To put it quite simply, The Good Fight is the essential television show we didn’t even realize we needed right now. The Good Wife left a gaping hole in my heart, with its analysis of career versus morality, acceptance of sexual fluidity, and unflinching willingness to tackle current events and social issues in a swift and blunt manner. While we don’t have the flawless Julianna Margulies to follow as the cast constantly navigates blurred lines as Alicia Florrick, Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart was one of my favorite characters, whom I always wished got more screen time and character exploration.
The title of the premiere episode has a two-fold meaning, earmarking the beginning of a new era both in Cook County and in real-time American. The opening scene of The Good Fight could quite possibly go down as one of the most relevant, impactful openers in television. Diane sits along on her couch in the dark, watching dumbfounded as Donald Trump is sworn is as the 45th President of the United States. She abruptly turns off the coverage, shock and resignation on her face.
Same Diane, same.
As Diane leaves us to pull herself together post-inauguration, we’re introduced to Maia Rindell, a recent law school graduate furiously refreshing her computer for the results of the Bar exam we caught a quick glimpse of her tackling. After about twenty refreshes, Maia’s results pop up, indicated she passed the Bar! Squealing with delight, Maia wakes up her (hooray!) girlfriend Amy and leaps onto the bed to celebrate with an early morning cuddle sesh.
It was at this moment, right here, that I fell in love with this show.
We knew beforehand that Maia would be in a relationship with a woman, but it was such a refreshing surprise to see this relationship presented on screen in such an organic, nonchalant way. No coming out storyline, no shocking reveal, no plot revolving around the signature straight girl who suddenly realizes she loves a woman. Maia and Amy just are, from the beginning, which is beautiful and necessary and real. Yes, coming out stories are necessary, as well as insight into all the ways being in a same sex relationship can be just plain hard, but sometimes we just need to see a lesbian relationship on screen that just exists, outside of the science fiction dystopian universe.
Apparently other things exist in this show outside of Maia and Amy in bed together, so back we go to Diane’s retirement announcement at her law firm, which features several familiar faces to those who loved The Good Wife. David Lee does a mini-celebration after the meeting, after which we learn that Maia is starting as an Associate on the same day. After Maia is settled into her new space, we learn that she’s receiving pretty special treatment because she’s Diane’s goddaughter. Diane, of course, takes her under her wing and brings her on to help with the final case of her career.
Diane and Maia enter mediation with the opposing law firm, which happens to be the firm Lucca Quinn recently joined. Lucca and Diane have a history that’s not elaborated on much, but you shouldn’t feel too left out if you’re not familiar with their backstory. It turns out Diane’s last case is one involves police brutality. The defendant, a young black man, was injured so badly by three white police officers that he’s now in a wheelchair. Diane and Maia are representing Cook County, a/k/a, the cops, and they’re both struggling with the morality of potentially being on the wrong side of justice here.
Cut to Diane’s retirement party, where Maia and Amy arrive looking dashing together. Amy is a powerhouse in her own right. After we watch other elite lawyers celebrate Diane and Maia’s father encourage Diane to borrow from her retirement fund to purchase a new house rather than withdrawing all of the money (can you say red flag?), it’s back to business as usual.
But wait, the next day Amy calls Maia in a frenzy when the FBI shows up with a warrant to search their apartment looking for signs of collaboration with Amy’s father, who, it turns out is being arrested for being the ring leader of a massive Ponzi scheme involving thousands of investors’ retirement money, including Diane’s.