15 January, 2013

The Good Wife: "Je Ne Sais What?" - Let's Make Some Lemonade

"Je Ne Sais What?"
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.

Related to this post:
Food Inspired by The Good Wife: Coming Soon


  1. Great post. Sunday’s highlights were indeed awesome, especially the return of Elsbeth as hoped! The ending was awesome and she really is one of the greatest lawyers in the series. Good thing she’s gonna be Eli’s attorney. Although I think he has some knowledge on how Elsbeth does things since Peter was represented by Elsbeth when Eli already joined the show and was handling the crisis and campaign.

    Speaking of campaigns, I’m glad this storyline is becoming more interesting. I’m looking forward for the debates and the return of Matthew Perry.

    Other things worth mentioning are the Armstrong doping scandal reference in this ep. The first hearing scene with the French-speaking and Will made me laugh. And Diane speaking French and being flirty with the judge was awesome. I loved the unconventional legal arguments that occurred in Judge Poloti’s court between Alicia and Geneva; classic and clever. And the quote ‘When the law’s an ass, someone has to kick it’ nailed it for me. Although the disappointing thing about this ep was that Cary wasn’t present. We need more action from him, seriously.

    1. Hi Josh - thanks for another week of writing in!

      I agree that Eli might know some of what he's getting himself into (flashback to Eli, Elsbeth and the whole campaign crew in the Florrick kitchen many moons ago), but I'm not sure anyone is really prepared until they get into the thick of things. As Alicia pre-warned Will - you need to give her time and a chance - after that, it will work out. For Eli, I hope that's true. I can only imagine what kinds of things are going to surface now that both he and the firm are being investigated. I dare say Lockhart Gardner should have tried to retain her first!

      The return of Matthew Perry - can't wait! His character is so slimy but it makes for good TV. Also, because he has a relationship with Alicia (actually, as all of Peter's opponents do...), we're in for the best campaign season yet. Or, at least, here's hoping. Season two is going to be difficult to beat... but with these opponents AND Wendy Scott-Carr trying to take Eli down, it could be the absolute best of both worlds.

      More Cary? Yes. Perhaps he'll get involved with this whole race debacle? He needs something good to do. Or a hobby. He can't just be Clarke's bestie anymore, because after him throwing Hayden under the bus last week, after-work drinks seem unlikely.

  2. My favourite part of this episode: When Alicia says during the emergency hearing "This is a constitutional matter," and Geneva responds: "No, it's a stupid matter." Amazing. And one of the most charming episodes to date! Even Jacques loved it!

    1. You're right, Lindsay - the quotes this week were phenomenal! The whole episode was quick-witted and dynamic. I think I wrote down at least seven phrases that were exceptional, not the least of which included:

      Elsbeth: I like Will.
      Alicia: I... I like Will, too.

      Anna: You're going to have to help me win this.
      Will: With a lie?
      Anna: If that's what it takes.

      Alicia: It's best to let the silence rest.

      Alicia: How do you know that?
      Elsbeth: I don't know how I know half the things I know

  3. Hi Pink

    You are still on holiday as I have imagined. Do you not know you are not suppose to take holidays unless the series is taking a break...ha (just kidding).

    I would die if after suggestion that Eli will be working with Elsbeth if in the end it did not materialize. Really looking forward to the pair working together. The 2 best supporting actors playing off each other too - think there will be great chemistry.

    It actually makes perfect sense for Alicia to have the occasional romp with Peter. She is still The Good Wife and what does good wife do when they have needs! I do not think she wants to cheat again.

    After she got off the bus, she told Eli " Do not worry, just the wife". That was so funny and Eli's look was priceless!

    Enjoy what is left of your holidays !

  4. Great episode! A lot of Elsbeth, the promise of MORE Elsbeth, Eli having to be even better at his job because of competition, Diane speaking french, Will being adorably confused... I could go on. All was good; despite the bus scene.

