Thursday, May 28, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - The Firm Delves Into Crazy Conspiracy Theories in 'The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein'

CBS All Access' The Good Fight - Episode 4.07 "The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein"

Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart are hired to investigate the death of high-profile New York inmate Jeffrey Epstein. Back at the office, STR Laurie continues to tighten their grip on the firm by forcing Diane, Adrian and Liz to conduct layoffs. But the enraged trio won't go down that route without a fight and hatch a plan in hopes of shaking off their corporate overlords once and for all.

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 season finale of CBS All Access' The Good Fight.

"The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein" was written by Laura Marks and directed by Fred Murphy

It's easy to get swept up into a conspiracy theory. It's human nature to believe that something incredible connects everything together that reveals a deeper meaning if a person can get to the bottom of it. It's obsessive behavior. It's a coping mechanism as well. It can be used to distract from reality. It's not always healthy behavior. It can create compelling stories though. That may be all that they are. But that can be very provocative and influential too. The real world has become obsessed with the idea that Jeffrey Epstein was killed in prison. Too many things seemed to have gone wrong in order for him to commit suicide. And now, the show falls down that rabbit hole. It does so to suggest the perils of such obsessive behavior while also presenting the truth that there are strange and twisted individuals out there. It's somewhat infuriating. It should never be forgotten that Jeffrey Epstein was a sexual predator. He assaulted numerous young girls. He facilitated others to abuse young girls. He evaded justice for so long because he was friends with the powerful and well-connected. He is a vindictive monster who may continue to be withholding justice from his numerous victims. When Liz is given this case, she wants to follow the known facts. She doesn't want conspiracy theories. She only wants the evidence that can definitively prove whether it was murder or suicide. The public has a right to know. Answers may always be elusive. The case has so much publicity that there may even be a section of the public that refuses to believe whatever answers are given. It's easy to see how the system is broken and potentially corrupt. The show openly states that Attorney General Bill Barr may be the only person in the Department of Justice who has seen the security footage outside Epstein's jail cell. That suggests behavior that is worthy of covering up. It puts a light on the connection that Barr and his family had with the sexual predator. But it's not long before the firm - and the story overall - starts to lose its way. Every lead could provide something meaningful. Or it could be completely pointless. Liz wants dead ends. She wants to rule out some possibilities. That never occurs here. There is evidence and information that is examined. Some of it is real. Some of it is fabricated for dramatic purposes here. It's a long and twisty journey that ends with Jay and Marissa in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the verge of discovering Epstein's brain and penis being cryogenically frozen. That is apparently an oddity that Epstein was obsessed with before his arrest and death. It highlights the two aspects of his life that he wants to hold onto. The firm obsesses over what Bud could mean when it is referred to on several occasions. In the end, it was a nickname. It was just a personal nickname for Epstein's genitalia. That is the priority for him. Even in death and the hopes of resurrection, this is something he would want to maintain. As such, he dies as a sexual predator with the intention of remaining as such should something fantastical happen at some point in the distant future. That should never be lost by anyone. It's easy to theorize that some conspiracy happened here. And yes, the show points out the many ways in which things seemed to have gone awry and how Epstein created various loops to complicate the lives of those he abused for a very long time. But it should never be forgotten that he abused his power and got away with it for so long. People out there deserve justice and probably didn't get it to the full extent that they deserved here.

That's a battle Diane has been fighting all season long. She has been determined to uncover the truth about Memo 618. In reality, it's a procedure that everyone is willing to uphold. It's part of the judicial system everyone just has to accept. That isn't okay though. When people challenge that, they immediately deal with consequences. Julius can't even go to the Inspector General to file a whistleblower complaint. Every aspect of the government has been corrupted. But it's more than just the people in charge of determining the fate of the country. It's personal for the firm as well because their new corporate overlords are dictating everything that they can do. Gavin offers the sense of common purpose and being willing to compromise on values to make this merger work. At the end of the day though, his company only absorbed Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart to boost their diversity numbers. Diane, Adrian and Liz can't break free of this arrangement either. A loophole in the contract was always destined to fail. Gavin ensured that the moment Diane returned to her job as a name partner. He sabotaged her to protect the bottom line of this company. One would think a business where people feel safe, protected and secure would increase productivity. It sucks for people to be stuck in an unbearable situation at their place of work. It's even worse when the man in charge rubs it in. Gavin delights in seeing the face Diane makes upon realizing the truth. The firm is out of their control. Gavin can order them to begin layoffs. There is no financial security. This is a dire and dramatic ending for the season. Sure, it's the forced ending because of the industry shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's unclear when the show will return to resolve this drama. But it's also prescient because it highlights just how real the crushing weight of the world and the powerful can actually be. Yes, it's fun and amusing to watch the show follow the conspiracy theories about Jeffrey Epstein's death. But it's more harrowing to watch as people who deserve every bit of respect they have earned across their lives be belittled simply because of someone who believes their agenda is more valid. It's sickening while effective drama to watch. It makes Diane, Liz and Adrian the underdogs trying to fight back. They are given a significant blow here. Their future prospects may not look bright right now. The world is in a state of flux at the moment. As such, none of them can be counted out even if things are often quite stranger than they possibly could have imagined when they started working together.