Will Kalinda Go To Prison On 'The Good Wife'? Locking Her Up Could Be The Perfect Way To Write Archie Panjabi Out
Every week, the clock ticks closer to Archie Panjabi's looming departure from The Good Wife ... and we still have no idea how her character, Kalinda Sharma is being written off. After six seasons on CBS's legal drama, the character and the actress deserve a dignified exit, and the writers have had plenty of time to craft one for her, given that Panjabi publicly announced her intention to leave the show last October, shortly after Season 6 began. And yet, with only three hours left in the season, it remains unclear what sort of exit strategy the writers are working towards. Will Kalinda die, like Josh Charles' Will Gardner before her? It's possible. But there's another option that's just as likely: Kalinda will go to prison.
Locking her up would be the best possible scenario for plenty of reasons. For one, killing her off would feel repetitive after Will's shocking death just last season. Putting her in prison instead would allow the writers to remove the character from play while keeping the option open for a return appearance later in the series. If Kalinda went on the run, she'd be as good as dead, since we would probably never see her again. But by keeping her in a prison close by, there's always the option of Cary or another character going to visit her, if the writers decided they needed to use her at some point.
So how could she Kalinda end up behind bars? There are several ways this could play out:
She's Arrested For Falsifying Evidence
Ooh boy, this whole case with Lemond Bishop is a huge mess, isn't it? Strangely, Diane is facing disbarment and three years in prison because she submitted the evidence that Kalinda falsified to exonerate Cary earlier in the season. Her only other option to avoid jail time is to testify against Bishop... an action which would almost certainly lead to her murder at the hands of the slimy drug dealer. Kalinda seems determined to not let Diane put herself in danger by offering to testify against Bishop instead — but Cary seems determined to not let Kalinda put herself in danger by offering to testify against Bishop instead. Everyone wants to testify against Bishop! Like I said, a mess.
What if the solution is that no one ends up testifying against Bishop? Or what if — plot twist! — he's murdered by a rival drug lord before anyone at Florrick, Agos & Lockhart can testify against him. Then the only other option is prison. And Kalinda is way too loyal to let her boss take the fall for her own actions. The moment we saw Diane unwittingly submit Kalinda's faked metadata into evidence, we knew that would come back to haunt her — it could very well be the thing that puts Kalinda away for a long time.
She Kills Lemond Bishop
A prevailing theory surrounding Kalinda's departure ever since Panjabi's announcement has held that the private investigator would be killed by Bishop. The pair have been spending an awful lot of time together this season, and every single scene between them has been laced with tension and danger. One misstep, and Kalinda could find herself in the drug lord's crosshairs. But what if the reverse of this theory is the case, and it's Kalinda who ends up killing Bishop?
There is so much potential for violence between these two characters, so there are a lot of ways this could go down. Perhaps Kalinda does end up testifying against Bishop, and she knows that the only way to protect herself against retribution is by killing him first. Or perhaps Bishop hears that Kalinda is about to testify against him and attacks her, and she kills him in self defense. Or perhaps Cary is the one who ends up testifying, and Kalinda kills Bishop to save her on-again off-again lover. Or perhaps Bishop finds out that Kalinda defied him when she destroyed the card he gave her to put in Agent Delaney's wallet. (Remember that?) So many possibilities, it's hard to pick the likeliest one...
She's Apprehended For Killing Her Husband
Then again, maybe all of this drama swirling around Bishop, Kalinda, Cary, and Diane is just a distraction and the real reason Kalinda will go down has nothing to do with the drug lord or the fake evidence. Introducing Kalinda's estranged husband Nick Savarese in Season 4 was a rare misstep on the part of the Good Wife writers. The character was universally loathed, and he was quickly written off. Nick simply vanished one day, and it was strongly implied that Kalinda had offed her abusive ex.
What if, while all indications are pointing to the falsified evidence, this is the action that comes back to haunt Kalinda? What if Nick's corpse were suddenly discovered and his death was traced back to his ex-wife? The Good Wife writers are certainly no stranger to constructing plot twists no one sees coming (Will's death, Alicia's short run as State's Attorney), and this option would certainly be out of left field. But it would be a clever way to both give relevance to a rare botched story line and concoct an unexpected exit for a fan-favorite character.