Amy Watch: The Good Fight S1E10- Chaos
Here we are, at the end of the first season of The Good Fight, and the title of this episode sums up my feelings about it pretty well: chaotic. More questions than answers. Throw in a good dose of anger, frustration, and disappointment.
We left off last week with Power Lesbian Jane Lynch threatening Maia with FBI prosecution for perjuring herself during her "proffer interview"/interrogation. I still don't know how they can prove she was lying when it's clear her memory is unreliable, but whatever. Chaos opens with some punchy music and Maia sitting in Adrian's office, her file on the desk before her, waiting for Adrian and Barbara to come in and give her the biannual associates review. When they arrive, her first question is if she's being fired, followed by several apologies for nothing in particular. Adrian and Barbara tell her that she is extremely smart and capable, and that she needs to be bolder- stop apologizing, don't take no for an answer, pick a partner to shadow and tail them relentlessly, that kind of thing. Maia takes this to heart and promises to do it, only to lie like a sick puppy on a couch in a corner somewhere wallowing in the idea that everyone hates her.
Here's the thing about Maia. She holds onto a lot of self-doubt and has a timid demeanor in high-power settings. She's a pretty spot-on embodiment of the shrinking violet trope, which is one I've always related to- Willow and Tara from Buffy, Amelie, pretty much every Kristin Stewart character (ok the crush factor is high on that one), even Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years and Waverly from Wynonna Earp. I don't tend to find that trope damaging in and of itself; the characters who fit into it are often the most intelligent and quietly powerful people in the story, and tend to drive the narrative in important ways. But the fact that this trope often reduces women to their child/"girl"-like attributes can be very problematic. In the case of Maia, I've been pretty frustrated with her lack of ability to overcome her self-doubt enough to see she's being taken advantage of and that she deserves better.
Hey, I know someone who treats Maia like a grown woman, who loves her and is there for her no matter what! Except that she's not there, for reasons unknown. Oh wait, I know the reason. Queerbaiting. More on that later.
Back in Adrian's office, Lucca is given the most glowing review ever because of course she is, and is promoted to partner track with a bigger, better office not crammed up next to the men's restroom. All good news. The other good news is that apparently Lucca and Maia have bonded pretty strongly because they're besties now. Lucca finds Maia sulking about her review and gives her a pep talk, and Maia invites Lucca to dinner that night. This moment made me really excited, because a dinner scene with Maia, Amy, and Lucca? Yes please.
Only this never happens because creepy Jason Biggs shows up, throwing us back into the world of disgusting 4Chan misogynist assholes a la Felix from a few episodes back. Does anyone else highkey hate Jason Biggs? Anyway he comes into Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad offering Diane and co. 90 grand in cash on the spot to represent him. He claims that a virus has infected his laptop that will create a city-wide power outage at 7pm that day, and he doesn't know where it came from since he's super good at cyber security guys! He says he's being set up to be framed for cyberterrorism and wants the firm to demand immunity for him from the DOJ in exchange for diffusing the attack. I don't know how that will work but apparently the trash bag full of cash is enough to win over the firm and doesn't seem too sketchy at all. Sigh. So Adrian poses a question to the lawyers in the room: Who do we trust at the DOJ? All eyes on Lucca. Sigh again.
So Lucca takes this flash drive that Jason Biggs gives her to Colin and lays the story out for him. There's a lot of staring across a table and talking slowly and deliberately. Then he takes the flash drive and gives it to his boss, who plugs it into some computer and voila! A trojan horse. DUH, PEOPLE. But for some reason everyone at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad still believes that Jason Biggs is innocent and is being held hostage.
Now that the grid will for sure go down since government computers are infected, the AG brings like 30 henchman over to Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad to detain Lucca as a material witness/co-conspirator in cyberterrorism. Colin gets mad that his boss undercut him like that and resigns for 0.037 seconds until he's offered a promotion and decides to stay, automatically putting him on the prosecuting side of a case against his ex who he still really loves and he's real torn up about it, for sure.
That's not the only sleazy thing a dudebro does to a woman in this episode, either, but we'll get to that.
Maia has taken her feedback to heart and this, combined with the fact that her BFF Lucca is being held, means a fire is lit and she latches onto Adrian to shadow him ("Today's not a good day, Maia" "You told me not to take no for an answer, I'm coming!") and heads to court to be there for Lucca. Adrian and the AG do a lot of fighting at the bench and everyone's chill level is really low because there's a ticking clock and they need to find the "real" hacker. Everyone's favorite investigative dream team Marissa and Jay do some snooping and find that Jason Biggs joked a lot about cyber attacks on 4Chan with someone whose gross alt-right views ring a specific bell for Marissa: it's Felix. Oh joy.
Diane, who Felix has taken to calling "mother" (ew) and is the only person from Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad he'll talk to, finds him and makes a deal to represent him in one of the gazillion lawsuits he wants to bring against some of his enemies if he helps them with a sting operation to catch the power grid hacker. Felix knows the person's 4Chan handle and sets up an in-person meeting at a Chinese restaurant while Diane, the AG and all 30 of the AG's henchmen are lying in wait. That way, we also get to hear Felix spew some racist bullshit about Chinese people.
