The Good Fight will look and feel quite different this year.
For the first three seasons, the show revolved around three women – each lawyers at the same firm who were at different stages of their careers and lives. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) is a name partner at the firm, a staunch second-wave feminist and strident Democrat. New mother Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) is mid-career and establishing a name for herself. And then there’s junior lawyer Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) who’s just passed the bar exam and is working to establish a name for herself in the shadow of her disgraced businessman father.
Rindell has been jettisoned from season 4 as The Good Fight brings a greater sense of internal strife to the series. Previously, while Lockhart, Quinn and Rindell may not have shared a lot of storylines, there was the sense that they were unified against any opposition. All bets are off this season with a brand new dynamic.
As season 4 kicks off, the legal firm at the centre of the show, Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart, has been sold and now operates as a subsidiary of international firm STR Laurie who oversee all their decisions. But that’s not the only change – a wolf has entered the hen house with lawyer David Lee coming into the picture.
Lee is just one of many new faces in The Good Fight.
David Lee (Zach Grenier)
Viewers of The Good Wife will know all too well antagonist David Lee. A constant opportunist, Lee is a high-end divorce lawyer who has no moral qualms about selling out anyone who might stand between him and more money.
Something that has been missing from The Good Fight has been a sense of internal strife. With the introduction of David Lee our favourite characters will need to watch their backs – Lee will have them all fighting the good fight… mostly for their continued survival.
Lee is played by one of the ultimate “Who’s that guy?” actors, Zach Grenier. You’ve seen Grenier in countless TV shows and movies over the years including Fight Club, 24, The X-Files, Law & Order, Twister and The Golden Girls. Playing David Lee is his career highpoint and it’s exciting to see him back making everyone uneasy.
Caleb Garlin (Hugh Dancy)
Brand new to the world of The Good Fight, we don’t know much about Caleb yet except that he’s a former military officer who’s an associate at STR Laurie. He’ll reportedly be more friend than foe to our favourite characters with his wit and decency making him a better fit with Diane and Co. than their new corporate bosses.
Garlin is played by British actor Hugh Dancy who is best known for his role as FBI profiler Will Graham in the beloved drama Hannibal. You may also have seen him in the movies King Arthur or Martha Marcy May Marlene. He also appeared in the Aussie series Deadline Gallipoli for which he was nominated for a Silver Logie. Later this year he’ll appear opposite his wife Claire Danes in her series Homeland.
Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox)
We don’t yet know how many episodes we’ll see weasel Louis Canning in this season (likely just the one), but it’ll be an absolute treat to see the return of this character well remembered from The Good Wife. Canning appeared in 21 episodes of that show, including a run that had him partnering with the aforementioned devilish David Lee in taking over the law firm.
A theme of season 4 will be that regular norms have been upended as a result of the Trump presidency. Series co-creator Robert King has said that “This year we’ll get into understanding how some of the rules have broken down with regards to the law.” That’s a perfect environment for a character like Canning to return to – he’s a lawyer who’s never afraid to bend people’s perceptions of the world to his own advantage.
While Canning is a great character, a lot of us will delight in seeing Michael J. Fox back on the screen. There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t like the guy and he’s always been fantastic in this role. Fox plays fully into his charisma to keep Canning as likeable as possible even though the audience knows he will unexpectedly turn and figuratively knife anyone who gets in his way.
Gavin Firth (John Larroquette)
One of the new bosses at the firm, Gavin Firth is described as “warm, generous, sophisticated, and potentially deadly”. He seems like the complete counterpoint to Hugh Dancy’s Caleb Garlin who has also joined the show via the new corporate ownership of Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart. While Garlin will be seen as one of the team, one suspects that Firth is going to be a thorn in the side of our favourite TV lawyers.
Having John Larroquette back on TV playing a lawyer is an absolute joy for older viewers who will best remember him from the role that brought him to prominence – for 9 seasons he played narcissistic prosecutor Dan Fielding in the classic sitcom Night Court. Since then we’ve seen him in a number of memorable roles such as in Boston Legal where he played a lawyer, The West Wing where he played a lawyer and the McBride series of made-for-TV mystery movies where he played a lawyer. One suspects that on The Good Fight Larroquette will know what he’s doing.
Season 4 of The Good Fight premieres exclusively on SBS, airing weekly at 9.30pm from Wednesday 23 September. Episodes will be available at SBS On Demand after they go to air. Here is episode 1:
Fiona gives us the highlights of this year’s curfewed Melbourne International Film Festival - MIFF 68 1/2 - and talks with Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, the creators of the real life drama 'The Salisbury Poisonings', we talk Netflix's 'Indian Matchmaking' and click play on 'Guerrilla' and 'Burning' on SBS On Demand.