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'The Good Fight' Offers an Instruction Manual on Rebuilding the Democratic Party

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 4, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 4, 2022 |


After six seasons of the phenomenal The Good Fight (and seven seasons of The Good Wife before it), the Paramount+ series is headed toward a somewhat hasty conclusion — creators Robert and Michelle King decided to end the series midway through production of the sixth season because they saw the writing on the wall and wanted to conclude The Good Fight on their own terms.

The end game is coming together. Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald) and Ri’Chard Lane (Andre Braugher) have managed to take control of their law firm and turn it into the biggest Black-led law firm on the planet. Carmen Moyo (Charmaine Bingwa) and Jay Dipersia (Nyambi Nyambi) appear as though they will be joining a Black-led underground organization (led by Phylicia Rashad’s Renatta Clark) that uses nontraditional methods to exact justice on white supremacists and other domestic terrorists, and even Marissa Gold unexpectedly got hitched to her Krav Maga instructor. I will miss Marissa the most.

Most of this week’s episode, however, centered on Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart, the only character who has been in every season of both The Good Wife and The Good Fight. She attends the funeral of Frank Landau, the bigshot head of the DNC who was mistakenly shot by an antisemitic terrorist who meant to kill Eli Gold, the Jew standing next to Landau in the bathroom.

The funeral does not go well. All the narcissistic speakers — Democratic honchos — speak of Landau only as it relates to them, and things go from bad to worse when the Supreme Court hands down an opinion striking down gay marriage. “We came to bury Frank Landau not praise him,” Lockhart eulogizes. “And it looks like we’re going to bury the Democratic Party because let’s face it, folks. We’re f**ked.”

Lockhart’s speech grabs the attention of Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey), a client of the firm and the owner of Chum Hum, the show’s version of Google. He has $400 billion and he hasn’t wasted it buying Twitter or rockets, and he decides what he’d like to do with his money: Buy the Democratic Party. He wants Diane to run it because she wants to “burn it the f**k down and start all over.”

Gross’s new Democratic Party — at least the one envisioned by Lockhart — has all the right ideas, but it’s the execution that’s worrisome. Lockhart wants to create the Democrats’ version of the Federalist society; she wants to groom Supreme Court judges; she wants to get rid of the filibuster, the Electoral College, and get rid of Superdelegates so that the party can nominate someone who isn’t “90 years old.” She wants to get rid of minority rule.

But how would Gross go about taking control of the party? “If Johnny Elfman [the leader of the Democratic Party] says no, I reveal all the data I have on him. I have their search histories, their email histories, and everything from Chum Hum … these are the tactics the Republicans have perfected. You want Manchin to vote with you instead of being a perpetual cock block? Show him what I have on him.”

Gross has come up with a foolproof solution for abortion rights and gun control, but the firm is hesitant because Gross would use shady tactics, which sounds about right for a party that wants to win but win the right way against an opponent that doesn’t care how they win. “Here’s my formalized proposal,” Gross tells them. “Get some balls, or get out.”

He quickly gets Johnny Elfman’s attention when he tells him that he’s using part of his fortune to buy Fox News, which he values at $21 billion (records show it’s worth about $15 million, which is one-third what Elon Musk paid for Twitter, which is insane. Why hasn’t Bezos or someone bought Fox News?). Gross does have a condition: He won’t work with the Biden administration. “He has served you well, but the brand is tired.”

Gross convinces Elfman through blackmail and, well, the Presidential candidate that Gross has put forward: Dwayne Johnson. In this world, Johnson is a candidate for the highest bidder — Democratic or Republican — and Gross is the highest bidder (it makes sense with The Rock: You’re not buying a candidate. You’re buying a brand). Also, The Rock insists on maintaining his Hollywood schedule while running and acting as President (Dwayne Johnson does not actually appear in the episode).

There you go, Democrats! The key to victory is easy. Get one of the guys who run Google to buy the Democratic party, buy Fox News, and use all that data to blackmail and smear the Republicans. Also, buy The Rock. Maybe the future really is a battle between billionaires.

In the meantime, Diane also broke up with Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole). Their uber-conservative/uber-liberal marriage worked for a while, but after the election of TFG, it was no longer tenable for Diane to remain married to a high-ranking official of the NRA, sensible gun-owner though Kurt may be. I am relieved the two split before the series ended. You’d like to think that there are still sensible Republicans, but anyone who continues to be a Republican in this party cannot be considered sane.