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Friday, October 28, 2011

'sfunny how one little logic glitch can scotch a big emotional climax. We've been watching THE GOOD WIFE Season Two.

SPOILERS, of course...

It's an odd season because the nominal main character, Julianna Margulies's Alicia Florrick, barely has a story line. It's as if they've given up on her as, y'know, kinda boring and frigid and self-righteous. But now that she's taken Peter back, and Will has proven himself a romantic coward, what is there to do with her?

So the season has become about Kalinda and her secret former identity. We just watched S2E18 (or so), "Foreign Affairs" in which Alicia finally discovers that Amber Madison wasn't the only woman with whom Peter cheated on her -- her dear recent BFF Kalinda did, too. And she finds that out just Peter wins the election.

But Kalinda's secret, frequently alluded to, and something on which an inordinate amount of plot hinges, seems to be that she used to work for Peter in the States' Attorney's office, and he helped her change her identity.

We're supposed to believe that clever Kalinda would change her name and identity, quit the State's Attorney office, and then go to work at a high profile firm that regularly defends clients from the State's Attorney office. Almost every episode, she's appearing in a courtroom.

How has nobody from the State's Attorney Office already recognized her?

Any sensible person trying to flee their old identity immediately moves to a new city. Kalinda would be wise to move to LA and pass as a Latina. They can always use detectives in LA, from what I understand.

This is a pretty gaping plothole. And it's spoiling our enjoyment of what is otherwise a beautifully-written show.

The problem is, it's very easy for writers on a show to convince themselves they can get away with a logical hole. "No one will care about that," you tell yourself. But once you betray the audience like that, it's hard to get them to go with you on anything else.

Of course, Lisa and I could be the only two people in the world who noticed this, in which case THE GOOD WIFE folks got away with it. But I'm guessing we're not.

The shame of it is that it's unnecessary. I've got a simple fix. Peter Florrick could have met Kalinda in another city, gone to bed with her, and helped her forge a new identity in Chicago.

It's often not hard to fix something, if you are willing to go to the trouble. I'm still impressed with Brad Ideas's fix for the painful Battlestar Finale.

I'll be interested in seeing what the details are once we get the full reveal. Maybe it'll all make sense in the end...



There you go again, Alex. The "painful" Battlestar finale wasn't for many. And that guy's post, while interesting, reveals as much of a political agenda as a storytelling one. If you don't share the agenda, you're not beholden to the idea that the ending was terrible.

I didn't have any of the objections that you did to Kalinda's backstory. So either I, or you, it seems, have convinced ourselves of something that's a howler that no one else would follow.

Or, you know, it's just, like... a thing.

Mitochondrial Eve, Kalinda's past, All Along the Watchtower...none of it hurts, me, son..

By Blogger DMc, at 6:23 PM  

My understanding was, that Kalinda did in fact create her 'Kalinda' identity before she moved to Chicago. As you say, it would be ridiculous to go from Leila to Kalinda in the same city without people realizing. The way I followed the storyline, was that - having started work as Kalinda - she had Peter help her to bury the Leila identity for good.

There are levels to creating an identity, so it makes sense that while Kalinda herself could manage the superficial details enough to move town, get a job etc, there would still be deeper traces of her old life that a States Attorney could help erase completely (sealing records, etc).

By Blogger Abby, at 6:52 PM  

FWIW, that was my reading too. "Kalinda" preceded the D.A.'s office stint, and Florek merely helped to bury the last traces of "Leila.'

By Blogger DMc, at 7:08 PM  

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

@Chris: let me know your email address.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 12:14 PM  

Here's why I bumped on the Kalinda story. I've held three public-sector jobs in the U.S., and for each, I had to be fingerprinted and pass an FBI clearance -- even when I had obviously done so at my previous job(s). I'm assuming that the D.A.s office isn't any less rigorous on background checks, so she'd need to have her new identity in place BEFORE she worked there, and yet supposedly Peter helped her do it.

Also, they've suggested that she's not American (she's supposedly from Toronto), so it would have been a federal crime for Peter to help her forge an identity. She can't be THAT good in bed, can she?

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 10:29 PM  

I mean, I know Chicago is notorious, but the D.A.'s office handles all kinds of sensitive information about organized crime, fraud, etc. We're supposed to believe that Kalinda can waltz into a job there with a fake name, stolen Social Security card and phony C.V. and no one bothers to check? Okay, maybe she's a genius scammer, but...

Pretend you're Peter Florick, ambitious politician. You find out a foreign national has infiltrated American law enforcement under an assumed name. You're not at all suspicious? MY first phone call would be Homeland Security, and I'm a hippie liberal.

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 12:07 AM  

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