Je Ne Sais What?
Original Air Date: Jan 13, 2013
Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
Has there ever been a more deliciously quirky and well-played character as Carrie Preston’s Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife? I’d have to think really hard to come up with one and frankly, that would be too much work.
Let’s just enjoy her scatterbrained genius while we can. And it seems that everyone at the firm feels the same way because when Elsbeth calls Alicia to say she’s been arrested and needs Alicia to cover on a contract enforcement suit, Alicia does. And so do Will, Diane and Kalinda.
THE CASE: Elsbeth is representing a runner, two-time Olympic silver medalist Anna, who is trying to get paid of a commercial she made for Erobos, a sports shoe company. The company never aired the commercial, but the contract says Anna should be paid $5 million either way. The running shoe company charges Anna with doping, which will null and void the contract.
Elsbeth is in jail for trying to question the company president after a lecture he gave. The problem is she can’t make bail because the rural jail she’s in doesn’t have court on a Friday. She failed the psych test (duh!) to be transferred. So Alicia goes to court to get her transferred to Chicago. Peter is tempted to intervene, but fears he’ll be accused of favoritism. Still, he gives Alicia a tip on another possible strategy.
Meanwhile, Will comes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international committee, to fight for Anna, who may be banned to run that Monday (which voids the contract). Will is his usual cocky self until he learns the court, which runs on its own rules, is held in French. He asks for them to speak English, which they do — some of the time. This is Will’s best comic moment so far in the series. He does confused very well!
It turns out Diane is French fluent and charms the judges, but still can’t prove their client’s innocence. Anna isn’t helping. The reason she has trance amount of a chemical that comes with doping is that she was pregnant and had an abortion. Bu she’d rather kill her career than have her family find out.
Alicia springs Elsbeth just in time (the sight of Elsbeth running across the track carrying her high heels was hysterical) and she, of course, saves the day. She has an Italian runner testified how he was banned from running despite his innocence and it turns out the French judge’s runner took the medal then. It becomes an international judging cat fight and Anna is paid her $5 mil.
I’d love to see way more of Elsbeth. She’s funny, smart and wildly entertaining. Carrie Preston gets to show off her awesome skills more playing the loony lawyer than as Arlene on True Blood or Harold’s love on Person of Interest. As the character says, “I don’t know how I know half the things I know.”
THE CAMPAIGN: Zach discovers a link on Maddie Hayward’s campaign web page that shows she’s going to challenge Peter on his race bias, and that she has two ASAs lined up to testify to the fact. Peter gets conflicting advice from Eli and the new campaign runner Jordan (the testy jabs between Eli and Jordan is already getting on my nerves), and decides to speak at the Black Coalition after speaking to his black ASA (who points out that he is bias, and after a while, Peter has to agree).
The speech goes horribly wrong, eliciting boos from the audience and very bad press coverage. What’s a guy to do but retreat to his trailer and have hot loving with his wife (who started the episode with a sex fantasy)? Killer last line: As she leaves the trailer and passes by Eli (who heard the telltale noises), Alicia says “Don’t worry. It’s just the wife.”
Did you like how Peter wanted to now talk about “their relationship?” Is Elsbeth going to represent Eli now that no one in the firm can? Why wasn’t there any talk about their firm’s financial issues? Give us your TwoCents…