Sunday, May 27, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - Diane is Targeted by the Government for Her Beliefs and Past Actions in 'Day 492'

CBS All Access' The Good Fight - Episode 2.13 "Day 492"

The FBI question Diane as part of a job background check on Kurt, leading to unexpected and serious consequences. The mayor of Chicago invites Adrian and Julius to join a "think tank" tasked with figuring out how to spend funds that will address the "Kill All Lawyers" problem. Chaos ensues in the delivery room after Lucca goes into labor early.

This has been an incredible season for The Good Fight. The show found its distinct voice this year that was able to have such eloquent conversations about the most timely issues while still being such hilarious satire of the entire world. Yes, that was much more difficult for the show to do when the world has frequently been stranger than fiction. And yet, the show went all-in on that insanity. This season covered the Trump presidency and the way it has changed the world better than any other show at the moment. It reflected this change in atmosphere that infects so much of our day-to-day lives even when it has absolutely nothing to do with politics. The insanity and humor were on full display throughout this season. Yes, some stories were inherently political like the DNC interviewing the firm to represent them in impeachment hearings or the firm getting their hands on the Golden Shower tape. But the core narrative of the season was Diane trying to figure out how to remain sane in a world that is getting more and more insane with each passing day. She thought she could just embrace the insanity and do whatever she wanted with no regard for the consequences of her action. That's exactly what the president is doing. She deserves to have that freedom as well. And yet, her microdosing and sleeping with Tully only created more problems for her. Even her final conclusion of trying to keep her corner of the world as sane as possible despite the insanity elsewhere proved to be more arduous than she was expecting. It's absolutely crazy that the season ends with Diane possibly being indicted for conspiracy to assassinate the president. That's something that she would never realistically do. That would be the show epically jumping the shark if it actually pursued that story. But it also highlights how this government is deciding to allocate its resources. It's trying to build this case against Diane. They have the convincing evidence to do so as well simply by the mere accusation that she has this client currently plotting to shoot the president. It's not an easy situation for Diane to escape. And yet, she ultimately finds her solution simply by knowing when to follow the law and when to break it.

All of this really swirls up into a big legal mess for Diane because Tully decides to waive attorney-client privilege. He sees no reason to hide behind lawyers in this investigation. He sees his relationship with Diane as something more than just her being his attorney. In fact, that was just a casual benefit of what he believed their dynamic to be. He saw them as lovers with the benefit of helping him out once he was arrested for inciting a riot. It's clear that Tully was a bad influence. There was no way he could ever be good for Diane. He just seems poised to ruin her life by taking down her career and ending her relationship with Kurt. Diane felt the need to keep this romantic relationship a secret from her husband. He has had his suspicions. He didn't let that interfere with his desire to actually get back together with her as an actual married couple. He was ready to make the commitment to actually living together in the same house for the rest of their lives. Up to this point, they have just been visitors in each other's lives. Kurt wants this job at the FBI. And yet, it appears that the routine background check is also a contributing factor to the problems Diane faces here. The FBI is targeting Diane with judgment because she didn't do the right thing to report Tully for his intention to commit a criminal act. That could get her disbarred. If she was even planning the assassination with him, then it would be a conspiracy and a life sentence in jail. This season has seen her talking out against the current administration on multiple occasions. She's angry about the corruption currently happening within the government. She was furious and didn't find any sense of peace until she started training in aikido. Of course, her comments are now being twisted around to hurt her as she is being targeted with this conspiracy. The prosecutor who was going after Jay last week is the prosecutor attacking Diane now. It makes it seem like this firm is constantly on the verge of destruction because it represents a greater threat to the current people in power. And that has been a very fascinating story throughout this entire season.

Diane is in consistent danger of going to prison throughout this episode because the government keeps pulling out these recordings of her most private moments where she is just so cavalier about violence. They have a wire tap of that time Diane and Tully were in bed together and she discovered the illegally modified weapon in his bag. They also have the private recordings from the DNC interview when she talks about taking to the streets with her gun. It stirs up such curiosity as to how these prosecutors even got these recordings in the first place. Are they actually misusing government funds and monitoring Diane without cause? Or are some of the firm's allies not as friendly as they have always presented? It affords the show the chance to bring back Ruth Eastman once more. She would not have the Golden Shower tape to use against Trump at some point if necessary without the firm. She should be indebted to them. And yet, she was quick to hand over the recording of the initial interview because she wants the DNC to be seen as supportive of the government as they are going after people plotting to kill the president. She wants the organization to be seen as one that still has respect for the office despite the man who is currently sitting there. It's her way of protecting herself and her mission for the midterm elections. Right now, she is solely focused on getting Democratic control of Congress so that they can start impeachment hearings. She will immediately fight back against any claim that has the potential of hurting the DNC in that regard. Diane has been a friend. But here, she is the enemy simply because of the comments she made because she felt the pressure to be more entertaining and passionate to the people listening in on this meeting. And now, Diane is paranoid because the government could be listening in on any conversation she is having. And yet, that turns out to be hot for her as well because it's so sexy and powerful to have Kurt in her corner willing to fight for her - even against his future employer.

