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The Good Fight - Not So Grand Jury - Review: "This is a farce!"

1.07 - "Not So Grand Jury"

In this week's fast-paced installment, separate plots weaved together as it became apparent that Mike Kresteva's Grand Jury session was throwing out all the stops to indict RB&K, while Elsbeth worked to undermine his efforts in a lawsuit against Kresteva.

"You've bitten off way more than you can chew."

In a sweeping cold open that called to mind those great opening scenes of The Good Wife, (you know, the ones where they made it clear that shit was about to hit the fan *wink wink*) a series of events starts the hour: Lucca notifies Maia that her father talked to Kresteva about the fake firm client deal; Kresteva confiscates Elsbeth's Amazon Echo knock-off to be processed as evidence; And the Grand Jury is called into session over the "illegal dealings" of RB&K.

Simply, the point here is to indict the firm, so that they lose their credibility and their clients. Kresteva and a newly re-introduced AUSA (Aaron Tveit) don't even need to prove beyond a doubt that illegal things have been going on, they just have to make it seem like the firm could be guilty. If indicted, this would remove the firm from its status as a high-profile firm in police brutality cases, and the state would have exceptionally fewer individuals coming forward with police brutality cases. Less of a burden on the State's budget. Sigh.

Lucca mentions that Mike Kresteva isn't on solid ground with his reasoning in his case, and that Kresteva's boss, Wilbur Dincon (which is the saddest name I've ever heard of) is worried about the optics of Kresteva's investigation into a mostly-black firm. Hearing of this, Elsbeth determines that a good tactic to get the Grand Jury to fold without an indictment would be to make the case appear "too racist" to be continued. Each partner, (and eventually even other, lower employees that are white like Marissa, and the litigation financier partners) all testify while explicitly bringing race into their answers.

At first, this works against Kresteva, but only to an extent. He counters hard with damning testimony from the financiers making it seem like Diane and Adrian illegally handled case information (and, actually, they did do this.) At such a point, Adrian bolsters Diane's spirits and says that when faced with questioning about illegally slipping him information, she should argue it was mere puffery. That he was insisting it was something like that to his firm, but she didn't actually tell him anything privileged. (That is patently a lie. But in the face of the lies and contrivances it took to get Diane and her partners into court, it seems almost trivial.)

 Elsbeth ups the ante by suing Kresteva for tortious interference, which ends up acting as a venue for information about or around the Grand Jury to be put into the public record, and also allows the firm to fish for leads against Kresteva's questionable reasons for calling a Grand Jury in the first place. The back and forth between who shows up at the Grand Jury and who is then summoned to be a witness in the tortious interference case is humorous and also important, as it brings to light that Kresteva has been working for at least a few weeks to tell competition like Andrew Hart that he'd be indicting RB&K, and that they should be making moves to steal clients.

- The weirdest aspect about this situation is how so much of it is completely fabricated, but on some level still based on an actual issue that somehow couldn't be made apparent to a court/jury: Elsbeth's case is just as disingenuous as Kresteva's Grand Jury session, but it's done out of the need to figure out what he's creating/doing in order to undo his fabricated reasons for the session. The partners all force race into the discussion where it seemingly doesn't quite fit, in an order to make the State department back off because it might seem "too racist" in a public forum, but in reality, the entire reasoning behind going after RB&K is quite racist because it is attempting to conserve money at the expense of minorities that could be underrepresented in lawsuits if the firm loses its credibility. Just, the layers of narrative here are really deep for a dialogue-based law show, and we're only 7 episodes in.

"We should talk."

Having found out that he'd been duped with false information from Henry Rindell, Mike Kresteva threatens to rescind bail, but Henry ensures him that he can get more information to work with, he just needs to speak with Maia again.

They meet in Maia and Amy's apartment, and both get straightforward. (At least it appears that way, as both of them stop their recording devices and place them on the table) Henry reveals that he's been trying to help Maia at the expense of the firm she works for so that she doesn't get wrongfully accused of forging the documents that were used in the ponzi scheme. Paul Guilfoyle is so weirdly convincing as Henry in his attempts to comfort his daughter in stating it's all for the family, and Rose Leslie continues well with her angry but vulnerable portrayal of Maia. Their scenes together were the uncomfortable emotional center around the otherwise really cold and fast-paced proceedings of this episode.

"I'm not running scared from motherfuckers like him!"

It comes to light that Henry Rindell's testimony is outright going to be used by Kresteva to indict Diane for involvement in the ponzi scheme, with the schtup list that included names from her firm. Mike Kresteva shoves Diane's nose into a perfect mix of circumstantial evidence and claims that Henry Rindell will appear before the Grand Jury to "clear it all up." At this point, entirely defeated by Kresteva and knowing that her oldest friend is out to ruin her career, (and land her in prison?), she comes to Adrian to resign. Adrian refuses it, states they'll handle this bullshit together.

