The Good Fight to end with season 6 — and a 'civil war'
Looks like we picked the wrong week to stop microdosing.
Paramount+ will announce Friday that The Good Fight — the brilliant, impeccably acted triumph of topical satire starring Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald — is ending with season 6, which premieres Sept. 8.
Since 2017, the criminally Emmy-less spin-off of CBS' The Good Wife has turned its surrealist spotlight on the urgent realities of modern life — from the Trump era to the #MeToo movement to the coronavirus pandemic and the perils of Zoom filters — all the while delivering a wildly entertaining and often hilarious legal drama.
So how will it all end for Diane Lockhart (Baranski), Liz Reddick (McDonald), and the firm formerly known as Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart? EW asked co-creators Robert and Michelle King to soothe our broken hearts with a few teases for what's ahead — including details on new characters played by Andre Braugher and John Slattery, and which character(s) we definitely won't see in the final season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you decide that season 6 would be the last, and why is now the right time to wrap up The Good Fight?
ROBERT KING: We were finishing the fifth season and Michelle and I were looking at each other, trying to decide what to do for the sixth season. Beyond each episode standing alone, you want some thought to guide the full season. We realized not only that were we kind of exhausted, but that we had a good idea for the sixth season that would offer a great climax. The last thing you want is to have a seventh season that's an anticlimax. The creative guided us there.
MICHELLE KING: And we're dealing with an upcoming civil war in season 6, and it's more than just a metaphor. There is violence surrounding our law firm that our characters are experiencing. So it felt like, yes, that's the way to bring down the curtain.
We ended last season with that terrifying image of the countless vigilante courts that were popping up around the country. Will that thread pick up again this season and tie in somehow to the impending civil war?
RK: Oh yes, very much. In many ways this is a direct "to be continued" from the fifth season. In the writers' room we've always thought that [the show] moves towards absurdity and more bizarreness over the course of the season. I think you saw that with the fifth season, with the Wackner court. Here, it starts with a certain element of the reality of what's going on in our world — where people are plotting to kidnap Michigan governors and try them in their basements — and now moving to the next step of that.
So… have we seen the last of Mandy Patinkin's Judge Wackner?
MK: Yeah, we have.
RK: But there's still the psychological business of what that court ended up being.
MK: Right. As with so many things, [Wackner's court] is a rock that starts ripples.
Let's talk about some of the new characters coming in season 6. What can you tell us about Ri'Chard Lane, played by Andre Braugher?
RK: Andre Braugher has to be seen to be believed. He's a lawyer as a brand. He's a little bit egotistical. He really takes credit for what other people are doing, and yet he thinks the strength of what he can contribute to the law firm is the fact that he will put his name first. His drive can kick the ass of this law firm and turn it into something bigger. You're never sure whether you're supposed to be thrown by him, or think he's funny, or think he's disturbing, or think, "Okay, that is the way the future is. It honors people who turn themselves into a brand."
MK: Andre is spectacular, and it's a role that I've not seen him do before.
When his character was announced, it was said that he is forced on Liz as a name partner. Does this mean Wanda Sykes' Allegra won't be sticking around?
MK: No. Allegra did not stick around. The folks at STR Laurie did not have the patience for her.
RK: There's a general misogyny among the overlords at STR Laurie, and they are in fact forcing Ri'Chard onto Liz.
What can you tell us about Dr. Lyle Bettencourt, played by John Slattery?
RK: Diane is having issues this year. She feels like she's suffering from déjà vu, like constantly. And most of that is associated with politics. This was [written] before the leak regarding Roe vs. Wade, but that fits right into this sense that the things that Diane and the country thought were settled are coming back to be reopened.
Because of that, she goes to a doctor and gets this new, ketamine-like treatment that uses a light hallucinogenic to allow people to review their lives and figure out a way to bring peace to their lives. John Slattery is this doctor who Diane becomes fascinated with. These treatments, not only are you kind of tripping, but afterwards it's a true therapy session. Michelle and I don't love therapy in general as a creative or dramatic device, but here it felt appropriate because you're also kind of tripping about your life.
Season 5 introduced Carmen Moyo, a new associate at the firm who manages to land two big clients — both of whom are dangerous criminals. What can you tease for her arc in the final season?
RK: You will find out more about Carmen. You'll find out more about her lover. You'll find out about her inability to create friendships that are lasting, and more importantly, why she works with people who are dangerous and often violent. Charmaine Bingwa is just this wonderful new actress who we think is doing gangbusters here.
Anything else you can tell us about the final season?
RK: You'll see more of Liz's son, Malcolm. You'll see Wayne Brady back [as Del Cooper]. Alan Cumming is coming back [as Eli Gold] for two episodes. Carrie Preston is coming back; one episode is built around her character, Elsbeth Tascioni. We kind of wanted a few of the greatest hits this season. It's very much built to be a celebration of not just Christine's show, but also The Good Wife, too. That's why we want to pull out all the stops.
Not sure if you've watched Community, but fans of that show lobbied for "six seasons and a movie." Now that Good Fight is ending with season 6, have you given any thought to a Good Wife/Good Fight cinematic universe?
MK: It is not something that we've discussed, but I have to go see the Downton Abbey movie, and then maybe we can rethink the whole thing.
RK: I think the key to this is Paramount+, which likes to have synergy among all of its various tentacles. They would be the one to decide.
What can you guarantee that we won't see in this final season of The Good Fight?
RK: Only because we don't want people to be disappointed, you won't see Julianna Margulies — not for any other reason that this really needs to be the story of Christine and Audra. We've very much stayed friends with Jules, we want to work with her again, but it didn't feel right for this show.
MK: And you also will not see Diane Lockhart's dog, Justice.
Wait, she has a dog?
MK: She did in the first episode of The Good Wife.
RK: And it was just too hard.
MK: He's been in doggy daycare ever since.