Thursday, March 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - Diane and Liz Take Action to Right Some Wrongs in 'The One About the Recent Troubles'

CBS All Access' The Good Fight - Episode 3.01 "The One About the Recent Troubles"

A storm is brewing at Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart when revelations of past indiscretions involving a partner come to light. Right when she thought the world couldn't get any crazier, an incident at home pushes Diane to her breaking point. Meanwhile, Lucca is brought a new opportunity while Marissa teaches Maia to toughen up.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of CBS All Access' The Good Fight.

"The One About the Recent Troubles" was written by Robert King & Michelle King and directed by Robert King

It is so fascinating to see how The Good Fight has morphed into having equal parts contempt and appreciation for the law. There is the understanding that the system is broken and can never fully achieve the ideals that many desperately want it to have. Diane wants to fight back against the presidential administration - especially after seeing her husband hurt because of Don Jr. and Eric Trump. And yet, she is also willing to compromise her morals in order to do so. She has been in this profession for a long time. She knows the standards of how to operate. She remains in a position of immense power. She is trusted by everyone at the firm. She's the first call Adrian makes after learning about the sexual assaults committed by Carl Reddick. However, she also now sees the law as only being able to go so far. In fact, it may only cover up the stories that desperately need to be told. That too is very compromising of one's personal morals. Everyone can admit that sexual assault is wrong and it now shades Carl in a completely new light. He can no longer be upheld as the hero everyone once saw. Instead, he is yet another disappointing and despicable man who abused his power simply because he could. He took advantage of vulnerable woman. And now, everyone is working hard to cover up his crimes. He is dead. And so, there is no easy justice that can be done. No retribution that could happen that would suddenly make all of this better. It would only cause more damage to the firm as they are once again growing and redefining their brand. The hour starts with everyone noting the history of this business and the legacy of Carl. That's what led to these allegations being unearthed. It's traumatic and sickening. It means that everyone has to look to the future for how to be better leaders. Liz leads that charge in this regard. She understands that the man that she saw in private was also the man in public despite the frequent disparity between the two. That is eye-opening to her even though Adrian and the rest of the firm tries to shield her from these harsh truths. But that's not right either. She deserves to be included in the process. She forces herself to be the one making all of the offers and being the face of this cover-up. That's the position everyone believes that they are forced into. They don't like having to do any of this. But it's what's required of them in order to achieve their own goals. That's incredibly selfish. The hour rightfully points out that they have their own conflicts in the #MeToo era that were first noted during the second season. All of this makes it seem as if there is a bigger scandal at play within this firm. That's so toxic and shows just how commonplace some practices have been in the law and business for awhile. Adrian never knew what Carl was doing. And yet, his past actions may only add to the suspicion that he was trying to prevent any more women from being harmed by him. He continues to claim ignorance. Liz accepts that and is willing to move forward. However, she still carries a folder of women who will also have to be addressed because this wasn't contained to two women who had great respect for Carl despite what he did to them.

This is a debate that shades everything that is done throughout this premiere. It shows just how common it is for NDAs to be brought out by lawyers. Those documents face intense scrutiny in the modern era because of just how ironclad and damaging they can be. It can silence people to the point of destroying their own personal relationships. People use them as tools in order to control any potential narrative that is told about them in the public. It's a tricky legal maneuver that can benefit the people who know exactly what to do all while preying on the weak and vulnerable. Offers are made based on the understanding of people's financial situations. These massive corporations and wealthy individuals believe money can silence anyone. Some stories are more important than the threat of legal action promised through these documents though. Of course, the threat is still very real and makes people very concerned about their well-being should something ever happen. Diane was given an opportunity to join the resistance at the conclusion of the second season. She spent the entire season trying to make sense of a world that was only getting more and more crazy with each passing day. That is still true of the real-life environment in which the third season is airing. However, it's also apparent that Diane is going to take a more active approach to all of this. Sure, she still maintains her suspicions about the people Kurt is hanging out with when he's not around her. He is a freelancer who will accept money from the Trumps in order to go on safari with them. That is immoral to Diane especially after seeing his injury. He can't even talk about which Trump son shot him in the back. That makes Diane want to fight. However, it's also absolutely ridiculous to see her having that conversation with the bruise personified as the president whom she hates so much. That is so outrageous. It shouldn't inform Diane's decision that much. However, it does. She gets no where in trying to present a legal argument explaining how an adult film star can break her NDA to tell her story of Trump paying for her abortion. She still sees the importance of getting that story out there. And so, she leaks it herself. She doesn't have all of the facts. She's not hired as this woman's personal lawyer to navigate through all of this with her. It's an incredibly selfish decision. That's a stark moment to open the season with as well. It presents a wildly different Diane who is working with her entire firm to shake up the status quo. Those changes aren't always respected though as evidenced by Lucca and Maia in their personal stories here.