The Good Fight Season 5, Episode 2 recap: Once There Was a Court…

Pictured: Mandy Patinkin as Hal Wackner of the Paramount+ series THE GOOD FIGHT. Photo Cr: CBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Pictured: Mandy Patinkin as Hal Wackner of the Paramount+ series THE GOOD FIGHT. Photo Cr: CBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

The Good Fight Season 5 got back to its regularly scheduled programming this week after recapping all the tragic, stressful events of 2020. “Once There Was A Court…” gets the show right back to its quirky, sassy commentary with two new characters to boot.

The show is known for its stance on politics and never wavers in delivering its opinion, whatever it may be. And with that in mind, we meet Carmen Moyo (Charmaine Bingwa) and Judge Hal Wackner (Mandy Patinkin) who are poised to shake things up in season 5.

And as we welcome two characters, we can’t help but cling on to Luca (Cush Jumbo) and Adrian (Delroy Lindo) who officially departed the show after the season 5 premiere. They’ve left a huge void behind and no matter who steps in, it just won’t be the same. They will be missed!

Now, without further ado, let’s recap the events of this week’s episode of The Good Fight Season 5! And be sure to share your favorite moments in the comments below.

The Good Fight Season 5, Episode 2 recap: Carmen Moyo

Based on this week’s episode, it looks Carmen is going to be a big part of the series. She’s introduced as a part of the first-year associates joining Reddick Lockhart, which takes us back to Maia Rindell’s (Rose Leslie) intro back in season one. Oh, how I miss Maia’s dramatic arc in the series!

But while Maia’s intro was a bit on the crazy side, Carmen struts into the show with a low profile, at least at first. We quickly learn she doesn’t conform to the norms the other associates are abiding by, and it puts her at odds with Liz (Audra McDonald) almost immediately.

The interesting thing about Carmen is that she doesn’t come off as intimidating or non-compliant, she operates under the radar but knows exactly how to use power to her advantage. She has the ability to do what she needs to do, and convince others to go along with it.

As Carmen enters the world of lawyers and Reddick Lockhart, she meets Marissa (Sarah Steele) who is now a first-year associate herself (thanks to Luca hooking it up for her). Right off the bat, Marissa befriends Carmen and alerts her to the firm’s hazing ritual. All we really learn about her from the game is that Carmen hates games–and she’s the only associate willing to volunteer to help out a client in a maximum-security prison.

When she arrives at the prison, Carmen is quickly put to the test when the senior attorney with her forgets to bring a proper ID. She steps in to talk to the client, a drug kingpin by the name of Oscar Rivi (Tony Plana) and listens to all the issues he has with the prison–bad Wi-Fi, mediocre food, etc.

As the conversation goes on (through a Spanish translator), Carmen is convinced to meet with another prison inmate who is going to confess to the murder that got Oscar convicted. It’s a whole lot of shady business, and something feels very off about the whole thing. But Carmen takes in stride and handles it without flinching.

What solidifies the whole shady ordeal is when Oscar’s manager/attorney, Charles Lester (Wallace Shawn) calls Liz to inform her that Oscar only wants Carmen as his sole attorney. It’s a bit surprising considering she’s barely just begun her journey as a lawyer, but there’s something about her that he can’t deny.

But it’s probably because she doesn’t know what she’s doing yet that Oscar is so intent on having her on his team. She’ll argue that he’s innocent in court, pin it on another man, and lead the authorities to the supposed murder weapon. Carmen doesn’t seem to understand that she’s being tricked and manipulated, despite Liz trying to tell her otherwise.

She ends up winning at the end of the day, but much to the disapproval of her bosses. And as much as Liz disapproves, it can’t be denied that Carmen is a quiet force to be reckoned with. She’s kicking butt and taking names–and I can’t wait to see what happens with her next.

The Good Fight Season 5, Episode 2 recap: Judge Wackner

The Good Fight welcomes Mandy Patinkin with open arms as they pay homage to Judge Wapner from The People’s Court. It was a show about a judge arbitrating in a small claims court, and that is exactly what Judge Wackner does in this episode.

Marissa and her new client are directed towards Court 9 3/4, and aren’t sure to take it seriously. But lo and behold, signs lead them to a copy shop where Wackner holds his court in an unofficial capacity. It’s not anything like the usual court atmosphere, and Judge Wackner surely doesn’t operate in the same manner as a judge would. He tries to speed through trials and awards points to the prosecution and defense based on their arguments.

Not to mention, he admits all sorts of nonsensical things into the arguments including hearsay and allowing folks to chime in even if they’re not lawyers. It’s quite hilarious and I’m here for every second of it.

The Good Fight Season 5, Episode 2 recap: Elsewhere

Given Judge Wackner’s zany antics in the “courtroom”, Diane (Christine Baranski) makes her way to help Marissa out. But he’s unwilling to wait so Marissa starts doing the defense and ends up impressing him more than anyone else.

In fact, later on, Wackner insists that Diane let Marissa argue instead because she is much better at it. And it makes sense because Marissa has been an integral part of Reddick Lockhart, and has learned all the tricks of the trade from some of the best. She puts that knowledge to work with a case that involves defending a teacher who started a quarantine podcast school during the pandemic. She’s being accused of teaching the kids socialism, and one of the mothers complained that her kid has been calling her a “Karen” and even compared her to the family in Parasite.

The mention of that movie is what helps Marissa’s defense because the movie won an Oscar before the pandemic started, making the mother’s case moot. At the end of the trial, Marissa and Diane end up winning the case, managing to wow the eccentric Judge Wackner. I really hope Patinkin is sticking around for the season because he is an amazing addition already, and hilarious.

Other parts of the episode focused on finding someone to replace Luca as a senior associate. Diane and Liz consider a handful of people but seem to be leaning towards Julius (Michael Boatman) or Caleb (Hugh Dancy). Of course, Caleb would be an interesting addition considering he and Liz slept together last season.

And then there’s the issue of whether or not Diane can keep her name partnership. With Adrian gone, there is an emphasis on making the firm an African-American one. While Diane understands the complications of the matter at hand, she’s also worked hard to be a part of the venture. She does her utmost best to convey understanding and compassion and tells Liz to take Adrian’s old corner office and suggests that they add a Black partner.

It’s a way of keeping a spot for herself respectfully, while also respecting the atmosphere of the firm. Way to go Diane!

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What did you think of this week’s episode of The Good Fight Season 5? Tell us in the comments below!