So let’s see. Where are we? Oh, yeah. Mike Kresteva’s ongoing quest to destroy Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad is ongoing. He has just taken the $800,000 bait about the firm taking a bridge. Colin tells Lucca then Lucca tells – not one of the partners first, as you might expect – but Maia. She sits down next to Maia and carefully, quietly tells her her father has betrayed her and is working with Kresteva. It’s such a nice moment. I mean, not the revelation; that’s awful. But the fact that Lucca knew enough to tell Maia first, to forgo rushing to tell her bosses and perhaps even protecting her own job that much more quickly. Yeah, that means a lot. I swear, this show and the ACLU are making me kinda love lawyers.
Kresteva and an Eric Trump-like Assistant US Attorney are reminding the grand jury they don’t need to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. They just need the appearance of wrongdoing. So to get that Kresteva seizes Elsbeth!’s Aida/Alexa. See, I told you those things were creepy. And do they really record and save all of your conversations? I am going to have to Google this immediately. OMG, they do, kind of. But for the benefit of this show they do totally and can be played back like a cassette tape you recorded of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 back in the day during grade school. Yes, I am willfully referencing things only olds will understand. Take that, whippersnappers.
Also, I love how Elsbeth! tries to purge all history before they take it but instead it gives her information on The Purge. Like of course she has a flaky automated voice assistant, of course. Anyway, the grand jury prosecutors listen to Aida/Alexa with Colin overseeing what is and isn’t privileged. Um, is that really how review of something like this would go? Like they can hear everything but if it is deemed privileged they super promise not to us it? And I don’t believe the law is settled on their admissibility in court yet, is it? Again, I am not a lawyer so what do I know.
What I do know is Aida/Alexa blows their cover about the fake bribe. But this information does not dissuade Kresteva and company. Instead they go back to Papa Rindell and ask him to record his daughter again.
So he does, and shows up at Maia and Amy’s place unannounced. And, surprise surprise, who is there? Amy. AMY IS ALIVE! Take her off the side of all those milk cartons. Mystery solved. She hands Maia a drink when she comes in the door and then promptly leaves. No, wait, come back. Come back!
Look, I like this show, I really do. The writing is smart, the characters are just as smart and they all hate Trump with a fiery passion, which is really the only smart thing we can do right now. But the way they’ve handled Maia’s girlfriend and relationship is not smart. We were treated to wonderful, casual intimate moments between these two for the first two episodes. They’re in bed together, they’re in the shower together, they’re incensed over fake lesbian sex scandals together. They’re seen doing the things normal girlfriends do without being (mostly) obviously salacious. But then for the next five episodes Amy is nowhere to be seen. She has disappeared off the face of the show, with only a passing mention.
And, from a writing standpoint, this also makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Amy is also a lawyer. Amy is the one who encouraged Maia to get her own lawyer. Amy would be the one Maia turns to for emotional and professional advice, period. I mean, Maia is going through some major shit. Her parents may be betraying her. Her dad is probably a huge crook. Who would she turn to for support? I dunno, maybe the woman she shares a home and a bed and a life with? I mean, call me crazy, but isn’t that how loving relationships work?
Well, at least from her literal (I counted) one-minute of screen time we’re able to glean a few important things. One, Amy and Maia may have to move out of their cool loft because of money. Two, Amy no longer feels warm, huggy feelings toward Papa Rindell. And three, their drink of choice is rum and coke.
Maia and Papa Rindell have it out. He is somehow mad at her for lying to him. Because, you see, he was really snitching to protect her from prosecution. But at least he tells them Kresteva wants to destroy the firm, at any cost. They both put their recording devices on the table and turn them off to have some real talk. Dude, if I was Maia I would have patted dear old dad down. Trust no bitch.
So now all the partners, plus Lucca, get served. Adrian in cooking class, Barbara on a date, Lucca before going out to run off some sexual energy. So now the firm has to figure out how to defend themselves because grand juries always indict, unless of course it’s a case against a cop who has killed an unarmed black person. Then, for some strange reason, they basically never indict. Really makes you think.
Elsbeth! and the firm decide the best course of action is to play the so-called “race card.” And, to be honest, it’s both brilliant and true. When getting attacked for racist reasons, the best defense is their own racism. You see, it’s not about convincing a grand jury anymore. It is only about convincing Assistant Attorney General Wilbur Dincon it will make him look like a bad racist to continue with the grand jury investigation.
So that’s what they do. One, by one the partners faithfully remind the grand jury/Dincon that R, B & K is the largest African-American firm in the Midwest, one of the top 10 black firms in the country, a majority owned African-American firm. Dincon, of course, goes ballistic and orders the task force to go after them in a way that can’t be seen as racist. So they subpoena the firm’s three white employees instead.
The good news is this episode is like a wonderful game of ping pong – like the Olympic kind where you can barely see the ball but know it’s there because of each countermove across the table. Elsbeth! and company hits back by subpoenaing Kresteva. Now the firm is suing him. I know! This episode has everything!
And so we’re gifted with another scene of Kresteva confronting Elsbeth! She’s getting ready to enjoy a fig newton bar when he barges in. She cheerily tells him he is being sued for “tortious interference with contractual relations.” In other words, he’s fucking with their business. Kresteva threatens and belittles her, which is always the bully’s fallback. And then he drops a Trump with a real, live “See you in court.” She chirps back, “Both courts!”
