The Good Fight Episode 101 Recap: Lawyers, Lesbians & Money

Let’s get a little housekeeping out of the way first. I never watched The Good Wife. Okay, this is a lie. I’ve watched a couple episodes of The Good Wife, but only those pertaining exclusively to Kalinda Sharma being a badass. I mean, that’s a rule. Thou shalt not miss Kalinda going H.A.M. on some dude’s car. Still, as far as following the players and any other characters that were not Kalinda, I am at a loss. Like, Big and Carol Hathaway were also on that show, right?

Coming into The Good Fight my main point of reference to the series is a baseball bat and fond memories of Christine Baranski on Cybill. If you have even the foggiest notion of who Maryann Thorpe was please meet me around back for a martini and to discuss our pending hip replacements.

Right, so now that all that’s out of the way, we shall proceed. We open on the worst day of modern American political history. Donald Trump’s inauguration. In voiceover he is being sworn in as a stunned Diane Lockhart watches, slack-jawed, in a darkened room.

Same, girl, SAME.

That feeling when America would rather elect an angry Creamsicle than a qualified woman.

Then we cut to – Ygritte. The red-haired wildling warrior from Game of Thrones is taking the bar exam. So while Jon Snow still knows nothing, Ygritte (who now goes by Maia Rindell) knows a shit-ton about the law.

Hey, did you know Ygritte/Maia actress Rose Leslie descends from honest-to-goodness Scottish nobility? Like, she grew up in a castle. A castle. The more you know.

When you remember you’ve seen Jon Snow naked.

Speaking of castles, Diane is buying her own chateau in Provence. Look, don’t pretend that if you were also a liberally minded, incredibly wealthy attorney from Chicago you wouldn’t consider checking out of this country for the next four years.

While the inclusion of our new Cheeto-in-Chief was an obvious last-minute addition to the show (like everyone else, showrunners assumed Hillary would win when they filmed the premiere and that the world wouldn’t teeter on the whims of a narcissistic toddler with a Twitter account), I actually think Diane’s new-found inclination to flee is understandable – if not exactly commendable.

Meanwhile Ygritte/Maia is now in her apartment obsessively refreshing the bar exam results page. Behind her a blonde woman slumbers in bed. So at less than two minutes into The Good Fight we have our first bona fide gay ladies. Cue rainbow balloons, streamers and drone delivery of a toaster oven.

Suddenly the page refreshes to results, and Maia is now a real-live lawyer. Jon Snow Status: Still knows nothing, and also kind of a zombie. She bounces up-and-down in bed on top of her girlfriend in celebration because the universe still wants us to have good things – despite what the new White House says.

Mike Pence is scared of this.

Things now start to move quickly. Diane announces she is retiring from her law firm. Maia, who is Diane’s goddaughter and has a last name that carries powerful cache, joins her firm as an associate while worrying about seeming entitled. Maia’s father (played by that guy who was the police captain on CSI), who is in charge of investing all of Diane’s savings, and mother (played by Bernadette freaking Peters) arrive at her lavish retirement party where they needle their daughter about getting married because there’s finally no pesky Supreme Court to get in the way.

Marriage equality jokes! You know, I’d feel a lot better about this if Merrick Garland had been confirmed. Fucking Mitch McConnell.

As her mentor, Diane passes Maia the incredibly metaphoric baton/leather portfolio of the first female public defender in the city. They then join forces on Diane’s last case, a police brutality lawsuit. Unfortunately, they are not representing the black man getting the shit kicked out of him by the cops. So much for that fight being good.

Across the table are lawyers from the city’s most prominent African-American law firms, which also includes Lucca Quinn (played by Cush Jumbo, who you might remember as the fiancée to horrible Jay on Lip Service). Google tells me she is a former associate and friend of Alicia Florrick. Wait, are we allowed to say her name on this show? Or is she the Voldemort of The Good Fight?

I like Lucca because she calls Diane out on being on the wrong side of the table on this case. We can only hope this series delves more into the racial dynamics of Chicago and/or the whole damn country. We can also only hope the increased diversity in front of the camera is reflected behind it as well.

