The Good Fight s3 ep 10

*SPOILERS*

Julius is leaving to become a judge, which is wonderful for him – there are Julius cookies! – but not wonderful for the show, because Julius is a great character. Maybe we’ll see him on the bench, maybe not. Meantime, the firm needs to replace him: Lucca or Rosalyn (me neither)? There’s an interesting sub-plot about race – it’s worth noting that many of the best parts of this season have been about race – and blackness, and I’d have liked some more scenes on that, but instead the partners lose their minds and offer the equity partnership to EFFING MAIA RINDELL, back again like a bad smell, and now in cahoots with the equally wretched one-man stink bomb that is Roland Blum. At least Maia was just wet and boring before they teamed up, but now she’s also self-righteous, hypocritical and helping ruin the finale, so thanks Maia. THANKS.

What was I saying? Oh, yes, Reddick Boseman’s big play to sabotage Blum’s plan is to offer Maia a minimum five-year partnership despite her INNATE AWFULNESS and the fact she is quite determinedly helping him try to destroy them. I hate almost every aspect of this storyline and adding Judge Toby from This Is Us into the mix does not make it better. I mean, I’m sure he’s perfectly nice in real life, but all I can see is TOBY. I will admit that the Judy Giraffe and ASMR stuff is funny, though, so I suppose that’s something. And it seems to end with Maia and Blum going off to DC, so maybe we’ll get lucky and they won’t come back. Or maybe we’ll get even luckier and they’ll be struck by lightning balls on the way there. And then they definitely won’t come back. A girl can hope.

Anyway. While the partners are dealing with this nonsense, Marissa and Jay try to “handle” the Book Club woman in the most ham-fisted, guaranteed-to-make-things-worse fashion possible. “That didn’t go the way I expected,” says Marissa. “REALLY?” says CJ. Because it went exactly the way *I* thought it would, but there we go. At least there’s still time to squeeze a sweet little story about Diane and Kurt in – it’s adorable – and one last short, before we end the season with a genuinely disturbing cliffhanger putting them both in terrible danger. Which… NO. If anything happens to either of them, my posts next season might be even angrier than this one.

Notwithstanding the brilliant, if terrifying, final few seconds then, ”The One About the End of the World” is a confusing, disappointing finale for a confusing, disappointing season. I understand that The Good Fight showrunners’ view is that that’s the best way to respond to the confusing, disappointing world we find ourselves in, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. The main cast were of course magnificent throughout the run, there were a handful of episodes which I did really enjoy and lots of excellent aspects even to the ones I didn’t, but this wasn’t just a “difficult” third season, it was a demented one and I found much of it deeply frustrating. If I weren’t a Good super-fan, and if I didn’t love the cast so much, I might have given up, but now we’ve made it to the end of season 3, I really, really hope the show gets its mojo back for season 4, because even I can’t be doing with much more of this.

The Good Fight s3 ep 9

No Kurt this week, so instead we get a two-for-one in the form of Blum and Maia teaming up to start a new firm. (This is a terrible deal, I want my money back and more Kurt pronto.) While the two worst characters in the show mess around annoying me, upsetting Marissa (who could maybe do with a bit of refresher training on confidentiality) and dragging down the episode, though, Reddick Boseman take no prisoners and go full throttle at the ADCB hearing to try and get Blum disbarred, to which I say THANK YOU and FINALLY, except not quite yet because my EPG says he’s back next week nonetheless. Argh.

All is not lost for the ep, though. Against the background of everyone waiting for the Mueller report, the Resistance story is the usual “the Book Club propose something dreadful, Diane worries they’re going too far” but instead of the equally usual “but Diane eventually decides the ends justify the means and goes along with it” ending, this time Diane realises they really have gone too far and it’s too late for her to entangle herself from them. Given that the next ep is the finale, it feels like this is going to be the second season in a row of TGF to end with Diane in real danger of going to prison. As the first season ended with Maia in real danger of going to prison, there’s definitely a theme.

Anyway, Christine Baranski is as wonderful as ever so the Book Club story is fine, but I can take or leave it as a story arc now, so if anyone who can make it happen is listening, can we move on for season four, please? The real gold this week is instead in the no-stone-left-unturned investigation Chumhum insists is carried out at the firm, which unfolds in so many terrific, clever, wildly uncomfortable, funny, sad, prescient and provocative ways I can’t even tell you. You can keep your Blums and your offices in the Loop; I could happily have watched a full hour of the turmoil caused by “Brenda” poking about and come back for more.

