SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this until you’ve seen the latest episode of The Good Fight on CBS All Access.
In this week’s episode of The Good Fight, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and her fellow partners are asked by the Democratic National Committee to “audition” for the chance to make a case for the impeachment of Donald Trump. We asked creators Robert and Michelle King to explain how long they had been cooking up the idea and what would have happened if real life had beat them to the punch.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The timing of this episode couldn’t be better. Did you worry that Robert Mueller would lose his job before this aired?
ROBERT KING: Definitely. We had a backup line for Margo Martindale [who plays a DNC operative] to record into the dialogue if Robert Mueller were fired or if there was a significant revelation. It was something like, “Despite what has happened to Robert Mueller…” We also have a golden shower tape episode coming up in two weeks, and we’re worried the James Comey book is overheating that story. The news cycles are moving so fast; it’s odd to think you could be yesterday’s news even a week later.
Think back to when you were breaking episodes. Why did you decide to do this one, and why did we have to wait until the seventh episode to see it?
MICHELLE KING: We were always thinking of doing an episode where impeachment is argued over — mostly because that’s a subject on everyone’s mind, but we wanted to find a way for the episode to cut both ways; in other words, the substance of the episode would support all the arguments for impeachment, but there would be an undercurrent of self-criticism. We didn’t want the episode just to be preaching to the choir. That’s why the progressives in the room find themselves taking on a lot of the qualities they hate most in the president. We waited until the second half of the season because we thought this played better into Diane Lockhart’s character arc. She needed a time of wandering in the microdosing desert before she finds an outlet for her frenzy.
In the episode, Liz [Audra McDonald] suggests they could level a bunch of unfounded yet very salacious allegations about Donald Trump, like that he raped a Miss Teen USA, or that he was involved in a threesome, or that he described a woman on The Apprentice as having a hairy bush. As you were writing this, did you worry the dialogue would pass muster? Do you even have to deal with a standards and practices person at CBS All Access?
ROBERT KING: Yes, we were very worried. We had plan Bs. And plan Cs. And even, we think, plan Ds. Luckily, most of CBS’ concerns were about how Liz’s character phrased her accusations. They had to be in the form of conjecture, not absolutes. There was also an objection to the suggestion that President Trump used the N-word during an Apprentice taping.
Did Christine Baranski need much direction to muster up the anger for those moments?
MICHELLE KING: No, not at all. Both Diane and Liz have pretty long and passionate speeches. We tend to not like speeches. We rarely have lines go on for more than two sentences before someone interrupts. So we think Christine and Audra were thrilled to get a chance to do something more theatrical. And, of course, the words were a great outlet for both actresses. Sometimes it’s great to have language be so crude and violent.
So Liz will be “Wonder Woman” in the impeachment case. Will we see this case go to fruition?
ROBERT KING: You will see further business with the case, but there are some more twists and turns. We want to try to keep the narrative consistent with all of our lived realities.
The Good Fight is currently streaming on CBS All Access.