gretamaya said: What do you make of the Kalinda & Diane interaction in the finale? The best explanation I can come up with is Kalinda is still upset over Will's death, so she'll do things for Diane she never would consider normally. Or allowed Diane to ask things of her in a way I don't think she'd normally tolerate.
So, I was really, really, really upset about this at first. I’m fine with the Diane/Kalinda friendship or alliance (the Kalinda-transfers-her-loyalty thing Robert King mentioned makes a lot of sense to me, though I haven’t really picked it apart) and am curious to see it develop, but the first time through the episode, I wondered the entire time why we weren’t seeing Kalinda’s perspective. I felt, and still feel to some extent, that Kalinda was an object in everyone else’s story rather than a character in her own right, and that this was the case both in Kalinda’s interactions with Diane and her interactions with Cary was quite inexcusable. Where were her reactions?
Then I rewatched. Kalinda’s reactions are still missing from the Cary/Kalinda scene (which is its own beast that I won’t get into here), but there’s not really much for her to react to with Diane. All Diane says to Kalinda is, with no hint of innuendo or double-meaning (at least in my read), “Can you talk to [Cary], Kalinda? See what you can do? I know we keep asking this of you, but it’s important.” The more offensive line, the one about “exploiting,” is said while Kalinda is out of the room. This doesn’t justify Diane’s actions (which, for the record, I don’t WANT to justify because I’m appalled by them!), but it does help to explain why Kalinda doesn’t react to them as strongly as I originally wanted her to. Of course it’s very possible Diane and Kalinda both recognized that Kalinda’s approach to “talking” would be sex, but highlighting and taking advantage of someone’s personal relationship with someone else is the norm in the workplace— minutes earlier, Alicia tells Cary to “Work [his] magic” on Deena Lampard because “she liked [him].” And Cary notes that’s a strategy Will used often. Obviously, that’s not the same as asking someone to have sex someone they have a complicated relationship with, but it all depends on how Kalinda reads Diane’s instruction. For all we know, Kalinda read it as uncomfortable but routine, like Cary trying to get Deena’s support or Alicia working with Ashbaugh instead of Will (in 4x18 and 5x10), and then chose to use sex as her method. Or maybe Kalinda read it as a direct instruction to sleep with Cary to advance L/G’s business interests. I’m honestly not sure.
I’m also not sure what it is you’re referring to when you say Kalinda did things for Diane she would “never consider normally”— in 5x13, when Will is alive and well, Cary goes to L/G with information about phone tapping. Diane doubts that Cary is telling the truth, and asks Kalinda: “Kalinda, why don’t you find out if Cary is telling the truth?” Kalinda responds with the same word delivered in the same tone (down to the discomfort and brief hesitation) as in the 5x22 scene: “Sure.” She proceeds to have sex with Cary to get the information. The two scenes strike me as being very similar, but maybe I’ve missed something.
I’m pretty sure Kalinda wouldn’t have gone with Diane to visit Peter in the past, nor would I think she have let the ‘girl Friday’ comment go. In the past, Kalinda’s always been pretty good at standing up for herself, but as you mentioned she came across more as an object in others story lines and her reactions just seemed off.
I think there’s a big difference in how Diane approached Kalinda in 5x13 as opposed to 5x22.
I got the feeling in 5x22 Kalinda had been boxed into a corner. Diane was explicitly asking her to go to Cary (I think, from what Diane knows about Kalinda, she was asking her to go have sex with Cary, but I realize that that’s up in the air) in 5x22, even though there were many ways to deal with Cary’s obstinance. For example, she could have tried taking Robyn for drinks and seen what came out, and good old-fashion spying is always an option. That’s just two possibilities. But Diane explicitly asked Kalinda to go to Cary. This is very different from 5x13, when Diane asked Kalinda to find out if Cary was lying. Indeed, when that originally aired, I thought Kalinda screwed up - finding out if Cary was lying meant going to anyone but Cary to see if there was any truth behind the information. Kalinda has many friends in law enforcement, I’m sure they could’ve helped. Kalinda would’ve been asking about DEA wire taps, and since they were NSA wire taps her answer to Diane still would’ve been that Cary was lying. After 5x22, I now realize that the mistake was Diane’s as well, that she fully expected Kalinda to go to Cary and not someone that made more sense, logically speaking. (I at least think Diane and Kalinda’s misreadings of Cary are intentional by the writers, though why Diane would think Kalinda could tell if Cary was lying or not I don’t know.) However, Kalinda still wasn’t so boxed in, she had other options. She got to choose the one she did in 5x13, but a lot of that choice was stripped from her in 5x22.
That, to me, is the difference between 5x13 and 5x22. In 5x13 there’s plenty of room for Kalinda to maneuver in response to what Diane said, and indeed if Kalinda had looked into that appropriately by going to her many friends in the law enforcement field, there wasn’t anything Diane could’ve done about it. There’s a big difference in Kalinda choosing to go to Cary as her tactic (as in 5x13) and Diane asking her to do so (as in 5x22).