“The Good Wife” is three episodes into its fourth season, and it is simultaneously smoothly humming along and sputtering out. It remains, as it ever was, the cleverest, smartest, most tech-savvy procedural on television, its every case of the week so much less predictable and more hard-elbowed than those of its kin. (The title of last night’s episode was “Two Girls, One Code,” a savvy, gross reference “The Mentalist” isn’t about to make.) The inter-office dynamics and political plotting— the long-term story arcs that make “Good Wife” so much meatier than a standard procedural — have also been top-notch. A super low-key Nathan Lane (he hasn’t been asked to act so much in years) has been stellar as a court-appointed guardian to Lockhart Gardner; Maura Tierney has been intriguing as self-made billionaire keen on Alicia; and Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming and Josh Charles have been excellent as ever. But, damn, if “The Good Wife’s” sexual politics aren’t a mess.
First and foremost, there is the Kalinda problem (and yes, it has reached such a level it can be described as “The Kalinda Problem”). Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), the hypercompetent bisexual investigator, has spent the previous seasons turning up evidence and turning on nearly everyone she meets. Few of the characters on “The Good Wife” — with the exception of Cumming’s Eli Gold — are chatterboxes. They don’t overshare, speak out of turn or answer questions with more words than are strictly necessary, but even among a crew expert at keeping their lives close to their vests, Kalinda stands out. Everything about her feels like a secret, everything about her is private. We knew she had a past, but we didn’t know quite what it contained.