Mike Kresteva is obviously setting the stage for a deliciously dramatic second act. Can someone punch him in the face – again?
The post-election rewrites truly pay off as fake news grounds the show in reality.
This spin-off takes a more nuanced stance on the law – showcasing its complexity through relatable cases. Does anyone really ever come out on top of a lawsuit?
The new characters provoke the familiar faces – easing their transition to the show. Who knew Diane wanted a baby?
Sarah Steele’s hilarious delivery as Marissa Gold is pretty much the only element of escapism in this show.
We’re almost halfway and we haven’t mentioned Diane’s financial situation in two episodes. With all her savings gone, one would think this to be an urgent matter.
Maia’s arc still feels disconnected. While her character served as the catalyst to the main story, we’re not sure what’s left for her to
Blatant lies and alternative facts don’s keep Diane & Lucca from fighting The Good Fight.
Fake news is everywhere in this week’s episode of The Good Fight! As soon as Maia (Rose Leslie) sets foot through the firm’s doors, she can tell something is up. Much to her dismay, an old Twitter Bot posting compromising personal information about her has gone viral – courtesy of her ex-boyfriend Ted (Peter Mark Kendall). Even after Twitter so graciously freezes the account, Ted manages to vex his ex by uploading inappropriately-themed articles – Uh Oh. With the help of Marissa (Sarah Steele), Maia manages to give him a taste of his own medicine – permanently forcing him to take down all of the embarrassing material.
While preparing for a Grand Jury hearing, Diane (Christine Baranski) and Lucca (Cush Jumbo) defend Laura Solano (Prema Cruz) who had previously donated her eggs to a fertility clinic but now wants them back. This puts the judge (Peter Gerety) in a tough position as contract law becomes the deciding factor in determining the owner of a life. In the midst of this debacle, Mike Kresteva (Matthew Perry) meets with Adrian (Delroy Lindo) about Chicago’s police brutality issues. Instead of actually curbing the number of brutality cases, Kresteva is merely interested in changing the optics – attacking the firm rather than the problem. To be continued.
Fake news travels fast.
Sometime before Election Night, The Kings pitched The Good Fight to a room full of executives over at CBS. While Diane Lockhart – The Good Wife’s other powerhouse – lost most of her legacy, she would find redemption in starting over as she learned what it meant to be on the right side again. A few months after the election, Robert & Michelle King were forced to drastically alter their pitch as we saw Trump become the 45th president of the United States. The Good Fight was no longer a story of redemption – but one of awareness. The unexpected political climate drove The Kings to peel back an extra layer of substance, identifying the issues rather than fighting them.
It makes you wonder what this spin-off would have looked in a different political climate. Would it still have felt this current? While the show feels less like entertainment now and more like social critique, the election of Donald J. Trump adds conflict and tension – and that’s always a good thing.
“We are in some very odd areas of contract law now” – Judge Stanek
In this week’s episode, the Writers (lead by Joey Hartstone) introduce on of today’s most hyped topics: fake news. With a Twitter Bot sharing misinformation about Maia, the show beautifully illustrates how it has diverged from its initial path. Where The Good Fight originally would have just argued the case at hand, it now examines what happens when falsities are accepted and distributed as the truth – peeling back that extra layer. While the consequences are damaging, the extra conflict allows for more fluid storytelling as adversaries lurk and friendships are formed in reaction. In this case, Maia and Marissa’s relationship benefits from the fake news as it sets in motion a new character dynamic – without it feeling contrived.
This episode works because it delves into a specific issue by grounding it in a specific context. The story serves a larger purpose but doesn’t ignore personal ramifications – leading to layered and complex storytelling.
Mike Kresteva – The ultimate master of manipulation.
When The Good Wife introduced Matthew Perry’s character back in season three, he served almost exclusively as a foil to protagonist Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies). Even when he reappeared in season four, the character remained tragically underdeveloped – failing to make a lasting impact on the show. While Kresteva had the potential to become one of the The Good Wife’s most dreaded villains, his arcs were cut short in favor of other tedious plot points that didn’t drive the story forward.
Bringing back the character is an appropriate – albeit risky – move from the producers of this spin-off. On the one hand, there is tremendous potential to develop this part properly by humanizing Kresteva – finally providing some insight in his motives. On the other hand, he could fall victim to the writers’ old tricks and continue to be a one-dimensional character – in which case there’s no use in bringing him back at all.