    Speaking of which, I have to compare again: campaing busses aren't as good as presidential suites with personal butlers named Jerome.
    And I know I'm biased, but I thought the bus scene lacked chemistry, or, I don't know... something. Nothing compared to the A/W scene in 3x01.

    About the opening scene: I don't have to say that I had a mini heart attack when I saw and recognized it, right?
    But then I saw a lot of people saying it was supposed to be Peter there. Because of the rest of the episode, it makes more sense that it was him, but if that's the case, it was a really poor job using the same scene as 2x09 (you can definitely see it's some cut of it, because of her "clothes", his hands, the shooting itself and especially her HAIR). If they wanted it to be A/P, they should have shot a new scene.
    So, for me, it was her daydreaming about Will and Peter was AGAIN just a replacement (I know it's not true nor makes sense, but a girl can dream...).

    Another great post, Pink!

    1. What can I say? Elsbeth was great! I'd say she had actually overgreat herself (if it's even possible!) And I'm so looking forward to more Ms. Tascioni!

      And Jule, may I ask you, can we have the same dreams? I feel (and not for the first time) like you're reading my thoughts! After watchind Alicia's over-breakfast daydreaming episode I was and still am certain it was the same as in the 2.09! (Isn't it your blog http://jule7434.tumblr.com/ by the way?)Her HAIR!

      Not to mention obviously dissatisfying campaing bus scene I found 4.12 exiting. What's really bugging me is that I kind of lost my feeling of Alicia. In my mind I undestand that we're finally delivered with her mummy\daddy issues. She finally forgave Kalinda and met Cary in no man's land... My brain gets it, but my gut tells me something crucial is lost along the way. (Will?)))

      Pink, have vacations of your life! Enjoy yourself!


    2. Hi L,
      we should have the same dreams and it's great that we think alike!
      Yes, that's my blog. Are you on tumblr?

      I posted it, because I saw people saying it was Peter on that scene. I get that we are biased shippers, who see what we'd like to see or how we'd like to see (I probably saw more into the 'drive safe' scene in 4x10 than it was), that's normal. But I also think people should keep true to the show. As much as I'd want to, as a Team Gardner shipper, I can't deny that Alicia is getting closer to Peter and still likes him. I don't intend to, that's what the show has been giving us. But it also can't be denied that the sex day-dream in 4x12 is the same scene as 2x09 and therefor it is Will there.

      The rest of your comment feels like YOU are reading my thoughts!

    3. So much blog love happening here - I just can't get enough!

      Okay, now to Team Gardner. Could it be, do you think, that Alicia was imagining herself with Will, when in fact, she's with Peter? The daydreams we've identified were definitely the same. Also, we know Alicia isn't over Will, but rather, that it's just too complicated to be with him... at least physically. Her mind is fair game. That said, there are some random editing issues that surface and part of me is wary to read too much into that opening scene. On the other hand, that's what they picked to start the episode, so it had to be for a reason.

      Okay, I've talked myself into it (and I don't think it's biased shipping... do you?) that she's thinking about Will and sleeping with Peter. Even Peter is confused, so we might be onto something.

      One more thing: Jule - You were not the only one reading a lot into the 'drive safe' quote from 4x10. I've been dreaming of that scene for the last three weeks! Ahhhh... bliss.


    4. Yes, Jule. I totally understand why you posted it. It's harder to deny similarities between these two scenes when they are right here in front of one's eyes! And yes - we're "biased shipers" but that doesn't nessesary mean everything we see and think is wrong))) "Drive safe" was maybe small but too cute not to see it in a certain light because it was about their connection and he basically said: "I care about you" with those words. "I care about you not to win you, I just can't help it"... Just saying!

      I'm on tumblr but I've just started there - mostly exploring right now. Glad I came across your blog!

      Hi, Pink! We can't get enough of this place's magic either)

      I believe the case pretty much could be as you put it. Dreaming about one man who's unavailable than using another man to get the first out of your sistem. I guess Alicica here is severely twisting famous choise between what's easy and what's right. In her case being with Peter fron time to time is easy cause it seems right while doing what she really wished to do makes her life way to complicaded.

