'The Good Fight' Season 4 Episode 6 Review: Adrian and Liz navigate dangerous waters around trans issues
The episode sees Adrian and Liz argue a court case that hinges on a trans woman's right to compete, and thigns get uncomfortable, fast
Spoilers for 'The Good Fight' Season 4 Episode 6 'The Gang Offends Everyone'
Both 'The Good Wife' and 'The Good Fight' used court cases to navigate difficult conversations about societal issues, but lately the show's portrayed those difficult conversations through, well, actual conversation. Debates have been held out of court amongst the show's characters, and the show strayed from its case-of-the-week format taking precedence. This episode sees a return to form, and skates very thin ice as Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo) tries to balance his political ambitions with his legal career.
Adrian has been offered the DNC's support for a Presidential run in the 2024 election. He's not expected to win, but just being offered the platform obviously means a lot to Adrian, and that is immediately reflected in his work - he wants to be seen an advocate for racial issues. The politics of his legal case quickly turn against him, however, as a court case about an Olympic swim team quickly turns from one about race to one about trans issues.
Where the last episode gave us the first clear victory in a while, this episode mires Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart right back into the moral question of just how far a lawyer must go in defense of their client. The show is very aware of how sensitive an issue it is covering as it attempts to show all possible angles for a legal case about whether or not a trans woman has an unfair advantage over cisgender women athletes.
The show makes excellent use of Judge Josh Brickner (Rob Reiner) as someone deeply ignorant of the technicalities involving the issue for those who might not be aware of them. Brickner's ignorance falls just short of prejudice in his willingness to learn and helps illustrate just how difficult a decision it is he has to make.
The case does show all rational sides to the argument, and brings up an important point - as much as it would be great to leave political and personal sentiments out of a debate, it's just not possible. The episode also brings back into focus how difficult it is to completely root for a lawyer protagonist - there may be the occasional clean win, as in the last episode, but a lot of their cases are them laying out technicalities that might not be morally defensible but are legally so.
Ultimately, the letter of the law is clear - even when the politics surrounding it or not. That legality cuts both ways - while it may protect some, it can harm those it doesn't take into account.
There is a lot that the law cannot take into account, which is where the continuing thread of Memo 618 comes in. We're introduced to the delightful Linda Shuck (Rachel Dratch), who explains how Memo 618 has been used as a placeholder to protect the rich and powerful by allowing them to act on laws that have not yet been created. There are many situations that the law falls short of being able to properly cover - and while the powerful use that to their advantage, everyone is forced to accept unhappy rulings due to possibly unjust technicalities.
It's a brilliantly written episode, in the ways it navigates a very tricky conversation, and it's something that 'The Good Fight' has not had nearly enough of. While its satire always makes for an entertaining watch, it's difficult debates like this, and their unsatisfying conclusions, that truly elevate the show. 'The Gang Offends Everyone' is an uncomfortable episode - and it absolutely needs to be.
The next episode of 'The Good Fight' airs May 29, on CBS All Access.