“Is that an inaccurate account of our meeting?” – Mike Kresteva
“That is a bizarrely inaccurate account of our meeting.” – Diane Lockhart
While we’re still not sure what direction the writers will take with Kresteva, all signs point towards a positive outcome. In his first episode on the show, we’re quickly reminded of the immoral nature of the character as he abuses his son’s death in front of a Grand Jury. Even though Kresteva is still bizarrely corrupt, his actions seem to be more grounded in reality as they provide us with some personal backstory. For now, the character has proven more complex in one episode of this show than during an entire season of The Good Wife. Hopefully, this trend will continue as he sets in motion the second act next week – facing off against none other than Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston)! Because of Matthew Perry’s A+ performance, we’re rooting for this character to succeed – even if that means bringing down some of our favorites.
It’s a fine line between pessimism and realism.
One thing that sets The Good Fight apart from its predecessor is how often its characters actually lose in court. On The Good Wife, the protagonists almost always came out on top – feeding into the narrative of Alicia’s newfound independence. While it’s easy to root for characters that are constantly winning, this show raises the stakes by showcasing what a court of law is really like. In the past couple of episodes, Diane and Lucca have been played by opposing counsel – rendering their win ineffective – or even completely lost the case of the week. Just like the narrative has changed in this spin-off, so have the cases that come with it. While the team technically won this week’s lawsuit, the episode ended on a sour note – with the defendants offering a coarse “Fuck You” instead of the expected olive branch. Ah, what wonders a streaming service can do for a show.
“At this firm, we stand up for each other” – Adrian Boseman
While The Good Fight has been able to showcase a more nuanced version of the law, it doesn’t get lost in cynicism the way its predecessor did. Even set in this political climate, there continues to be room for hope. At the end of this week’s episode, Diane and Barabara (Erica Tazel) share a sweet moment in which they talk about their regrets. Who knew Diane actually wanted to have a daughter at some point? This revelation was especially moving as Diane and Kurt (Gary Cole) no longer seem to have a future together. Much in the same way, Name Partner Adrian Boseman stood up for first-year associate Maia Rindell when she was threatened at the firm’s headquarters – humanity effectively superseding status.
These types of events prove that any type of loss can incite kindness instead of bitterness. If losing a case can bring two women to be kind to one another, then maybe this show can inspire the masses to do the same.
FINAL VERDICT: Victor or victim? The Good Fight offers a more nuanced look at legal battles as it employs past villains to tackle current issues.
This week’s episode of The Good Fight offered something its predecessor often lacked: subtlety. Instead of offering up a clear winner in court, this spin-off showcased refinement as it implied no one really ever wins a lawsuit. The writers (lead by Joey Hartstone) did a fine job in tackling one of today’s hot topics – fake news – as they brought in Mike Kresteva to do the honors. The choice to revive Matthew Perry’s character is a smart one as his personality closely resembles that of a certain someone currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The biggest issue of the episode came with Maia Rindell, whose storyline still feels disconnected. While she was goofing off with Marissa, the grown-ups got stuck in court handling important issues. Even though director Alex Zakzrewksi tried her best at visually blending the storylines, it’s up to the writers to unite the characters.
While Kresteva seems eager to bring down the firm, his motivations are still unclear. It’s important that his disdain for Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad is further developed in future episodes. If this storyline turns out to be an excuse to simply bring back guest star Matthew Perry, this will have been a missed opportunity at developing his character – yet again. Furthermore, we hope that Kresteva’s investigation will eventually lead to the Rindell Ponzi Scheme – finally tying together all of the storylines that have been set up to date. We’re almost halfway through the show, and we haven’t had the slightest mention of Diane’s financial loss in the past two episodes. Wasn’t that the premise of the show?
Despite Kresteva’s questionable motives, we’re looking forward to the return of Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni next week. As one of The Good Wife’s standout characters, Elsbeth is usually brought in to defend lawyer when their firm is no longer able to do so. In this case, we suspect Tascioni will go up against Kresteva – an odd combo that we can’t wait to see in action.
Questions, Comments, Concerns and My Reaction on Twitter…
- What’s up with Kresteva? He seemed significantly older from when we last saw him about a year ago. I’m not sure if it’s Matthew Perry (who seems to be on a “yo-yo diet”) or just the character that was made to look the part. In any case, I hope he stays a few more episodes and gets a decent arc.
- I love Sarah Steele, mostly because I identify with her. Seriously, eavesdropping like that? That would be me.
- Did anyone else notice the process server? It’s only a small detail and a minor character but I love that they brought him back for this show.
- Morello is starting to grow on me. While he still reminds me of a vampire for some reason, he’s no longer robotic. His chemistry with Lucca is obviously there but he needs to loosen up. I’d like to see him have some fun for a change.
- YOU GUYS! Elsbeth Tascioni is coming back next week. Are y’all excited because I know I am!
- For some reason, I can’t seem to get used to the swearing on this show. I’m always shocked when Lucca badmouths someone – she used to be a good girl!