Man, part of me wants this ridiculous Kresteva business to never end because of all the delightful Elsbeth! business it brings.
Because this episode is determined to give us everything we now have a conflict of interest brewing for Colin and Lucca. The Assistant A.G. orders him to defend Kresteva in the lawsuit, even though he is a prosecutor not a defense attorney. And then when Colin says he can’t because of the dating Lucca thing, he orders him to stop dating Lucca. Sally Yates this man ain’t.
So now they’re all before the Honorable Judge Gallo. I do not believe this sardonic fellow is a holdover from The Good Wife days, but I could be wrong (in which case I blame Google). Colin tries to get it dismissed. He can’t. Lucca asks to be put second chair (to bug Colin). She does. And away to the races we go.
Can I add I really like this judge? Cranky as hell, but fair and willing to do that two-finger whistle thing in open court. More of him and Judge Abernathy, please.
So now it is Marissa’s turn on the grand jury stand. She is great because she is universally kind of great. Like, wouldn’t you like to go get like 300 beers with her? She also helps to suss out that Kresteva is coming after Diane for the police brutality case that started this whole thing. Continuity, it seems like such a little thing but anyone who ever watched Glee can tell you it freaking matters.
Marissa also notices someone waiting to go into the grand jury room. It’s none other than our Trump-supporting law partner Andrew Hart. I immediately worry about Julius Cain flipping on the firm. I mean, his name is Julius Cain. The only way it could be more obvious is if his name was Brutus Cain. But, no, Hart is just there because he is poaching clients off of Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad.
Lucca is doing a great job of distracting Colin and sucking on pens. But there aren’t enough pens in the world to get past the shitstorm that gets churned up when the firm’s litigation financiers get called in to the grand jury. Our swearing-adverse tech bros promptly point them in Diane’s direction, again on that same police brutality case. Diane knows she could be sunk because the help she gave Adrian could be considered “disbarrable.” They decide to use a “mere puffery” defense, which I do not fully understand but pretty much sounds like everything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that isn’t already an outright lie.
It doesn’t exactly work, because Kresteva and company smell blood in the water and circle Diane like sharks. And then Marissa and Jay discover what the mysterious nine-digit code behind all those names on the Schtup List really mean. They’re IRS employee company codes. And one in question stands out – Diane’s old law firm. And, of course, Kresteva brings it up in court.
After her grilling Diane goes in to see Adrian and tender her resignation. She knows she will be indicted, and doesn’t want to take the firm down with it. Henry Rindell takes the stand tomorrow and will surely sink her. But Adrian gives his best Braveheart speech, except without the blue facepaint or a penchant for calling women sugar tits when inebriated. He says they both have to fight him, so they might as well fight him together.
Here’s the thing about this show. The title is everything. Sure, at first it seemed like just a clever conceit for a spinoff to The Good Wife. But this show isn’t really a drama built around characters. It’s a drama built around fights. And, when it is at its best, it does just that. This is not to say the characters do not matter, not in the least. They are important and integral, but they truly work best when their fight comes together. And these fights, while bloodless, are as intricate and choreographed as any Game of Thrones battle scene.
Having overheard all this, Amy meets with her father sans recording devices. She confronts him about testifying before the grand jury. He, again, says he is doing it for her – and, let’s not kid ourselves, him. He is keeping Maia and her mom out of jail. And in his alternative-facts mind putting the blame on Diane for the fund is a good fight because it means he’ll get out in 10 years and be able to hold Maia’s future babies.
But then Maia drops the hammer. If he testifies, if she ever has any kids he’ll never see them. Of course, she doesn’t mention that this is only because they’ll be with Amy and we never see Amy. So there’s that. Papa Rindell looks shocked and then tries to leave her with a kiss to the head. But she and Amy are united on the no kissing a backstabbing dealmaker front.
Back on the lawsuit front Elsbeth! has one final witness to call. And, boy, is it a doozy. She calls Henry Rindell. Maia is nervous and Diane tells her she wishes she could tell her it gets easier. But that’s the thing about fights, they never get easier.
So Elsbeth! has Papa Rindell on the stand and has but one question to ask him. And that is – drum roll please – what did Mike Kresteva offer him in exchange for his testimony. Now it is Daddy Dearest’s turn to look at Maia with disbelief. Yeah, dude. She flipped you. She flipped you real good.
Well now that Papa Rindell’s sweetheart 10-year plea deal (instead of the decidedly less sweet life without parole) is public, a shit tsunami hits A.A.G. Dincon. And, poof, the grand jury is dead and Kresteva gets shitcanned. But, like any man who gets vanquished by a woman he considers far inferior to him, he just can’t pass up the chance to taunt his foe once more. He goes to visit Elsbeth! one more time to fuck with her paper shredding and give her her Aida/Alexa back. He also drops the completely unveiled threat that this isn’t over.
They say it’s never good to gloat. It is unseemly for the winners to take a victory lap, and for the most part I agree. But what is entirely seemly is for winners to show their gratitude to everyone on the field. And, in victory, Diane does just that.
She walks over to Maia and tells her she owes her a thank you. She could have protected herself, but instead she protected her. In any fight, loyal warriors are the most important ally. And, you’d better believe Diane won’t forget Maia’s sacrifice anytime soon.
Maia then makes us all jealous by going out to get those aforementioned 300 beers with Marissa. Well, they did earn it. Bottoms up, Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad.