Diane Fucking Lockhart

I think I’ve composed this post in my head a few times, but I needed to finally type it up in honor of the end of The Good Wife. I’ve already written two posts on this show, but this one is less about content and more about my consistent admiration for Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski.

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I think in the pilot Diane has a dog that she brings to the office and she’s the traditional overworked I-chose-my-career-instead-of-a-family female character.  But as the show develops, Diane becomes a very real and present force–a character at once really familiar and also completely fresh. I think a lot of this comes down to Baranski, who just chews up whatever scenery/role they give her and is completely content working as a small part of a larger ensemble. Much like the way her character frequently mentors and manages the lawyers at her firm, Baranski’s performance is often subtle yet always on-point.

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In a rare move for me, one time (and only that one time) when I was watching a disk from season 1 I listened to a commentary track. Baranski explained that Diane didn’t have a lot to do in that episode so she just made sure she had an excellent wardrobe with a stunning accent piece. Of course I can’t remember what episode that was, but it’s a consistent thing for Diane. Her clothes are fantastic, and she almost always has a brooch or necklace that makes me want to become a big boss lawyer when I grow up. She gives me hope for all of women’s business attire.

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Patrolling her kingdom, taking no prisoners

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God, that dress

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As we’ve discussed here a few times before, strong female characters (like all characters) are best when they have moments of weakness, anger, joy, and strength. Diane has them all. When she is strong I don’t always agree with her, and she sometimes acts out of spite and rage.

 

Yet she also has these great moments of indecision and confusion, and it doesn’t detract from her strength as a lawyer, leader, or character.

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We see her relationships ebb and flow with her various co-workers, in particular Josh Charles/Will Gardner.

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Note the statement brooch

You could tell they genuinely cared about each other, but their relationship always had a twinge of self-interest, which kept it interesting as their loyalties changed throughout the series. But it was most fun to watch them as a united front:

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#squadgoals

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They have genuine chemistry, but I liked that their relationship stayed platonic. When (spoiler alert) Josh Charles left the show, Baranski as an actress expressed her sadness for him leaving, and especially mourned the end of their work marriage.

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And indeed it is Will’s *ahem* departure from the show that brings us some of Diane’s most emotional moments. I don’t care to do the research, but I think this is the first (and maybe only) time that she and Alicia hug. I mean really hug, not just a good-to-see-you hug.

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I love how they aren’t really friends, but they both need a hug now

And this may be the only time she cries, and it is truly heartbreaking.

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Even in grief, she wears an excellent chunky necklace

 

And then there is her romance with Kurt McVeigh, the Sarah Palin-supporting ballistics expert who follows his gut and his conscience.

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Diane, who’s super #ReadyforHillary, obviously clashes with Kurt ideologically, but from the moment they meet there is an odd attraction between them.

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Then it’s an ill-advised relationship

 

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Then they realize that they just love spending time together

And they’re at a point in their lives and careers where they don’t need anyone to fulfill them or obtain financial security, but they like spending time together. I was a little surprised when they married (I thought they’d just be long-term  partners), but there was probably some pressing reason at the time (taxes? religion? desire to make a commitment in front of the government?) I like how it was just an afternoon at the court house. It was just for them.

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So in sum, love Baranski and Diane. Excellent clothes, great example of a strong female character who isn’t always kicking down doors, and just a delightful performance that makes me want to grow up to be Diane Lockhart.

Even when she isn’t paying attention in court:

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4 thoughts on “Diane Fucking Lockhart

  1. She is a goddess! What do you think about her storylines this last season?!? (I know we talked about this, but are you caught up/current? Let me know before we discuss.)

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    1. I literally just finished last night’s episode and loved the moments with her and Kurt. I’m also all in for a female firm and I would love for her to end the season by really embarrassing David Lee in front of everyone.

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      1. Yes, perfect! I really like Lucca this season and like the idea of Diane, Alicia, and Lucca being boss ladies… well, that’s awesome. I also liked when Diane basically said that Alicia was akin to Will in terms of being able to do what he did in a similar manner. That felt like a cool moment. Buuuut, I also miss the buddy dynamic of a few seasons ago between Carey and Alicia when they started their firm in her condo. So, it’s hard to watch as he is relegated to the side with the likes of fucking David Lee. Ya know? Oh, yeah, and the other thing I found interesting this season was Diane’s relationship with that conservative group and taking on cases that she is super conflicted about—like, the one that was argued in terms of free speech/first amendment and abortion. I thought that scenario was interesting and fraught, though I don’t totally get why she commits to working with this conservative group, but I appreciate her consistent dilemmas and how it appeals to her law abilities. Anyways, further thoughts??!

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      2. Love it. I am also very sad about Carey’s withdrawal, especially his relationship with Alicia (although I’m comforted that he’s heading to Stars Hollow…) I seriously considered addressing his relationship with Diane in this post–like how in the beginning she really mentored him, etc. Lucca is a breath of fresh air.

        I feel like I need to see the crazy Republican guy again because I kind of forgot about him (this is probably due to my spotty watching), but I do like how he a) represents a very real way that super rich people try to push their agendas/make law through law suits and b) further demonstrates how Diane is a professional and argues vehemently even if she disagrees politically. The way all the characters deal with moments like that is one of my favorite parts of this show.

        That said, I’m glad the show is bowing out because it’s time. I really liked the idea of it ending with their divorce, since that undoes the premise of the show, but now with Peter’s indictment IDK if Alicia will really divorce him. I hope so.

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