To which voice I would very kindly reply: "Fuck off, Nice. This is my house. You weren't born here, you were put here by my enemies to make me stupid and weak. Come back when you've decided to help. Because I have decided to help."
Which brings us to the end, and that question still ringing in her ears: Is she being nice, or is she being kind? If she's being nice, she'll "forgive" Kalinda and just resent her forever and they will never love each other again. But if she's being kind, she has to check in with herself and see where they're at, and then tell Kalinda. It's a small choice, but a very big one too. A very brave, very kind choice, presented verbatim.
Alicia: "The other day when you brought the beer, I wasn't..."
Kalinda: "It's all right. They were warm anyway..."
Alicia: "Look, I can't go back to the way it was before. There's just been too much... But . I'd like to try to make it work. It's just that everything... it has to be... on the table. I can't be the only one being forthcoming. I can't be the only one being honest. Can you ... do that?"
Alicia isn't asking her to be nice. They were never nice. They will never be nice. Nice between women is a mindkiller and the opposite of intimacy. Nice between women is what she's been demanding from Diane for three years now, and getting the kindest smackdown every time, because Diane doesn't do nice. See a bright light and the fastest way to darken it is the simplest linguistic trick: You simply call it "harsh" instead of "brilliant." You ask for nice instead of kind, and everything goes dark.
But if Caitlin taught us anything, it's that fear between women is a tool of the enemy, and that trust between women is possible, even -- especially -- women that aren't nice. And nobody is less nice -- and nobody is more kind -- than Kalinda Sharma. The woman Alicia thought she wanted to be, one day, if she could just figure out how to get the strength without the hardness that comes with it. Brilliance without harshness. The one she received grace and strength from, when she needed it most, is now asking her for those things in return. So Alicia asks herself if that's possible, and when she answers it's with God's honest truth:
As long as we are never, ever nice.
JACOB CLIFTON is a freelance writer and critic based in Austin, Texas. He currently recaps Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, Pretty Little Liars and True Blood for TWoP. Jacob can be found online at jacobclifton.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook. IRL work appears in BenBella's SmartPop series of anthologies, most recently A Friday Night Lights Companion and Fringe Science.