Goliath: The 10 Best Characters | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

Whether it’s Billy McBride and his family members or his enemies, Donald, Marisol, and the Blackwoods, Goliath has many memorable characters.
As the highly acclaimed Amazon original legal drama Goliath nears its season 4 premiere date, all eyes look ahead to how Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton) will use his brilliant legal mind to bring down a new crop of powerful criminals. Of course, what makes the show so irresistible is McBride’s complicated personal life and his relationship with his daughter Denise (Diana Hopper) and ex-wife Michelle (Mario Bello).
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Aside from Billy’s closest loves ones, Goliath continues to stand out due to its strong cast of morally conflicted characters who operate on both sides of the law in Billy’s jurisdiction.
In a towering, Golden Globe-winning performance by superb movie actor Billy Bob Thornton, series protagonist Billy McBride is the heart and soul of the show, overcoming such scarifying past trauma as an underdog who takes on the legal establishment by himself. After walking away from a cushy job at a top law firm due to his moral conscience, McBride vows to leave his alcoholism behind and remake his image.
While he can be antisocial, crass, and difficult, at times, Thornton plays McBride with such credible command as a man blazing a path of redemption while caring for his family, making the audience feel the weight of the world on his shoulders and root for his success as a result.
The second-longest tenured character on the show is Patty Solis-Papagian (Nina Arianda), a real estate agent who moonlights as an amateur lawyer. After providing the key intel to Billy regarding the Rachel Kennedy case, the two become trusted confidants throughout the series.
Earning McBride’s trust is nearly impossible due to his cold misanthropic attitude, so when Patty is able to slowly but surely forge a loyal bond with Billy, he finally feels at ease knowing he has a partner with who he can dependably rely on. This kinship helps Patty introduce Billy to Gina Larson (Sarah Wynter) as well, providing another case to investigate.
While the visceral violence and elaborate white-collar crimes provide many of the show’s biggest dramatic moments, it’s the close-knit human relationships that make the characters so sympathetic and easy to root for. In this regard, Billy’s daughter Denise is at the front of the line.
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Having appeared in all but six episodes to date, Denise really shines in season 2 when she returns from visiting her mother in London. When she’s persuaded by Marisol (Ana De La Reguera) to press her father for details on the La Mano cartel case, it drives a wedge between her and Billy and causes her to spiral into a drunken stupor. Despite her own compelling arc, it’s the special kinship between her and Billy that offers insight into his compassionate humanity.
Tania Raymonde gives a tremendous performance as Brittany Gold, a whip-smart paralegal who assists Billy and moonlights as a sex worker. Morally complicated beyond belief, thy way in which Brittany uses her brilliant mind and attractive body to solve problems never ceases to amaze.
The relationship between Billy and Brittany underscores the former’s own moral murkiness, as he’s willing to do seedy and sordid things in order to gain crucial intel that will help him win his gigantic legal cases. As the main female character who’s appeared in every episode but one, Brittany symbolizes strong, female independence, without an ounce of compromise.
Oscar-winning actor William Hurt gives an indelibly creepy turn in the acclaimed legal drama as Donald Cooperman, Billy’s sleazy and unscrupulous partner who looms in the shadows of his office. Secretly videotaping his business meetings, Donald becomes the metaphorical Goliath to Billy’s David when the latter leaves the firm to begin anew.
While Cooperman fades into the background as the series progress, he still looms around McBride’s neck like a ghostly albatross, symbolizing the massive weight from Billy’s dark past that he must shed in order to redeem himself. As such, Cooperman is poised for a season 4 return.
Since each season focuses on a new criminal case, several characters on Goliath come and go without a trace. However, one effervescent mainstay who stands out with her infectiously bubbly attitude is Marva Jefferson (Julie Brister), a paralegal assistant hired by Billy to help with the Borns Tech case. Marva is simply one of the most hilarious TV lawyers around.
After winning the case, Billy keeps Marva around for two of his next three high-profile cases, making her the 4th-longest tenured character on the show. Marva’s droll quips and familiar shorthand with Billy indicate that the apparent misanthrope can be friends after all.
Another massively important character that provides inklings into Billy’s domestic life and caring status as a father and husband include Michelle McBride, his not-so amicable ex-wife, and former partner at Cooperman McBride. The tenuous balance of business and pleasure between the two offers shaded nuances that help make the characters three-dimensional.
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Plot-wise, Michelle gets into a tangled web of deceit when Cooperman uses her to dash Billy’s investigation of the Borns Tech scandal, further complicating their personal and professional bond.
The best characters on Goliath seem to have either betrayed or have been doublecrossed by Billy in the past. In season 2, such a prominent character includes Hakeem Rashad (Morris Chestnut), the Deputy D.A. who holds a nasty grudge after losing a case to Billy in the past. Rashad offers Billy a plea deal at the beginning of season 2 regarding Julio (Diego Josef), the denial of which springboards the entire plot of the season.
Aside from serving a major plot function as one of Billy’s most vindictive adversaries, Rashad serves as a reminder of the massive moral gray area that crimes of this magnitude and how it’s not always what a person knows, but who they know, in order to remain out of legal trouble.
If a story is only as good as its villain, then Marisol Silva in Goliath season 2 needs to be mentioned. The politically shrewd and personally cunning Mayoral candidate in cahoots with the La Mano drug cartel has one of the juiciest character arcs of the season before emerging victoriously at the end.
In pretending to fall in love with McBride to protect Gabriel, who is shockingly revealed to be her secret brother, Marisol plays McBride for a giant fool the entire season, using him as an unwitting pawn to keep her out of legal jeopardy while brilliantly winning her Mayoral campaign in the process.
Although it takes a while for McBride to realize such, the odious antagonists of season 3 turn out to be Wade (Dennis Quaid) and Diana Blackwood (Amy Brenneman), the billionaire land-developer siblings who create a massive ruse to hide their greed water pilferage for extreme monetary gain. Rich, entitled, greedy, and corrupt, the Blackwoods prove to be among Billy’s biggest legal challenges.
Beyond their dastardly plot that informs the season’s central drama and directly ties into Marisol’s previous crimes in season 2, providing a germane connection to the series as a whole, it’s the unforgettable performances by Dennis Quaid as the smarmy Wade and Amy Brenneman as the overly eccentric Diana that makes them so strong, especially when the two have differing views on how to hide their crimes.
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