One should always look where they’re stepping – especially when there’s an elevator involved. TV has taught us that elevators are reliably always there when the doors open. Except when they’re not.
This week’s episode of The Good Fight presented us with a haunting image. Law firm partner Adrian Boseman was ready to step inside the lift, only to find an empty elevator shaft. It’s every office worker’s nightmare scenario.
The scene itself seemed incongruous in an episode that was already jumping around a lot. The fifth season return for the show took the idea of a “Previously on The Good Fight” recap and completely ran with it. Not only did it tell us what happened previously on the show, but it kept jumping forward showing us what had ‘previously’ happened throughout 2020 after the fourth season had concluded.
In part, this was a wink to the audience about the premature end of the fourth season. Shut down three episodes early due to COVID-19 production issues, the show had multiple unresolved storylines that needed to be addressed. By showing us the year that never was on the show, The Good Fight was not only able to address those storylines, but it also set up the new season and gave us a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the series’ characters.
Already known to fans of the show was the series departure of stars Cush Jumbo and Delroy Lindo. It was quite apparent from early in the episode that Brit actor Jumbo was being written out with her character Lucca Quinn moving to the UK. But less obvious was what would happen with Lindo’s Adrian Boseman.
The spectre of death has haunted Boseman on the series – could they possibly be planning to kill him off? After all, Boseman hasn’t had a great time with elevators in the series. In a season two episode Boseman was shot by a then-mystery assailant as he tried stepping on an elevator.
So, Adrian Boseman being killed in an elevator shaft? That seemed almost like an inevitable way to go out. But if you were watching and thinking it just seemed like a weird thing that happened… well, you wouldn’t be alone. Even series co-creator Robert King admits that the scene didn’t play out entirely as intended. As he explained to Variety: “With the elevator shaft – look, it didn’t play exactly the way we thought. What we thought is, there would be some question about how we were exiting Delroy from the show. And we thought this would be a funny joke: Whoa! – we’re not going to exit him that way.”
But the possible death of Adrian at the hands of a tardy elevator wasn’t just an in-show joke about how to get rid of a character. This is The Good Fight – there’s always a lot more going on in every episode than it may seem.
Robert and Michelle King, the husband and wife showrunners, are also huge fans of TV as a medium. The elevator not being there when the doors opened is the two of them giving a very deliberate nod to one of TV’s oddest moments – the 1991 on-screen death of Rosalind Shay on LA Law. The character was hated by audiences and the show sent her off with a scene that continues to generate laughs from viewers with a very dark sense of humour:
RIP Rosalind Shay - you were awful.
As you saw in the episode – Adrian Boseman lives on. The door is even open for actor Delroy Lindo to return to the show at a later date. But for now, Adrian has left – there’s no clear character who will step into his position as a partner of the firm, so looking forward, remaining partners Diane Lockhart and Liz Reddick each have designs on what the future potential of the firm may be. Will it be a woman-driven firm, fulfilling Diane’s ambitions? Or will Liz push her friend out the door, keeping the law firm true to its original intent of being a progressive African-American led firm representing the needs of their community?
The ideological battle heats up next week.
The Good Fight airs Thursday nights at 8:30pm on SBS, with episodes then available anytime at SBS On Demand. Stream episode 1 now.