Maia eavesdrops on the conversation to find that her father was targeting Diane the whole time to get himself and his family a deal, so that he could have a scapegoat in Diane, and Kresteva could have what he needed to ruin RB&K. She met with him again (I simply don't trust that he didn't have a backup mic on him, but whatever) to plead with him to not testify to the jury against Diane. He assures her it's for the best. She draws out what kind of deal he made with Kresteva, and he tells her 10 years in prison, opposed to his life sentence.

The next day, Elsbeth subpoenas him to testify in her tortious interference case and state on record what it was that Mike Kresteva offered him to testify to the Grand Jury. In a very quietly tense moment, Henry states "10 years in prison" and the political bomb drops on Kresteva's department. The Grand Jury is done, because Kresteva's been removed from his position, though he insists it isn't over. Knowing Mike Kresteva, he's probably right. As for Maia and her father, I expect this will effectively ruin his trust in her, and his willingness to "protect her" going forward.

NEXT WEEK (really more like tomorrow, because I'm writing this on Saturday): Reddick V. Boseman... Pick a side folks, as things get contentious between the name partners.


- Please know that I'd love to get these written and distributed in a timely manner, but Mass Effect Andromeda has taken me hostage, and I'm only allowed a few hours here and there for work, sleep, and nourishment. (Help me!)

- I was at first bummed that another less-memorable judge returning to preside over Elsbeth's case, but he was fantastically sassy, and I want to go and rewatch the episodes of Wife he appeared in to see if this was true to character for him.

- Elsbeth should buy a new Ada... Or get a better secretary than Fantasia... But either way, get rid of the old one, can't chance it that Mike Kresteva didn't bug the damn thing, or rig it to blow up in her face.

- Process Server dude was back again, and I loved every second. He's one of the better ongoing cameos from the original series, and I loved it when Marissa tried to get away with speaking Italian to him. That was A+.

- As a fan, I keep up with other reviews of this show, as well as comments on STV for other opinions and often a few things I might miss when I watch the show. Critics really didn't like this episode as much, as it "closed the story too quickly" -- but this didn't really feel totally resolved to me, and I thought this was easily a highlight of the first season so far. But I used to get this type of quality episode in The Good Wife at least 2-3 times a season, and we only have 3 episodes left for season 1.

- Dude, Delroy Lindo's presence is so awesome in this show. His one-liners, his reactions. His straightforward demeanor. I'm loving it. My lol moment of the episode was him realizing the litigation financiers talked about Diane tipping him off on a police brutality case: "FUCK." "Don't swear!"

- They DID use that scene from the first episode where she called him about Maia getting fired after finding evidence that hurt Diane's case -- I remember being confused about how she'd just share information like that. It wasn't stated at the time, but this really is a dis-barrable action she made back in 1.01. And it is NOT her first one, either. Implications.

- I wonder if Kresteva's boss would have gone through with everything if Kresteva had brought his proposition/deal with the Rindell's to him. That would have seemingly gone south anyway politically for him to give Rindell a 10-year sentence.

- Always glad to see Amy. She needs way more screen time. Next season, can we expand this show so that she has her own work storyline? It would be a nice mirroring of the State's Attorney's office from The Good Wife. 

- "We have an audience of one." This exact tactic was used in at least 1 of the other Grand Jury episodes of The Good Wife, (either "Ham Sandwich" or "Another Ham Sandwich") where everyone that testified did their best to tie the narrative of the hearing to be connected in some way with the current State's Attorney, Peter Florrick, in an effort to get Peter Florrick to remove Wendy Scott-Carr from her position and to remove the pressure from trying to get Will Gardner (as well as Peter Florrick, eventually) indicted.

- I'm relegating the weirdness that Colin had to deal with in court against Lucca to a note on this review: I think they can be a good, well-written couple. They definitely have the chemistry... but it's just not there yet. I did feel really bad for Colin's position in this episode, he did his best against such terrible odds. His appointment as Kresteva's defense attorney was weird to me, as I'd expect they'd want someone from "outside" the government to handle it, and it really made things worse for Kresteva, Colin, and their boss.

- Aaron Tveit's 1-episode character from The Good Wife was back, and while he was basically a perfunctory small role character, it was good to see him again after his hilarious/well-done role on the Kings' Braindead from last summer.

- So, was there an ending to the "tortious interference" suit? I can't remember if Elsbeth dropped the case. I wonder if his firing is supposed to be the resolution for the suit as well.

Alright, now it's your turn. What did you think? Join the discussion in the comments section below.


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