There’s a lot — a lot — going on in The Good Fight 6×08 “The End of Playing Games.” And, somewhere in all of it, there’s probably some sort of hint about how this is all going to actually end. Or maybe there isn’t. Somewhat surprisingly, it’s pretty exciting to still have no clue what the endgame is eight episodes in. So many loose threads just keep getting expertly tied right up; then again, others keep either fraying or popping up anew.
Will we lose this firm as we know it, thus ending the series in a place of dread, because of the FBI? Because of the growing unrest in the streets, which so scarily parallel our own potential to be so close to the end? Or, maybe it’ll be some kind of investigation that starts in one place and ends with Diane’s recent medical…stuff. It could even have something to do with Jay’s deeper dive into Renatta & Friends.
Quite likely, it’s none of the above. But also all of the above, with some twist or another tossed in over the next couple of episodes.
Basically, the list of threats is so endless, viewing this series’ last season is its own form of doomscrolling. Threats are everywhere, and it’s impossible to know which ones to take seriously. Which to internalize, and which to ignore. The only differences between watching The Good Fight and actual doomscrolling are the obvious: The series only has fictional stakes — though, to be fair, losing it is going to hurt in a very real sense. And this veritable buffet of shock and horror, unlike the real one, is entertaining as hell.
The firm is definitely doomed
So far, we have: fake grenades, antisemitic garbage trying to kill Eli, BUB stickers, unrest in the streets, an accidental death, internal legal/political scheming, probably a zillion more threads I can’t even keep track of…
And now…this. The bullet holes in the glass.
Jay’s so good at what he does, that of course he figured out the trajectory. And of course with Marissa’s help in spotting that open window — which he could’ve done just as easily himself, obviously — it was pretty easy to figure out exactly where the bullets in Diane’s office came from.
But they didn’t know who was doing the shooting. Or why.
It was another easy opportunity to tie Jay’s new associates (comrades, or whatever they are?) in to the story at large. And boy, did it tie in. Was I expecting to ever hear about the man who tried to kill Eli again? Not really, to be honest. But The Good Fight 6×08 did that. In the process, there were all the other knots made out of loose threads, too.
Clearly, the biggest surprise is the link all the way back to the end of season 5, with Vinetta and her self-fashioned court. But there’s also yet another link back to Wilson-Clayman College, which I can’t say as I expected either. I figured it went something like: Case of the week, fake grenades were the big commonality leading us to the “Our Tomorrow” losers, the end.
But surprise! Nope! It’s a message in and of itself: Just when you think you’re out of the woods with these types of attacks, you’re not.
So. If the firm was targeted by at least one of the same groups as the college…should we worry about a fertilizer bomb? Or, by saving the college from the Michigan Army’s attack, have Jay, Renatta, and the rest of their group done enough?
Reality says getting rid of one member of a hate group doesn’t accomplish anything because more and more hate’s still going to pop up. But this is fiction. So, one can only hope for some wish fulfillment. Which, to be fair, Jay getting to save the day, many times over, is already some pretty cool wish fulfillment all on its own.
BREAKING: Cops worthless
Actually, let’s take a moment to make the connection between these “sides” of The Good Fight 6×08 even stronger. To the series’ and the writers’ credit, “The End of Playing Around” really takes a firm stance on just how inadequate, ineffectual, and negligent cops are.
We see the person who’s supposed to be taking the firm’s report just…suck. There’s really no other way to put it, and Sarah Steele does a really fabulous job in the moment of reacting the way a lot of us wish we could react to cops in real life…but can’t.
And no: Before anyone starts whining about how we “need” the police to protect us, and this is “too political” or a bad depiction, that doesn’t fly here.
Why? For a number of reasons, actually. First of all, to center the person who matters most here, there’s Jay. The experienced investigator, who can barely get a word in edgewise. And when he does, the white cop doesn’t even take him seriously. The cop sees a Black man and suddenly has no concept of respect. He’s incredibly condescending when he deigns to interact with Jay (and not exactly great with Marissa either).
Second, there’s the fact that he’s blaming “antifa” for the violence which…Pretty much nobody does but people who side with white supremacists. “Oh, it’s antifa.” So, you think anti-fascists are bad, but the guys screaming “Jew will not replace us” aren’t the ones that are violent. Sure, Jan.
And no, “we’re arresting more antifa on the streets” isn’t good enough to defend his stance. Cops lie. If you didn’t know that before the shitshow that was their response to the Uvalde shooting, you ought to now. And if you still don’t, it’s because you refuse.
