There were some high stakes for the final scene of Paramount+’s The Good Fight — itself a spinoff of CBS’ long-running The Good Wife. The pressure to close out the saga of Chicago lawyer Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) was high. “The intention was to not face-plant,” co-creator and showrunner Michelle King told THR in an April interview about the show’s series finale, in which Lockhart decides to retire. Adds her writing partner and husband, Robert King: “You’re always trying to react to where the chemistries exist in the show, and there was so much between Christine and Audra McDonald [who plays Liz Reddick]. Clearly, we thought they were the last two that needed to be on that stage.” The Kings offered a behind-the-scenes look at how they crafted the final moments — and made one really big prediction.
This episode is titled “The End of Everything” — and, naturally, Diane is facing some existential dilemmas about what to do with her life next. “She’s got some money now, but the question for her is, do you go off on vacation?” says Robert King. “Or do you try to face the problems of the world, especially when the problems of the world seem so insurmountable? The scene was trying to answer that in an honest way that seemed not to have been answered before, because we don’t want to repeat ourselves.”
“Liz is really giving a present to Diane,” says Michelle King of this moment between the two women. “She’s saying, ‘You mattered. It may not feel that way in this moment, but you mattered, and what we did mattered.’ “
This series of flashbacks featured clients whom Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart represented over the show’s six seasons. “It seemed like a good way to suggest to Diane that her life is not meaningless,” says Robert King. “A lot of liberals or progressives might [look at the world and think], ‘Oh my God, how can I face this?’ When in fact what you ignore is all of the people you helped along the way.”
A foreboding countdown clock ticked throughout the final episode. “You might think it was going toward some burst of violence toward the law firm,” says Robert King. “But the surprise is that Trump announces his presidential run.” It’s a full-circle moment for the series, which began with Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
The last episode aired Nov. 10, 2022 — six days before Donald Trump announced his latest White House bid. The Kings admit they wrote that moment into the show’s final moments weeks earlier in October. “I just felt like Trump would announce after the midterms,” says Robert, while Michelle admits it was “the most wacky idea imaginable” at the time. But Robert adds that he doesn’t feel particularly psychic when it comes to anticipating the former president’s behavior. “He’s more predictable than most people. Everybody acts like he veers left when you think he’s about to turn right — but he’s like any other celebrity you’ve ever met. Highly predictable.”
This story first appeared in a May stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.