The Good Fight 6×04 “The End of Eli Gold” features really great storytelling, incredible performances, and some scenes that will almost certainly be pivotal as we head toward the series’ end. There’s also a scene that is simultaneously really difficult to watch, shocking as hell, and…just another day in the life. So, it’s one of those episodes that begs the question of how true to life television needs to be, and how much we “need” to see, and all sorts of other important questions…
…but I almost feel like, personally, I’m far too close to the real-life side of that situation to evaluate anything other than things like performances (Alan Cumming’s was absolutely stunning) and how it all fits the narrative the series is trying to build (very, very well). Of course, getting things out of the way, the scene in question involves Democratic Committee Big Guy Frank Landau’s death…which the shooter intended to be Eli Gold’s.
But the “lone gunman” — it’s never a “lone” anything. Dude’s antisemitic trash, likely indoctrinated through stochastic terrorism, and not at all “lone” — who entered the bathroom at that fundraiser and started firing bullets wasn’t just aiming for a political target. He was yelling, “die, you filthy Jew, Eli Gold.” And he either had terrible aim or didn’t even know who Eli was. A real winner.
(Or maybe it was, as I originally heard it, “die, you fucking Jew”? And Eli got the quote wrong later because, you know, trauma? I don’t know.)
As someone who’s quite involved in the Jewish community and has to worry about exactly that kind of guy doing something awful…Well. The Good Fight 6×04 is incredibly difficult to grapple with. Given the timing of the episode’s release, right between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it’s an even weirder time to be a Jew while watching this. And, yeah, I could say this is the worst time ever to air such an episode. But…reality says it’s also a more likely time than usual for threats to occur. So. It’s rough.
We’ve already seen plenty of protests turn violent this season, including the big ending to 6×03. So, I can’t exactly say we should get some special pass to be excluded from that narrative. It’s just..difficult.
After that very long introduction, let’s dive in to the parts of The Good Fight 6×04 “The End of Eli Gold” that aren’t that. Or, at least, aren’t specifically that. They might still have to be related — such is the plot.
The End of Eli Gold
This entire season is all about endings. Or, at least, the episode titles are. Thankfully, even in the middle of all that violence and even with that stark image of Eli with blood all over him, our favorite “ethically-compromised dad” will live to fight that good fight another day.
But, somehow, The Good Fight 6×04 manages to do so much with Eli Gold’s titular end. There’s all this bickering with Marissa over the case. Which, as an aside, is the type of case that just makes you chuckle and go, “yeah. That’s so Eli. He’d do that and find a way to get away with it.” And there’s that great negative energy between Cumming and Sarah Steele, who embody that at-odds father/daughter dynamic so well.
But, by the end…
That father/daughter relationship isn’t as “transactional” as both Golds claimed.
Sure, near-death will make you realize who’s really important, and how much you actually love your family, and all that blahblah…But there’s more to it than that. Every time Marissa stands up for herself, or one-ups the opposite side in court, Cumming gives us all these moments of quiet pride.
And whether she’s (rightfully) pissed at her father or not, Marissa still tries to keep him from getting himself into more trouble. She tries her best (another great scene) to keep Eli from going into that bathroom and getting into that fight in the first place. But then — then — there’s the absolutely lovely way she comforts him when she finds him in the aftermath.
And while Marissa struggles with whether or not to cover for Eli when she’s forced to testify, that struggle is more about ethics than anything else. She never would’ve wanted to see him in jail. Argue with the wall.
At the bittersweet end, of course, there’s that just gut-wrenching goodbye.
Which, look. We already had to say goodbye to Eli Gold once back in 2016. That was painful enough, and we should be grateful just to have gotten more time with him. But…ouch?
What’s the name of the All Eli, All The Time™ spinoff, besties? I’m waiting. If you didn’t already think to do that, I’ll volunteer to sign away my rights to the idea. Just…don’t kill him. Ever.