Then, there’s the part where the cop just…left and swore someone would come retrieve the bullets. And, of course, nobody did.
Later, we find out that the Collective has had custody of the hateful nut who tried to kill Eli ever since the night of the shooting. The cops, of course, are the geniuses who lost him in the first place.
It all comes full circle, just as the investigation itself did, when Renatta finally gives Jay a little bit of information about how the Collective came to be. Renatta says of her sister, she:
“…became frustrated with the police and the courts. She felt they weren’t serving the community’s needs. You must feel the same. The police were supposed to return today to retrieve bullets from your office. They did not? My sister, frustrated, started her own court room. In her living room.”
Which, as we discussed above, is also how Vinetta Clark’s court from last season came about. So, yeah. We’ve double-knotted that plot loop. And oh, that moment when Jay realized who Renatta’s sister was…absolutely golden from Nyambi Nyambi.
Anyway. Just like Diane was having deja vu at the beginning of the season, there’s another case of ending up right back where we’ve already been here. This time, we’re right back to people who have been denied justice seeking their own. An endless cycle.
They had me fooled
I mean, I know I’ve been saying it all season, but…It is a crime that we did not have more time with Andre Braugher’s Ri’Chard Lane. An actual crime. And I’m pretty sure, once you add the charges of “too little time seeing the dynamic between Braugher and Audra McDonald’s Liz play out” to the list of wrongs, we’re talking a high crime here.
There is just something so special about this not-quite rivalry between the two characters. And whatever it is that makes Braugher and McDonald so good together on screen goes beyond talent — which they both have more than enough of — and traditional ideas of “chemistry.” It doesn’t matter if Liz and Ri’Chard are celebrating after a war well-fought, or if Liz is just reacting to the latest unbelievable shit coming out of her partner’s mouth. Same goes for whether they’re sharing those rare open moments or at each other’s throats. Every single type of interaction, every single layer to it, works.
The two lawyers’ big blowout in The Good Fight 6×08 is an easy highlight. It’s the type of thing you just have to watch more than once. Not only is it pure fun, but there are some “tells” along the way that probably should make you think they’re not actually fighting. But between how well-acted the scene is, and how the plot has really set us on a path where, now that STR Laurie had its “end,” they’re supposed to be rivals per their pact in episode 6, it’s also incredibly easy to get caught up in the moment and believe every word they throw at each other.
Thankfully, it was all just a plot to continue “ending” STR Laurie. Which, of course, brings to mind whether or not the firm still has a chance to eat itself alive from within in the form of Liz and Ri’Chard going to war.
However. Given how sincere Liz was when she told Ri’Chard he’s a good partner — and you could see the second she realized it to be true — and the way “The End of Playing Around” ended, it’s highly unlikely that the Ri’Chard Lane Brand, or even his vendetta against Liz’s father, was ever really anything we needed to be on guard for.
The end of Diane Lockhart?
Even if the firm’s off the hook for that whole “man went splat” thing, the investigator still has plenty of dirt on Diane. And, of course, the question is how. If he was pressing so hard on the question of whether or not Diane was taking medications, he probably already knew before even stepping foot in her office.
So, again, how? And to what end? Was he really just being thorough for scapegoating the firm, or…?
For the very brief moment when Diane’s experimental “treatment” might have played a role, she found herself telling Ri’Chard about it. Which was weird enough and could have its own repercussions, assuming Ri’Chard survives. Like, why ask Jay to look into Diane’s case work? Just to cover everyone’s asses? Or for something…else. Nobody knows!
But, of course, that confession came after the whole conversation on religion…
This is where we get really concerned. Was it foreshadowing what was to come with Ri’Chard? Or are we going to lose Diane before all of this is over?
Were I in the middle of actual doomscrolling hours instead of obsessing over a television show right now, I’d absolutely be unable to put my phone down because of the constant need to refresh Twitter for an update here.
But anyway. Constant anxieties about Diane’s (and everyone else’s) future aside, we’ll always have the bar scene, right?
Extra thoughts on The Good Fight 6×08
- Also not true threats to the firm: associates and/or partners jumping ship because of the investigation, the retaliation from STR Laurie for trying to steal their clients, the pettiness from David Lee that made him so smug when he brought down that TRO, Alicia Florrick and Cary Agos, the ghost of Will Gardner (probably).
- Every time Alicia’s name gets dropped, a Julianna Margulies fangirl has a mild cardiac disruption. (I’m the fangirl.)
- Mar-a-Lago raid mention’s gonna get the orange thing mad. Sucks to be him, huh?
