Amy Watch: The Good Fight S1E8: Reddick vs. Boseman
Welcome back, friends, to Boseman, Kolstad & Reddick, which is the unofficial new name of Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad because this episode involves a power play- well, let's call it a disagreement on the future direction of the firm- between Adrian and Carl Reddick, the Founding Father. We open on Adrian stepping out of the elevator to an eerily empty office. Is this a horror movie? A surprise birthday party? 2 am on a Sunday?
No! It's Carl Reddick, giving a rousing speech in the conference room to every enraptured member of the firm, about integrity and principles and, you guessed it, fighting the good fight. Everyone is seemingly starry-eyed, except Adrian, who does not seem very excited at all. And Barbara, who whispers to Adrian that he's just making an appearance and he'll be out of their hair soon. But alas, we all know that's not how drama works. And this show is nothing if not a drama.
Carl is not pleased with Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad's new client, aka ChumHum aka that social media site that was "trying to get rid of" all those fun white supremacist misogynists from a few episodes back, remember them? Yeah, I'm not sure what Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad are doing for that site now, but apparently something, because they're still bringing in $86 million from it. Carl tells Adrian that this represents a betrayal of the firm's principles. Adrian disagrees.
The Case of the Week this week comes in the form of a Pastor Jeremiah, who apparently is a holdover character from The Good Wife, asking Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad to help him evict a tenant in his halfway house who he accuses of using drugs and therefore violating the terms of the house. Carl loves Pastor Jeremiah, and Diane knows him and thinks he's cool, so even though evictions aren't exactly within the realm of what these high-powered lawyers do on a day-to-day basis, Diane agrees to do it as a favor with Carl's full-hearted support. Diane scores points with the top name in her firm and helps out an old friend, and Carl proves a point to Adrian about the importance of supporting important community leaders who don't pay $86 million.
Diane for some reason decides to take Jay and Maia with her to deliver this eviction notice. They all head down to the parking garage and when they step out of the elevator, surprise, there's Henry! He wants to talk to Maia, who hasn't been answering his calls. She suggests he should take the hint instead of stalking her at work. He leaves and Maia and Diane have a little moment of sadness before going to the halfway house.
The tenant Pastor Jeremiah wants to evict, Paul, throws the eviction notice away as soon as Diane & co hand it to him, and immediately accuses the pastor of forcing him to have sex with him. Paul informs the lawyers that if Pastor Jeremiah doesn't let him stay, he'll get his own lawyer and go public.
Of course, Pastor Jeremiah denies this allegation, and the episode thus throws us into a Doubt-like situation in which we are forced to think about trust and how we react to accusations of sexual assault and the people accused of it. Before I go forward with this recap, I want to remind you that, in real life, the vast majority of these accusations are true. According the the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, only 2-8% of accusations are false, and many, many more actual cases go unreported altogether. This shouldn't be news to anyone. If you're a human in the world, and you have not personally been sexually assaulted, you are not far away from someone who has.
So since Pastor Jeremiah denies the claim of sexual assault and still insists on Paul's eviction, next thing we know Paul's sleazy as hell lawyer, Gabe Kovac, shows up in Diane's office and steals all of the chocolate out of her candy jar before going on an anti-Harvard rant, not listening when Diane tells him she did not go to Harvard; saying he has incriminating evidence against the pastor and he will go public with it if Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad doesn't settle for a lot of money; and creepily asking Marissa if she ever goes on eHarmony. Cool guy.
The heads of Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad meet to discuss whether or not they'll take the case on behalf of Pastor Jeremiah, and predictably, Carl Reddick wants to do it. Adrian, ever the pragmatist, doesn't believe the pastor and also really doesn't want to be on the wrong side of a religious sex scandal case. Carl pulls some weird rule out of thin air that somehow means the firm will have to vote on the leadership, essentially choosing sides between Reddick and Boseman. Fun!
Diane takes Maia to go see Kovac, whose disheveled office is located above a nail salon, but Elsbeth is in a dentist's office so who's to judge. (Side note, I missed Elsbeth in this episode. I want Elsbeth and Marissa to get drinks together and become partners in crime, I mean in law, maybe with Jay involved too. They can also adopt Amy, who lest we forget is also a lawyer. Dream team!) Diane and Maia inform Kovac that they will not be giving him any money, at which point Kovac smirks and shows them some incriminating security footage from the hall of the halfway house in which Pastor Jeremiah goes into Paul's room and emerges again half an hour later. Yikes! Diane and Maia leave to take this info back to Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad. Pastor Jeremiah maintains that the reason he went into the room was to administer a drug test.