Diane is also wrestling with the fact that the law is working against her. It really does seem like she was conspiring to kill the president. The evidence is not on her side. She believes the only way she will beat these charges is by getting the prosecutor thrown off the case by revealing his apparent affair with his co-counsel. It seems like such a stereotypical kind of workplace relationship that is so incredibly toxic. And yet, it's also just revealed that this guy happens to be a good man with a wife and three children who moved this woman to Chicago so that she would be far away from President Trump. It's just the latest instance of the show throwing even more accusations against the president for his immoral behavior and defamation of the office. He's just a guy willing to sleep with anyone he finds attractive even while facing so much public scrutiny. Diane has to find a way to be okay with using this information to her advantage. So much has happened in this past year that has forced her to look at the world differently. The law brought so much clarity to her and Adrian. But now, they are sitting in the office and getting drunk with Liz worried that the laws are no longer as just as they once were. Now, the government is deporting pregnant woman back to the countries where they are sentenced to die. There is just no compassion or empathy. As such, it's important for them to keep fighting. They can do that by always presenting as the smartest people in any room. Adrian struggles with making a difference in curbing the "Kill All Lawyers" violence. But he holds the power to actually write down the initiative that will go into effect. That means he can make it whatever he wants. Meanwhile, he also has the connection to get this story out to the public to discredit the prosecutor on Diane's case simply by spreading fake news. It's a solution they all have to be okay with. They are ruining the career of one man simply because he chose to be loyal to Trump. And yet, the firm sees it as necessary to keep Diane fighting alongside them.

Elsewhere, everyone is waiting for the happy news that Lucca has given birth. She hasn't really prepared for this big moment because she didn't want it to affect her performance at work. She didn't want to be seen as the expecting mother who could no longer do the job that she was hired to do. She didn't want to face that prejudice. So, she was determined not to take any time off. She didn't want a maternity leave. She was inducing on a specific day so that it wouldn't interfere with her schedule. That's what makes it so unexpected but delightful when she goes into labor two weeks early. She wasn't expecting that to happen. She thought she could get the epidural to take the pain away. But she does have to bear with the pain for almost an entire day because it's a long labor. That allows Colin to be in the room for the birth of his son. He is so absolutely ready to start a family in Washington, D.C. with him as a Congressman and her working with the personal attorney to the Obamas. He's excited about what the future holds for this family. And yet, there's still so much that the two of them haven't talked about. Their mothers get into a fight about religion, how the baby will be raised and if Colin and Lucca will be getting married. The show is presenting it as two crazy older women trying to force their will onto their children. Francesca has had time to adjust to the realities of Colin and Lucca's lives. But she still wants to do everything possible to prove that she is a liberal who understands black culture. She is so supportive that she thinks the doctor is actually Lucca's mother and not Judith Light. She doesn't seem to register how a person could be biracial. That's what Lucca is though. Her mother seems to have her own opinions and hasn't always known what Lucca has decided. And yet, she does present some very wise advice to her. She tells her that she needs to be happy when she comes home to her family. If she's not happy upon seeing them, then it isn't a relationship she should be in. And right now, Lucca is much more excited to see Maia and Marissa at her apartment then she is at the prospect of moving to D.C. to be a family with Colin. Of course, he isn't really listening to her concerns about the move either. So, it's bound to be quite an interesting journey for the two of them moving forward. One that may not end with the two of them together as a family.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Day 492" was written by Robert King & Michelle King and directed by Robert King.
  • Adrian and Julius join a panel commissioned by the mayor to figure out a way to end this pattern of lawyer killings. They are the two responsible adults in the room. They are joined by Trip the federal judge who knows nothing, the host of a Fox & Friends parody show, a well-respected high school teacher and a representative from the NRA. They think they have the solution in creating a gun buy-back program. But the rest of the group gets distracted by the mere mention of an ad campaign or arming lawyers to protect themselves from these threats. It's just so prescient to the current conversation on the subject.
  • Of course, it also seems like the "Kill All Lawyers" story ends in this finale. Lawyers are no longer going to be the targets of senseless violence in this world. That honor now falls onto journalists. The Fox & Friends-style hosts report on a fellow reporter being killed and reading Trump's tweet. This is a more personal fight for him because he has more of a grudge against journalists than lawyers. As such, it's very amusing that the show positions that this is "the storm" that Trump once infamous alluded to about what needed to be done to change this country.
  • Will Kurt actually still go to work for the FBI? This job offer was presented as him doing what was necessary to stay in Chicago to be with Diane. But now, will he want to work for a government that would do something like this to his wife? It's unclear. The show doesn't give an answer as to whether or not he passes this background check. Of course, he could still be hired if he doesn't because that's not a big deal to this administration. But it will again be a question of if he wants to work for these people.
  • It's so surprising that the release from the DNC tapes was Diane talking about going to the streets with her gun instead of the sex tape between Maia and Ruth's assistant. That may have just been one case of misdirection to make the audience aware that this footage was going to be important while also being a surprise when it is actually utilized to hurt a main character. In fact, Maia is mostly able to just be a supportive friend and competent lawyer. That's refreshing too.
  • CBS All Access has already renewed the drama for a third season. That's terrific because I still want to see so many stories from this show and spend time with these characters. Again, this was a fantastic season that embodied the current political atmosphere better than anyone else. I'm hopeful that the show gets more awards attention this year. It will rank highly on my year-end Best of TV list. I worry that CBS All Access is too small a platform to make much of an impact. But there has definitely been more of a conversation around the service in the past year. That may lead to an uptick in awareness and viewership. I hope so because the show deserves it.