The Good Fight 6×07 “The End of STR Laurie” brings a lot of seemingly-unrelated threads together in brilliant ways. But, truly, the most exciting things about the episode are not the “main” storylines. (With that being said, we will discuss those in depth below). In some ways, even, the best parts are almost incidental. Incredible-as-usual performances are certainly a reason to praise the episode, but even those don’t directly stand out the way some of the truly bright moments, in a dark sort of timeline, simply make this one work.
Whether it’s Diane and Liz gossiping about Lyle before dancing around Diane’s office, or even the oddly-friendly moments between Liz and Ri’Chard, this episode is just made for viewers. Those of us who love these characters…and those of us who just need escapism. Because, even with the very complicated and bleak overall arc to this final season, with all the darkness in the world — both fictional and real — there’s still room for joy. For time spent with these characters we care about and celebrating the small victories.
Many series would bypass those moments, claim they distract from the point and/or just don’t fit time constraints. Not so here.
As we start to piece together the many threads in this final season of The Good Fight, there’s one main takeaway. We need our breaks from all the stress and threats. And we need to believe that things might, somehow, turn out ok. Or, at least, that it won’t all be awful along the way.
And while seeing Diane Lockhart, in particular, goofing it up (not sure how else to put it) after her treatments is just as easily a commentary on how a certain layer of privilege keeps the worst of it from touching her, it’s also just this…lesson about the joy that we need to just get through it.
Not to mention, if we’re losing these beloved characters soon, all personal moments are precious gems. Even moreso when those personal scenes are just plain fun. (Though, for Diane…Bestie, please make the right choice? But…it’s not going to be all sunshine and roses either way. Sorry in advance.)
“The End of STR Laurie”
It’s actually pretty difficult to break apart some of the various plot elements of The Good Fight 6×07 because they blend together so well. But! We’re going to try.
The big deal here, of course, is that Liz and Ri’Chard made a pact to get rid of their corporate overlords before going for each other’s throats. And here we are, with that opportunity to accomplish Step One dropping in their laps.
In true The Good Fight fashion, a perfectly wild course of events gives them their out. The firm’s current case involves the same fake grenades we saw tossed in the elevator to kick off the season. Investigating that connection takes Jay to his new “friends” (bestie, they’re not your pals — something’s up there), which reveals Susan to be part of a white supremacist group.
But! Just kidding! She’s actually FBI because your corporate overlords, who cried that Russian sanctions were making them too poor for the equity partners’ pay to come as scheduled, are laundering money to get around those sanctions. And who is helping them do that? Carmen’s client, Ben-Baruch.
(Which, gotta say here — uncomfortable with “Jewish guy involved in dishonest financial stuff. It is…not great. Kinda went “not that,” when that plot point revealed itself, actually. Buuut, I’ve already talked at length about this character being…not great. So. Moving on.)
So, with some pretty genius plotting from Diane and fabulous execution from Carmen, the firm has enough to…eh…we’ll call it “gently blackmail” the Feds.
Now, The Good Fight 6×07 ends with that raid, which could be concerning. But! Considering the glee with which Ri’Chard and Jay use that mop, I’m thinking that is, as the episode title suggests, “the end of STR Laurie.” Not the firm. Important.
The storyline itself is enough to make me feel like that conspiracy board gif while trying to describe it. But that’s because there’s so much going on, not because it doesn’t all fit — it does. And incredibly well, at that.
Then, there are the fantastic moments along the way, where various members of the firm kind of get brought in on the big news — such as it is, while it’s evolving — according to a need-to-know basis and according to their various talents. Or the way those left out kind of know something’s up…but not what. There’s also the way the people “in on it” are not at all subtle about watching the bullpen while they’re trying to piece everything together.
The takedown also includes some hilariously awkward moments, like when Marissa has the subtlety of a bomb when trying to figure out if Susan is, in fact, a white supremacist. The worst thing is…there are literally people who are that bad at raising difficult, complicated talking points. So, solidarity with the hilariously awkward among us.
And then, there are the tense as hell scenes, when the partners give Carmen that dressing down…and she just…takes it. There is so much going on with Charmaine Bingwa’s performance in those moments, and absolutely every single element of it is golden. The same goes for the silently lethal rage coming off Audra McDonald. You almost wish Liz would just unleash on Carmen in those moments. Because, honestly, that would be significantly less terrifying.
It’s also kind of perfect, in its own dystopian sort of way, that the court proceedings are what they are. After all, the guys from STR Laurie are complete idiots, who are more worried about their latest hunting trip with Kurt than actual business. Thankfully, they’ve finally slipped up and provided the keys to their own demise.
Better yet, it happens in front of an unqualified, unserious Trump judge, who has the obligatory back-and-forth with Julius about how bad the Democrats and their “red tape” are. It’s clearly him playing up the things they (however uncomfortably) have in common, even when he knows the situation is obviously bad. Very bad, in fact.
The other, also very important, case
While all this is happening, Liz and Diane are seeking justice for a school that’s been targeted just like the firm. Because, of course, it’s not “just” Liz’s Black firm that’s raised the white supremacists’ ire — it’s all of Chicago’s Black institutions. And they’re going after as many as they can get to. So, while the case is ostensibly about money, there’s so much more at play.
