So here we are. Like everyone on The Good Fight, we have survived the first three months of the Trump administration battered, bruised, bloodied, but here. Sure, we’re all more tired, more scared, more confused, more pissed than we were this time last year. But, still, we’re here*.
*Disclaimer: By the time this published Donald J. Trump may have eaten another beautiful slice of chocolate cake and decide to start World War III, in which case apologies for my mistake.
Maia Rindell, a bright young lawyer at the start of her career with a lovely girlfriend whose primary role seems to be delivering her drinks and bad familial news, is sitting in Adrian Boseman’s office. She takes a deep, centering breath. We’ve come full circle as the opening strains of our queer artist Erin McKeown’s “You Were Right About Everything” again plays. Which reminds me, man, do I have to download this song.
It’s the same song that played as Maia was about to take her bar exam and as Diane toured her villa in Provence. It’s the same song that should probably have been Hillary Clinton’s campaign theme. But enough about wildly prophetic music you can tap your toe to.
Maia is getting her first biannual progress report as an associate. Adrian and the horrendously underused Barbara tell us what we already know. She is smart and she has a habit of over-apologizing (Sorry, does that make sense? Sorry, I mean, she says sorry too much. Sorry, what were we talking about? Sorry.) But, mostly, she has a problem with boldness. At this point I kind of wanted her to rip off her workplace-appropriate attire and reveal her full Wildling costume underneath, then shoot her personnel file out of their hands with an arrow and say, “You know nothing, Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad!”
Instead she is tasked with following a partner for 24-hours and not taking no for an answer. They then give her two weeks, behind her back, to improve.
It’s also Lucca’s review time and, trust me, boldness is not her problem. Then they tell us what we already know. She kicks ass and they better put her on the partner track and get her office away from the slamming men’s room if they want to keep her.
Maia and Lucca share a moment on the couch. Sorry, not sorry. They chat about their reviews and whether Jane Lynch is really going to arrest her. Gosh, I like their dynamic. Here’s hoping for more of that in season two. And, of course, more of Amy who I presume will be there when Lucca drops by for dinner later that night, as invited.
Marissa, who is getting really good at this investigator thing despite there being no job opening at the firm given Jay’s very secure employment, ushers in Diane’s new client. Oh, fuck wank bugger shitting arse head and hole. It’s Larry. It’s fucking Larry. We’ve successfully run him off Orange Is the New Black and he comes to ruin yet another show with perceptible lesbian content.
It’s Jason Biggs back as Dylan Stack, the bitcoin-creating lawyer from The Good Wife days. He has used the word “disrupt,” so already I dislike him. Also, he’s Larry Bloom. He claims he has been set up and the code to take down Chicago’s power grid magically appeared on his laptop this morning. He offers Diane & Co. a literal trash bag filled with money to help him get protection from cyberterrorism charges in exchange for diffusing the shutdown, which will happen at 7 p.m. sharp otherwise.
The partners send Lucca, the firm’s only lawyer with a strong connection (ahem) to the DOJ to initiate talks. Larry (what, he’ll always be Larry) has given them a flashdrive with the code. Lucca brings it to Colin, along with one of his T-shirts he left behind. Honey, don’t you know all abandoned clothing is orphaned and officially up for adoption post breakup. Those are the rules; I don’t make them up.
Speaking of rules, you know how the IT folks at work are always yelling at you about bringing flashdrives in from home. Something, something about infecting the whole network something, something? Yeah. I guess sometimes your IT folks are right about some things.
Lucca gives Colin the flashdrive. Colin gives his boss the flashdrive. His boss plugs the flashdrive into his laptop. And his laptop gives the whole city the blackout bug. Really, this is all Assistant Attorney General Dincon’s fault for not listening to IT in the first place. Never stick something of unknown origins into your anything is a good rule of thumb for computers – and life.
But instead, of course, Dincon blames the nearest woman. He and a bunch of white dudes in suits come storming into the firm to detain Lucca as a “material witness.” Now, I think it’s dumb to have a show this good hidden away on a brand new, incredibly limited streaming service. But getting to hear Lucca say, “I am just going to fuck you up” at Dincon as he takes her away is almost worth it.
Over on the energy-sucking Rindell Ponzi Scheme plot, Papa Rindell has been offered a take-it-or-get-life-in-prison deal of 35 years by Dincon. He makes a call to a shady character who arrives and receives a shady satchel full of cash. Apparently he is going to run, but then his lawyer tells him if he takes the deal they won’t prosecute Maia. Decisions, decisions. But nothing that can’t be figured out over a nice family dinner, right?
Running, both figuratively and literally, is a theme for everyone on this chaotic day. Diane has run to the hospital to see her estranged(-ish) husband, Kurt, who has been in some sort of car accident. Which, as it turns out, was more like jumping a carjacker to save a baby from being kidnapped. So now he is Internet famous for something other than blinking or being named Daniel. All this life-risking hero stuff makes Diane think it might be time to knock that negative adjective (-ish and all) off the front of “husband.”
So now the firm has gone to court to get Lucca out of detention. They successfully argue for a temporary restraining order to get her released. But then Dincon turns around and charges her as a co-conspirator to cyberterrorism. See, this is what happens when men can’t just accept blame for their own mistakes. You plugged a foreign flashdrive that you knew contained a cyber threat into your laptop, dude. Arrest yourself for stupidity.