But before this happens, Felix gets called as a witness in court. Court has been in recess for what was supposed to be an hour, so Adrian went back to the office for some reason. Except uh oh! Court is back in session early, as Maia calls to tell him, and Felix is on the stand. Adrian can't get back in time, so Maia will have to hold down the fort until he arrives; that fire jumps in her eyes and she's ready. After faltering a little in her initial questioning, she chews out the AG and impresses the judge, and Adrian, who arrives just in time to see her kill it.
Later, the sting operation is a success, and lo and behold, the hacker is Jason Biggs. What a shock! Marissa might be the only one not surprised. The only problem is, the clock strikes 7, and the power goes out anyway. But it's ok, because Lucca is released, Maia has proven her power to her employers and herself, and all that darkness it a little romantic anyway, right?
Meanwhile, Henry is in a bind, as if I care. After the backlash over his outrageous 10-year plea deal, the best his lawyer can do is a 35-year plea deal, which is still a lot better than life. But Henry refuses to go back to prison. He calls a smuggler who he pays off to pick him up that night and smuggle him out of the country. He can't say goodbye, obviously, but he tries to get Maia to come over for dinner that night and is very insistent about it; she keeps telling him she'll try but her day is a little crazy. Also leave her alone, Henry, haven't you done enough?
There's another snag for Henry, though: that afternoon, while all this hacking stuff is happening over at the DOJ, his lawyer shows up and tells him that the FBI has something on Maia, and that she could get 5 years if he doesn't take the plea deal. Henry starts crying and looks like he has maybe given in. Later, in the candlelit Rindell mansion, he makes a phone call in which he tells his lawyer that he'll take the plea deal, but to just give him one more night with his family.
Maia ends up being able to come for dinner, where Henry lays out a detailed, tear-filled confession of his guilt in the Ponzi scheme (along with Jax and every other complicit member of the family). After some crying and silent agreement to enjoy this last night together before Henry goes off to prison, Maia and her parents have dinner in their massive dining room. Yep, SHOCKER, she's there alone. Wtf, show? WHERE IS AMY?
It makes zero sense that Maia's basically-wife would not be at this dinner, and would in fact never accompany her to her parents' house; that Maia wouldn't have at least the occasional scene of talking to Amy about what's going on, which is a whole fucking lot and is taking over her life; that even when Maia is home, Amy isn't. We don't have any hint as to what exactly Amy does for a living (besides "lawyer"), where she works and why she apparently only comes home late at night. We don't know if work has put a strain on Maia and Amy's relationship, what Amy's perspective is on the ongoing Henry situation, or if they're just having mind-blowing sex every night. We don't know anything. There's no context at all.
That's particularly disappointing when it's clear that the hetero relationships in The Good Fight are given a lot of attention and development. The argument that the show's romantic storylines are unimportant compared to the legal drama is moot. Lucca and Colin got all kinds of sexy screentime; Jay and Marissa's relationship, as much as I'm here for it, has been given the space and time to grow; Diane's attachment to Kurt is brought up several times and in this episode even takes a central role, with a frightened Diane rushing to the hospital where an injured Kurt was taken after literally saving a baby from a car jacking. Even the sexual tension between Adrian and Barbara gets more screen time than Amy and Maia together. Amy is treated as nothing but an afterthought; it's blatantly obvious and truly heartbreaking. If she and Maia were tertiary characters, that would be one thing. (Not a great thing, but at least we'd know what to expect). But Maia's struggle with her dark family legacy is one of the pillar storylines of the show, yet her longtime girlfriend is nowhere to be found, ever? Amy is supposedly the one constant in Maia's tumultuous life. They ostensibly love each other, though we've seen little proof one way or the other. If Maia were straight, we would see her boyfriend all the time. There would be all kinds of boyfriend-father interactions with Henry. Maia would be shown leaning on his strong shoulders and having comfort sex with him. I guarantee it. So why don't she and Amy ever see or even call each other? We have no indication that anything is wrong between them, and yet no indication that anything is right. We have nothing, and that's troubling at best; it's sleazy queerbaiting at worst.
The last scene of this finale is also the first scene where we get mention of Amy. Maia is sitting at home alone, feet on the table and wine glass in hand, when Lucca knocks at the door. Maia is happy to see her bestie, and it's sweet. Lucca asks where Amy is, and I yell at my screen, "I'VE BEEN ASKING THIS QUESTION FOR TEN WEEKS." Maia says that she's on her way home and that they'll have to eat cold mac and cheese for dinner, which Lucca gladly accepts. Forget that Maia already had dinner with her parents and it's got to be at least 10pm. Then there's another knock at the door, and Maia lightheartedly quips that Amy must have forgotten her keys again; but no, it's the AG and, you guessed it, his 30 henchmen. (Why does he have such a large entourage at all times? He's like number 45). They're here to drag Maia away because, hey, Henry did the absolute worst most irresponsible and self-centered thing ever (surprise!) and fled the country anyway, daughter be damned. Seriously, fuck that guy.
Overall episode rating: 1/5 exploding flower vases for nonsensical Maia chaos; 3.5/5 exploding desks for writing
Amy sitings: Literally none.
Excellent Elsbeth moments: Please come back, Elsbeth.
Marissa sleuthing factor: 10 exploding laptops
That's it. The episode and the season is over, and so is my subscription to the CBS streaming service. I was all about this show and now I'm over it. It was marketed to me, but it wasn't made for me. Add it to the long list of shows that already fit that category.