Meanwhile, Lucca's storyline is unfolding at an art opening, where Colin lured her with the promise to go down on her in the bathroom. Lucca didn't want to go somewhere with people who might recognize them (apparently galleries are venues for lawyers) but she's still inexplicably infatuated with him so she meets him there. Only guess who else is there! It's Aunt Voula with the teeth in her neck of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame, aka Andrea Martin, but in this case she's Colin's mom. She latches onto Lucca immediately, unloading all of her anti-Trump sentiment onto her and inviting her to Colin's birthday party the next night. Colin had not informed Lucca of said party and she seems to think it will be a fun exercise in mutual embarrassment if she goes, so she accepts.
Jay and Marissa are looking through the security footage from the halfway house and Marissa notices something that should've been obvious the first time, which is that there's a time jump on the clock- an hour of footage is missing from the tape. Someone is lying and has doctored the footage, but it could be either party! Alas, Marissa isn't done being the only one who notices details and solves everything. She sees in the tape that Paul is wearing a Fitbit. Turns out, everyone in the halfway house, including the pastor, wears one as part of a house-wide program to track fitness. They can just look at the data from that half hour to see if Paul and Jeremiah's heartbeats were elevated, which would be consistent with sex. Pretty gross and invasive, but it's the world we live in. Jay is once again impressed with Marissa's overall amazingness and sharp intelligence and offers to sponsor her for a detective's license. This is very cute. It's unusual for me to give a shit about hetero couples on TV so the fact that I'm into this says a lot about the characters.
At Colin's party, Aunt Voula and her gross misogynist lawyer are there, as well as a plethora of white guests who immediately do weird things like ask Lucca if she knows Jay Z and, yes, continuously make clear how much they hate Trump. At this point it is overwhelmingly clear that Lucca has put up with enough shit from Colin, his employer, his family and his family's adjacent people, but no. While Colin goes off to get a drink, Aunt Voula's lawyer straight-up laughs at her, saying that the only reason Colin is with her is because he plans to run for senate and having a beautiful Black girlfriend on his arm will ingratiate him with constituents. That's two lawyers in this episode so far who are being really shitty people. Lucca makes up an excuse about work and leaves the party in a Lyft.
Lucca deserves so much better. I've hated Colin from the beginning and now I still hate him.
Meanwhile, guess who shows up at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad? It's our favorite girlfriend Amy! She looks very concerned. She tells Maia that Henry has been calling her, and on the last call he thanked her for being part of the family and said some other stuff that "sounded like goodbye." Maia tries to call Henry but doesn't get an answer. The girlfriends swoop away into Maia's car to head over to the Rindell house. Maia drives while Amy keeps calling the house, to no avail. Maia says to try to reach her mom at Jax's house. Amy is confused by this, which is a big red flag.
I'm sorry, has Maia not told Amy about her mom's affair with her uncle? Aren't they a couple? Don't they talk to each other? I've been pretty patient with this show in terms of Maia's character and her relationship with Amy, given that there are lots of characters and the episodes tend to involve a lot of plot. I like that the show addresses so many systemic, mostly twisted cultural and political currents in America. I like how funny and clever it can be, and it has some wonderful character moments. But before it aired, the promos were heavy on the lesbian bed scenes and shower scenes; the wlw couple dealing with a harsh and complicated world of power plays and morality seemed like it would at least be a major through-line in the season's plot, if not a central focus. They fully marketed Maia and Amy's relationship, capitalizing on it big time. But after two episodes, Amy legitimately disappeared and Maia more or less followed suit. It's gotten to the point where they're both side characters, and apparently their relationship isn't even all that healthy, since Maia is keeping secrets from Amy. The whole thing feels a lot like queerbaiting, which is a sad but very familiar tactic in the world of television. I for one am pissed about it.
And another thing: Christine Baranski and two of the show's creators, real-life spouses Robert and Michelle King, held a panel for prospective Emmy voters on April 5; it seems to have been an elitist gathering of white cis-het people, who are clearly the show's intended audience after all. It was a little jarring, though not surprising, to see all of these old, white, mostly male people talking in a self-congratulatory way about a show that ostensibly focuses on people of color with a queer woman lead. The Good Fight is losing its footing fast; it is increasingly appealing to exactly the kind of white neo-liberals that Colin's parents are, and increasingly less appealing to me as a queer woman and, I imagine, others like me.
