• Let’s recap before season 5 of ‘The Good Fight’ hits our screens. (CBS © Paramount+)Source: CBS © Paramount+
Rest assured, ‘The Good Fight’ is back for a new season, at its Australian home, SBS and SBS On Demand, starting Thursday 1 July at 8:30pm.
Dan Barrett

29 Jun 2021 - 1:30 PM  UPDATED 29 Jun 2021 - 1:44 PM

When we last saw The Good Fight, the season ended abruptly due to COVID-19 shutting down production. (Can you believe that was only March last year?) The final episode of season 4 wasn’t planned to be its last – The Good Fight gets pretty wild, but even this show wouldn’t intentionally end a season on a shot of Jeffrey Epstein’s cryogenically frozen penis. But that’s what they had to do.

The season also left a number of plot threads dangling. So, before going into season 5, a quick refresher will be helpful.

Here’s your guide to everything you need to remember.

New owners, new problems

Last year saw a big shift in the show with the law firm Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart bought out by multi-national law firm, STR Laurie. John Larroquette became a recurring actor playing Gavin Firth, the US head of the firm. At first, it was unclear whether Firth had the best interests of Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart in mind. But by the end of the season it became very clear there were a lot of games being played and they would be well-advised to exit the business partnership as soon as possible.

Disturbing paperwork

‘What was Memo 618?’ was the overriding question of last season. Midway through a court trial, Diane Lockhart (series Queen Christine Baranski) saw the judge given a document titled ‘Memo 618’ and subsequently lost the case. Similar occurrences continued taking place as soon as these memos were delivered. What’s more, anytime she searched for the memos in the STR Laurie database, the computer system would shut down on her.

Meanwhile former colleague Julius Cain (Michael Boatman), who’d been appointed as a judge, found that he was being coerced into making specific rulings, regardless of the law or facts in the case. As soon as a Memo 618 was delivered to his desk, it was strongly suggested he fall into line with the memo’s demands. Early in the season we see Cain picked up in an Uber by a former judge who lost everything after he failed to comply with the demands cited in one of the memos. Cain got the hint, but was increasingly conflicted as the season went on.

While the Memo 618 storyline never achieved completion because of the production shutdown, the meaning of Memo 618 was clear – it served as a metaphor of sorts for the changing state of the US justice system with the Trump administration filling a large number of vacancies on the bench with young conservative judges.

Love was in the air

There were two key romances that bubbled away throughout the season. The first ties directly into the Memo 618 storyline with law firm partner Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo) literally getting into bed with a judge. While that was ethically dubious in itself, the bigger problem was one that Boseman was unaware of – she had seen considerable benefit to following the orders delivered via the memos.

The second romance involved law firm partner Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald). She became entangled with young lawyer, Caleb Garlin (Hugh Dancy) who had been appointed to the firm by their new corporate owners. Garlin may have been sent by STR Laurie, but he made it clear that he wasn’t interested in spying on the firm or reporting on their activities upstairs. Of course, the season concluded before we could truly confirm one way or another whether he was as pure of intent as he claimed…

The Annoying Orange

The Trump presidency cast a shadow over The Good Fight from the very first episode of the series and the show is well known for commenting on the changing nature of what had been perceived as norms within politics, the justice system and the media. This continued in the fourth season.

While Memo 618 was the most overt storyline related to the presidency, you’ll be well served to remember that the Democratic National Committee approached Adrian Boseman about becoming a 2024 Presidential nominee. He was asked not to tell anyone, which means that by the end of the episode, everyone seemed to know. Boseman was enthused by the idea, even if it would require him to quit the firm…

The Birkin bag 

One of the firm’s clients, the exceptionally wealthy Bianca Sky (Chasten Harmon), took quite a liking to Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo). Using their professional relationship as an excuse Bianca seemed intent on building a friendship with Lucca. Throughout the season we saw Bianca flying Lucca to a remote tropical island to play card games with her friends and give her a Hermès Birkin handbag (these exclusive leather bags start at around $9,000, but Lucca’s was believed to cost about double that). This innocuous-seeming storyline was heading somewhere major, but the show never got the chance to tip its hand before the shutdown. But trust us – it has huge ramifications for the show going forward.

New faces, new battles: ‘The Good Fight’ is still worth fighting
Beloved favourites leaving, new cast members arriving and a messy look at a messed-up America. Here is what season 5 has in store, airing from Thursday 1 July.

The Good Fight season 5 premieres on SBS at 8.30pm, Thursday 1 July airing weekly. Episodes will be available to stream at SBS On Demand after broadcast, but will only be around for 90 days, so be quick to catch up.

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