuine, also stems from a desire to keep Alicia close. I'm terrible at speculation, but I can't help but wonder if we're being lead towards a scenario where there is a significant difference between the two on these matters.

I'm your man

Speaking of Kalinda being protective of Alicia—here's what Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker's tv critic, tweeted the other day, "But I assume it will always come back to the essential romance of the show: Kalinda's hidden almost Medieval chivalric love for Alicia." Which is just perfect, perfect, because Kalinda is devoted to Alicia. She (like Will), sees in her some sort of essential 'goodness', this incredible thing that she can never hope to possess (that she doesn't desire to possess on most days); some sort of fundamental innocence that needs to be protected by her Knight-in-Shining-High-Heels Kalinda, who has seen the world and known its filth. And if they can't be friends anymore, Kalinda is all right with loving her from afar and pining stoically while looking out for her in every possible way. (Hello, bulletproof narrative kinks.)

It's remarkable how much Kalinda loves Alicia—and how little Alicia perceives, in part because she's generally terrible at perceiving at how she feels or how other people feel, and in part because Kalinda is singularly incapable of expressing herself to Alicia (in a way she isn't to Will). While I'm not convinced that she has handed all the incriminating evidence to Dana, there was never a doubt who she would choose between Will and Alicia, even if it meant breaking the bro code. She broke it for Alicia—Will would probably understand.

I want the next episode now.
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