This Sunday’s season finale of The Good Wife will be the end of the show as we know it. Archie Panjabi will make her final appearance on the CBS drama as Kalinda Sharma, the mysterious private investigator who has, for six seasons, been one of the strongest and most well-written depictions of an LGBT woman of color on network television.
We spoke with Archie about saying goodbye to Kalinda and what her last days on set were like. Plus what we can look forward to from the award-winning actress in the future, including a possible return to The Fall, the BBC/Netflix thriller she guest starred on alongside Gillian Anderson.
AfterEllen.com: I know you can’t tell us too much, but what can you say about your last episode of The Good Wife?
Archie Panjabi: Well as you saw in Episode 20, it was a little bit of a tease and the audience thought I left, and I come back in a flashback in 21. And in 22, I do make a few brief appearances and I know right now there’s debate as to whether they’re satisfying or not, and I think, as always the case with Kalinda and anything to do with Kalinda, the audience will have to be the judge of that.
AE: Well then I’m going to say they won’t be satisfied because they never are! [laughs]
AP: Well you never know because one of the great things about the character’s just, the audience seemed to dictate so many things about her. They have so much passion for the character that I’ve learned to just listen to what they’re saying and not even question it.
AE: Have you been satisfied with this season and how you got to go out?
AP: I would have liked something—honestly speaking, I would have liked something a lot meatier but at the same time I think the expectations for that character were very high and producers hands are tied. They have so many characters they have to write about. I think it’s tricky so I think if the audience is satisfied, I’m satisfied.
AE: A lot of AfterEllen readers—and readers elsewhere too, actually—have wanted to see some of Kalinda’s ex-girlfriends come back before she left. Have you been seeing that conversation happening?
AP: There’s certain characters that I’ve been blessed with over the years; certain actors that I absolutely love working with them. My side of working is always to work very closely with the other actors to listen to what their thoughts and ideas are, and with Jill Flint, we get on so well as people, as women, and that chemistry transfers so well on screen. I miss those characters like Kelli Giddish–I have a great friendship with all those girls. Scott Porter as well, I really enjoyed working with him. I definitely miss having them on the show professionally and personally. And sadly, all of them—and Monica Raymund, another lovely girl—all of them have actually kind of gone on to lead their own shows after leaving The Good Wife so I’m thrilled for all of them but I have definitely missed them. I would have loved to have had them in my departure storyline.
Archie with Monica Raymund