Review: “The Good Fight“, Season 4 Episode 1

What if in November 2016, instead of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton had been elected President of the United States? This is exactly the question the first episode of the new season of the Legal series “The Good Fight“ deals with. 

In the following, spoilers to the series events may possibly appear. 

A new reality: Hooray?

Top lawyer Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) suddenly finds herself in an alternative reality, where Hillary Clinton was elected President of the United States. 
Diane sits in front of the TV, watches Hillary Clinton’s inauguration and breaks out in euphoria – until her euphoria comes to an abrupt end when the TV suddenly goes off. 
This first on-screen scene, with its contradictory staging of euphoria and frustration, provides a glimpse of the first episode’s plot. 

Diane goes to work and has problems finding her way around – she is told by her assistant Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele) who presides over the White House: Hillary Clinton. Although Diane watched the inauguration on TV, she is still confused as she comes from a world where Donald Trump has now been president for three years. 
When Hillary Clinton’s press secretary waits in Diane’s office and she learns that she is soon to defend a client in the Supreme Court, Diane doesn’t know anything about all this and feels as if she has fallen out of the world. 

At first, the liberal Diane imagines herself in paradise, but very quickly realises that the reality in which she is now involved also has its dark sides: During a meeting of the firm’s partners, she learns that in the alternative reality she has been preparing for weeks the defence of Harvey Weinstein, who is facing allegations of abuse. 
Coming from a reality in which “#MeToo“ led to social upheaval and Harvey Weinstein was convicted, this piece of news shocks her. 

Weinstein is acquitted of all charges in the alternative reality in court. Along the way, Diane learns that in the world where Clinton was elected president, there is no “#MeToo“ movement. 

The “new nightmare world“

At first Diane Lockhart thought she had woken up from a bad dream now that Clinton is President and not Trump; but now she finds herself in a nightmare world again. When she tries to bring Weinstein’s actions to light, her statements are branded as rumours, and it even gets to the point where the other partners consider excluding Diane from the firm. The law firm is in financial difficulties due to the introduction of the “Clinton corporate tax“ and is dependent on clients like Weinstein, according to the argumentation of Diane’s partners. 
In addition, Clinton’s press secretary wants Diane to stop her demands for a #MeToo debate, as these demands would not help Hillary Clinton during her re-election campaign. 

All of this is very hard on Diane. Suddenly she starts to wonder where her husband Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole), who is a Republican and gun owner, actually is. Her husband is the embodiment of what is considered uncivilised by the Clinton administration, which is why she worries about him and finally she finds him in his hunting lodge in the woods… 

Be careful what you wish for – especially if it includes an alternative reality

During the whole episode the viewer gets the impression that this alternative reality is now the new world in which “The Good Fight“ takes place with the beginning of season four. Whether this is really the case will be left open in this article, so it’s still worth watching the new episode after reading this review. 

In summary, it can be seen as a statement of the new episode that one should always be careful when wishing for an alternative reality – one maybe wishes for something that one might not even like. The episode can also be seen as an invitation to make the best of the times you find yourself in – if you wish for an alternative world instead, you often fail to recognise the dark sides of each reality. 

Simon von Ludwig 

Cover picture: Leading actress Christine Baranski (Diane Lockhart) at the Romy Awards 2012 in Vienna. Photographer: Manfred Werner, used under CC BY-SA 3.0, taken from Wikimedia Commons

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