The Good Fight recap: 'Day 443'
Adrian’s star is on the rise in this week’s The Good Fight, after a seemingly unmemorable appearance on a cable news show as a pundit. He didn’t think much of his performance and was kind of confused by it all, since he shot it alone in a small room and couldn’t see who he was speaking to. However, when he arrives at work the next day, he discovers that he has suddenly gone viral for commenting on both the recent lawyer murders and a case involving a website being sued because a neo-Nazi’s home was burned down after the address was published online. In fact, both Adrian and the firm are already starting to see the benefits of viral fame.
First, Dale, the editor of the embattled website, shows up at Reddick Boseman looking to hire Adrian. Adrian doesn’t think the judge will allow a change of counsel this late in the game, but Dale still wants to try because he wants Adrian on his team after seeing his performance. Second, Franz Mendelssohn, a named partner at one of Chicago’s top six firms, asks Adrian and Diane to join him and the other Big Six firms for a meeting to discuss the recent string of lawyer deaths. Reddick Boseman is a relatively small firm, so being asked to join this group is a huge honor.
At first, it’s somewhat unclear what, if anything the show is trying to say about viral videos, or specifically the banality of viral cable news clips. We eventually see Adrian’s first appearance on the cable show, and it’s pretty unremarkable. I wasn’t sure if that was on purpose — maybe the show was trying to point how lame virality actually is — or if the writers just didn’t know what made some of those clips catch fire. But as the episode continued, I think I figured out that it was trying to make a statement about how society and the media try to control or force black people to play one role in a narrative.
The cable news show invites Adrian back. When he arrives, another black pundit on the show warns Adrian not to get angry on the air because that’s his job as the Young Angry Black Activist, and the news show won’t allow two rowdy black men. He advises Adrian to stay in his lane and do the Obama-era Elder Statesman thing. Naturally, Adrian ends up getting angry on the air when a white panelist named Chuck says some nasty stuff about a recently deceased female lawyer. The Angry Young Black Activist isn’t too happy with that, but the cable show is, firing the activist and inviting Adrian back once again.
When Adrian shows up for his third appearance, the host asks Adrian to “bring a little heat to the table.” He says he’s not asking for the angry-black-man stereotype, but that’s exactly what he’s doing. So Adrian does the complete opposite. On the air, Chuck tries to provoke Adrian with some reverse-racism B.S., but Adrian doesn’t take the bait. The host tries goading Adrian again by bringing up how black people can say the N-word but white people can’t. Adrian, refusing to be his puppet, responds by inviting both the host and Chuck to say the N-word. It’s a glorious moment of rebellion against the system, which naturally earns Adrian a “f— you” once they’re off the air. The news show tried to cast Adrian as one thing, but he refused to play along. (NEXT: Lucca comes clean)
We also saw this theme pop up elsewhere in the episode. After his second viral appearance, the jurors in Adrian’s case defending the site from the neo-Nazi can’t keep their eyes off him because he’s a minor celebrity now. So Adrian starts playing that up just a tiny bit, though he’s usually a showy litigator anyway, so it’s not that much different than when we’ve seen him in court before. But Judge Oliver Walenstadt (Veep’s Matt Walsh), who compulsively points out the difference between real-life trials and TV trials, hates it. Oliver summons all the lawyers into chambers and orders Adrian to stop showboating. It’s clear Oliver likes a dull, orderly court, and Adrian’s performance threatens that and thus he needs to be reined. Diane objects, rightfully pointing out that Adrian is simply defending his client to the best of his ability and playing to the jury is part of that. Unless the judge can point out a specific behavior for him to change, he’s basically asking Adrian to not do his job. Pulling a page out of Will Gardner’s book, Diane requests a ruling for her objection so that it’s on the record.
“I want a ruling that I can appeal,” she says, quoting what Will said to a rather idiosyncratic judge in The Good Wife season 1 episode “Fleas.” At this point, I’ve lost track of how many times the show has referenced Will this season, but I like that he comes up because it fits in with the story. It makes absolute sense that Will, who was a lawyer and was killed by a client in court, would be on Diane’s mind during a time when lawyers are getting murdered (or at least are dying) left and right.
The Big Six also try to restrain Adrian. When he and Diane show up to the first meeting, Adrian makes a point of saying that everyone in the room refused to hire him. Once things gets underway, Franz explains that the Big Six’s purpose is to figure out a way to make the Chicago P.D. takes these lawyer deaths more seriously. But that’s not the whole truth: Marissa discovers that Franz is vying to handle the police department’s civil cases. It turns out that the only reason Franz invited Adrian and Diane to the table is because he wanted to pressure them into reducing the number of police brutality cases they brought against the department.
While I loved the commentary offered from Adrian’s part of the episode, I feel like the show dropped the ball when it came to the actual case. Even though we spent a fair bit of time in the courtroom, I wasn’t terribly invested in the outcome because the script didn’t give enough details about it. But that’s a quibble because the rest of Adrian’s storyline was downright entertaining, mostly because Delroy Lindo is such a electrifying presence on screen. Also, I love it whenever Adrian and Diane team up.
Elsewhere in the episode, Lucca starts to deal with her pregnancy. After Julius gives Maia more work on Lucca’s big double-murder case because he’s worried the pregnancy might affect the case, Lucca comes clean to the partners and promises that she’ll only be out for three days after the birth. The partners seem genuine when they congratulate her, but once Lucca leaves the room, Diane says that while they can’t make any changes now because of the law, they can react, so they should make sure Maia is ready to first-chair the case in case something happens.
Of course, Colin is Lucca’s opposing counsel on the double-murder case. Colin asks for a continuance until the week Lucca gives birth, which rightfully pisses Lucca off. She thinks he’s doing it because he wants to go up against Maia instead of Lucca, and she tells the judge in open court that Colin purposefully timed it for her pregnancy. It’s a hilarious scene. My favorite part was Lucca telling Colin to call her by her first name since the judge already knows they’re on a first-name basis. Anyway, the judge denies the continuance, but warns Lucca that her pregnancy won’t earn her any favorable treatment in court.
- Diane is still losing it. After watching Adrian’s final turn as pundit, she guffaws as she sees (hallucinates?) that couple having sex in Trump masks again.
- In other news, Marissa’s work on the Big Six earns her a 10% raise from Adrian. Yay, Marissa!
- Fun fact: Lucca hates baby showers.
- “How is it that so many lawyers are being killed and yet my courtroom is still full of them?” wonders Judge Oliver. I feel like Oliver, and a few other judges from this season, forget that they used to be lawyers.
- “Was I angry enough for you?” Adrian, to the host after his third and final appearance.
The Good Fight