In Sunday’s episode of The Good Fight, the FBI investigator Madeline Starkey ushers Lucca Quinn and Maia Rindell into her office for a proffer session that will allow Maia to tell the FBI what she knows about a ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by her father. It’s an office that resembles a museum gift shop, if the shop’s manager were also a hoarder: The small room is crammed with stacks of bankers’ boxes, and baskets of outdated electronics, and antique office supplies: an old stapler, a rotary pencil sharpener. It is decorated with several ceramic sculptures—Baroque in style, whimsical in appearance—and also many American flags, big and small. Atop an old filing cabinet in the corner is a bronze statue of an eagle going in for the kill. Lucca (Cush Jumbo) takes it all in, gracefully introducing Maia (Rose Leslie) to the woman who will be interviewing her on behalf of the federal government.
“Hi, yeah, the NSA sent over some of your emails,” Madeline (Jane Lynch) tells her interview subject, warmly. She pauses, as Maia looks on in surprise.
“It’s a joke!” the investigator says, smiling. She pauses. “I’m punchy today.”
It’s all so quirky, and so very charming. (Did I mention that the whimsical sculptures decorating Madeline’s office are of frolicking youths, each resembling, in its own way, Marie Antoinette?) But if The Good Fight, and The Good Wife before it, have taught viewers anything, it might be this: When a character on one of these shows reveals herself to be eccentric—and especially when she reveals that she is, today, feeling especially punchy—this should be cause for immediate concern. When a character on these shows is wacky, or unassuming, or folksy in any way … there is a very good chance that the character will, in the manner of Madeline Starkey’s office eagle, very soon eat someone alive.