‘The Good Fight’ episode 4 recap: ‘Henceforth Known as Property’ welcomes back villainous Matthew Perry

Four episodes into its first season, the CBS All Access series “The Good Fight” is setting the stage for a huge legal showdown between its main characters and “The Good Wife” antagonist Mike Kresteva (Matthew Perry), a politician leading an Illinois task force to reduce police brutality in an unethical manner. In addition, “Henceforth Known as Property” tackles a complex fertility case, in which Diane (Christine Baranski) and Lucca (Cush Jumbo) represent a woman who wants to reclaim eggs she previously donated to a fertility clinic, and the topical issue of fake news. Below, let’s look at the Top 5 moments from “The Good Fight” Season 1, Episode 4.

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“20 Minutes. You’ve Got a Back-Up” — In last week’s episode, opposing counsel Colin (Justin Bartha) spent as much time courting Lucca at the local bar as he did fighting her in court. In this episode, Lucca goes out of her way to ensure she gets the chance to interact with him again, first by asking her bartender friend to pretend he’s too busy to take Colin’s order so she can share her lunch with him, and then accepting his offer to go out on a date. While Lucca does ask Colin to look into a subpoena she received from Kresteva, she also genuinely seems interested to him. Their courtship interestingly intertwines the personal and the professional, just like parent series “The Good Wife” loved to do, plus it gives Jumbo the chance to showcase a softer side to Lucca that we haven’t seen in the past.

A “Bizarrely Inaccurate” Hearing — Responding to a subpoena to appear in front of Kresteva’s grand jury, Diane takes the stand expecting to answer some basic questions about her firm. Instead, villainous Kresteva presents her with doctored notes from their one-on-one meeting and inflammatory statements about Illinois police that she never made. Baranski plays Diane’s confusion and outrage brilliantly, attempting to articulate what happened during their brief discussion all the while knowing how badly she must appear to the members of the grand jury.

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Kids Survive You — After a crushing, albeit temporary, defeat in their fertility case, Diane and Barbara (Erica Tazel) share an uncharacteristically sympathetic moment together discussing children. When Barbara asks Diane if she ever regrets not having kids, Diane admits that she does, occasionally. Although she clearly values her career, Diane reveals that she never used work as an excuse to avoid starting a family, but saw it as a way to give everything else in her life meaning. The scene is another strong one for Baranski, especially as Diane talks about what her children with estranged husband Kurt (Gary Cole) might have looked like had they met each other before it was too late to start a family.     

Adrian Sticks up for Maia — “Henceforth Known as Property” pits Maia (Rose Leslie) against a barrage of fake news written about her by a Twitter bot created by an ex-boyfriend. After he declines to deactivate the bot, Marissa (Sarah Steele) helps Maia fight fire with fire, releasing their own fake news about him. Their cyber war comes to a head when he appears in a rage at her office, threatening her because her fake news has jeopardized his relationship and career. Just as their argument becomes intensely heated, Adrian (Delroy Lindo) calmly intervenes on Maia’s behalf to diffuse the situation. For two characters who have thus far interacted very little, it’s a simple moment that nicely emphasizes the familial culture at Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad.

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Storylines Collide — The final scene of the episode beautifully dovetails the incessant fake news about Maia with Kresteva’s inquiry into Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad. With Kresteva on notice from his boss to either find additional dirt on the firm or leave them alone, one of his staff members brings him a fake news article about Maia recently spending $350,000 on jewelry. Instead of attributing it to the Rindell Ponzi scheme, Kresteva jumps on the opportunity to peg her financial windfall on all of the cash-cow police brutality cases the firm brings against the state. Thus far “The Good Fight” has refrained from exploring how Maia’s association with her father’s Ponzi scheme has affected her professional life, but this scene suggests that it will play a large part in the upcoming trouble the firm will face.

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