Thursday, March 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - Roland Blum Approaches Maia with a Manic Way to Win in Court in 'The One Inspired by Roy Cohn'

CBS All Access' The Good Fight - Episode 3.02 "The One Inspired by Roy Cohn"

Corruption incarnate enters the courtroom in the form of attorney Roland Blum, Maia's new co-counsel on a murder trial. The firm interviews a potential new head of matrimonial law, but Lucca is skeptical of his qualifications. Diane lets off some steam after finding out who recommended Kurt for his new job.

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 next episode of CBS All Access' The Good Fight.

"The One Inspired by Roy Cohn" was written by William Finkelstein and directed by Frederick E.O. Toye

Michael Sheen is delivering such manic and insane energy to his performance as Roland Blum. It's the kind of character the audience has to get into and accept right away because the show is making some big pronouncements about the law and the shady characters who currently practice it. It is a fascinating story because it has the potential to infect so many people. Blum isn't trying to craft an argument in this case that is based on the facts and the evidence in order to sway the jury. Instead, he is telling this wild tale of how the prosecutor himself was actually the person who committed the crime. It doesn't matter that he doesn't have the evidence to back it up. He is willing to bend all of the rules in order to deliver this outcome for his client. Maia has no idea how to respond to any of this. She is trying her best to follow the rule of law as she has always seen it. And yet, this appears to be a transformational season for her. The premiere established that she needed to embrace a new energy at work in order to be valued and respected. And now, Blum is offering her a demoralizing view of the world that has proven to be successful for so many people. The show is more than happy to name drop Roy Cohn, Roger Stone and Donald Trump here as it pertains to this argument. This is something that has been growing throughout our culture for half a century now. Blum revers his mentor and wants to pass down his teachings to the next generation. Maia may even be susceptible to all of this because it offers her a new take on life. She is still being defined by the public for her father's scandal. People are still coming up to her to share their stories of financial ruin thanks to him. She still doesn't know how to respond to that. She has compassion. She did turn against her father in the end. But that's not a part of the public record. She is dealing with the brunt of this until Blum essentially tells her that it's okay to tell these people to fuck off. That's what she does when she leaves the courtroom. She lost all respect for her father because of this scandal. But now, Blum is crafting the argument that Henry was free and more than willing to manipulate a gullible system to his benefit. The only problem was that he got caught and didn't know how to mount a defense. Blum ascribes to the idea that one never has to back down from a fight or apologize for anything. It's so toxic. But it permeates throughout our culture at the moment. Maia may hate being joined at the hip with Blum for this murder trial. All of this doesn't come to an easy and neat conclusion here. They will be back in court presenting this case again. It should just be fascinating to see how Maia changes at that point. When she is back in court on this case, she may be a completely different lawyer who is willing to use any tactics it takes to defend her client. Again, that may not be a bad thing. But Blum is the physical embodiment of mania and the idea that anything can be done or said in order to win in court.

Of course, this isn't just a transformational time for Maia either. The firm is rebranding its own identity. Adrian and Liz are fighting over what they want the future to be for this business. They are disagreeing which proves they come from different ideological perspectives. Liz understands that absolutely everything is political. And yet, Adrian is still blinded by the way that gender bias is informing all of his decisions. He wants to be apolitical when making hiring decisions. He doesn't want it to inform everything the firm does because it is growing and becoming more profitable. The partners approached Lucca in the premiere about heading up the matrimonial department even though she had no experience practicing that kind of law. Here, she has to decide whether or not she wants that job while also competing against another contender. Earlier, it seemed like she didn't have a choice. That would continue to prove that the people in power at this firm still don't entirely respect every aspect of the people who work for them and their personal lives. Adrian was more than happy making this offer to Lucca in the premiere. And now, he is trying to make the argument that she can't handle the time requirements because she just had a baby. That's a thought that Lucca is already struggling with. She is making this decision as one for her family. It's very personal and private for her. She understands the risks and demands of the job. But it's also patronizing for Adrian to try to condemn that argument onto her as if she doesn't already know. She is now willing to put in the work to make this department a success while also fostering an environment where her clients will continue to work with the firm for whatever cases they may have. That too shows that she knows how to compete in this environment. She is already able to bring in several new clients to the firm thanks to Francesca. Meanwhile, it's so fascinating to see Diane continue to search for an outlet for her anger at the world and how it has infected her life. Kurt was physically hurt by the Trump family. She is outraged about that. Aikido is no longer helpful for her because it too has been infected by outlandish conspiracy theories. So instead, she has decided to start throwing axes. That is so insanely unexpected. But it also presents as a good outlet for her. Sure, she still has the impulse to be doing more. She is intrigued by a flyer for the resistance. However, she is also grappling with the fact that she is ruining someone's life by leaking the story of the porn star whose abortion was paid for by Trump. She is even lying that she leaked it to a news outlet. And so, her fight will remain just as complicated as her professional work and her marriage to Kurt.