But anyway, I'm invested for the rest of the season, so I will do what Gretchen Ellis is valiantly doing with her 100 recaps, i.e. take one for the team so no one else has to pay for this but can still follow along in case anything worth your time starts to happen.
So back to Maia and Amy in the car on the way to the Rindell house. Henry, who is walking around his mansion dressed in a suit and looking sad while "I'll Fly Away" plays in the background, finally answers the phone. Maia pleads with him to just wait for them to get there. Henry listens but doesn't respond, then hangs up. He takes off his watch for some reason and heads out the the barn, grabbing a hose on the way. He drags it up the stairs and ties a noose, but as he throws it over the rafters, he ends up falling off the walkway instead. He doesn't die, but he doesn't get up.
For some reason it takes Maia and Amy until after dark to reach the house, and they frantically run through the house calling for Henry. Maia notices the watch on the desk and a suicide note beside it. Then she sees the light on in the barn (again, don't know why, since Henry went in there when it was daylight and didn't need to turn a light on, but ok). She and Amy find Henry, alive and conscious, on the ground; while Amy calls 911, Henry asks Maia to get rid of the note and put the hose back before anyone gets there, because if they find out he tried to kill himself, they'll revoke his bail and put him on suicide watch in prison. Maia does this and tells Amy not to say anything about a suicide attempt. Amy would do anything for Maia so she agrees.
Back at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad, Diane & co have acquired the Fitbit data, which shows a decrease in Pastor Jeremiah's heart rate during the time he was in Paul's room, suggesting that he was not engaged in a sex act with him. They present this evidence to Kovac, who shoots back that Paul can ID a birthmark on the pastor's penis; Jeremiah refuses to disrobe in order to prove his innocence. Adrian isn't happy about this and thinks it points to the pastor's guilt; Carl respects where the pastor is coming from and feels they have enough evidence to win in court. But check it out! In the meantime Jay and Marissa track down a woman who settled in a sexual assault lawsuit she had brought against Kovac, and although she signed a non-disclosure agreement, she does tell them that it was Kovac's employers, an alt-right cause, who made her sign it. This shows a conflict of interest in the case against the pastor; since it's being funded (through the people who pay Kovac) by an alt-right organization, it is clearly meant to slander Pastor Jeremiah. The team at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad gleefully inform Kovac that this could mean disbarment for him, and he and Paul literally run away from them. So that got solved.
Then there's the matter of this vote of leadership in the firm. All of the partners gather, including Julius, who only works there until Thursday but can still legally vote and will happily do it in vindication for the way Adrian violated his trust when he investigated him without his knowledge a few episodes back. Carl wins by one vote, but then Barbara pipes up saying that she didn't vote, and she votes for Adrian. So it's tied, and Carl ends this scene by saying something wise about the fights being the same. I don't know what it means if the vote is tied or even exactly what they're voting on (whether Reddick keeps his name first on the sign?), but maybe I'll figure it out next episode.
In the hospital, Henry is recovering in a bed with Maia and Amy by his side with Lenore shows up. Jax is lingering outside. Maia pulls Lenore aside and explains that this was actually a suicide attempt. She reads aloud a very heartbreaking part of the note Henry left in which he says that he knows Lenore and Jax have been sleeping together and that his family would be better off without him. Lenore is shaken by this and later Maia sees her ending it with Jax; at least that's what it looks like from a distance with no dialogue.
And lastly, Colin shows up in the Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad parking garage to confront Lucca on her way home for ghosting him. She says that the relationship has run its course; that it was fun while it lasted but they both knew it wasn't forever. Colin doesn't want to accept this but eventually walks away, and Lucca gets in her car and just cries. It's really sad. I still hate Colin.
Overall episode rating: 2.5/5 exploding flower vases
Amy sitings: 1
Excellent Elsbeth moments: none!!
Marissa sleuthing factor: 4/5 exploding laptops
See you next week, when it is revealed that Elsbeth is Amy's fairy godmother and will use her magic Ada to bless Amy and Maia with an entire episode all to themselves in which they can communicate about the things that are weighing on them and revisit the shower, and smile a lot.