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Kalinda Sharma was the in-house private investigator at Stern, Lockhart, Gardner. Having previously worked for Peter for three years, he fired her after (rightfully) accusing her of working two jobs. She is exceptionally good at her job, although her tactics are not always legal. She was portrayed by Archie Panjabi.


Kalinda is often the key to the firm's winning a case, usually at the 11th hour. She generally does not work well with others and although Kalinda doesn't let many people close to her, she becomes good friends with Alicia, with the aid of tequila shots; and she feels protective of her. Eventually, Alicia finds out Kalinda, before knowing each other, had a one-night stand with Peter. This damaged and their friendship but over time the two start to reconcile.

She often wears leather and knee-high boots and rarely carries anything except her cellphone, notebook and a camera. In the first two seasons, she primarily works with Alicia Florrick, but she assists with every department at the firm. In the pilot, she tells Alicia that thirteen years ago {the last time Alicia was in court} she was twelve years old. This would imply that she is 25, but the ambiguity of her past and the fact that she changed her identity suggests she could be some other age. Kalinda is extremely insightful and has a way of getting people to talk to her, but keeps herself at a distance. People rarely surprise her.

Before working at Lockhart-Gardner, she spent three years as an investigator at the State's Attorney's office working under Alicia's husband, Peter Florrick. Prior to facing charges of corruption, he fired her for working behind his back with his eventual successor, Glenn Childs. The nature of Peter and Kalinda's relationship in the three years that they worked together was unclear until it was revealed later that Peter and Kalinda engaged in sexual relations as a type of repayment for helping changed her identity.

Kalinda enjoys her job at Lockhart-Gardner and develops a bond with several of her co-workers, most notably Alicia. In the two years that they've known each other, Kalinda's become very protective of her - pushing her to be a better attorney and offering advice, often unsolicited, to keep her on track both personally and professionally. After they have a falling out, Kalinda remains loyal to her best interests, encouraging Will to pursue Alicia in hopes of securing Alicia's happiness.

Despite continuous job offers from various friends in law enforcement Lana Delaney) and the private sector (Sophia), she remains a solid employee of the firm.

In the third season, Kalinda forges a bond with both Will Gardner and Eli Gold, but it's clear that they are no substitute for Alicia. After months of avoidance, she eventually takes steps to repair their relationship - first by helping find Grace Florrick when she disappears and then by promising transparency when it comes to their friendship. As the third season closes, details of Kalinda's past begin to unravel and an IRS Tax Investigation spurred on by FBI Agent Lana Delaney, leads to an uncashed $21,000 check, a menacing phone call and a final scene that finds Kalinda ready to violently confront the husband she ran away from. 

In the fourth season, it is revealed that Kalinda has an estranged abusive husband, Nick Saverese, played by Marc Warren. Kalinda also grows romantically close with Cary.

In the sixth, she desperately tries to save Cary from a malicious prosecution on drugs-related charges while Alicia is busy running for office, and at a point of desperation, fakes a Brady violation through computer hacking to have Cary's charges dropped off. Later, when her deception is caught, she is forced to surrender drug dealer Lemond Bishop to the state's attorney's office in order to spare Diane from prosecution and leaves Chicago behind for her own safety. Before she disappears, she says one last goodbye to Alicia.


Alicia Florrick[]

Kalinda met Alicia on Alicia's first day at Stern-Lockhart-Gardner, working on their first case together - a pro-bono appeal. She initially shared the opinion of the masses - that Alicia was a weak, guileless housewife who dutifully came back to work amid her husband's political scandal and very public affair - but after seeing Alicia's resourcefulness and gumption in spite of Diane's negative endorsement of a change in case strategy, she began to respect her. Over time, that respect turned into a true friendship and the two often had drinks after work dissecting Alicia's personal and professional life, arguing over Kalinda's frustratingly mysterious nature, or just celebrating/commiserating a case.

