What Impact Does Maia’s Sexuality Have On ‘The Good Fight’?

on

CBS’s first exclusive All Access series The Good Fight recently wrapped up its first season. The spinoff of the socially relevant, politically charged legal drama The Good Wife picked up where its predecessor left off, with a cast that features both familiar faces and new favorites. One of the headliners for the series, Maia Rindell, was  used in the show’s marketing to advertise the inclusion of a lesbian lead character. Although the Cook County legal drama scene isn’t new to the inclusion of LGBTQ characters (Kalinda, the badass bisexual, was a popular character in The Good Wife), a show featuring three strong, diverse women at the helm is groundbreaking to say the least.

GoodFight9

Even in 2017 representation is lacking, and Maia’s presence sparked excitement, particularly after the premiere episode. The Good Fight laid a foundation right from the beginning for Maia’s rock steady relationship with her partner Amy, who is a local detective. Within the show, Maia’s sexuality is never mentioned, largely existing as simply the background to her home life. The most exciting aspect about Maia’s relationship with Amy is that the objectification of the couple’s existence is never a featured plot line within the show. Their love isn’t picked apart. analyzed, examined, or questioned, it just exists.

Although it would have been a real treat for Maia and Amy to get some of the steamy scenes we were subjected to between straight couples like Lucca and her unlucky love interests, the acceptance of the pair as family without scrutiny is refreshing on screen. One unique way The Good Fight succeeds in normalizing Maia’s sexuality is the lack of labeling the show adds to its characters. When we view a character like Lucca sleeping with a man, we just assume she’s straight. When Maia’s character is introduced with an already established romantic partnership with Amy, we assume she’s a lesbian. The Good Fight treats these two powerhouse female characters with equal amounts of respect in regards to their sexuality, a respect that enlists trust in the viewers’ ability to learn and identify with the characters as we watch them take journey on screen.

GoodFight6

Roughly halfway through this season, we find Maia in a bit of a cyber conundrum when discovers an ex boyfriend has created a fake Twitter account under her name to muddy her reputation, which is already in the spotlight due to her parents’ legal scandal. The episode follows Maia as she hunts down her old beau and finally has to resort to beating him at his own game. This storyline was both relatable and refreshing to me, as I instantly made the assumption that Maia is bisexual, just like I am. I could imagine the frustration she had that a previous love interest would betray their intimacy like that, and the relief that she was now in a safer place with Amy. It just so happened that one of those two big loves has a penis.

Maia’s past remains largely untouched other than this brief encounter until the season’s penultimate episode, wherein she undergoes and interview with a member of the FBI. Said FBI agents also happens to be Jane Lynch, which is a delight in its own right, but that’s neither here not there. During this series of questioning, we’re treated to flashbacks of Maia’s late teen years. We’re given a glimpse into Maia’s 18th birthday party, where she met Amy for the first time. Lynch’s FBI character, upon asking if she met Amy that night, also probes into whether Maia’s boyfriend had attending the party. Cue flashbacks of Maia out in the parking lot sharing smooches with Amy, fumbling with her conscience and muttering that she should go back inside. We never see Maia’s boyfriend to determine if he’s the same guy who sent a stranger seductive photos of her that had been taken under the facade of privacy and trust.

GoodFight5

After this episode, I had a brief discussion with my partner over Maia’s sexuality on the show. We watch The Good Fight together, and in between brief mutual fantasies over a Maia/Lucca hookup, we debated whether Maia is a lesbian or bisexual. I assumed, upon watching these events unfold, that Maia is just like me, a woman who grew up not really questioning her heterosexuality until she happened to meet the right woman who caused her to realize that her capacity to love wasn’t limited or gender specific. My partner watched the same episode and assumed Maia is, in fact, just like her as well, a girl who grew up knowing she was gay but fearful and deeply closeted until later in life. She dated men because that was what was expected of her, and because she kept thinking that maybe she would find the right one.

GoodFight3

We went back and forth a few times, both pleading our cases, when I realized the beauty of Maia Rindell’s character. She can be both of us at the same time. Lesbian and bisexual women just want someone to watch fall in love, fight, have sex, and  just take on the journey of life in the same way they do. We want characters on screen who remind us of ourselves, who make us feel normal and provide a point of reference so that we can invest ourselves in the storytelling the same way straight people get to.

I know that bi erasure and lesbian erasure are both real issues, and that we are always deserving and proud to have a character who is just like us. However, I think it’s equally as beautiful and important to create a character that can be whoever the viewer needs her to be. Maia has yet to verbally label herself, and I think it’s a wonderful thing if she doesn’t. I’m marrying a woman in less than a week, and she will be my only partner for the rest of my life. I was asked recently if that fact makes me a lesbian instead of a bisexual. It does not, but I realize that anyone who doesn’t know I’ve been with men will assume I’m a lesbian, and I’m great with that, too. Sometimes we forget that we’re all under this rainbow umbrella together, and each color is just as beautiful as the one beside it.

More you may like