By Chancellor Agard
April 11, 2019 at 07:16 PM EDT
Patrick Harbron/CBS
S3 E5
B+
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The latest episode of The Good Fight is called “The One Where a Nazi Gets Punched.” Depending on where you fall on the spectrum, that title definitely raises some expectations and might make you hopeful. Well, I’m so happy to report that the actual episode doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s a bit of an understatement because our main characters punch several Nazis in a cathartic, funny, theatrical, and unsettling brawl. Meaning, it’s a perfect Good Fight moment.

Here’s how the episode arrives at this entertaining outbreak of fisticuffs: In the wake of last week’s chaos at the firm, Lucca and Jay are shuttled off to monitor voting at a precinct in the middle of nowhere. There, they meet their Republican counterparts with whom they develop a hilarious rapport. “Let’s talk about Black Lives Matter,” says Female Republican Lawyer to Lucca, who replies, “Oh this is going to be fun.” From there, the foursome engages in some light arguing, butting heads on whether or not someone can wear a pro-Marijuana shirt to vote, but things remain pretty cordial.

Of course, the situation at the polling place takes a turn when the Red Jackets, a group of voter intimidating bigots, show up to the school and start scaring minority voters away. While Jay recruits his new girlfriend Naomi — a.k.a. Adrian’s former student-turned-journalist — to report on the racists, Lucca calls Diane and asks for her assistance. Diane, in turn, asks Resistance Group Polly for some help shutting the Red Jackets down. So, Polly asks Lucca to snap some photos of every Red Jacket so that she can dox them. Yes, this is another instance in which the show’s leftist contingent uses the other side’s methods and weapons against them.

As Lucca and Jay wait for Polly’s doxing to do its work, they watch Naomi interview the Red Jackets’ leader, who is pretty open about his racism. After the interview ends, Jay runs into him in the bathroom and actually ends up punching him. One of the Republican lawyers is in one of the stalls when this happens, but he covers for Jay and pretends like it didn’t happen. This camaraderie rears its head again outside of the school where one of the Red Jackets flips out over being fired from his job because of Polly’s doxing. Lucca admits she doxed him and the other Republican lawyer stands up with her, as do many others. And that ends up leading to an all-out street fight between the Nazis and everyone else. The Good Fight is a fairly cynical show, but it’s rather optimistic of it to show Democrats and Republicans uniting to beat up Nazis. Cars are flipped, windows are smashed

The most interesting part of the brawl, though, is Jay’s monologue, which he delivers directly to the camera. “Is it alright to hit a Nazi unprovoked?” Jay asks the audience. “I was always taught to never throw the first punch…But then I saw a video of the white nationalist Richard Spencer being punched in the face during an interview, and I realized Spencer was in a pressed suit, wearing a tie, being interviewed like his opinion mattered, like it should be considered part of the conversation, like neo-Nazism was just one political point of view. And then I realized, there’s no better way to show some speech is not equal. Some speech requires a more visceral response.” I’m not entirely sure if the show actually supports what Jay is saying, but it’s an interesting point to make, especially in light of both the Republicans and Democrats teaming up to take it to the Nazis.

While all of that excitement was going on, the rest of the cast was stuck in your standard Good Wife-ish case-of-the-week. In fact, this episode may contain the season’s first conventional case. Back at the firm, Diane, Adrian, Julius, and Liz are working on a class action suit against Second Helix, one of the DNA-ancestry companies that decided to sell customer results to insurance companies, which resulted in some of the customers losing insurance. Yes, this is a pulled-from-the-headlines case, but the Good Fight spices it up. Here, our heroes are forced to work with Blum on this case because he stole members of the class after breaking into Diane’s office a few weeks ago.

I’ll admit that I enjoyed Sheen’s performance in this episode way more than I did in episodes 2 and 3. Here, the show uses him to draw some similarities with Adrian. Sure, Adrian doesn’t walk into court and put fake victims on the stand, but he is a bit of a showman and loves himself a spectacle. While Diane tries to resist Blum’s antics, Adrian is more willing to give him some leeway when Blum suggests they ignore Second Helix’s initial offer and push for more. In the end, Blum ends up being correct and Second Helix settles for a far larger sum of money, but there’s a condition: Both the firm and Blum have to become Second Helix’s new lawyers so that they can’t help the other class actions that Second Helix is facing down. Similarly to how Lucca and Jay found themselves fighting alongside Republicans, the firm now finds itself linked to Blum and helping a corrupt company.

The last notable development in this episode is the Maia of it all. In the wake of her firing, Maia starts working for the telephone hotline Consult-a-Lawyer, but make no mistake, she’s very bitter of her firing. In fact, she’s starting to turn against Diane and Lucca. Diane gives her some interview leads, but none of those pan out, which sours her even more. Lucca pays her a visit after the Nazi fight, but Maia pretty much rejects her overtures at friendship, which was pretty sad.

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