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.

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The Good Fight s3 ep 1

The Good Fight comes storming back onto our screens with an unapologetically apocalyptic opener: REDACTED is a serial rapist and sexual abuser. In the manner of these things, this manages to be both a massive shock and, given the world we live in, not a shock at all, so there are reactions, recriminations and lots of terrible implications to contend with, and suddenly the very foundations the firm is built on are stripped away. What should they do? How should they do it? And how much did OTHER REDACTED know?

All these complicated questions are explored with the show’s razor-sharp intelligence and wit, underpinned by profound empathy, and peerless acting. A lot of tv shows are trying to cover #MeToo issues but I’m yet to see any of them handle it with the fearlessness, skill and bone-deep understanding of this one. Audra McDonald, in particular, is magnificent this week, and her scenes with Delroy Lindo are terrific. As is almost everything else. I mean – the NDA video! “Diversity in…. abundance”! Lucca, Julius and the breast-pump! You guys!

I do have a couple of quibbles, though. I’m not terribly keen on the very strange scene of Diane talking about how much better “real” men were in the old days (come on, Diane) to a wound on Kurt’s shoulder which talks back in the voice of Donald Trump. Really? You know I adore Diane, Christine Baranski is never less than majestic, and I’m very, VERY glad Kurt turned out not to be doing what it looked like he was doing, but that scene was a bit too bizarre for me. And since we’re nit-picking, even Marissa and a fantastic pair of sunglasses aren’t going to make me interested in wet blanket Maia. But none of that matters. “The One About the Recent Troubles” was absolutely terrific and I loved it. 

The Good Fight s2 ep 7

If this week’s TGF doesn’t quite hit last week’s heady heights for me, it comes very close – it’s only because I don’t care about Maia’s love life and I don’t quite know yet what the show’s trying to say about Marissa’s that it falls short at all. Those quibbles aside, though, everything in the other two main stories – both political, both handled with aplomb – is as awesome as we’ve come to expect from The Good Fight.

The magnificent combination of Christine Baranski, Delroy Lindo, Audra McDonald and Michael Boatman is joined by tv royalty Margo Martindale as the visiting DNC rep, and the ensuing battles about the rights and wrongs and how-tos of impeachment are dazzling: as witty as they are smart, and as sharp and pointed as they are fantastic fun. And they manage to get an Avengers and Justice League reference in there, which makes one half of unpopcult very pleased indeed. Heh.

As the partners duke it out in the conference room, meanwhile, Lucca is pulled into a different political campaign entirely with Colin’s unstoppable mum successfully luring her into his run for Congress. (I really like Colin – have I mentioned that?) Running for office storylines could sometimes be a mixed bag for The Good Wife – when they worked, they worked brilliantly; when they didn’t, we got Alicia’s campaign for DA – so it’s maybe too early to say how this one will pan out. But on the strength of this first outing, with the intriguing, amusing political director; the hilariously shameless Francesca; and a singing rabbit reminding me of this, it’s all looking pretty great so far. Maia’s love-life or not, “Day 450” is superb.