In the first place, there’s the “Our Tomorrow” hate group that links this case to the Susan/FBI/ending STR Laurie of it all. Somewhere mixed in all of that, there’s the students’ very real pain and fear after constantly being threatened. Hate groups cause real harm, regardless of whether or not they follow through. These students, and this school, are Exhibit A for that.
Then, there’s Exhibit B: the school itself. It’s a great highlight of how businesses, of any kind, that are supposed to be safe places for marginalized groups, are struggling to survive in the middle of so many obstacles — terror being just the worst one. Case in point: Working in education is a difficult enough. Give a school leaders and students who are targeted on a regular basis just for being who they are, and it’s unfathomably worse.
For me, a particular highlight of this case was the client — or at least the client’s representative — President Allen-Hellmann. She shows so much unwavering strength, and through her, The Good Fight 6×07 makes yet another impactful commentary on the state of the world.
“Books are being banned and burned. And hidden in the shadows. To keep people ignorant, to keep people out of their power. School districts are fighting tooth and nail, just so they don’t have to teach about race or racism, or American history. It’s disgusting, and it’s wrong.”
Initially, President Allen-Hellmann gets blamed for the threats against her own students, and the institution she leads. Why? Because she dared to speak up, dared to tell the truth.
But then, through a long and winding road, she’s rewarded with a little snippet of justice.
That long and winding road passes through what Jon Stewart once dubbed “Bullshit Mountain.” If you don’t get that reference, we’re talking about Fox News. While The Good Fight 6×07 technically takes on a Tucker Carlson stand-in, Ted Willoughby, the episode is not at all subtle about the fact that the series’ writers are really coming for Carlson himself.
(And we’ve kind of known that, to varying degrees, every time we’ve seen this character — dating all the way back to the days of The Good Wife.)
Granted, even this is more subtle than Marissa’s antics with Susan. But I digress.
Willoughby & Pals roasted Allen-Hellman for daring to discuss book bannings and (gasp!) race, even going so far as to host a segment about “WOKE EDUCATOR GROOMS STUDENTS WITH CRT.” Which, again…CRT is…not what Faux Newz wants you to think it is. Neither is grooming…Or, rather, the things they call grooming are not. The guys they prop up…eh. Google some politicians. For the record.
“She’s an educator. She shouldn’t be trying to start a race war,” says one commentator on Willoughby’s show. Willoughby himself rambles in some mess about what if anti-white blahblah. (I couldn’t bother to listen, obviously.)
And, predictably enough if you’re paying attention to U.S. news at all, the first bomb threat occurred two days after this “news” segment. This is a common theme. We’ve been here before, and it’s still happening now. Just saying.
How about that mess with the children’s hospitals and a certain social media account? Not aware of it? Google “Boston Children’s bomb.” (Among others.)
We go to court, put Willoughby on the stand, and…all pretense of him not being a way to attack Carlson without directly dealing with him and his trolls goes right out the window.
“This isn’t your first time in a courtroom, is it Mister Carlson? Mr. Tucker. I’m sorry…Mister…uh…Willoughby.”
“Basically, he said that no reasonable person should take me seriously. Which sounds like an insult, but Tucker Carlson got the same pass. And he gets paid millions a year, so that’s pretty serious.”
But wait! There’s more.
“What I do is more like commentary. Like tucker. You know, non-literal. Non-factual. It’s just for fun.”
Mo Rocca does a fantastic job of mimicking that “aw, shucks! I went so hard on my newz program, but I’m not to blame for the violence I incited! I’m innocent and too dumb to realize you’re not buying it” vibe. And then, of course, much like the STR Laurie dude…he puts his foot right in his mouth, thus losing his case.
“It just tells us how to keep the audience enraged — engaged!”
Much like real-life Faux Newz, it’s time for yet another settlement. Because, well…
“A cost-benefit analysis: paying you versus allowing one of their network stars to say one more fucking word off-script.”
And thank you to The Good Fight for that entertainment at these goons’ expense.
Finding the light
Even with all that, it’s worth stressing again: The Good Fight 6×07 succeeds, at the highest level, with the personal moments. It’s all about the comedy, the joy, the frivolity while the world’s burning down all around us. Admittedly, that shouldn’t be terribly surprising six seasons in. But here, it’s better than ever. Or at least, it feels more important than ever before.
We even kind of see…two different ways of existing in the moment. There’s Diane and Liz’s “girl talk,” if you will, about Lyle. Which, would it be nice to see two female characters talk about something other than work and/or men? Sure. Do I care when Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald are doing that? Uh, not really.
Like…the delight from McDonald when Liz gives her the gossip. And the laughter…the dancing!!! Inject it in my veins.
On the flip side, there’s the whole Liz/Ri’Chard bit. Their dynamic has been so many different things this season, it’s almost impossible to remember that it hasn’t been part of the series all along. Their little coffee chat, though? A personal favorite across all seven episodes. Why?
“Not if the white supremacists…get us first.”
