The Good Fight Season 5 Review: White Privilege & Bigoted Theories

the good fight

The Good Fight Season Five, created by Phil Aden Robinson, Michelle King, and Robert King, explores the Reddick & Lockhart (R&L) law firm dealing with institutions, truth, and racial justice constantly being under fire. Michelle King and the rest of the writer’s portrayed the COVID-19 pandemic brilliantly.

In the world of The Good Fight, the pandemic was entirely under control by the start of 2021. Mask wearing and social distancing are only highlighted in the first episode, “ Previously On…”.

“Previously On … ” features a series of recaps revealing how the main characters like Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Jay DiPersia (Nyambi Nyambi) function during the height of the pandemic. Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) moves to London to work for Black billionaire Bianca Skye (Chasten Harmon). Name partner Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindon) moves to Altana to join the Black Lives Matter movement.  Investigator Jay spends the height of the pandemic hospitalized for COVID. Former firm investigator Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele) enrolls in law school at Chicago-Kent. The chaos ensues from here.

In Episode Seven, “And the Fight had a Detente …” everybody believes name partners Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald) and Diana are in a romantic relationship. The fake relationship is never referenced, and it’s as though it never happened for the remainder of the season. The writers left a lot of great material on the floor.

The other over-the-top storylines in Season Five, like copy store worker Hal Wacker (Mandy Patinkin)  creating a court with no legal training, continued throughout the whole season. It’s too bad since the “fake lesbian” storyline was the funniest aspect of the season, bringing a necessary lightness to a dark time.

It’s hard to keep a straight face when the Tucker Carlson style anchor throws out the insane theory that Diana is a closeted Lesbian. The anchor’s only explanation for his theory is that Diana’s husband, conservative Kurt McVeigh(Gary Cole), remains camera shy. The ridiculous assertions continue when he says that she is dating named partner Liz because they are inseparable.

The Fox anchor’s baseless statements cause the two frenemies to laugh uncontrollably, triggering us to do the same. His theories are even funnier since the two female lawyers can’t get along this season.  Liz wants White Liberal Diana to step down as a name partner so R& L can be a Black-led law firm. Diana thinks that she deserves her power within the firm. The two former friends can’t stand to be in the same room together. They are only partnering up to win a $5 million civil suit against the Chicago Police Department for excessive force.

It gets funnier when the “Liberal” judge Charles Abernathy (Denis O’Hare) buys into the notion that the two women lawyers are girlfriends. Why would an intelligent being who leans politically progressive believe some bigoted journalist from Fox?

One look at Baranski and McDonald’s facial expressions reveals their plan to take advantage of Abernathy’s bigoted liberalism. Without saying a word, we know what they’re thinking. The scene shows their acting chops. This farce goes so far that R& L HR has the two women sign a “love contract.”

Since it’s a serialized story, we are left hanging because this incident is never mentioned again. The friendship chemistry between the two female partners brings magic to the show, sadly only present for this episode.  Chicago’s Justice system’s biased beliefs about the two women enabled them to forget their differences for a little bit and work together.

Institutional racism has always been at the center of The Good Fight, but this season tackles white privilege straight on. R& L usually takes on police violence cases, but this is the first time the writers reveal how the healthcare system is one of the worst culprits of institutional racism.

Episode Five, “And the Firm Had Two Partners…” is all about Drug Kingpin Oscar Rivi’s (Tony Plana) lawsuit against a hospital for racial discrimination. He thought that his twenty-something-year-old daughter died of COVID-19 because she was a person of color. His theory is that while White patients received adequate medical care, doctors ignored his daughter’s needs. It turns out that Rivi’s daughter received the best care because everybody feared him, though Jay almost died of COVID.

The investigator was packed like a sardine with at least forty other Black patients in the pit, a.k.a. hospital waiting room. The doctors declared them all “too far gone.” These Black men and women laid in their hospital beds, gasping for air with little to no medical supervision. While in a coma, Jay overheard nurses making comments revealing they don’t care about Black lives. Jay only survived because White divorce lawyer David Lee (Zach Grenier) called the hospital to check in on him. Nurses brought him to a private room. David helping Jay is an example of White privilege being used for good.

The outlandish behavior by R & L’s clients and the justice system reflects how culturally divided the United States remains even without Trump at the helm. If you love past seasons of The Good Fight or its predecessor, The Good Wife, watch all the new episodes on Paramount Plus!

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  1. I absolutely love Christine Baranski but even she does not have enough magnetism to make me want to watch this show. What is odd is that I have read so much on it and appreciate everything I read but I have so many other things I want to watch. This is probably a miss on my part I know.

    1. Christine Baranski is an amazing actress. I highly recommend The Good Fight, but I understand that it is not everybody’s cup of tea.

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