The Good Fight recap: The one with Maia's stormy return
The last time we saw Rose Leslie’s Maia Rindell was in the season’s fifth episode, “The One Where the Nazis Get Punched.” The recently-fired lawyer was slumming it in a lawyer call-center and isolating herself from her friends at Reddick, Boseman. After several episodes off-screen, she’s back with a vengeance this week and brings with her a storm that, in now-classic Good Fight tradition, is a great metaphor for all of the drama facing, well, everyone in this episode, “The One Where the Sun Comes Out.”
The hour begins with “The Great Chicago Flood,” a raging May storm. The hail slams against the Reddick, Boseman windows, foreshadowing the tumult ahead, as the firm’s partners meet with Chumhum about the Carl Reddick scandal. Chumhum wants to keep the firm as its lawyers because of #diversity, however, to do so, the partners must let an independent lawyer investigate the way in which it handled the scandal. Enter Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines as Brenda DeCarlo, a lawyer who suffers from Pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition that causes her to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate times. In other words, she’s a classic Good character with a quirky attribute that throws the rest of the characters off of their games.
Brenda wastes no time digging into the firm. Although she doesn’t uncover any more instances of sexual misconduct, her probing does reignite the firm’s racial issues from episode 4. Brenda notices that the associates are segregated and she abolishes the firm’s hot desk system to fix that, which results in the black and white associates butting heads in the bullpen. Furthermore, Brenda also discovers proof that Adrian and Liz committed perjury in episode 3; it turns out they actually did sleep together when Liz helped Adrian recuperate from his gunshot wound.
Brenda points out the perjury, but Adrian suggests she let that slide because it’s not part of the original mission. It’s an instance where these characters choose to do the wrong thing instead of living up to their ideals.
Sweeping perjury under the rug isn’t the only time our favorite characters abandon their morals in favor of survival. In the premiere, Liz tasked Marissa with discovering if her father raped any women outside of the firm, and Marissa found six other women and gave Liz a folder with their names. Liz never actually opened the folder, and when Brenda shows up at the firm in this episode, she decides to shred the evidence instead of dealing with it. Of course, Marissa is rather disappointed and angered by Liz’s decision.
Luckily, Maia — who started working for Roland Blum in this episode — reaches out to Marissa right after Liz made this maddening decision. So the two friends head out to a bar and drink their pain away. As the night unfolds, Marissa confides in Maia about the Carl Reddick scandal and the six other women that Liz just threw away. What Marissa doesn’t know, though, is that Blum is planning on using this scandal to beat the firm’s disbarment case against him. Marissa’s disclosure puts Maia in a very uncomfortable position because she has a choice of betraying her friend’s trust or helping Blum, her new employer. Unfortunately, Maia chooses the latter, which breaks Marissa’s heart when she finds out. The look of betrayal on Marissa’s face was incredibly reminiscent of how Josh Charles’ Will Gardner looked when he found out Alicia was leaving the firm in The Good Wife season 5.
Maia tells Blum about the six women, and Blum goes ahead and signs two of them as clients. When Blum goes before the ethics committee, he says the firm is simply trying to stop him from suing them for Carl Reddick’s crimes. With no other option left, the partners decide to risk their survival and to give the committee a preliminary report on everything they know about Carl Reddick, which neuters Blum’s plan. When that fails, Blum tells the committee that the firm actually knew he suborned perjury. So the committee decides to censure the partners for not reporting this sooner; however, it also decides to disbar Blum. As everyone exits the meeting room, Blum continues to yell about getting his revenge on them.
Around this time, the storm ceases and the sun indeed starts to come out. Brenda concludes her investigation of the firm and her report says that all of the firm’s dysfunctionality stems from its recent growth spurt and there isn’t any evidence of further sexual misconduct. Honestly, I couldn’t tell if Chumhum decided to drop them or not after the report, but I suspect the answer is not. Either way, Diane decides to take a stroll in the sun and to ignore their problems for a few minutes. If only it were that easy…
While the firm was dealing with the investigation, Diane was fretting over the Book Club becoming increasingly radical. In this episode, they decide to swat (read: call the police and file a false report about a home invader) Michael Tyrek, a Trump official responsible for the terrible child separation policy at the border. Diane opposes this, but the Book Club goes through with it anyway, and this results in a S.W.A.T. team killing him in his home. Diane is horrified at this development and tries to talk to the group out of going after Trump’s chief of staff by revealing that she lied about Valerie’s text. Her efforts fail, though. In fact, Rachelle interrupts Diane’s sun time and threatens to come after her if she tries to stop them. In other words, the Book Club just went from an under-the-radar gathering to some kind evil shadow group in a conspiracy thriller. The sun may be out but the storm is far from over.
- Maia has changed quite a bit this season. In this episode, she uses her father’s scandal as a way to keep one of Blum’s clients.
- The palpable joy emanating from Blum’s body when Maia revealed the fun room she designed for him at their new firm was great.
- The other partners also found out about Julius’ campaign for a federal judgeship.
- At one point, Brenda tells Julius that the associates think he’s sleeping with Marissa, and Julius responds with a literal and glorious spit take.
- This week’s animated short ran during the credits and was about cultural appropriation.
- Here’s where I have to admit that I was wrong: Last week, I suggested that the “CBS HAS CENSORED THIS CONTENT” message was a joke; however, it turns out that the network actually said the Kings couldn’t run their animated short on Chinese censorship, and that message was the creative compromise the Kings reached with the network over the issue. For more information, you should read Emily Nussbaum’s fantastic piece on the matter over at The New Yorker.