Gallows humor, baby. Coping mechanisms. If you can’t deal with it, make a joke at your own expense with someone who understands. (Also, coffee…another reason the scene is an automatic winner.)
But uh. Now that we’ve reached “The End of STR Laurie,” does that mean they’re back to enemies from here on out? Say it ain’t so.
Additional thoughts on The Good Fight 6×07
- Ok, but first off, can we talk about the gorgeous and outright damning image of Diane watching that window get cleaned up? Wow.
- The highlight of Baranski’s performance in The Good Fight 6×07 was, for me, the fun stuff. But. That detachment every time Diane insists she’s “fine” is a very close second.
- Tries to hang “fight the hate” banner. Dies falling off the roof, kills two protesters instead and gets accused, posthumously, of purposely jumping to try to kill Proud Boys (actual haters). Even Shakespeare would be impressed by that one.
- “Oh, geez. I give up.” Diane is me.
- “They don’t have to be real to terrorize you.” Can not explain enough how much I can relate.
- “No. I will not hold my tongue and allow white supremacy to control the narrative.” I would actually die for her.
- “Well, good thing the government loves Black lawyers so much.” Very thought-provoking expressions from Ri’Chard and Liz here. Like Diane, my instinct would be to step in and point out the problem…But is this actually speaking over them?
- “Go take a walk in the sunshine” now equals “get high, make eyes at hot doctor.” Approved.
- How very telling that the judge bypasses Liz and asks Diane to provide context.
- “The protests aren’t the problem. It’s what comes after.” “And what’s that?” Also very telling: Randy never answered Jay’s question.
- Not the tiki torch bros chanting again. Not a good thing to hear, as a Jew!
- Jay: “Fuck.” Me: Same.
- “I don’t know what’s real anymore, what’s not.” Does anyone at this point?
- A lot of great Jay content in this episode (thank you for that!). My favorite? That moment of recognition with Susan…and…
- “Why would a white supremacist want to work at a Black firm?” “That’s where the enemies are.” Pretty sure the look on Nyambi Nyambi’s face mirrored my inner monologue of “WTF. How is Diane so smart, yet so stupid?”
- “I’m Judge Soap. Just think of me when you wash your hands.” Would prefer to think about Laura Peterson and Alex Levy. Thanks.
- Not this bitch calling Ri’Chard by the wrong name, even after he’s corrected her. Can confirm, as a Shana, IT’S THE WORST.
- Also: Andre Braugher, standing there like “???” and “…” when Julius is bffing it up with her? Comedy gold.
- The “we’re in big trouble” line, cutting straight to Liz, Jay, and Diane talking about Susan…Iconic.
- “You work for us.” Yes, Liz. Ma’am. On my knees.
- “We’re in the crazy times, aren’t we?” Uh. Understatement.
- Marissa: Ramble, ramble…awkward AF question about Zionism to see if Susan hates us. Susan: “Woody Allen made a lot of great movies, but I don’t know if I can watch them anymore.” Marissa: “???” Me: GIRL. SAME.
- “I mean, like the way she dresses, and her steely demeanor, and how focused she is…” These are all the reasons I stan Carmen, so if Susan has a problem with it? We ride at dawn, fangirls.
- “Uh. Really bad news.” Marissa remains me.
- No but the tribunal interrogating Carmen. I would’ve cried. She did not.
- Carmen: “Oh, fuck!” Me: Correct.
- The way McDonald leans forward in that chair when Diane clarifies that it’s a real secret she can never share. Exactly.
- “Oh, fuck. Tell me.” Me, logging on and seeing there’s some kind of new fandom drama.
- “Yes, I approve. Yes, you can kiss him.” Liz has the taste.
- “It was one thing to be political opposites years ago, but now, I mean…” YES. I HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS. “The End of Kurt” WHEN.
- Ok but the emotion coming out of every pore on Baranski…I almost felt guilty for rooting for her relationship to crash and burn…but nah. Kurt needs to go.
- THE GRAND ENTRANCE CARMEN GETS TO MAKE
- THE STRUT
- THE AUTHORITY
- THE CONFIDENCE
- Bold and all-caps were, in fact, required.
- Ok but if John Slattery had actually been there during that infamous SVU audition incident, would we have gotten “we crossed the line” in that parallel universe or. (We’ve all heard that story enough times, Slattery has to know it…right?)
- Look: Turnabout is fair play. I’ve mentioned the Kings’ show on two reviews of Wolf’s. Now, this.
- Of course it ended with that phone call.
- Anyone else having painful flashbacks to a certain other missed phone call on a certain other series from the Kings…I’ll stop now.
Thoughts on The Good Fight 6×07 “The end of STR Laurie”? Leave us a comment!
The Good Fight season 6 is now streaming on Paramount+, with new episodes releasing on Thursdays.
Do you know what group plays the music at the end credits of this episode? I heard it before on another but don’t remember which. Sound similar to beats antique but …. And yes Carmen is Awesome. There really hasn’t been a similar character since the 1st investigator in the good wife who was my favorite of all time- Kalinda!
I honestly can’t figure out what the song is, so it’s going to nag at me forever.
But yes! Kalinda was awesome. I miss her.