An interview with Archie Panjabi

So in Season 3, Kalinda stands alone, but she hasn’t been without her flirtations. State’s attorney worker Dana seemed taken with Kalinda, and their parasitic friendship just came to what seems like a timely end on the most recent episode when both women screwed each other over in an important case involving both of their respective offices.

“She has always been attracted to Dana but was also suspicious of her, which was why she never really pursued anything but drinks,” Panjabi said. “I think once somebody crossed the line with Kalinda, when she produced the rider thing that was going to go after Alicia, I think that was Kalinda’s knowing that there was no way a friendship could be struck up after something like that. I think even though Kalinda’s very sexual, she is very particular about who she ends up sleeping with or having a sexual relationship with. So I think with Dana, I don’t know whether a relationship was ever in the cards, but certainly a friendship is no longer in the cards.”

Which might be all the better for Kalinda, as Dana slept with Cary, one of Kalinda’s on-and-off-again friends and flirtation partners. As one of the show’s constant will-they-or-won’t-they couples, Panjabi thinks it’s likely to be a no go.

“I think the Cary-Kalinda relationship is not a love/hate relationship, which is why it’s such a complicated relationship,” she said “They care about each other but they always end up causing injury to each other, not physically, but mentally. I don’t know if we’ll ever end up seeing something happen between those two. If we did, will they ever last? I think there’s always that kind relationship going on and I think Kalinda’s so difficult to open up that when Cary tries to trust her and come closer, he’s kind of giving up. And the more he gives up, Kalinda’s like ‘Well, we’re friends.’ There is a good relationship there. I think like with everything with Kalinda, it’s complicated.”

Because Kalinda has had relationships with a handful of women on the show, it frequently appears she might lean little more toward dating females, but Panjabi said that she believes her character, above all, wants to be challenged.

“I think she’s attracted to the mind,” she said. “I think with Kalinda when she really finds somebody attractive it’s when she connects with them mentally. Initially you can find someone attractive, but Kalinda’s choices of people, a lot of the time, is when she’s challenged by them mentally. I don’t think there’s a lot of people she feels mentally challenged by. She analyzes people all the time.”

Besides Sophia and a possible waning interest in Dana, Kalinda also had a fling with FBI Agent Lana Delaney (Jill Flint). On Season 1, the two frequently met under the guise of working together, which turned into more until Kalinda decided to stick with the firm. However, things aren’t completely over: Panjabi tells me Lana Delaney is making a return.

“I hear she’s coming back toward the end of the season. I’m really thrilled about that,” Panjabi said. “I think Kalinda will be ecstatic!”

As will viewers, who are likely just as ready as Panjabi to see some more interaction between Kalinda and, well, anyone this season — including her former friend, Alicia.

At TCA a few months ago, Robert King told me that Alicia and Kalinda’s friendship is one of the major storylines of this season. Both women find it difficult to connect to people and had found one another a worthy confidant in the firm, helping one another out when needed. But after it came out that Kalinda slept with Alicia’s husband before they knew one another, it destroyed their relationship. Sometimes, though, a camaraderie like theirs can withstand anything after some time.

“I definitely think we’ve seen there has been a lot of coldness between them, but gradually that is beginning to thaw and we’ll see it warming up even in the next few episodes as they do actually talk to each other,” Panjabi said. “They certainly warm up to the point where, I wouldn’t say a new friendship begins, but it definitely changed what they’ve been so far, and they do talk. A new relationship begins. Now how strong of a friendship, I don’t know. But there is definitely a new beginning and how that will pan out remains to be seen.”

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