The Good Fight (Season 6 Finale)—No Sucker Punches
In this thrilling sixth and final season of one of the most politically-charged television series ever broadcasted, The Good Fight tolerates no fools. In up-to-the-minute scintillating writing by Michelle and Robert King (creators of “The Good Wife”), we see the simmering civil and race wars that could be just around the corner in a post-Trump, post-coup era. Echoing President Biden’s warning in September that MAGA Republicans are a grave threat to the nation’s future, the writers consider how current political views represent more than a given government ideology but also permeate our sense of self-identity, values in the arts, and personal relationships.
The final episode, “The End of Everything”, winds down and wraps up beautifully and positively the major plots of the season: Is Carmen Moyo (Charmaine Bingwa) going to find satisfaction as a junior lawyer in the firm? Is new partner Ri’Chard able to be a team player with Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald)? Is Marissa (Sarah Steele) going to be taken seriously now that she has passed the bar? Is Jay (Nyambi Nyambi), the security analyst, able to build what he wants while staying at the firm or take a better offer? Is Liz willing to work with both Ri’Chard (Andre Braugher) and Diane, who is increasingly discouraged about whether she makes a difference in an increasingly chaotic world? And is Diane going to choose divorce from her husband, Kurt (Gary Cole), for the sympathetic, more value-compatible doctor, Lyle Bettencourt (John Slattery)?
The foreshadowing found in the opening graphics, subtly changing from one season to the next, still features explosions to the very end: Trump on the podium, the Supreme Court, flower pots, the telephone, office desks, important books, purses, and high-heel shoes. All explode from gunfire.
And the bookending doesn’t stop with the answers to the questions raised. Each character’s arc is bookended, and so is the political drama with Trump announcing running in 2024 and Governor DeSantis scheming in the shadows planning his next move. This defiant political and legal procedural dared to go where no show has gone before. The hatred and disgust at Trump was visually shown in ways that nominally progressive television series refused to undertake.
“The Good Fight“ ties up all loose ends of their narrative, including in the final credits exploding the same objects as we witness in the beginning. And the audience is left hanging in suspense. There is a well-funded vigilante society, The Collective, which plans to save the country by abducting white supremacists to a Gulag in the Antarctica where they can only see white everywhere they look. There are confused, directionless Democratic party leaders hoping Dwayne Johnson will run for president. Police are ineffective; explosions and street riots are omnipresent and constant. An inclusive, egalitarian value system no longer can be relied upon as a framework for understanding the world and is steadily collapsing. “Good Fight” wants to know: what happens when good people lose faith in their institutions and in their sense of justice? The most dangerous feeling to have, Diane Lockhart admits to Liz, is hope: When people lose faith in your institution’s past, and hold no hope for its future? Fighting the good fight? There are no sucker punches.
This entire series, at times, left me breathless. Even the music resonates now with different thematic overtones.