Maia points out what could be a pivotal piece of evidence to Diane. Helps when your family can afford a fancy car with a built-in security camera. But then, bam, shit starts to go very, very wrong. Like FBI agents are in Maia and her girlfriend’s apartment with a search warrant. And agents are at her parent’s house with cuffs. And, oh, did I mention all of Diane’s money – and that of pretty much all the nation’s “liberal elites” – is gone? Ponzi scheme says what?

Fuck, did I remember the dryer sheets?

Cue opening themes with lots of shit blowing up. We get it, show. We get it.

Maia is in shock, soon to be the most hated person in America because – wait, shouldn’t that be her dad? Oh, misogyny. You’re so fun. Her parents’ attorney comes over and wants her to look over papers, but her very smart assistant state’s attorney girlfriend (played by Heléne Yorke of Masters of Sex) tells her she shouldn’t because he is not her lawyer (I know, so much lawyering). Maia wisely turns him down proving for the umpteenth time how much more she knows than Jon Snow. I. Will. Never. Give. Up. On. This. Joke.

Admit it, someone is always cold when you shower together.

So now Diane wants her old job back, but even when your name is on the wall they refuse for reasons I don’t fully understand but will chalk up to old white man nonsense. And Maia is in trouble as an associate for reasons I don’t fully understand but will chalk up to slightly younger white man screaming threats at her nonsense.

Thank heavens for Lucca who has picked up the Kalinda badass mantle for The Good Fight. She tells that angry dude to piss right off. Then she follows Maia into the bathroom where she tells her to get her tears out within its aluminum stall walls. She tells her to harden herself and focus on the work. Also, can we talk for half a second about why American public restrooms have such wide slits in the doorframes?

I know, we should totally use that red/green occupied system like in European restroom doors.

At this point Diane and Maia find themselves on opposite ends of the same shit spectrum. The veteran who finds herself suddenly unemployable and broke. The newcomer who finds herself suddenly a social pariah and probably also broke. Instead of passing the torch to a new young female lawyer, they’re both struggling for daylight underneath that same, still uncracked, glass ceiling.

The face you make right before you look at your phone in the morning to see what crazypants bullshit Trump has done now.

Just when it seems all hope is lost, in comes Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo who was so great in The Chicago Code which seemingly no one watched except me because, hello, Bette Porter in a cop uniform) from the lawsuit’s opposing firm. He gives Diane the proverbial offer she can’t refuse – or believe. Come work for him. They joke that she will be his firm’s “diversity hire.” Hahaha, see, because reverse racism isn’t a thing. Like, for real, it does not exist.

He isn’t mad at her like the rest of her progressive friends about the Ponzi scheme. Because, here’s the thing, the Rindell Fund was invitation-only. And, wouldn’t you know it, they never got around to inviting black folks. Like I was saying, reverse racism isn’t a thing.

One of his firm’s other partners, Barbara Kolstad (played by Justified’s Erica Tazel) is none too pleased with Adrian’s audible to hire Diane. Barbara asks Lucca, who once worked with Diane, if they should hire her. And Lucca surprises them and says they should. Something tells me Lucca is the stealth hero of this whole damn series.

Baby, I told you, never read YouTube comments.

In the waning moments of the premiere, just when you’re thinking, this is great. Maia and Amy’s sexual orientation has been almost a non-issue – as it should be in 2017 – we get a “sex tape.” Granted, it’s not really a sex tape of them. It’s just a sex tape that has been posted on TMZ purporting to be them. I know this is meant to illustrate how far tabloid culture will go to sensationalize her family’s scandal.

But, let’s be honest, it’s mostly so The Good Fight could flash “Lesbian Sex Scandal!” across their teaser trailers. Nothing brings in that prime CBS viewership like a “lesbian temptress,” amirite?

Mike Pence is still scared of this.

Diane now triumphantly announces her departure to the firm and tells them not to let the door hit them in the pocketbook. You see, they’re about to have to pay out big-time in that police brutality lawsuit because of the evidence Maia discovered.

