Season 4, Episode 12 | Original Air Date: January 13, 2013
This week I find myself writing from San Diego, and while I should be focusing on the last hours of my vacation, I can’t help but think of the phrase, “You've been Tascionied.” Ahhh. I feel so much better now - I've been waiting to say that all season. Oh look, a palm tree.
For this enchanting episode, “Je Ne Sais What?” I could focus exclusively on how much I adore Elsbeth Tascioni, but I won’t, mostly because it’s beginning to look a lot like another story arc for our beloved, bubbly and brilliant red-haired litigator. This means I, and fans everywhere, will have plenty of time to shower this character with the love and admiration she deserves. Which, by the way, is a lot. But more about that later.
Let's dive right in and take a look at the top six things that made this week’s episode so memorable (hint: my definition of memorable doesn't always mean ‘things that made me happy). Read on, weigh in and join in the conversation below!
Making Lemonade with Elsbeth Tascioni
There are few characters on The Good Wife who are so accomplished at making the best out of a bad situation. Elsbeth Tascioni, I would suggest, is one of the most experienced and delightful lemonade makers I have ever seen. Peter breaking his parole or Zach injured in a rogue skateboarding accident? Alicia’s caught up in a mess with the Treasury? Will’s accused of judicial bribery? Pa chow! Not when Elsbeth is around. She can make lemonade out of petunias and it’s incredible to watch.
In “Je Ne Sais What?” the Tascioni lemonade stand rolled into town and straight into jail. The upside is that Elsbeth never looked worried, on the downside her cell-mate looked experienced in living hard. Thankfully, when Elsbeth found herself in a squeeze, she went to the one lawyer she mightily respects (and, let’s face it, whose family has kept her in ‘new purse money’ for the past three years): Alicia. Needing backup, Will and Diane quickly got on board to save Elsbeth from a weekend in jail. Suddenly, all was right in the world. I’m not sure if it’s strange or not, but I’m grateful for the loyalty Alicia, Will and Diane have towards Elsbeth, not only because I’m scared for Tascioni’s ability to make a shiv on a dime, but because she’s earned it. Also, I’m not sure her concentration could handle all the whittling prison items need. Not like I’m an expert, but I've watched Kalinda enough to know the kind of dedication escaping takes. I, myself, will take an ice cold glass of lemonade.
An Athlete and a Jail Cell
“Je Ne Sais What?” was a prime example of strong story advancement with a robust case of the week. So rarely do the cases we’re privy to involve characters with whom we have a relationship. Of course, there are exceptions (my two favorite examples being 1) Lemond Bishop and his handsome, swindling ways and 2) Colin Sweeney, who’s brand of crazy is impossible to replicate), so when we found out Elsbeth had been arrested and called Alicia for assistance, the look on my face said, “amazing” while my voice simply squeed.
This week's case dealt with a runner who was banned from an upcoming race for using boosters. An endorsement deal gone awry surfaced and Elsbeth, from the comfort of her psych exam (which, sadly but not surprisingly, quickly went off the rails), realized the whole booster mix up had to do with pregnancy termination drugs. My husband, like Elsbeth, called it. While I've simplified the case to the very basics, it was an especially thoughtful case. Throw in the fact much of the show took place on a running track and that the French judges secretly call Tascioni “Rambo” and it is, in my books, one of the most entertaining episodes of season four. I’m seriously in love with this show.
The Race Card
FINALLY! I've been waiting for the race card to be played in the Florrick campaign since last season. In my opinion, if anything is going to be Peter’s downfall in the race for Governor, it’s going to be the fact he does show racial bias. While I think it’s unintentional, I also feel as though his decisions can be seriously questioned by his opponents. Geneva Pine’s examples are right on: Cary being promoted over both she and Maton, Wendy Scott-Carr being fired, Dana Lodge being demoted. Sure, there was cause for each of these decisions, but at the end of the day, Peter has exposed himself (hopefully just figuratively, but one never knows).
With Eli and Jordan (the new political dynamo and, likely, Eli’s arch nemesis) at the helm, I think Peter has as good a shot as any to escape anther ‘question of character’ debate. That said, he’s up against squeaky clean Krestiva, who while absent from our screens, we know is working hard in the background to be as perfect as possible. Throw in the maven feminist, Maddie Hayward, who seems to appeal to all races, ages and genders, and Peter is in a tighter race than ever before. Eli better get a discount at Kinkos – I think the campaign’s going to need more posters.
For Peter, flaws are his selling feature. He’s made mistakes and continues to do so, but that’s what makes him popular. While my full support is behind Team Gardner when it comes to love, I’d likely vote for Florrick when it comes to the race for Governor. Of course, a win means he’d be spending more time in Washington, which wouldn't be bad for my other interests either (insert a friendly nod to those who have highlighted this in the past!).
Diane Speaking French
Seriously. This woman is brilliant. As Elsbeth wasn't afraid to point out, she’s elegant, too. And it’s true. When I grow up, I want to BE Diane Lockhart. The icing on the ‘Diane speaks French’ cake was when she said, ‘Merci, Mademoiselle’ to Kalinda, who, while wearing one of her shortest skirts to date, caught the eyes of all the “judges.” Pure brilliance. Also, for the record, I’m pretty sure Diane could have landed a date with the Fenchman in the center of that panel. Who’s with me?
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
What is Alicia Florrick thinking? Just when I thought her moving to Highland Park was going to be the worst decision she could make, she started randomly sleeping with Peter again. I’m glad he’s confused too, because it makes me feel like I’m not the only one. While I loved listening to Edith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” I have to say that I do, in fact, have regrets, to go alongside my strong reservations, about all of this on-bus canoodling. Eli’s look of horror and dismay was second only to my own. I know season four was going to be lacking in Team Gardner goodness, but this, THIS, this is getting out of control.
It’s a Small World… After All
Eli needs a lawyer and Elsbeth is out of jail. This could be a match made in heaven. Maybe. I’m not sure how these two are going to work, but I’m willing to jump on this bandwagon, big time. Elsbeth has proven herself to be one of the best lawyers in Cook County (having represented Peter, Alicia and Will), so Eli retaining her council is a sound decision, and he knows it. What I’m fairly certain of is that he’s unaware of is how truly unconventional she is when it comes to the defense of her clients. As Judge Poloti said though, “When the law’s an ass, someone has to kick it.” Tascioni’s just the woman to do that kicking. Eli and Elsbeth = 2013's dynamic duo.
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