The Good Fight s3 ep 8

An episode steeped in classic Good Wife/Fight themes and dilemmas this week as the excellent case of the week pits the firm and long-term clients Chumhum against old frenemies Solomon Waltzer (hi Alan Alda!) and “motherless chi-i-ld” Felix Staples, with free speech vs hate speech, Sillicon Valley’s profits vs its morals and, spectacularly ironically, a short we don’t see because it’s censored by CBS. Turns out Silicon Valley companies aren’t the only ones who don’t want to upset the Chinese government.

The case of the week isn’t the only one going all meta on us, either: Lucca and Gary Carr’s romance continues, making some sort of point about (TV) life imitating (TV) art (I think), and it’s all very clever and mildly amusing but I still feel like I’m missing something. Maybe I’m just overthinking it. Points off for shoehorning in a monologue, however, even if it’s significantly less jarring than the ones we’ve had before as Cush Jumbo plays it less as directed to camera and more as directed to herself.

Amongst a crowded field of Good actors at the top of their respective games, though, this week’s MVPs are Gary Cole and his moustache as Kurt (who, delightfully, seems to work in a 70s spy thriller) accidentally intercepts an ominous warning meant for Diane and sets about solving a mystery and saving his wife, with the help of an unexpected ally – I was so impressed with the twist, I almost clapped my hands when I realised who it was. No Blum, no Maia, two terrific stories and a third that’s not too bad at all: job’s a good’un.

The Good Fight s3 ep 7

*SPOILERS*

I’ve been increasingly confused and a little distressed by the way this season’s Good Fight has very quickly changed from the best show on TV to… something else, so I don’t know if the new uber-wackiness has just worn me down and I was just relieved to get a reasonably traditional episode, but I really liked this?

Of course, when I say “reasonably traditional”, we did still have Lucca in a fledgling romance with Gary Carr from Downton Abbey playing Gary Carr from Downton Abbey (or so TGF and IMDB tell me, I don’t watch Downton Abbey). I didn’t quite understand why this was happening, to be honest – I mean, Rose Leslie was also in Downton Abbey and I know she wasn’t in this ep, but surely the fact that they specifically chose another person from Downton Abbey and not, say, some dude from Call the Midwife (I don’t watch that either) wasn’t a coincidence? What point am I missing? My distress levels are rising again….

Still, Cush Jumbo made it work and the very meta “wallet” scene was cute, so, despite my unshakeable suspicion that not only was something going over my head but it was all a bit unnecessary, that sub-plot worked out ok. It was very much a side dish to the bigger, better storylines of the week though, which, probably for the first time, wholly successfully married up the arcs involving the Book Club, the work and history of the firm’s characters, and the unspeakable Blum in a way which felt organic and meaningful, as opposed to gimmicky and weird.

Essentially, the firm took on a class action about dodgy voting machines; it turned out to be a cover for the next phase of the Resistance, giving Liz and Diane not only their now-weekly conflict of interest but an astronomically-high stakes moral dilemma too; and, in the midst of all of that, Blum started sniffing about threatening to air the dirty Reddick laundry if he didn’t get a permanent gig at the firm. (NO. JUST… NO.) Great scenes included Adrian shoving Blum up against a wall, and, at one point, when Blum was splayed across the window ranting about horned beasts and revenge or something, everyone turning round and completely ignoring him. Heh. And Diane actually getting to be a lawyer in court again – as opposed to an axe-thrower or whatever – for the first time in weeks and being fantastic at it was fab too. MVP for the night, though, was Audra McDonald’s Liz (with Christine Baranski assisting) – her scene explaining to Diane exactly why history isn’t one of the things they share was both utterly devastating and absolutely tremendous, as well as a reminder of why we’ve stuck with the show this season, wackiness and all.

