The Good Fight looks to go out with a bang. Literally. Producers Robert King and Michelle King’s (Evil) satiric, absurdist and topical legal series heads into a sixth and final season in which Reddick & Associates attempts to rebrand itself while civil violence erupts around them.
For the drama’s last hurrah, the stellar Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Homicide: Life on the Street) joins the talented cast to bring this much-praised spinoff of the also top-notch The Good Wife to a fiery finale. The double Emmy winner plays Ri’chard (formerly Richard) Lane, a self-described “flamboyantly” confidant rainmaker who is set on revitalizing the firm so that it “will be on the tip of everyone’s tongue” in Chicago.
Braugher shares what’s on the season’s docket.
Did you always want to work on The Good Fight, a magnet for TV and Broadway’s best?
Andre Braugher: I was in California during The Good Wife and most of The Good Fight, doing Men of a Certain Age and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so it wasn’t in my wheelhouse. But a call came out of the blue this spring, asking if I was available. I looked at Season 5 and clips from previous seasons, and had a lovely conversation with Robert and Michelle to understand the context of the show. I feel sort of privileged to be a part of this very smart, very funny, surreal and interesting drama. I’m very proud and happy to act with Christine [Baranski], Audra [McDonald] and the rest of the cast.
What’s your take on your character Ri’chard Lane?
Ri’chard is an energetic, intelligent, compassionate lawyer and an overtly evangelical Christian. [Watch his gung-ho style leading some male colleagues in prayer.] But he’s also a man who wants to make a name for himself. Now that [Baranski’s] Diane has stepped back from the firm and it’s purely [McDonald’s] Liz Reddick’s, he’s been tasked by STR Laurie [the British mega corporation that owns the firm] to shake things up; to raise its stature to make it more profitable. He takes on that challenge with gusto. He’s a sharp dresser, and a flamboyant figure. I read Little Richard’s autobiography for some insight. There’s only so much of Little Richard I could put into a story like this, but it served to remind me that he’s selling the sizzle, not the steak.
Ri’chard clearly is a great showman. Where does the compassion you mentioned come in?
He’s fighting the good fight. Whether it’s injured football players, or anyone having their rights trampled either in the marketplace or their civil rights. The storylines deal with seeking justice for people who can’t find it for themselves. Ri’chard is a guy who tries to use politics to dispense a little more justice. Not social justice, but old-style constitutional and labor justice.
How do Liz and the new guy get along? Her family started the firm, of course, so I assume she doesn’t want it taken away from her or to be told that she’s running it badly.
The problem is that the firm always seem to be on the verge of an existential crisis, one step away from death’s door. There’s a conversation in which Ri’chard comes clean with his goal not to be the top Black law firm in Chicago but the top firm in Chicago, period. The go-to-law firm in terms of protecting people whose rights have been trampled on in the sphere of labor and constitutional rights. His mandate is to transform Reddick & Associates into something very powerful and very profitable. He’s stepping on a lot of toes, especially Liz, who is trying to rehabilitate her father’s reputation as a sexual harasser, while Ri’chard’s chief concern is raising the profile of the firm immensely. But they come to an understanding about her father’s legacy. He was, most of all, a civil rights crusader. We have to come to grips with the fact that the people that we love have dual natures.
Will there be inklings of romance between Liz and Ri’chard?
No romance at all. Ri’chard has a very eccentric family life. It looks as though he might have three wives all living in a Chicago townhouse. [Laughs] And Liz is, to some extent, still involved with Wayne Brady’s character Dell, who makes an appearance this year.
The Kings have talked about how this is the season where there actually is a civil war in the U.S. How does that affect the firm, including Counselor Lane?
It certainly changes things. There’s not only an assassination at a Democratic party fundraiser but a grenade attack on the firm’s building. Ultimately there are personal attacks on the lawyers at the law firm. Without a doubt, they’re perceived at times to be the enemies of the people and subject to violence.
On a lighter note, how much fun was it working with Audra McDonald?
She’s the best! I had a great time. She’s a superb actress and a superb comedian, as well as one of the most impressive singers of our time.
What is Diane Lockhart’s role in all this? In the show’s trailer, we see her spending time getting micro-dosed with a hallucinogen, but what else is she up to?
I don’t have a lot of on-screen interaction with Christine, but I know that everything’s up in the air for Diane: her marriage, whether she’ll continue to pursue her law career, her psychological equilibrium, and her involvement with a doctor played by [Madman’s] John Slattery. It’s a very personal season for Diane. It seems like she’s at a crossroads.
Will Ri’chard play a big part in the final storyline?
Well, I’m there to the final episode, when the entire law firm is under attack!
What’s next for Andre Braugher?
It looks like this fall might be slow, so I think I’ll use that to travel with my wife and relax before I get involved with what comes down the line. It’s a well-earned break and we’ll use it to honeymoon a little bit.
The Good Fight, Season 6 Premiere, Thursday, September 8, Paramount +