      As a result, Alicia is messed up.Peter is confused. Eli is worried and Will is unhappy no matter what a coll face he's trying to make...


    5. Pink, I agree with you. It wouldn't be the first time she went to Peter thinking about Will.
      You made me think about why they started the episode with that scene and I realized that even if this season hasn't been the best for us Team Gardner lovers, they never stopped throwing us something (even if it's not near enough). I mean, I get outraged by the lack of A/W interaction, but even if they have Alicia going in Peter's direction, the relationship with Will is stil there and being mentioned. For example, her mother talking to her about him and happiness, the bottle of champagne and now this (apparentely) random opening scene. What do you think?
      It hurts me, but I do like ships with more subtle interactions other than out-in-the-open romance - that's one of the many things I like about them.

      I always like to know what other people think, because I fear that I overread some things. Glad you both agree with me about those scenes.

      you're tottaly right about the 'drive safe' scene! And that's one of the reasons I love Will...

      What's your account on tumblr? Am I maybe following you already? If not, I'd like to!

    6. Oh Jule. Twin brains.

      I completely agree - the writers are still trying to keep us engaged with Team Gardner in the little things they are doing. "Drive safe" is a great example. So too is Thanksgiving (which, minus the last two minutes, was a terrific Team Gardner episode!). I have to admit that I tend to ship couples who seem to struggle with their togetherness. I think it's because I like to watch the chase. Flash back to season one, episode 17 - "Heart." Will and Alicia's first kiss. It was 17 episodes in the making when they had that one special moment and then it wasn't until the end of season two when they had that chance again. The thing about that, however, is that we were given plenty of crumbs to follow along the way.

      While this season isn't fulfilling my Team Gardner desires, it is serving a bigger purpose in building Will and Alicia's relationship. In many ways they are more than friends, and not just because of their past, but because they have a supreme respect for one another. I also feel that they would do almost anything for each other. While Alicia had to break up with him because things were getting too complicated, she rushed to his side when she found out he was going in front of the grand jury.

      And then there was the champagne...

      Thinking about that hurts my soul.

      Now I'm going to go watch the "Drive Safe" scene again to make myself feel better. Or maybe "Heart." :)

    7. Yes, defenitely twin brains :)
      I completely agree with what you've said. Even if it seems like it, they haven't given up nor shut the door completely on Team Gardner.

      ''Heart' is one of my favorites, too. Not only because of the obvious reasons, but the case is really good and Patti Niholm is in it. It is one of my most watched when I need some cheering up. 'On Tap' makes the top of that list as well, because I love Alicia's reaction (Julianna was great) finding out about Will's second voice mail and then trying to talk to him (aside from a great case of the week).

      Unfortunately I'm very busy and I don't have the time to watch those episodes again, so I'll have to settle for the short 'Drive Safe' scene LOL.

    8. I'm following you) That's for sure. My account is http://sorinkavglazy.tumblr.com/ but it's very new and quite empty. This is my second blog (I also have one in Russian)and I'm not sure I have enough time and energy for two. And still I hope not only for a solid well-played episode but that the Kings will deliver something to put into our collection of special "subtle" moments))) You and Pink both know what I mean.


    9. Egad. "The Seven Day Rule" had all kinds of subtle moments in all the wrong ways. My Team Gardner heart is breaking for hundreds of reasons tonight. More in my latest post going up in a few hours!

  5. Your husband nailed it!

  6. Hi Pink

    Stumbled on your blog this week and am hooked. I was looking around for TGW updates as we dont get it here (I'm in Fiji and its not aired here so our only source would be the net, of course some of us here are the first to download the episodes once its aired in the US) and am so happy I can read about it here from an expert's opinion :) Keep them coming. Love from Fiji xo

    1. Welcome... and thanks for writing in! I'm so glad you were looking around for updates on TGW and landed here. I can't help but love everything about the show, as I'm sure you'll quickly find out! We're all new this coming Sunday, so try to pop by and weigh in on all the drama and intrigue :)


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