The return of The Good Fight to the newly re-christened Paramount+ is cause for celebration, even as the show appears to be at a crossroads with its storylines and characters. Season four was cut short by COVID-19 last year, so to begin with we're getting what was initially supposed to be the end of last season, which includes send-offs for two of the show's founding cast members: Delroy Lindo, as Adrian Boseman, and Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn. Season five will tighten the focus on Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald) as they attempt to lead the former Reddick-Boseman law firm (now under the corporate umbrella known as STR Laurie).
With so many casting shakeups, inevitably we turn to one of our favorite parlor games: which of the MANY phenomenal guest stars that peppered the Good Wife universe should next make their way to The Good Fight. For a show that has consistently dipped into the well of its former recurring players, The Good Fight — even five years in — has still left some returning guest stars untapped. Below are ten that we'd be most excited to see return, this season or beyond.
This is the easiest call of the bunch. Before she was a Tony Award-winning Hamilton star or the girl-group belting Wickie Roy on Girls5eva, Renee Elise Goldsberry played assistant state's attorney Geneva Pine on The Good Wife. Often cast as a thorn in the side of Alicia Florrick and/or her husband, Geneva was always on the righteous side of justice, even as she wanted to win at all costs. She's one of the most formidable foes in the Good Wife universe. Goldsberry is also still in Robert and Michelle King's orbit, having guest starred on Evil just last year. Make this happen and have Geneva and Diane Lockhart square off in a courtroom — we deserve it.
This feels like the absolute juiciest possibility. Sarah Steele was one of a handful of regulars imported from The Good Wife to be a main character on The Good Fight, and from the very beginning, Marissa Gold has been a top-tier character, even when all she's doing is explaining youth culture to Diane and Liz. Marissa started as a character brought onto The Good Wife to augment her dad, Eli Gold. Their relationship was close but occasionally combative, and it got a whole lot more complicated the few times that Vanessa, Marissa's mother, entered the picture. Giving Marissa some storyline with her parents would not onlybe a great chance to feature her, but it would bring IRL friends Cumming and Posey back to the show's universe, which can only mean good things for viewers.
Wendy Scott-Carr was introduced in Season 2 of The Good Wife so that she could ultimately be a political rival for Alicia's husband, Peter, when he ran for State's Attorney. As played by Tony-nominated actress Anika Noni Rose, Wendy was an incredibly formidable foe and probably deserved to kick his ass in the election. So where is Wendy in 2021? Is she an elected official? Working in a private practice? Does she remember Diane as an old Florrick acolyte? Does she have a Liz Reddick connection we don't know about? The possibilities are endless, and they could make for some great TV.
One of the earliest recurring foes for Alicia Florrick in the courtroom was Patti Nyholm, the frequently pregnant attorney who eagerly used her own pregnancy — and later her kids — to gain an advantage in the courtroom. Patti was classic Good Wife comic relief, a quirky rival whose silliness hid a shark underneath. In other words, Patti would make for a great opponent for our The Good Fight faves. Heck, maybe she's a judge now. Maybe she's got mom problems. Maybe she needs to partner with Reddick Boseman on a blockbuster case. Either way, you're getting peak Martha Plimpton for at least an episode.
I kind of can't believe I'm making this argument considering how much Alicia Florrick's annoying children were the bane of my existence while watching The Good Wife. But Zach was always getting mixed up in some kind of tech drama or another, and if there's anything that The Good Fight loves, it's delving into the terrifying realm of how technology keeps making our world worse. Maybe Marissa has to investigate the tech angle to a case and calls upon an old acquaintance who she knows is into some dark web business. It would be a scream for this show to have a Florrick on it again, even if Alicia is a pipe dream that will never happen.
The Good Wife's most notorious villain was always Colin Sweeney, the sociopathic killer played by Dylan Baker. Sweeney has already returned to The Good Fight on a couple occasions, but never his onetime wife Renata Ellard, played by Tony Award winning actress Laura Benanti. Renata was accused of murdering a woman she and Colin were both having sex with, and in true The Good Wife/Colin Sweeney fashion, the fact that she absolutely did it doesn't detract from the fact that she was an incredibly entertaining character. Given her willingness to get into bed (often literally) with despicable men, surely Renata could re-emerge in The Good Fight as someone with knowledge about whatever right-wing boogeyman Reddick Boseman are taking the fight to this time.
Viola Walsh is a longtime friend (and frequent professional rival) of Diane Lockhart, which already makes her the perfect candidate for a TGF guest appearance. The former in-house attorney for Chumhum, Walsh tends to work out on the West Coast, which makes her perfect for the kinds of stories about Hollywood malfeasance that The Good Fight likes to do.
Clarke Hayden was the lawyer, accountant, and court-assigned trustee for Lockhart-Gardner when the firm was in the middle of its major financial difficulties. We actually saw a lot of Clarke, and he was quite endearing, even if he was often less outwardly aggressive than every other character on the show. Lane played Clarke's meekness as a virtue in a really wonderful little performance, and it was a Birdcage reunion with Christine Baranski to boot. There are any number of ways his character could be brought into the Good Fight universe. For one, Reddick-Boseman is no stranger to financial difficulties.
This is perhaps our most chaotic choice, but it's a correct one! Marilyn Garbanza, like almost every TV role Melissa George has ever taken — from Alias to Grey's Anatomy to In Treatment to The Slap — is almost unfathomably messy. She was the ethics coordinator on Peter Florrick's gubernatorial campaign who everybody assumed he was sleeping with, and then she ended up having a baby and naming it Peter, only to swerve everyone and reveal the father to be Peter Bogdanovich. Now THAT is the kind of chaotic mess that The Good Fight lives for. She could return to the canvas embroiled in any kind of scandal one could think of... or she could be the ethical thorn in Diane and Liz's side. It's a win-win situation either way. Let's make it happen!
The Good Fight Season 5 premieres on Paramount+ Thursday June 24th, with new episodes dropping Thursdays through August.
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Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.
TOPICS: The Good Fight, Paramount+, The Good Wife, Alan Cumming, Anika Noni Rose, Graham Phillips, Laura Benanti, Martha Plimpton, Melissa George, Nathan Lane, Parker Posey, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Rita Wilson