Thursday, September 15, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - A Change in Perspective Lures Diane Back to Her Personal History in 'The End of the Yips'

Paramount+'s The Good Fight - Episode 6.02 "The End of the Yips"

As Diane encounters her first "therapy" session, she begins to see everything in a positive light. After agreeing to participate in a student project about Black female attorneys, Liz must find a way to prevent an unfair takedown of her reputation. Eli Gold returns to help Marissa in court.

"The End of the Yips" was written by Jonathan Tolins and directed by Tyne Rafaeli

The Good Fight shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, The Good Wife. However, it's had to evolve over the years in order to remain critically and culturally relevant. The creative team has always prided itself for being on the cutting edge of the legal world. They are constantly finding new and insane situations to drop the characters into. Several of whom have appeared on both shows. It's thrilling whenever those crossovers have occurred. It also highlights how starkly different the world has become. When Alan Cumming makes his first appearance as Eli Gold since the conclusion of the CBS drama, it's with the declaration that he won't behave the same way here. The profanity alone is striking. However, the drama surrounding him is very familiar. He even offers an update on Alicia and Peter Florrick. Peter is back in jail and Alicia has left to lead her own firm in New York. Eli is surprised Diane hasn't kept in touch with them over the years. However, Alicia was an important figure in her life for a very specific time. It was a pivotal time. It wasn't meant to last especially given Alicia's fateful betrayal and the climactic slap heard around the world. Diane had to look inward and fight for what made her happy. That has remained her ongoing struggle. She always strives for more power. She has a reputation throughout the office. Ri'Chard is jarred by how those expectations aren't matching up with reality. She no longer presents as the strong and determined woman she was built up to be. As such, it's more of a struggle for him to charm her. He doesn't know how to make the approach. Right now, he's intently focused on building numbers of support. That's the only way he can maintain his leadership at the firm. He and Liz are at war for control. They have to rally support to emerge on top. It's not healthy. Liz has already accomplished so much. People are wrong to question what she has done. She's made the tough choices. She has led the firm through turbulent times. She withstood the destruction of her father's reputation. She has emerged stronger. She won't be deceived by someone trying to paint a more vivid picture. It's compelling to be distracted by those details. They don't make up the entire story though. Liz won't be fooled. She has her eye on the prize at all times. She knows when people need to do right by her. She makes that abundantly clear. That's not how she informs every single dynamic though. Liz and Diane remain friends. They share drinks as they commiserate over all that has occurred this week. Nothing has really changed. The world is still chaotic in the streets below. The elevators are still plagued by fake grenades. Something is coming. It all plays as a recognition of the past while striving to continue presenting interesting situations for these characters.

Everyone at the firm knows Eli only offers help if he needs something. No one is fooled. And yet, it's fun to see him and Marissa working together. He actually presents as her father for once. He always looks ahead at the political future. That remains enticing to him. Marissa reached out for help. Eli didn't drop everything to ensure her daughter could recover from her mistakes. He has ulterior motives. He worms his way into Marissa's heart. He helps make her a better lawyer. Upon seeing that, he has complete confidence in adding her to his legal team as he faces a looming fraud indictment. That hangs over his head. He knows it's coming. He prepares for it. He doesn't come out and say it. Instead, he makes Marissa question her place at the firm. She fears she will be fired during her first year as a lawyer. That's in sharp contrast to Carmen, who has brought in more money than many of the associates and partners. She doesn't want her place to change. She is reluctant to embrace any attention coming her way. That may be inevitable. She still needs time to prepare for that. She has proven herself as a capable attorney. There is still so much for her to learn. That requires the right guidance. Liz remains committed to that path. Of course, it's yet another way to inform the dynamic between Liz and Ri'Chard. It's not solely about Carmen's future. As such, the world hasn't really changed. The people who have long had power are still taking advantage of those who are new to the profession. They have to earn their way to the top. Even then, it can all be taken away. Diane has had to reinvent herself numerous times. That's nothing new for her. She still sees the power in shifting perspective. Memory can be incredibly tricky. Playing with that concept was something The Good Wife loved doing in its later seasons. Liz worries about how she managed a former prosecution. It wasn't all built around one witness. She didn't overlook a crucial piece of evidence. No one can make a story about her misbehaving in the job. A story can be made though about Diane outliving her mother. That has never been a crucial part of her backstory. It's relevant as it informs the woman she is. It places more meaning onto her near-death experience. It ultimately makes this as a time to reflect. The conflicts she endures are framed around battles she has fought many times already. She still has the moral conviction to keep going into the ring. It's also just as necessary to step back and note the passage of time as well as how these personal details inform her sense of happiness. Diane hasn't exactly made her presence known on the floor with the associates. She's often tucked away in her office not engaging with the day-to-day management of cases. That may change at some point. It's simply more important to be with her as she recognizes the power of what shaped her life outside of the courtroom and politics. A beautiful flower can brighten her mood for a day. It's still destined to wilt away shortly thereafter. That reality can't be denied either.