The Good Fight recap: 'Henceforth Known as Property'
Last week’s The Good Fight introduced a black conservative into the storyline via managing partner Julius Cain; however, the script never had Julius explain why he was conservative, instead choosing to play for comedic relief. I assumed (hoped) that the show would return to and flesh out that beat in this week’s episode, but it didn’t, which is disappointing. While “Henceforth Known as Property” doesn’t follow through on the promise of “The Schtup List,” it does get a lot of mileage out of playing around with different character combinations and introducing a new villain.
The most interesting new character combo comes from the pairing of Diane and Barbara. So far, their relationship has been low-key antagonistic due to the fact that Barbara usually spends most of their conversations throwing subtle shade Diane’s way. That changed in Sunday’s episode, which makes the smart move of using this week’s intriguing and twisty case to add new layers to their relationship. Both women are incredibly strong and engaging actors, so it’s always a treat when we get to see them share the screen, especially when those interactions break from what we’re usually used to seeing them do.
In this episode, Barbara brings Diane (and Lucca) in to work on a case involving the firm’s first “and best” client, Laura. Eight years ago, Laura sold her eggs to a wealthy Chicago couple, and the contract they drew up allowed Laura to get her eggs back if they weren’t used in five years. In the intervening years, Laura went through treatment for ovarian cancer, and now, those eggs are her last hope of having children — and it’s up to Diane and Lucca to get those eggs back.
A simple matter of contract law sends Diane and Lucca on a wild goose chase that ends in court because only one of Laura’s eggs is left and it has already been fertilized. Now, Laura has to fight a new couple for an embryo. Good Wife‘s technology averse Judge Timothy Stanek presides over the case and, like everyone else involved, cringes at having to evaluate this question of life using property law, a factor that makes this case relatively interesting.
Unfortunately, the law ends up dictating that the egg belongs to the couple because they were unaware of the fertility clinic’s contract with Laura when they bought it. It’s yet another disheartening loss for the firm, but it also leads to a great scene between Diane and Barbara. That night, they share a drink and Barbara asks Diane if she ever regrets not having kids. In a surprising moment of vulnerability, Diane admits that sometimes she does when she thinks about her estranged husband Kurt. We’ve never seen these two women open up to each other in such a way, and this small scene adds so much depth to their relationship. It also teases that there’s more to learn about Barbara, too: Diane says kids, unlike work, are the only thing to survive us, but Barbara says that’s always a good thing.
Diane returns to her office and briefly considers calling Kurt, but she changes her mind. Instead, she has an epiphany about the case, which helps them win the day. Now, Laura has her chance at starting a family.
NEXT: An infamous Good Wife character returns to cause trouble
Meanwhile, the firm and Maia are beset upon lies perpetrated by evil white men. First, Mike Kresteva (Matthew Perry), Alicia Florrick’s nemesis on The Good Wife, returns to cause some trouble for Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad. The show doesn’t waste any time showing newcomers why Kresteva is the worst: He’s willing to lie and cheat to get what he wants. Since the last time we saw him on The Good Wife, Kresteva has chosen to lead a DOJ task force aimed at curbing police brutality cases; however, instead of figuring out how to better train police, he’s decided to weaken RBK, which is responsible for most of the city’s police brutality lawsuits. Crippling the firm would definitely bring the numbers down.
After seemingly innocuous meetings with Diane and Adrian, Kresteva subpoenas them before a grand jury. When Diane goes before the grand jury, Kresteva spins some incredible lies about their meeting. Diane says he’s lying, but her hostility toward Kresteva’s feigned innocence definitely works against her. This scene was a great showcase for Perry, who makes Kresteva such a threatening villain because of the conviction with which he lies. It’s not hard to believe that objective onlookers would believe him.
Lucca asks Colin for some help with the Kresteva situation, which also gives us an opportunity for more flirting between them. Colin tells the Attorney General what Kresteva’s doing and warns him that going after a predominantly black firm won’t look good for the government. So, the AG tells Kresteva to find something else or drop the case. And an underwhelming subplot in the episode ends up saving Kresteva’s case.
See, Maia spends the entire episode fighting against Ted, an ex-boyfriend who created a Twitter bot with her name several years ago after she dumped him. Unfortunately, her parents’ scandal woke the bot up and now it’s tweeting things about her love life, and those fake tweets are used as quotes in fake news articles. (Yes, The Good Fight loves being as topical as possible.) Ted claims he can’t take the bot down and doesn’t really want to. So Maia teams up with Marissa to fight Ted by creating fake news articles about him. While this subplot wasn’t the most engaging thing because it felt so disconnected from the rest of the episode, it did give us a chance to see Maia and Marissa interact, which was incredibly fun.
Eventually, Ted agrees to a truce with Maia because her tweets started ruining his life. But, alas, that doesn’t do much to solve her problems because those lies are already out there. Not only has Reddit picked up where Ted left off, but also one of those fake news articles about Maia spending an exorbitant amount of money on jewelry lands on Kresteva’s desk. He doesn’t know that it’s fake news — and probably doesn’t care — and tells his staff to get to work on finding out where Maia got the money etc. At the end of the day, most white men in The Good Fight world, save Colin (for now), are the worst.