THE GOOD FIGHT Review: “Not So Grand Jury”


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All of the season’s storylines are finally converging in this week’s episode of THE GOOD FIGHT. Mike Kresteva empanels a grand jury to go after Reddick, Boseman, and Kolstad. Kresetva doesn’t want a conviction, just an indictment. Kresteva still believes the false information Elsbeth fed to him via Maia and Henry Rindell about RB&K taking a bribe to help a fictitious client evade taxes, and he intends to use it to bankrupt the firm, thus preventing the state from losing money on the police brutality cases RB&K often represents.

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As part of his investigation, Kresteva confiscates Elsbeth’s Alexa-like device, Ada. As an “independent observer” Ada’s recordings of Elsbeth’s conversations are not considered privileged. This is a throwaway statement made sarcastically by AUSA Colin Morello, but it strikes a chord amongst the recent endangerment of internet privacy protections. While our microwaves may not have cameras in them, we do spend our days around internet-connected devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets. If our technology could legally be considered an “independent observer” our right to privacy as U.S. citizens could be dramatically eroded. This may be a fictional show, but the real-world implications of such an argument are terrifying to consider.

Ada’s recordings reveal Elsbeth’s planted lie, and Kresteva worries that Henry is working against him. Kresteva sends Henry back to Maia, but father and daughter both put their recording devices on the table, and finally have an honest conversation. Henry warns Maia that Kresteva is serving subpoenas to the partners and several of the associates at RB&K.

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The RB&K lawyers meet with Elsbeth to discuss strategy. Lucca brings up the fact that Kresteva’s boss, the Attorney General, Wilbur Dincon, is concerned that the case against RB&K appears racist. Elsbeth is too afraid to say it (as white people so often are), so Adrian steps in—they need to make it about race. Doing so may be the only way to prevent an indictment. Kresteva quickly catches on to their tactics after questioning Adrian and Barbara, so he pivots, and subpoenas the firm’s three white employees: Maia, Diane, and Marissa.

Once again, Marissa proves her worth by swaying the grand jurors’ emotions, even making them laugh during her testimony. Marissa deftly turns the conversation by noting how Diane’s mentorship has taught her about white privilege.

In order to discover what Kresteva has on RB&K, Elsbeth sues him in civil court for Tortious Interference. Colin Morello is begrudgingly put in charge of Kresteva’s defense. Colin discloses to his boss, Dincon, that he is dating an RB&K lawyer, thus creating a conflict of interest. Dincon tells him to break up with her, and move on with the case.

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In court, Lucca, recognizing her power over Colin, asks Elsbeth to be made second chair. Throughout the case, she purposefully distracts him, and throws him off his game. These two are fun to watch, and obviously continue their affair despite Dincon’s orders.

Meanwhile, Kresteva subpoenas RB&K’s occasional financial backers, Tom and Jerry (yes, those are their actual names), who we last saw in episode 2. Legally, Tom and Jerry are not allowed to discuss their grand jury testimony, but through a series of roundabout questions, Adrian and Diane realize that Kresteva is going to come after Diane for illegally sharing the video evidence from the Toby Kendall police brutality case (from episode 1). Adrian contends that Diane, herself, did not give RB&K evidence, but rather encouraged the firm to hire Maia, who would ultimately discover the evidence. It’s a thin defense, and Diane knows it.  

Elsbeth also ropes in Jay to help investigate the “Schtup List.” She can’t figure out what the nine-digit numbers next to the client names mean. Ultimately, it’s Marissa who figures it out. Several of the numbers repeat, and one of them is the Federal Tax ID number from her W-2 form at Lockhart, Deckler, etc. During his questioning of Diane, Kresteva blindsides her with the “Schtup List” and implies that her firm was directly involved in the Rindell scandal.

In her civil case, Elsbeth Henry Rindell to the stand, and gets him to admit that he made a deal with Kresteva—in exchange for his grand jury testimony, Kresteva would recommend a lighter sentence. That revelation blows up in Dincon’s face as he gets inundated with from high-ranking politicians who were affected by the scandal and the press. Dincon ultimately relieves Kresteva of his duties.

Kresteva goes to visit Elsbeth and return her Ada device. In his signature smug yet sinister manner, Kresteva tells Elsbeth that this fight is not over . . .  

Final Thoughts:

The Kings have paced the first season of The Good Fight incredibly well. The ten-episode format pushes the plot along at a brisk and interesting pace. Plus, having the show stream on CBS All-Access allows them more flexibility in terms of content and language. The show may get less viewership than it would if it aired on the CBS network, but I, for one, am happy that CBS took the risk to make it streaming only. The Good Fight is crisp, intelligent, and intriguing. Two-thirds of the way through season 1, and the Kings have done a great of twining their various storylines and characters together.

Aaron Tveit (BrainDead) guest stars on this episode as Kresteva’s second chair. The Kings have an affinity for Broadway talent, and while neither The Good Wife or The Good Fight could reasonably justify a musical episode, I’d love to see them finagle a way to get their characters drunk at a karaoke bar. Over the years we’ve seen not only series regulars like Christine Baranski grace our screens, but guest stars have included Renee Elise Goldsberry, Nathan Lane, Megan Hilty, Anika Noni Rose, and Anthony Rapp, just to name a few. As a massive musical theater geek, it seems like such a waste to never hear any of them sing.


Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
The Good Fight streams Sundays on CBS All Access.

Read all of our reviews of The Good Fight here. (Change title & adjust tag to show title)
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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

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