THE GOOD FIGHT: “Reddick v Boseman”

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In the opening moments of this week’s, THE GOOD FIGHT, Adrian enters the office to find it silent and empty—no receptionist, no associates at the hot desks. He peers around corners until he discovers the everyone listening raptly to the firm’s founding partner, Carl Reddick, as he gives an inspirational speech in the conference room. Reddick tells Adrian and Barbara that he is concerned with the firm’s recent grand jury hearing as well as the acquisition of ChumHum as a client—the company may bring in a lot of money, but it’s heavily white, and Reddick worries that the firm has lost its core mission as an African American firm. Adrian and Barbara try to assure Carl that big clients like ChumHum allow them the financial freedom to continue working on the cases they care about.

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At first, Carl is hesitant about Diane until Pastor Jeremiah arrives, and sings her praises. He needs a tenant in his halfway house evicted. It’s not the kind of case the firm would normally handle, but in an effort to please Carl—and speed his departure—Adrian and Barbara agree.

Diane, Jay, and Maia visit the tenant, Paul, to serve him an eviction notice. Paul is rude and dismissive. He claims that Pastor Jeremiah raped him, and that he’s only being evicted because he refused to continue their sexual relationship.

What follows is a game of who-to-believe. On the one hand, you have a potential rape victim, and rape culture is such that victims are often blamed rather than believed. Plus, the attacker in question is a pastor, and churches have a sordid and public history of sexual assault against minors. On the other hand, you have a well-respected member of the clergy trying to help young people overcome their addictions. His other tenants speak well of him, and he has no past history of abuse.

Kovac, Paul’s stereotypically sleazy lawyer, meets with Diane to lay out his client’s demands. Kovac has a chip on his shoulder, and bumbles through the meeting. He even records himself threatening blackmail, and then hits on Marissa on his way out. Diane’s response speaks for all of us: “Wow.”

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Kovac produces security camera footage showing Pastor Jeremiah entering Paul’s apartment late at night, and leaving a half hour later. Pastor Jeremiah claims he was there to give Paul a drug test after learning that Paul had a suspicious visitor earlier in the evening. When Jay goes to investigate, he discovers that an hour of security footage is missing.

Marissa’s deductive skills impress again when she watches the security footage with Jay, and notices that Paul is wearing a FitBit. They can use it to track his heartbeat and location. The heartbeat monitors on Paul and Pastor Jeremiah’s FitBits indicate that while Paul’s heart rate rose during the time in question, Pastor Jeremiah’s fell—not consistent with sexual activity. Using Paul’s location data, Marissa and Jay also discover that Paul’s morning runs for the past few weeks included pit stops by his lawyer’s office—before the suit was ever brought up.

Jay does some more digging into Kovac, and learns that he has been taking money from an “alt-right” group to pursue a fraudulent suit that would embarrass the pastor—a disbarrable violation of conflicts of interest laws. Kovac, clearly caught, quite literally runs away.

Meanwhile, Maia continues to deal with her family drama. Henry continues attempts to contact her despite her rebuffs. He shows up at her work, and she blows him off. Maia is still angry with her father, but when her girlfriend, Amy, shows up at the firm saying Henry called the house sobbing, and it “sounded like goodbye,” Maia drops everything to try to save him. She finally gets him to pick up the home phone, but he doesn’t speak to her. Maia tells her father she loves him, and that she’s on her way.

Henry prepares to commit suicide by hanging himself in the barn, but instead falls from the loft, breaking his leg and back. Maia finds him injured, but alive. He worries that if the court finds out he attempted to kill himself, he’ll lose his bail and be put back in prison. Maia cleans up the scene, removing the rope and letters. If watching a ton of has taught me anything, it’s that tampering with a crime scene will always come back to haunt you, especially when you not only choose to save your father’s suicide letter, but read it to your mother so she’ll finally break off her affair with your skeezy uncle. For all of its highbrow themes, The Good Fight, still knows how to play in soap opera territory.      

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On that note, Lucca and Colin have taken to hooking up in random public places. They meet up in an art gallery for illicit bathroom sex, but their plans go awry when they run into Colin’s overbearing mother. Lucca, enjoying Colin’s humiliation, agrees to come to his birthday party the following evening. However, she gets more than she bargained for when Colin’s family turns out to be the same kind of white liberal racists that Chris encounters in Get Out (If you haven’t seen it, go now!). Lucca discovers that Colin is being groomed to run for senate, and that she is the perfect girlfriend for his liberal optics—black, beautiful, and intelligent. Hurt, Lucca makes her excuses and leaves the party.

Colin finds her later in the RB&K parking garage, and tries to convince her that his family doesn’t speak for him, but she won’t have it. Lucca doesn’t want to be anyone’s trophy or wife. Steel-eyed, she ends their relationship, but after he leaves, she breaks down in the car. As a viewer, the whole scene is frustrating. While I respect Lucca for refusing to be a prop in someone else’s life, it’s obvious she cares for Colin, and I wish she would just tell him that rather than continuing her to-cool-to-care pretence.

Final Thoughts:

Jay agrees to sponsor Marissa for a detective’s license when she’s ready, and I am so here for this partnership. These two are my dream team.

The partners vote on whether or not to reinstate Carl as managing partner. Julius hasn’t officially left yet, and votes in favor of Carl, but it’s Barbara who brings the vote back to a tie. RB&K is, like our nation, a house divided. As Carl says, “That’s the problem with the world today. You think the fights are different, but you’re wrong. They’re exactly the same.”

TB-TV-Grade-B+

Season 1, Episode 8 (S01E08)
The Good Fight streams Sundays on CBS All Access 

Read all of our reviews of The Good Fight here. 
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A.R. reads and writes YA, watches too much , and serves at the pleasure of her cat.
Follow A.R. on Twitter: @ARWasserman

Keep up with all of A.R.’s reviews here.

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