- The whole sequence where Jay discovered the bullet hole, then went searching behind that painting was all about suspense. Between the excellent deliberate movement from Nyambi Nyambi here and the absolute panic over the bomb threat later in the episode, The Good Fight 6×08 was just stunning from him. Top to bottom.
- “I’m just so sick of the drama, you know?” Me, five seconds before asking someone what the latest stan Twitter drama is.
- Also, Mr. Chumhum, you’re on a literal drama. So…it’s not going away.
- Jay: “Racism.” Marissa: “Antisemitism.” Me, putting on my genius hat: What if I told you it’s both? (And, weirdly, this lines up perfectly with *gestures wildly* y’all know.)
- On the one hand, Diane’s “let’s try not to one-up each other” is correct. On the other hand, when Marissa and Jay are talking about all the reasons they think the bullets are aimed at them for who they are, they don’t need the lecture from an outsider.
- If you pause at just about any point during the confrontation with the partners, you’ll get some of the best reaction memes ever.
- That entrance from Ri’Chard, though!
- “You know, some of us don’t believe.” “That’s ok. I have enough faith for all of us.” Either that or enough theatrics. Probably both.
- Ri’Chard, life is not a game show. But at least all those reactions from Liz are comedy gold.
- That investigator was suspect from minute one. No way he was that disorganized and clueless. Naturally, Carmen also saw right through him. Because she is the best.
- “It’s weird seeing us from the outside. I’ve spent six years in that building. It seems so small.” In which they came for my feelings.
- “Why not the Proud Boys?” Because ACAB, bff.
- I felt that eyeroll, Marissa.
- Another reality of that whole “cops suck” situation: I, personally, had a window shot at once. The cops…wanted to grill me about my out-of-state identification — I was a grad student at the time, perfectly fucking legal — instead of doing anything about finding out who did the shooting. The more you know.
- Other things I thought were a one-off but were revealed to have some importance in The Good Fight 6×08: Marissa’s evil twin/Carmen’s girl…Huh.
- Basically, everything’s so connected, I’m really expecting Eli Gold to pop out of a cake and start singing “Willkommen” while Alicia Florrick teleports in and sings the handwashing song from The Morning Show while fetching a peritoneal lavage or some shit.
- “So, we’re being targeted?” “We’re always being targeted.”
- “Let’s just keep going. Before something bad happens.” A whole mood.
- …and then, the “something bad” is David Lee. Typical. Love seeing him do…whatever that was in front of the glass. And the David/Diane enmity is always amazing.
- Liz’s “I see you. I’m going to fuck you up so bad” look through the windows to Ri’Chard’s office during their fake fight was, however, superior. Just saying.
- “God, what an asshole.” DELIVERY. Christine Baranski, folks.
- “We think there might be a Congressman or two connected to it.” A whole-ass political party, tbh.
- “It’s not smearing if you’re telling the truth.” The problem is, I take this to extremes.
- “I do. I don’t like the way they talk to me. Like I’m a little girl.” I am Marissa, yet again.
- “Is that the new Birthright technique?” WHEN I SAY I SCREAMED. (Birthright is an indoctrination scam, and my tour guide was racist trash.)
- Can Carmen Moyo please be my lawyer? Or my friend? My literally anything at all?????
- “Religion. What does it do for you?” “It doesn’t do anything for me.” My life right now.
- “I want to believe in God, but I don’t like the way God is used.” I would like to high five whoever wrote this line, specifically.
- “Your Honor, this is unfair.” “Welcome to America.” The facts.
- Not The Pirates of Penzance!
- The “Mister Brand” part killed me.
- “Ever notice how they always get Italians to play Jews? Why not Jews?” The way this show just called itself out for not casting Jews to play Jews…But hey. At least they cast a legend to play one of them.
- “I wish I could’ve seen his face!!!!” Can confirm it was glorious.
- “In the wooooorrrrrrlddddd!!!” SO, NEW SPINOFF WHEN.
- “I don’t know. It would seem hypocritical. Feeling at peace , when the world is so…not.” Is someone getting material from inside my brain or.
- “NRA. They just don’t give a damn how many kids get killed.” !!!!! TEAM LYLE. !!!!!!!!
- They’re adorable, sunk down in their seats together and hiding like that?
- I can’t stop thinking about this, so this is where we’re ending this one: “I need a white girl to get me past security.” I see you, Jay. I can’t fathom what that’s like, but I’m listening.
Thoughts on The Good Fight 6×08 “The End of Playing Around”? Leave us a comment!
The Good Fight is now streaming on Paramount+, with new episodes streaming on Thursdays.