Thursday, April 16, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - Julius Sees How Much Justice Favors the Privileged in 'The Gang Tries to Serve a Subpoena'

CBS All Access' The Good Fight - Episode 4.02 "The Gang Tries to Serve a Subpoena"

Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart attempt to adjust to their new landscape as a small subsidiary of STR Laurie, a huge multi-national law firm. Diane encounters a familiar face in court, Louis Canning, during an eminent domain case against a large real estate developer. Lucca is given an exciting, high-profile divorce case, however it comes with an unexpected partner, David Lee.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Gang Tries to Serve a Subpoena" was written by Jonathan Tolins and directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan

The judicial system is set up around the idea of trust. Lawyers will act in good faith on all sides of the case while the judge will lead with impartial and fair justice no matter what the outcome should be. That is the noble idea of the institution. It has never lived up to those expectations though. The institution has had rampant corruption. The punishment is sometimes much worse than the crime committed. Meanwhile, others are allowed to avoid any potential consequences simply because of their status as part of the wealthy, powerful and privileged. The rule of law has been under attack over the last few years. It takes brave individuals to call out the corruption and fight back to ensure that the rules are followed fairly no matter what. This episode suggests that there is an even more ominous and nefarious cloud hanging over the judicial system. It states that the powerful and well-connected actually have the leverage to blackmail federal judges without any threat of reprisal. That allows subpoenas to be ignored. The basic tenants of the law are being shredded in an instant. Julius is outraged that Louis Canning's client believes he doesn't have to respond when he is subpoenaed. He is a legitimate authority ruling over a case that has to be resolved in this setting. The man doesn't want to ruin his golf game though. Nor do the bailiffs fundamentally care about what might happen should the system fall apart in this matter. However, it's absolutely devastating for Diane's client. She loses everything simply because some real estate developer wants to claim her neighborhood is actually impoverished just so he can build up his own properties to earn a profit while proclaiming that he is this great savior. Court orders are violated. That order from Julius is the only thing preventing this company from tearing down the restaurant. Julius wants to pass that buck along to someone else. He scoffed at the idea initially that he should recuse himself from this case because Diane is his former partner and he has argued against Louis Canning before. He thinks it's ridiculous that he has to apologize to the man making a mockery of the judicial system. And yet, that's exactly what Julius does in the end. He has no idea what Memo 618 actually is. It may ultimately be nothing more than a phrase to indicate that some powerful entity is watching over this case and is determined to protect their friends from facing any kind of legal justice. The judges seem to acknowledge that this has become an aspect of their jobs now. They can push back and fight for fairness. When that message lands on their desk though, they accept that they just have to go along with the narrative that has now grown more powerful in the world. The wealthy don't have to abide by the rules. But that may only play to the white and privileged. Diane's client loses everything here. Meanwhile, Lucca's client is going to lose millions of dollars because the tax system is set up against her and David Lee didn't want to explain his thinking to his new partner in the case. That shows how the stories of women of color aren't taken as seriously. They have value in this world. Lucca's client is famous as well. And yet, she lives as if it could all disappear in an instant. Lucca offers the sensible advice and is then made to feel like she made a mistake because of the ugly politics of the world. Diane is the one who took a break from the firm to recover from her recent head injury. She returns to a changed environment. One where the small firm of Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart is now part of a huge multi-national conglomerate where their overlords live in mystique as well. It's all incredibly complicated while hiding the true threats in the shadows. People are inherently suspicious. Diane lashes out at Julius. She blames him because the system failed her client. She is right to feel that way because the world once again proves that it doesn't care about these women and what they have accomplished in the world. It only wants to stack the deck more in favor of the people who already have power and have been deemed worthy enough to keep it. That aura of protection is so nauseating while also lighting a fire within Diane and the viewer. The system may be too big to topple. The firm has to be strategic with how it operates. But some decisions have to be made against one's morals because there is no other way to secure the ability to fight for another day. The firm was acquired to keep everyone employed even though the benefits aren't as lucrative. Julius caves to pressure to remain on the bench and hopeful make some meaningful change. Those moves are necessary but may also make people forego challenging the status quo because of the unstable reality it could create.