On the night of Peter Florrick's re-election, an investigator working for Glenn Childs told Alicia about an unsubstantiated rumor regarding her husband and a former employee named Leela. Remembering Blake Calamar's repeated use of that name for Kalinda, Alicia immediately understood the significance and that night she kicked Peter out, telling him that he slept with her best friend. A few days later, she confronted Kalinda and in a painful and heart-wrenching encounter that left both in tears, Alicia effectively ended their friendship. After almost a year of avoidance and awkward interaction, Kalinda and Alicia began repairing their friendship. Although Kalinda never stopped helping Alicia, her acts of friendship go largely unnoticed until Alicia finds out that Kalinda is the one who helped Grace the day she disappeared. When Kalinda lands herself in jail, Alicia bails her out and her coldness begins to thaw. Months later, they have a candid conversation about really trying to go back to the way things were and Kalinda agrees to be more honest and forthcoming.

Cary Agos[]

Kalinda has a somewhat flirtatious relationship with Cary that on good days stretches into friendship. When Cary worked at Lockhart-Gardner, she developed a little bit of a soft spot for him that continued to grow after he left. In "Lifeguard" she tells him,

"You and I have nothing in common. 'cause you and I are from different worlds. And it's not just Mars and Venus. It's spaghetti and hydrogen. We're different cateogries. I'm knowable, but just not to you."

Despite this, she frequently uses Cary as her contact at the SA's office and when things start to heat up with Blake and Glenn Childs, she reaches out to him for help. In "Great Firewall", she sends him and Alicia a change of address. He shows up at her apartment with information she requested and he asks her why she sent it to him. She told him that it felt like the normal thing to do - that she wanted to get back to normal. And in an impulsive moment, he softly kisses her and says, "welcome back to normal." When Cary decides to leave Lockhart/Gardner, he asks Kalinda to join their firm but leads her on about the job prospects, but offers Robyn the spot instead. Cary and Kalinda continue to have a flirtatious relationship and they frequently waver between comfortable camaraderie and a will-they-won't-they dynamic. However, in season 5 their relationship progresses as they have a sexual relationship. It ended after Cary's disagreement with Kalinda seeing other people.

Peter Florrick[]

When Kalinda worked at the State's attorney's office under Peter Florrick's supervision, she and Peter had a one night stand that no one knew about. Blake Calomar, while digging into Kalinda's past, pieced the information together. The circumstances of that night are still unknown, but Kalinda had no emotional investment in the affair and heavily regretted it as she grew closer to Alicia. In the episode "Getting Off" she tried to explain saying:

"I slept with him once. Now, I do that. It means nothing to me, but I do that. Look, Alicia, I didn't know you. I'd never even seen a picture of you. To me, you were just a housewife. Then I met you and I liked you; I liked working with you, I liked talking with you. I felt bad. I don't like feeling bad."


  • Her parents immigrated legally from India.
  • Upon trying to communicate with an Indian shopkeeper, it was revealed that she does not speak Hindi.
  • She is about 25 years of age, as denoted in the first season when Alicia comments "I haven't been in a courtroom for 13 years" and Kalinda responds with "I was 12 then"; the actress who plays her was actually 35 at the time.
  • Considered to be unreadable by most, she tends to keep herself at arm's length and has a stiff upper lip.
  • The actress who portrays her is British of Indian descent in real life.
  • She regularly has flings, but never relationships. 
  • She was/is married - presumably under the name Leela Tahiri - to Nick Savarese. 
  • She is almost always seen wearing a necklace with a horseshoe charm. Its significance is unknown.
  • Her vehicle of choice is a blue Chevy Trailblazer.
  • Growing up she was a troublemaker; upon visiting Grace and Zach's old private school, she mused about the building reminding her of those she used to graffiti.
  • Kalinda often uses her wiles to get information. Upon a co-worker mentioning her technique, Cary remarked, "I know plenty of people who knew their sexuality. Then they met Kalinda."
  • Kalinda is bisexual.