Diane and Adrian go back to talk with Larry, who professes his innocence. He says it was probably one of the guys he talks with on 4Chan, which only makes him seem even more Larry/less likeable.
The 4Chan trail leads them back to alt-right troll king Felix Staples. He has pulled a Milo and fallen out of favor for saying something about dead children and school shootings. His political opinions remain as awful as his sartorial choices. But he also swears he isn’t the hacker, so they make a deal. If he helps them, they’ll sue the people who have been cancelling his speaking contracts. Well, that’s fine. Historically deals with the devil have always worked out.
Adrian, with a newly emboldened Maia in tow, argues before the court’s most staunchly conservative judge that Dincon’s case is flimsy. On the stand as the government’s witness is Colin, who always looks like he hates his life more than anyone in the room. That is, when he isn’t looking like a guy who can’t wait to take healthcare away from millions of Americans.
Adrian storms back into the office yelling that Larry used them to get past the government’s firewall and infect the system. Duh. I mean it, duh. This show is always so well written, but as soon as I saw his smirky smirk I knew it was Larry. It’s always Larry.
Maia calls and they’ve started court again early so she has to handle the rebuttal witness. Adrian coaches her to get angry and focused. From the flare of her nostril and twitch of her face, we know all that pent-up Wildling spirit is ready to come out.
And then, boy, does it come out. Consistently, and no doubt by design, we have seen less of Maia’s legal abilities and more of her familial entanglements. Sure, we’ve seen glimpses of the intelligent young lawyer in there, but they’ve hung this anvil of the Ponzi scheme around her so she kept having to stoop to its level. But this display, it would make even Ygritte proud.
Victorious in court, Maia goes to have dinner with her family. Again, where is Amy? Also, does she plan on having two dinners because isn’t Lucca coming over later? Papa Rindell excuses himself to call his lawyer and say he is taking the deal and will self-surrender. But, you know, can you really trust a guy who was ready to abandon his dog?
Now, in one last twist we all saw coming, Felix is helping to ensnare the hacker. They’ve set up a meeting at a Chinese restaurant and Diane is there to witness. In walks – please, no drum roll, we all know already – Larry. You see Larry is a Bernie Bro trying to bring about a revolution. Oh course Larry is, of course. So, there you have it, the Alt-Left working with the Alt-Right to make America insufferable still.
The feds arrive to drag him off in handcuffs just as the lights go out. Back at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad, Adrian is gazing upon a darkened city. Diane joins him and they muse about the grim, weird times we live in where so many are rooting for America to fail. Like a grand piece of machinery where something has come detached. Barbara, listening silently to them from outside the room, looks worried that her own connection to Adrian has become detached as well.
It’s a lovely metaphor. And, truly, the clunk-clunk-clunk of our country’s current dysfunction is impossible to miss. But I think what’s wrong with America isn’t that our essential machinery has broken down. It’s that for too long too many people looked at others as just cogs and gears to serve their larger machines. But, that’s the thing about us humans; we are never just cogs or gears. We’re all whole machines. And how we work should only ever be our own decisions. So that clunk-clunk-clunk is indeed coming from the old machines. But it’s from those who demand others serve them grinding their own gears to dust to stop us from being finally free.
The Rindells are sharing a candlelit meal of pizza on paper plates. Wow, maybe they really are broke. Mama Rindell breaks the news that Henry has taken the 35-year plea deal to Maia. When she confronts him and says he should fight. But he confesses. He did it. Jax did it. Lenore did it. They all did it. They were all in on the scheme. He apologizes for disappointing her with tears in his eyes. Maia tells him, “You never could.” Oh, sweetie, give it five minutes.
Diane decides her hero husband deserves a second chance after all, and comes inside with him after driving him home. He promises to never hurt her again. Oh, so everyone is making crazy promises tonight? Got it.
Maia is back home, drinking wine alone by candlelight. Dammit, time to put Amy back on the milk cartons. There’s a knock on the door. Is it Amy? No, it’s Lucca. I’m not let down – because, come on, it’s still Lucca. But do better with Amy and Maia’s relationship, show. Do a lot better.
Lucca says it looks like a “soft porn movie in here” and it’s like naughty angels are singing. Amy’s absence gets explained away as “she’s on her way home.” They toast to a crazy day and crazy last three months. Maia then says she thinks the next three months will be “boring” because the universe demands balance.
Oh, Maia, you beautiful, naive, sophisticated newborn baby.
There’s another knock at the door and Maia thinks Amy has forgotten her keys again. And that’s what it was. Amy comes in and together the trio polishes off that bottle of red and opens another one. They start talking about college experiences. Lucca confesses she had a brief fling with a female law professor. They open another bottle of wine. They talk about the nature of monogamy. And then the three of them decide they are all consenting adults willing to explore things in an open and trusting way with full acknowledgment of each other’s agency. So they put that soft porn movie lighting to exquisite use.
Kidding. It’s Dincon who tells Maia her asshole dad has fled and she is under arrest. In Trump’s America there can be no boring. Only endless WTFery and an inevitable fade to black.