In what is possibly the last season of Goliath, Billy McBride gets into the ring for a fight against big pharma. Can he bring these multi-billion-dollar corporations to their knees?
Billy Bob Thornton in Goliath
Story: Billy McBride and Patty Solis-Papagian get together for yet another case. This time around, they are taking on a pharma giant. Did they bite off too much than they can chew?
Review: Billy McBride (Thornton) isn’t dead after being shot in the chest by Diana Blackwood (Amy Brenneman) at the end of Season 3. We are never told how he managed to survive this, but are left to make our own assumptions based on random statements that Diana’s aim wasn’t great and that Billy's now half a lung lighter. But hey, that was expected, right. What is Goliath without its leading man? No offence to the incredible supporting cast, but there is no denying that this show has always been about the charisma that Thornton brought to the screen, even if he did look a tad too frail at times.
After a tremendous first season, the show had a disastrous second, and a third that was barely better, thanks to Amy Brenneman and Dennis Quaid thrown into the mix as the baddies. Season 4, which released this week with eight episodes, makes up for all the shortcomings of the previous two, perhaps because the makers knew this was the show’s swan song. McBride finally finds a formidable opponent in JK Simmons’ George Zax. The actor is sublime in his role and it is difficult to peel your eyes off him when he in in a scene. And when you have Thornton and Simmons together, it can’t get any better.
Nina Arianda is ever-delightful as McBride's trusted legal partner Patty Solis-Papagian. I always felt that she has one of the best-written roles and that continues in Season 4. Patty is now on the partner track at Margolis & True, but this is contingent on her getting McBride on board to help settle an ongoing litigation against a pharmaceutical corporation involved in opioid-based pain medication and its distribution mechanism. He, of course, is only happy to head to San Francisco and assist, even as he continues to deal with the after-effects of his near-death experience, during which he had “flatlined for six minutes”. At the onset it appears to be an easy case; one of the parties involved has already agreed to a settlement and the other two also appear on track to follow suit. But with McBride in the mix, it can’t be that easy, right? There’s always more than meets the eye.
Throughout the course of the series, we have been told multiple times just how brilliant a lawyer McBride was and still is, but he’s also quite gullible and is easily played; it’s happened before and it does again. Unlike the previous two seasons, though, he finds his footing again soon enough. Revealing anything more at this point will be a spoiler, which would be a disservice to the incredible writing and making of this season.
This review would be incomplete without a special shout-out to Jena Malone as Samantha Margolis, who not only has to keep her father’s legacy alive and the firm afloat, all while dealing with debilitating multiple sclerosis.
Verdict: This was the best season of Goliath; it’s a shame it’s the last. But hey, in the world of streaming platforms there’s no saying there won’t be a tomorrow for Billy McBride. For now, though, it’s adios. Don’t miss it.
PS: What’s with Haley Joel Osment and doing utterly forgettable roles?