But while things are finally looking up for Diane, Maia is getting unceremoniously shitcanned by the other partners. She sheds one single tear before Diane swoops in, returns the leather portfolio/torch and telling her things aren’t over.

You wanna read the Alicia/Kalinda fanfic I write in my free time?

Find more from Dorothy Snarker: visit dorothysurrenders.com or @dorothysnarker.

Dorothy has written 14 articles for us.

82 Comments

  1. So much win in the premiere.

    1) A queer ladies couple that actually is established without all the gayngst and actually dealing with real world problems (albeit some pretty damn big ones).
    2) Christine Baranski being bad-ass as always.
    3) A legal case that actually highlights one of the top social/racial problems in the country.
    4) ANTHONY RAPP AS HER ACCOUNTANT. I was really hoping for a musical number: “You’re not able to afford rennnnt, you’re not able to afford rennnt..cuz EVERYTHING IS GONE!”

    I only re-watched the shower scene 4-5 times because I was so captivated by the actual storyline. A+++

  2. Every time a photo is captioned with Pence or Trump in the text, my Make America Chrome Extension replaces the photo with kittens.

    So, this happened:

    Cybill!! Christine Baranski was beyond genius on that show. To the point where she is all I remember about the show and I still can’t see her without first recalling the episode where she got into a drinking contest.

    Thanks for making me feel old.

    Looking forward to more of this! And the surreal experience of seeing a Dorothy Snarker byline on here.

  3. I originally skipped this headline because I also only watched the Kalinda badass scenes of the Good Wife. But then I saw Dorothy Snarker (finally!!). And you reassured me in the first paragraphs that it was cool to come into this knowing more about Maryann Thorpe than Diane ???. So thanks for that. And for the Cybill reminder (I had such a crush on the daughter, back before I knew I was gay).

    So good to have you here!

  4. I’m so happy that you’re recapping the show! My Monday is made (well, that and watching the #Sanvers episode on Supergirl tonight, but that’s a story for another time)! I enjoyed the show, and it was great seeing the old characters and meeting the new ones. I liked it so much I had to subscribe to CBS All Access! Yes, Good Wife/Fight…I just can’t quit you! BTW, I loved Chicago Code. Please!!!! Jennifer Beals/Bette “Freaking” Porter as the top Chicago cop and using a Chicago accent! Be still my heart! Frankly, I keep expecting that character to pop up on Chicago PD or something. If only! 😉

  5. I join everybody else in exploding with joy that Dorothy Snarker is here!!!!!

    Holding out hope that Kalinda makes a guest appearance at some point now that JM is not involved…

    But so much more here for this premise than TGW- any story that doesn’t center on heterosexuality is alright by me 😀

    • When Diane told someone at Lockhart Plus Seven Other Names to consult “the investigator” about something, my hopes immediately shot sky-high that that awkward phrasing (instead of just, you know, the person’s name) was an attempt to maintain the surprise that would result when the investigator turned out to be Kalinda. But it turned out Diane was on her way out of Lockhart + 7 and they just didn’t bother to name the investigator because s/he would never show up again. Boo.

  6. Dorothy Snarker! I nearly shed a tear of joy when I heard you were doing these recaps.
    These first two episodes were pretty good. I never was a huge follower of The Good Wife but I did enjoy the early Kalinda days and Diane Lockhart’s no-nonsense approach to almost everything. Christine Baranski is a tv goddess. I also like that they brought Eli’s daughter (Sarah Steele)back.
    So even if the show isn’t able to mantain its promising course (which I hope it will),I know that your recaps will save the day… making us smile or at least feel understood in our frustrations as an audience.

  7. I haven’t watched The Good Fight yet (I will as soon as I can because Rose Leslie and it seems good and shower… okay) but wait, you don’t use green/red system in restrooms in America? I had no idea. But I agree, you should totally use it.