The Good Fight s3 ep 6

*SPOILERS*

Blum is camped out at Reddick Boseman, ingratiating himself with Adrian and Julius, and even getting under Marissa’s skin, much to the frustration of Diane, Liz and yours truly. Lemond Bishop drops in to raise my hopes that we might be going back to some Good lawyering, only to dash them again by giving the show more excuses to keep Blum around. (Mike Colter’s Lemond is terrific, do something non-Blum-related with him please.) And Lucca is consulted in the most bizarre, roundabout way about a potential celebrity divorce. Whose? Jay thinks it’s REDACTED and REDACTED, but turns out it’s actually EVEN MORE REDACTED and REDACTED. Or maybe it isn’t. I think by the end of the episode we’re to understand that EVEN MORE REDACTED is a fake, but by then I just wanted it over with.

The initial stuff with Wade V and Zelda Raye, the hatbox of phones, everyone’s excitement that it might be the people it turned out not to be – all that’s fun, and Cush Jumbo battles valiantly to try and keep the rest of it on the right side of strange. Unfortunately, though, she’s saddled with a storyline that’s just a bit too weird and arch to work. Also, I’m no fan of the individual portrayed, but the “short” of the week is just obnoxious too. So it’s an episode best forgotten as far as I’m concerned. And everybody can just knock it off with the talking to camera, just STOP.

The Good Fight s3 ep 5

It was too much to hope that we might be done with Blum by now: he’s back this week, somehow having stolen twenty-one clients from Reddick Boseman et al, and jump-started their multi-million dollar class action without them noticing anything at all. Anyway, I still hate him but he’s significantly more bearable this week because – like Diane – Adrian can handle him a lot better than Maia did. The suggestion is that that’s because Adrian is a bit of a Blum himself, which is a gross insult to Adrian if you ask me, but never mind. If this caricature has to hang around (another two episodes this season, apparently), anyone who can keep him from derailing the season entirely deserves all the hi-fives in the world.

Not that hi-fives is exactly the right word to describe the, um, “rewards” Adrian is getting. His new girlfriend reminds me a lot of Will’s old ex who also liked to live dangerously during the working day. (Tammy? Maybe?) I’m somewhat dubious about the idea that a judge would risk all sorts of consequences by interrupting another judge’s ongoing hearing just for a little afternoon delight with counsel, even if Boseman is a very attractive man, but the story feels like it might be going somewhere beyond the odd cheap thrill so let’s see how it plays out.

At the other end of the legal ladder, meanwhile, Maia is feeling hard done by, blaming everyone else and turning up her nose at any help offered. That’s not going to do anything for me. Which leaves us with Jay and Lucca who have been sent off partly to act as poll observers and partly to get them the hell outta Dodge while the partners try to work out what to do about the intra-firm warfare Jay kickstarted last week. The poll stuff is terrific, with TGF’s signature elements of intelligence, humour, sharp socio-political commentary, a keen sense of the ridiculous, and, er, another catchy “short” all in evidence. There’s even a little bit of a love triangle! The only issue I have with it is the break in the fourth wall at the end, which suggests that the show doesn’t trust the audience to work out for ourselves what the inspiration for the episode was, but it’s still far and away the best storyline of the week and more than made up for issues with the others.

The Good Fight s3 ep 4

After two weeks of the wretched Roland Blum ruining everything, I was beginning to worry about The Good Fight. Lucky then that this week’s ep is the Blum-free “One Where Lucca Becomes a Meme” which not only gives us a break from his gurning, but reminds us, or me at least, of why we fell in love with TGF in the first place. What a fantastic piece of tv this is.

An unhappy collision between Lucca’s sense of humour and a busybody in the park leads to internet infamy, which would have been more than compelling on its own, but turns out just to be the appetiser. The main course is the unflinching, powerful look at the firm’s internal racial politics which it leads to, with Jay at the epicentre (a terrific performance by Nyambi Nyambi) and Maia and Marissa caught in the aftershocks. (Although Maia’s lucky she wasn’t REDACTED long before now, if you ask me, and she more than deserved it. We’ll just see if it sticks.)

The story is brilliantly written – clear-eyed, insightful and brave – and beautifully acted, and it’s not even all since, by way of dessert, we also get an incisive and almost as tremendous look at What Diane’s Resistance Group Did Next, (inspired by this and the history leading up to it) with questions about the ends, the means, and at what point you become as bad as the people you’re fighting writ large throughout. Superb.