Thursday, October 20, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Good Fight' - Diane and Lyle Cross a Line as Ri'Chard and Liz Plot Against STR Laurie in 'The End of STR Laurie'

Paramount+'s The Good Fight - Episode 6.07 "The End of STR Laurie"

The firm learns major funds are being held by the government due to Russian sanctions, which ultimately leads to a discovery of the FBI's interest in the firm. Parents sue a college for tuition refunds, raising the question "Who is responsible for the ongoing racial discord in this country?"

"The End of STR Laurie" was written by Daniel "Koa" Beaty and directed by Nikki James

Diane and Lyle have crossed a line. Their attraction wasn't just one-sided. It was more than a side effect produced by Diane's treatment. It wasn't simply transference as Diane projected romantic compatibility onto her doctor. She admires how similar they are. They talk about their shared interests. The political divide has always informed her relationship with Kurt. It felt like they found common ground again at the conclusion of the fifth season. And yet, all it takes is distance for Diane to yearn for more. She is once again plagued by these same issues. It's repetitive storytelling. Lyle simply gets to be a new complication. Diane seeks relief through his treatments. She saw a man die right in front of her. A conspiracy suggests he jumped from the firm's office. In reality, he slipped and fell when he was trying to hang a banner on the roof. It was an accident. It should be transformational for Diane. She continues to struggle to make sense of the world. She can no longer decipher between what's real and imaginary. One moment, the workers outside her window are focused on repairing what was broken. And then, they are making out with each other. Diane is hardly the only person questioning the true motives of the people around her. Jay is given information that the new paralegal belongs to a white supremacy group. Jay's new group of resistance fighters have a large-scale operation. They believe they have to prepare their army of soldiers for the coming fight because they can't trust anyone else to defend their interests. A phone is the most powerful weapon they have. It provides crucial context to ever single interaction. It holds people accountable for their actions. The truth is more complicated than what the pictures suggest. The FBI has planted an agent inside the firm. She is trying to get information about the criminal scheme cooked up by Ben-Baruch and STR Laurie. The firm fears they will be implicated in this whole mess. It's all incredibly complicated. And yet, it's painfully simple as well. Liz and Ri'Chard agreed they would stand united in the hopes of ousting STR Laurie from their management structure. Within an episode, they have accomplished that goal. They now have complete control over the firm. They forge a clear division between what was a corrupt influence and what offers the prosperity they envision for the future. All it takes is a carefully placed mop. After that, the firm can focus on itself once more. That too is a familiar story. One that explores who gets to operate with agency in this world. The STR Laurie officials believe they can evade prosecution because they wield power throughout numerous countries. And yet, they schemed to launder Russian money through Israeli cryptocurrency accounts to avoid sanctions. It's a clear and concise takedown. That shows how the drama wants to be obvious with its ambitions as it builds to its end. Some character dimension is lost along the way though.

The cases the firm champion are rarely ever that clear and concise. Most of the time, it's about the various legal sides making deals that every party can agree to. It would be fantastic to argue in a courtroom over who is responsible for firing up the protests that have plagued the city throughout the entire season. Each side blames the other. A college president delivered a speech in outrage against the forces trying to whitewash and forget history. News commentators add fuel to the fire by saying people opposing what they see as simple values are the true destructive forces to a world so close to achieving peace. Under oath, people are required to tell the truth. The news organization says it should avoid any liability because no one should ever treat what they report on seriously. That has proven to be a winning argument. And yet, their words matter. Destructive actions have been carried out as a result. A historically black college and the firm have been targeted by fake grenades. They threaten something coming on November 10. Conveniently, that's the date of the drama's series finale. As such, something explosive is going to happen. All of this will inevitably climax at the last possible second. That simply creates a reality in which everyone is living with dread. They aren't exactly moving forward with a ton of purpose. Of course, they feel as if they have that clarity in their lives. Liz and Ri'Chard are committed to the firm's work. Jay feels empowered by what his new group is doing. Diane has found comfort in her new treatment. And yet, each of these developments can also be seen as holding patterns. They are stuck in their lives striving for more control. Some of their actions are deflecting from the truth. That's the painful reality some of them have to accept. Instead, Liz is thrilled when Diane confides in her about kissing her doctor. They have that kind of relationship now. They don't have to be weary of each other. They are on the same team. They know exactly what they want in their professional dynamics. They work together to create the division between the firm and STR Laurie. They play the FBI by setting a trap. It works flawlessly. Again, these characters can all be dependable in that way. That has afforded a number of enriching stories over the years. However, the narrative clearly aspires for more as well. It always wants to be on the pulse of what's happening in the world. Those ambitions clash with what's necessary to resolve this story concisely for each of the main characters. The attempts to tie them together have been more clunky this year. It may all work out in the end. The journey getting to that point has been bumpy. That's especially true with Diane. Lyle reciprocates her feelings. He wants her to make an appointment elsewhere to continue these treatments. They can then act more truthfully towards one another. And yet, that shouldn't necessarily be seen as a good thing despite how committed the show has been to that path this year to the deference of nearly everything else.