Surprise! This, too, is about fathers and daughters.
While all this chaos is going on in the world, and Democratic Committee fundraisers are ending in tragedy, Liz and Ri’Chard are…figuring each other out. To a point.
They’re another pairing that goes on a pretty huge journey for just one episode of television. And while they go from definitely at odds, with Liz maybe even unable to stand Ri’Chard, to what looks like the beginning of a great professional partnership, that final bit of information from Jay…doesn’t bode well.
But then, you wonder whether or not that “I always wanted to be the opposite of my father” line will be Liz’s, and the firm’s, saving grace. Is destroying the firm with a dead man’s name on it really going to make Mr. Lane feel any better about himself than he already does? And is there really any point in getting that kind of revenge, when the best revenge is being the huge success he is now? Ri’Chard’s decision to specifically leave the firm name out of his story certainly points toward…something.
Whatever that something is, sign me up.
Because it doesn’t matter if Liz is yelling at Ri’Chard to run everything through her first or if she’s getting completely thrown off-kilter by the chaos at his home. It also doesn’t matter if they’re sharing a drink while they talk about those moments in their lives that became “an incentive.” Just, a word of advice: Give us whatever Audra McDonald and Andre Braugher are cooking, and we will be well fed. Period, end of story.
The only bad thing about this story, or this character of Braugher’s so far, is the fact that we only get a season of it. There’s something really, truly compelling about a guy who is so big, and loud, and confident having been made by being basically told he was trash. Told he was nothing.
And then, just…trying to figure out how all the really loud praying turns into the kind of guy with at least the potential for a revenge plot…It. Is. Fabulous.
Here’s another idea I’ll sign away to the Kings for free: Your next spinoff can also be just…whatever this is.
Can this please be the end of Kurt or
Diane may be working her way toward being more calm through this whole PT108 “treatment” thing, but it’s obviously also making her just messy. The Good Fight 6×04 raises the question, through some utterly batshit fantasies on Diane’s part, of whether or not Diane might be at her breaking point with her marriage.
But, at some point…
Either Diane stands for what she stands for, or she doesn’t. And whether there’s real love there or not, staying with someone who’s an NRA stooge, who didn’t even want to help with identifying January 6 suspects last season, and who just stands against everything she claims to be…is just not a great look. It normalizes and excuses all of that. We’re past that point.
Icing on the cake: He’s not remotely interested in her interests, even after all these years. She’s done the shooting range thing for him. He can’t learn about literary references? Cool. (Not cool.)
Now, of course, I wouldn’t say lusting after the guy who’s treating her is Diane’s best move here. It’s unethical and, frankly, bad with a “normal” therapist. “Guy who gives you hallucinogenics in a clinical setting” shouldn’t be any different.
I’ve got to say, though, Lyle certainly at least appears to stand for the same things Diane does. So, if she’s going to fantasize about the man while she’s alone, I’m good. And if she wants to go back to the fantasy while her husband is giving canned, disingenuous NRA statements in bed? I’m still good.
Besides, that utterly batshit scene made for damned fine television. So, there’s that! (Would also like to request the bloopers from The Good Fight 6×04 at this time. There have got to be some good ones from that scene.)
Random The Good Fight 6×04 thoughts
- For those of you who don’t know what Marissa was saying at the end, that’s the T’filat Haderech (“The Traveler’s Prayer”). It’s kind of perfect for the situation, even if the pronunciation on some of that was rough — especially for a character who supposedly spent six months in the IDF or whatever. But, like, that? On a show like this? I’ll take it. I don’t care.
- And, of course, the “you will not replace us” chant was a (kinda triggering) nod to the very obvious “Jews will not replace us” shit from the garbage in Charlottesville that the Orange Menace called “very fine people.” Which, if you didn’t know, comes from the racist “great replacement” trash fire.
- That immediate aftermath of the bomb…Just saying my hair would’ve been way messier than Diane’s.
