The Good Wife Season 4 Review “Je Ne Sais What?”

The Good Wife Season 4 Episode 12 Je Ne Sais What

I enjoyed this episode of The Good Wife, and I really hope we get to see more of Carrie Preston’s Elsbeth Tascioni. She was the highlight of this episode for me.

A few thoughts about “Je Ne Sais What?”:

The case of the week was an Olympic runner, Anna, who was suing a running shoe company who breached their endorsement contract with her. The shoe company claimed that they voided her contract for non-performance after they sprung on her that the running association found her guilty of doping and she was banned from running in an upcoming race. The runner vehemently denied doping, so Will went to the running association’s arbitration panel to try to get their decision overturned. Will quickly realized that he was out of his element. To Will’s surprise and dismay, the hearing was conducted in French which Will did not speak. He called in Diane (who speaks fluent French) for backup. During the course of their hearing, they found out that their client wasn’t doping. She was pregnant and aborted her baby so she could medal in the Olympics. She refused to let Will and Diane tell the panel about the abortion because she didn’t want to break her parents’ hearts.

At the same time Diane and Will were handling that hearing, Alicia was trying to get Anna’s lawyer, Elsbeth Tascioni, out of jail on bond. The shoe company president had Elsbeth arrested on misdemeanor harassment charges so she would be unavailable to represent Anna at the hearing. They also attempted to keep her from making it to a bond court in the city so she’d be stuck in jail in the suburbs over the weekend and not out in enough time to make sure Anna could run the race on Monday. Their dirty tricks led to what has to be one of the most ridiculous hearings known to man. Ultimately, Alicia was able to get Elsbeth out on bond and she was able to show up just in the nick of time to save Anna. I thoroughly enjoyed Elsbeth and she provided some of the episode’s best scenes. She is smart, funny, and slightly crazy but she is one heck of a lawyer. She brought some much needed life to the episode and balanced out the more serious elements. Since Eli has hired her to represent him, maybe she’ll get to stick around. The show could use the almost whimsical quality she brings with her.

Peter certainly had a rough go of it this week too. Zach accidentally discovered some internal documents from Maddie’s campaign that said she was planning to hammer Peter on racial bias in his hiring/firing practices at the AG’s office. He asked one of his minority employees about it, and she confirmed that there appeared to be racial bias in his hiring/firing practices. Furthermore, he’d declined to do a speech to a minority interest group, and she advised him that had upset the group. So, Peter decided to address the group which led to what appeared to be a pretty disastrous speech. He was getting booed loudly, and it looked like he’d made a major error. However, by the end of the episode, Eli informed him that the video of his speech had gone viral on the internet and Peter was getting significant praise for bravely standing up to private interest groups. I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to play out in the end. Racial issues, just like gender issues, are a minefield and what works today may not work tomorrow. Although, I can’t really blame Peter. He was getting conflicting advice from his two campaign managers.

Two heads really are not better than one. Last week, the head of the state DNC brought in Jordan to “assist” Eli with running Peter’s campaign while Eli is being investigated. Eli was concerned that that move meant he was being pushed out of the campaign, and it looks like those fears were not unfounded. When Eli heard about Maddie’s plan to bring racial issues into the campaign, he was ready to go full steam at her. Jordan, on the other hand, said to ignore it. When Peter came to ask their opinion, they of course gave him conflicting information. That’s the problem with 2 heads. They both think they’re right. Maddie came over to discuss having debates, and Eli was trying to negotiate from 4 to 2, but Maddie wanted at least 3. Jordan said they agreed to 3, which obviously Eli didn’t. It’s not a good sign for your campaign when the 2 guys you have running it get into an argument in front of your opponent. It sends out bad signals to the campaign staff, the press, and your opponent. I can understand Eli wanting to stay and help Peter win. I mean, Eli has given up a lot to run Peter’s campaign and they’ve been through a lot together. But at the same time, if you know that your opposition is using you to drag your candidate down, then maybe it’s time to step back. I think that might be the conclusion Eli reached at the end of this episode, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m not really sure what to say about the Alicia/Peter relationship. Apparently, I’m not the only one either. Peter even sort of asked Alicia what they were doing. I mean, it’s obvious WHAT they were doing, but my question is why. Are they getting back together? Are they friends with benefits? Is Peter just Alicia’s booty call? I don’t know. It’s like they weren’t together one minute and then the next minute BOOM the show is opening with them having sex. They haven’t done anything to show how Alicia went from a standoffish relationship with Peter at the beginning of the season to being almost giddy when she called him just to say hi. Maybe it’s just me, but that just doesn’t make any sense.

I enjoyed this episode much more than I’ve enjoyed most of the episodes this season. The pace was much better than the last few episodes and I was more invested in the outcome of this week’s cases. The problem with the season in general is how totally uninteresting the major storylines are. The writing has been so-so and even the actors seem bored during some of their scenes. I’m only mildly interested in whether the firm survives bankruptcy. The race for the governorship is basically a snoozefest. And I’m more confused than interested in what’s going on with Alicia and Peter. None of it is particularly engaging. Primarily, there’s a distinct lack of urgency in any of the stories. For instance, Diane and Will have had a few moments of dealing with the (very real) possibility of losing their firm, but even they don’t seem overly concerned about it. It’s just something that gets mentioned every now and again; Clarke shows up scowling and looking frustrated; there’s a little bit of hustle and bustle then…nothing. Everyone goes back to business as usual. It seems like more of a minor irritation than the catastrophe this would represent for them. I’m not saying I want Diane and/or Will threatening to throw themselves off the roof every week, but some regular urgency would make me believe that particular storyline a bit more. So what did y’all think of this week’s The Good Wife?