The Good Fight premiere recap: A #MeToo scandal disrupts the firm

<em>The Good Fight</em> premiere recap: A #MeToo scandal disrupts the firm

“I’m happy.”

Those are the first words we hear in the season 3 premiere of The Good Fight, and they’re spoken by Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart as she lies in bed with her (Republican) husband, Kurt. Apparently, the only Goodverse couple I care about officially got back together during the time between seasons 2 and 3 and are finally living together as husband and wife. And, as her words indicate, Diane is content. But she’s also smart enough to question that feeling, and she makes Kurt assure her that’s actually the case. “Everything’s going to be all right,” Kurt says. (Of course, we the audience know the opposite is true, and a storm is coming in both the premiere and the season as a whole.)

If you’ve been reading EW’s recaps of the Good Wife spin-off since season 1, you’ll know by now that I’m fully in the bag for the show. It is my favorite my series on television. Although part of me is worried about writing about this season as a whole, mostly because my colleague Darren Franich perfectly captured what makes this show excellent in his insightful and palpably giddy review of season 3, I’m excited to dive right back into another sobering yet also somehow comforting season about what it’s like to live in these uncertain, collapsing, and absurd times, especially after watching this episode.

The season 3 premiere, “The One About the Recent Troubles,” is a great re-introduction of the show and quintessentially Good Fight, putting all the show’s strengths on displays. Directed by Robert King — he of “Robert and Michelle King,” a.k.a. the legal drama’s showrunners and co-creators — the hour effortlessly moves between multiple, sometimes conflicting tones: serious topical material on #MeToo, absurdism (hello, Trump sons!), and straight-up comedy, with a Schoolhouse Rock-style animated explainer and a somewhat meta story about Maia.

As I mentioned above, the happiness Diane is experiencing doesn’t last long. As she and Kurt get dressed for their days, she finds someone’s blonde hair on Kurt’s jacket. Her mind immediately jumps to an affair because, well, we’ve been down this road before. Her day gets crazier from there because she, Adrian, Marissa, and Jay learn that Carl Reddick, who died in the season 2 premiere, raped his secretary, Cynthia (Ms. Cowley to you, if you never worked with her) for 15 years. He also raped the firm’s stenographer, Wendy, too. Given that Reddick was the firm’s founder, a civil rights icon, and Liz’s father, everyone is visibly shaken by this discovery. As the firm rushes to come up with an appropriate response, the episode never loses sight of Cynthia and Wendy, because we hear a recording of Cynthia talking about her assault multiple times.

The script’s handling of the firm’s response is also interesting as well. Both Adrian and Diane are somewhat conflicted in how to handle the situation. On the one hand, they’re disgusted by what happened; however, they must temper their revulsion in order to focus on protecting the firm’s reputation. Their solution? An NDA. Having Cynthia and Wendy sign on is in their best interest, but it also does contribute a culture of silence over issues like this. The episode understands the position the firm is in and why they go the NDA route, but it also tries to hold them accountable via a clever animated short that explains exactly what NDAs do.

The person most troubled by all this is, of course, Liz. At first Liz is upset and tearful, because this destroys every memory she had of her father. But after she cries, she gets angry and aggressively asks Adrian if he knew about this, because she remembers her father complaining about Adrian deciding to install glass windows in all the offices. From there she maintains her anger, but she channels it into protecting the firm, too.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Audra McDonald delivers a powerful performance in the premiere. After Adrian briefs her on the scandal, Liz joins the rest of the partners in the conference room, where she finds out her father also assaulted the stenographer. At that point, the camera pushes in on Liz as disgust, disbelief, and so many other emotions flash across her face while she tries to process this troubling news.

Next: Trump invades Diane’s life

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