The Good Fight Gave Us a (Very) Good Series FinalePhoto Courtesy of Paramount+ TV Features The Good Fight
God I’m going to miss this show.
The Good Fight series finale, aptly titled “The End of Everything,” featured a countdown so dramatic that I feared someone would die as the show took its final bow. I’m still not over Will Gardner’s death more than eight years ago so I was on high alert.
No series has so perfectly captured what it’s been like to live in America since Trump was elected in 2016. So yes there was gunfire as the firm came under attack from white supremacists, and the show’s opening credits came to life. But instead of an untimely death, the series came full circle. Back in February 2017, The Good Wife spinoff began with Diane watching Trump get inaugurated, and the series ends with Diane and Liz watching Trump announce that he will be running again. “Shit!,” Liz says.
With the cacophony of civil unrest and discord as the constant background to the season, the series welcomed back a greatest hits parade of beloved guest stars (Alan Cumming! Carrie Preston! John Benjamin Hickey! John Cameron Mitchell) and offered up some updates on familiar The Good Wife characters (of course Peter Florrick is back in jail). Delightfully, the show leaned hard into its liberal ideology in its swan song, tackling some of the country’s most divisive issues. But more than the politics, the series has always been about the people.
Where did the series finale leave our beloved characters? Let’s take a look.
Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski): Every time Diane thinks she’s out, they pull her back in. The Good Fight began with Diane contemplating retirement and purchasing a house in the south of France until she realized she had lost all her money in a Ponzi scheme and needed to keep working. Over the seasons, Diane has tried almost everything to try to make sense of and deal with the world around her, including microdosing and joining a resistance movement. This season she’s been a patient of Dr. Lyle Bettencourt (John Slattery) who offers her a mix of ketamine and therapy. When her feelings for Lyle become romantic (because duh John Slattery!), Lyle stops being her doctor. But when the firm is attacked, Diane realizes that despite their severe ideological differences, her husband Kurt (Gary Cole)—who quit his job at the NRA as they were about to give him an award—is her one true love. Diane’s plan for making their marriage work in this crazy, divisive world? “Lots of sex and pasta.” (Also shout out to Diane having two men willing climb 22 flights of stairs for her. Of course she’s worth it). Diane is ready to walk away again (and looking at French Zillow listings). Even Liz’s offer that she could run her own all-female firm in D.C. isn’t enough to convince her to keep working until (in a montage of past episodes) Liz reminds her of all the people she has helped. “Every single one of them, you changed their life,” Liz tells her. Diane realizes she still needs to keep fighting the, well, good fight. As long as we have Diane’s trademark laugh and statement jewelry, I think we will be okay.
Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald): Having successfully rid themselves of the dastardly STR Laurie, Liz and Ri’Chard are poised to lead the firm in the direction they want while giving Diane her own firm to run in Washington D.C. As bullets rain down on them, Liz begins to make peace with her father’s fractured legacy. “Sometimes we don’t need to like a legend,” Ri’Chard tells Liz’s son Malcolm. At first, Liz viewed Ri’Chard as an opponent, but now realizes that while their styles are vastly different, their goal is the same.
Ri’Chard Lane (Andre Braugher): Having only joined the series this season, Ri’Chard has made his mark and has become a good and trusted partner for Liz. Sure he first joined the firm to seek revenge on Liz’s father, Carl Reddick, for mocking him many years ago. But when all the lawyers come together to help his dying nephew, Ri’Chard realizes it’s time to put his grudges behind him.
Jay Dipersia (Nyambi Nyambi): As the firm’s lead investigator, he saved the day and kept everyone safe as shots were fired. But he realizes he needs to move beyond the law firm if he’s going to bring about real and lasting change. This season he met the Collective, an organization run by Renetta Clark (Phylicia Rashad) which exacts its own form of justice (think fake police stations and jail cells and being relocated to Antarctica). “This is full time now Jay, you can’t split your focus,” they tell him. Without too many questions, Jay agrees to get in the van the Collective has waiting for him and begin the next chapter of his life.
Carmen Moyo (Charmaine Bingwa): Given the chance to join the Collective with Jay, Carmen passes saying that she loves the law. “I’m built to be a lawyer not an activist, and I still have something to learn here.” And she kind of loves defending really awful criminals like Ben-Baruch and Oscar Rivi (Tony Plana). Having only been on the show for two seasons, Carmen remains a bit of a mystery.
Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele): Marissa married Zev (Shahar Isaac), her seriously sexy Krav Maga instructor. Sure she had only known him for three weeks but, honestly, I trust her judgment on this one. Did you see how quickly her defended her from Ben-Baruch’s (Ben Shenkman) henchmen? Now a lawyer, Marissa is looking to join Diane in her new female-led firm in D.C. where she will also be closer to her dad Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), who survived an attempt on his life this season. (Poor Frank Landau tragically died instead). I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying until I can manifest this idea into fruition. We need a spinoff of this spinoff. It should be called The Good Daughter, and it will follow Marissa, Eli, and Zev. Diane can be a special guest star. It will be amazing. Come on Paramount+ give the people what they want.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer and a member of the Television Critics Association. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).
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