Thursday, May 14, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - Liz Helps Caleb Defend a Friend in Military Court in 'The Gang Goes to War'

CBS All Access' The Good Fight - Episode 4.05 "The Gang Goes to War"

Following their secret rendezvous, Liz and Caleb find themselves on a case together, defending a soldier court-martialed for sabotaging the weapon of his superior officer. Lucca accompanies her client, and newly minted friend, Bianca, on a short but sure to be memorable trip to the Caribbean.

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 Goes to War" was written by Tegan Shohet and directed by James Whitmore

Diane promised Kurt that she would stop looking into Memo 618. The risk that it brought to their family wasn't worth it. However, it's fascinating to watch as she is essentially checked out as a result of that decision. She is sitting in her office conducting a staring contest with a bird. That's absolutely insane. It doesn't match the fiery energy that everyone at the firm expects from her. She is also given a potential new tool that can help her mind focus in these increasingly erratic times. It's no longer joyful for her to watch satire about the Trump presidency. It's no longer a laughing matter. It has real world consequences. The jokes no longer cut as deep. They are still presented to her. But she instead embraces a new form of colorful therapy. It may be simple. It's drawing dots in a notebook. However, it can channel her energy in a way that actually admits how powerless she may actually be. She seemingly resigns herself to that fate. She attends court mostly as a prop. She is at the table in order for Julius to rule in their favor. Julius has had his own epiphany though. He doesn't want to be the conservative judge whose decisions and verdicts can be paid for and controlled. That is the role forced onto him. He is meant to deliver preferable outcomes to clients who are big donors to conservative causes. He is in this position to allow the wealthy and powerful to continue exerting their influence over the entire system. One lawyer makes the argument that the wealthy company they are suing is just trying to drag the lawsuit out for a long time knowing the defendant doesn't have the time or resources to see this case through to its conclusion. It's a sad reality that informs so many cases throughout the judicial system. It can actually take years of agonizing work with little payoff in order for things to get that final judgment. Even then, it can be appealed and reconsidered by even more people. Holding others accountable for their actions isn't as easy as the suggestion makes it seem. And yet, Julius wants his courtroom to uphold those ideals. As such, he isn't going to let the powerful dictate what is allowed. He is in charge in this environment. He can make a difference. Seeing that up close is all it takes for Diane to be reinvigorated in her fight. She now sees an ally who can help her get to the truth. That's exciting for the future. It's not the main plot that drives most of the story in this episode though. It continues the season-long plot developments in very engaging ways. However, this episode feels a bit more contained - almost like a filler hour - than the show is used to producing. It follows a case that Liz and Caleb argue in military court. It is the show once again taking a headline that drew national attention and offering its own take on how justice can be found within it. This isn't the first time the show has used Trump's Twitter account to disrupt how a case is going. That is actually a tool that Liz and Caleb can use in order to get the truth on the record. They know that the fifth amendment privileges being asserted by the superior officer are no longer valid because the pardon happens. The acceptance of that gesture from the President ensures that this man can no longer incriminate himself in this particular case. He may not face any kind of repercussions for it. He is protected in a sense. As such, Liz and Caleb help their client emerge with the best possible verdict. Of course, it's more important to see the growing romance brewing between those characters. That remains complicated because of the power imbalance between them. Caleb is spying on the firm for STR Laurie after all. And yet, he is forming this attraction with his superior. It can't be written off as an experiment either. It's awkward at work for a reason. They are mixing business with the personal. That isn't a foreign concept in this workplace. It can have major repercussions though. The abuse of power is right at the forefront just waiting to be confirmed to the complete horror of those involved and everyone else within the business. Meanwhile, Lucca is off having fun in the Caribbean. It's starting to seem as if the show doesn't quite know what to do with Lucca this season. So, it's mostly offering a fun story about her embracing her worth and actually accepting that she does deserve more. She doesn't have to focus on work all the time. She has friends. She just finds herself in new situations. It's not common for her yet to win $1.5 million in a poker game. That could be her future. She does help Bianca as well. She is learning how to navigate what it means to walk around with this influence. Lucca is always fighting to prove her worth. She makes mistakes. But she is also deserving of so much more. She just has to be willing to take it without growing too cavalier about it.