‘The Good Wife’ Returns: Does Bishop Cause Kalinda’s Exit?

Archie Panjabi 'The Good Wife' exit

The Good Wife has been missing from the CBS Sunday night schedule for the past month and a half. But new episodes finally return with Julianna Margulies and her co-stars on March 1. In anticipation of a new chunk of Good Wife drama, show runners Robert and Michelle King spoke with the Hollywood Reporter and TV Guide. They seem to drop major hints as to how one beloved cast member, Kalinda Sharma, played by Archie Panjabi, will exit the show this season.

As was announced several months ago, Panjabi is leaving The Good Wife to focus on other film projects. Since she has been a staple of the drama since Season 1, it is tempting to compare her departure to the sudden exit of Josh Charles, who played Will Gardner. However, the show did not announce Charles planned to leave and Will’s violent death — he was shot in a courtroom — was a shock to fans. Robert King told TV Guide that incident was out of character for The Good Wife, and Kalinda’s exit should not follow the same path.

“We don’t want the audience to go, ‘OK, how are they going to top that?’ We can’t have helicopters crashing into the law firm and killing people or mad gunmen running down the hall shooting people because we try to, in general, stick closer to life. That’s why Kalinda’s leaving is very different from Will’s leaving.”

However, Michelle King stopped short of promising that Kalinda will not be killed off the show. In the Hollywood Reporter interview, Robert King discussed Kalinda’s exit by describing her relationship with Lemond Bishop, the drug dealer and legal client of some of the show’s main lawyers.

“There are very few people in her life who make [Kalinda] vulnerable. One of them is Mike Colter’s Bishop, who is a drug dealer and also a father-figure… One of the things we wanted to do was pull Kalinda more and more in his world, because obviously viewers know at the end of this season, Kalinda’s character goes away, because Archie Panjabi moves on.”

King expressed that sentiment further in an interview with Yahoo! TV.

“[A] lot of this tension with Bishop is he’s the one who makes Kalinda most vulnerable — partly because of his power, partly because of his willingness to use violence and threats. Kalinda is also being brought more and more into his inner circle, so I think that the audience is going to feel more and more of that threat of her working with Bishop.”

The Good Wife airs on CBS.

[Archie Panjabi main image courtesy of Getty]