- If I hear people fear-mongering about “antifa” one more time…Y’all, it literally means “anti fascist.” Think about who would want to demonize anti fascists. That part.
- Blake Moran!!! Hi, Erich Bergen!!! (Note to self: Finish Madam Secretary. Note to any of y’all who haven’t watched yet: It is so good. Fix your shit!)
- …not a fan of Elizabeth McCord’s right-hand man being on the other “side” but ok.
- “Objection: My client was being sarcastic.” I love it here.
- Like, the sarcasm? Giving the guy the finger? The dramatics before pleading the Fifth each time? Alan Cumming is so good at literally everything.
- “…just a bullshit hit from the Republican attack machine!” Eli, bestie. I’m pretty sure Bill Clinton claims that about several, uh, not great things he did in his book. Don’t be him.
- Diane Lockhart, swiveling in her chair, no fucks given. Love to see it.
- And the way Baranski looks right at the camera with that…shocked emoji? Barely holding back a smirk? Oh, shit?…whatever the look is. All of the above probably. It’s so good. This is a comedy.
- …except when it’s not.
- Ri’Chard’s backstory really puts his “EQUITY!!!!” argument into perspective.
- “I’m an extrovert. I can get a little carried away in a roomful of people.” Unable to relate at this time.
- “This is not an easy time to be alive — for anyone. Every day, there seems to be something new to worry about. There’s this low hum of anxiety that’s become knitted into the fabric of our lives. And we’re also used to it. We think this is the way life is supposed to feel.” Put that on my grave, please.
- I do not, in fact, like “Cowboy” funky. I do not like him at all.
- “Just be ready for when the media calls: ‘The NRA mourns the senseless loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. Et cetera, et cetera.’” Again, I’d fantasize about Lyle to avoid listening to this emotionless shit, too.
onfalling off the treadmill. Comedy.
- The way McDonald takes that beat for Liz to calm herself before she keeps ripping Ri’Chard a new one…So. Good.
- “You have an idea any idea…you want to scratch your ass, we talk.”
- “Come on, come on, come onnn!!!! I make a mean Cajun catfish!” I’d like to place an order.
- “I have trouble. Ending things.” Next time, @ me.
- “We decided to…stay home and, uh…talk!” “Talk about what?” “Why we hate each other so much.” It’s funny because it’s true.
- Julius, the college campuses don’t have a problem with freedom of expression. They just, idk, educate people. So, hateful bullshit rhetoric isn’t tolerated. Glad to clear that up.
- Basically, tag yourself: I’m Carmen’s reaction to that mess.
- “I just hate hypocrisy.” “Really? That’s new.” Dead.
- “Oh, shit. Nice to meet you. I have to go stop my dad from killing someone.” Again: Dead.
- “Next time, we should probably get drunk.” A truth.
- Survival guilt. Disassociation. All of it!
- “Dad, they want to kill us because we’re Jewish. Ok? You could be selling pretzels on the street — they’d still want to kill you.” I hate it here. Because it’s true.
- “I collect female energy.” Ok. Maybe not a fan of that part.
- “I’m not here for a Literature test.” Gag me. It’s a common reference. Sorry you didn’t read anything, ever?
- “Oh, my God. I am so exhausted.” Eli gets me.
- Diane Lockhart can tell me to pull my shit together and go kick some ass any day.
- And truly, that last drink…my heart. Is it really ending? Does it have to?
- “My father is brilliant at certain things but a disaster at others.” My actual constant headache.
- “You’re my greatest achievement.” Brb. Flinging myself off the nearest tall building.
- Eli? Holding it together while holding his little girl? Never going to be ok. Ever.
- “I’m worried this is the last time I’ll see you.” “Don’t say that.” Just…thank fuck emo is back because I have to go listen to a lot of it now.
Thoughts on The Good Fight 6×04 “Ehe End of Eli Gold”? Like…is anyone out there ok? Leave us a comment!