    • Nope and I wish we did.
      Only portable toilets (plastic outhouses of smelly death) and airplane lavatories have an outwardly viewable thing on the latch that’s color coded and even then the words are often etched into the bit.
      Plus the latches in many restrooms here are terrible, it’s like no one used a level before drilling and installing.
      Also some latches are of a very minimalism sorta style and do NOT hold up to daily usage of an entire floor.

      I have a lot of feelings about bathroom stalls and public restroom design.
      <_<

    • The first episode aired on CBS proper but that was just an attempt to get people interested. The rest will air on CBS All Access, a subscription service that’s like $6 a month for TV with commercials and $10 a month for TV with no commercials. It’s a good show and I think I heard CBS All Access was also going to be airing a Star Trek reboot, but other than that I don’t know of that much that’s worth paying for. TGF is good though.

  8. The last caption is amazing because there actually exists a TGW fic where Diane writes Alicia/Kalinda fanfic. On AO3, not that I’m going to look it up again. It’s… something. And so many levels of meta.

  9. I hope The Good Fight ushers into a more realistic portrayal of queer ladies than The Good Wife did. Too much of Kalinda’s time spent with the woman she was sleeping with involved matching satin robes and literal hair brushing. I was like who are you, Spashley? You’re a grown woman. Don’t brush each others’ hair!

  10. First the joy of Sanvers last night and now Dorothy’s recap. :). So, so glad to read your recaps again. And seriously, you do not have the red/green system in restrooms – always think of America as way ahead of us in Africa :)).

    • I was not aware how many people were unaware of American’s awful public restroom door situation. But, literally, our options are 1) look underneath the door, 2) jiggle the door, 3) try to look through the crack in the door like a creeper. I don’t know why we don’t have the red/green system – but I blame the Big Bathroom Doors industry. I’m assuming that’s a thing. (Also, thanks for the warm welcome.)

  11. It is so great that this show is airing! I loved the good wife, even though the last few season were not the best.
    Watching this first two episodes of TGF I found similar dynamics, but a lot more diversity and I like that they are trying really hard to make the point..it is very rare since it is not shondaland!
    Looking forward to see how everything develops and, last but not least, Welcome Dorothy.. it is awesome to find you here!

  12. Oh how I’ve missed your recaps and Cybill! (I should have realized something was up when I was constantly crushing on Zoey/Alicia Witt)

    I’ve also only seen a few episodes of the Good Wife, but I’m really enjoying the Good Fight and this recap was hilarious. Hopefully there will be 9 more to look forward to!

    • This is ridiculously nice of you to say and you’ll be sorry when I start writing long-winded technical explanations of quantum mechanics. (Kidding, I don’t know anything about quantum mechanics, but it would be kinda cool if I did.)

  13. Anybody know if CBS all access streaming is available in Canada? I’d be willing to pay for it, but I’m afraid of the usual “this video has not been made available in your area” message after I shell out my ten bucks or whatever.

  14. Ugh, I have been so torn about whether to watch this. At first mostly because I love the Diane character and it felt like it would really hurt to see her lose it all and be hella freaked out. But now I’m sad that Lucca is on an opposing side, and yet, I love Ygritte and as a lesbian…oh man…

    So is it worth the anguish it will cause me??????

    • YES! I approached The Good Fight with so much trepidation, but so far (I’ve seen 3 episodes) it’s been truly joyful to see these characters again. I hate seeing characters that I love (Diane) lose it all, but it’s been really amazing to see her visibly pull herself together on screen.

      There’s a lot of that for a variety of characters: quiet strength and tamping down anguish. It doesn’t sound uplifting, yet I’ve really, really enjoyed it because the actors are so masterful. Totally recommend!

    • 1. Totally worth it.
      2. Diane may lose it all, but please you know she is in for a triumphant return at some point.
      3. Lucca is now on the same side, so we’re all good.
      4. But seriously, it is really worth it – and I don’t even normally like courtroom shows.

      • Whew! Good to know all this. I think I am convinced. Now how to access CBS all access, which, seriously would be JUST for this show. No package deals anywhere? At least I wish that new Star Trek they were talking about was happening. For 2 shows it might feel less crazy…

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