Snark Tank; Recap
The Good Fight 1.1 Inauguration and 1.2 First Week
Diane Lockhart has proudly displayed a photo of herself and Hillary Clinton in her office as long as we’ve known her — she points it out to Alicia in their very first scene together.
The Good Fight’s first episode was meant to begin with Hillary Clinton’s presidential inauguration, a signal that Diane can relax, retire, and write a memoir that would certainly feature that photograph. Instead, The Good Fight’s first episode begins with Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, with Diane alone in a dark room shutting off the television in disgust before the man can speak. And it turns out to be tonally perfect.
Diane still announces her plan to retire and write a book — from her villa in France, because Diane is a member of that class of liberals who really can leave the country in protest. Or she was, before it all comes crashing down. Diane loses everything when her oldest friend, and financial advisor, is arrested for running an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Not only is Diane’s retirement fund gone and her assets frozen, so she loses her Under the Tuscan Sun fantasy life, she can’t get a job because she unwittingly steered friends and clients to their own financial ruin. Diane’s triumph becomes Diane’s tragedy overnight. Just like Hillary.
Enter Adrian Boseman, Diane’s legal foil in what should have been her last case. He sees an opportunity to use Diane’s knowledge, and anger, and offers her an equity partnership in his mainly African-American law firm. Adrian’s pitch is straightforward: “You got screwed here, Diane. Come with me and screw them back.” She agrees, and even gets him to hire her goddaughter and protege, Maia, who, as the daughter of Diane’s imprisoned friend and financial advisor is having an even worse week. On the advice of her lawyer, she’s estranged from her family. Her personal life becomes tabloid fodder, including a fake sex tape of her and live in girlfriend, Amy. Her phone buzzes endlessly with death threats and rape promises and a man chases her down a hallway screaming he’ll sue her, which leads to a brilliant scene with my girl Lucca Quinn telling her how to handle the furor until it inevitably dies down. Lucca jumps in to help Maia be her best self again in the second episode and they are for sure my new favorite Girl Squad.
Case of the Week
In the pilot, “Inauguration”, Diane is representing Cook County against a black man allegedly assaulted by the police. With Maia’s help she uncovers that there was nothing alleged about it and while she can’t tell her new firm, she delights in passing off the failed defense to her old one.
In “First Week”, Maia is assigned to pro-bono union work and determines to help a shoe salesman accused of stealing. With Lucca’s assistance and Marisa Gold’s help (jn a successful bid to become Diane’s new assistant), the case balloons into a multi-million dollar class action suit against a string of retailers using police interrogation methods to force confessions of wrongdoing in order to garnish wages. Unfortunately, it was not the first time the shoe salesman was accused of stealing and the case crumbles.
Kurt’s cheating is confirmed and he and Diane have been separated for the year in between the end of The Good Wife and the beginning of The Good Fight. Now, she’s counseled to divorce him in order to keep his assets from being frozen like her own. Kurt doesn’t want the divorce and vows to fight it despite the threat to his money and Diane’s assertion that there is nothing left between them.
Adrian already has his own ‘Diane’ in partner Barbara Kolstad and with the scandal + marital woes, Diane is being set up as the new Alicia, so if they want to follow that through to an Adrian and Diane tryst I am here for it!
Lucca watches the scandal unfold with a random half-naked guy and I also here for that!
Maia and Amy are ADORABLE.
Maia discovers her mom (played by the incomparable Bernadette Peters) in a compromising position with the man her parents had been blaming the Ponzi scheme on. So it’s possible Maia’s dad/Diane’s friend is another victim in this.
After many stumbles dealing with race in The Good Wife, it’s awesome to see diversity take center stage here. Beyond the set up of a black firm, the examples of casual and overt racism just keep coming. In response to Diane wondering why he doesn’t care about her scandal, Adrian calls out the Ponzi scheme’s ‘exclusivity’. David Lee sends Diane a box of African tribal masks as a parting shot. Maia is the only white lawyer helping the union workers and has the longest line — and when Lucca approaches one of them he prefers to wait despite Lucca being an experienced associate and it being Maia’s second week on the job. Barbara is unimpressed when Diane hires Marisa as her assistant over a roomful of black women. And I am thrilled to see Julius Cain as managing partner of Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad after trying to get diversity initiatives out of Lockhart/Gardner Etc. for years.
Speaking of Lockhart/Gardner Etc., Diane’s firm was called “Lockhart, Decker, Gussman, Lee, Lyman, Gilbert-Lurie, Kagan, Tannebaum, & Associates” when she left, which is even more hilarious and absurd than “LG”.
We got two and a half glimpses of Will Gardner (a photograph, and two slides, one clear and one fuzzy) and two and a half mentions of Alicia Florrick (Diane asked Lucca if Alicia had also joined her new firm, Marisa mentioned Alicia had been the one to hire her at the old firm, and Lucca referenced “a friend” who’d gone through the kind of scandal Maia was dealing with).
I’ve had CBS All Access since the summer before the final season of The Good Wife so I don’t care that The Good Fight is on the streaming platform and not network TV. In fact, as someone with only streaming access, I applaud CBS for giving me the option. A CBS All Access monthly subscription costs about as much as one venti latte from Starbucks. Just do it.