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Friday, 5 of March of 2021

The Good Wife – “Je Ne Sais What?”

“This guy’s obsessed with Rambo. Does anyone even watch that anymore?”

The Good Wife Title Card s3I say things and they happen.

Last week, I said that L/G needed to hand off Eli to another lawyer, preferably Elsbeth, to handle the DOJ investigation happening, and whamo! I should ask for other things to happen. Tell me what to ask for you in the comments, otherwise I’ll use my powers for evil (like asking for David Lee to only appear in Gilbert & Sullivan garb).

After a lot of booms (see what I did there?) in the previous episode, “Je Ne Sais What?” is a much lighter episode, and we’re all the better for it, really. There’s plenty of (easy) humor, and a bit of advancement on the political campaign, making it just the right sort of episode before we enter the back half of the season.

I liked that the twisty legal proceedings were essentially doubled as we had Alicia trying to get Elsbeth out of lock-up in the suburbs and then Will (and later, a so elegant Diane) trying to make sure an athlete kept her lucrative endorsement and reputation (great timing, show!) in front of an international athletics board. The Elsbeth portions sort of dragged a bit for me, but I liked the little set pieces, including her psych exam, her conversation with Kalinda (People of Chicago: Ask Elsbeth to encrypt your notes so Kalinda can’t make sense of them (finally, something Kalinda can’t do)), and the absurdity of the parking garage leasing. But they all did drag because it was clear that Elsbeth wouldn’t be freed until the 11th hour so she could swoop in and get the win (more on that in a second).

Which left Will floundering for a little bit. There are few things I like more than the ever-confident Will being at a loss and getting supremely annoyed at his own inability to do what he lives to do, and his showdown with the athletic board, and their standard procedural of speaking and parlaying in French plays this up to a tee. This isn’t something he can use legal trickery to get out of: He just doesn’t have the necessary skills to survive. Enter Diane and her knowing, cosmopolitan smile and easy French that quasi-woos the main French judge (played with the condescending European-ness that Ronald Guttman excels at). While the two did they best, and even identified the right end game — flipping the German judge — it turned that Elsbeth, as almost always, was 10 steps ahead of everyone and already had a Rambo-style takedown all prepared already.

And it’s why Elsbeth is the perfect person to help Eli out. Not only does Eli not exactly cope well with her eccentricities, but she’s crafty and clever enough to deal with Wendy Scott Carr. Maybe we’ll get that showdown between the two of them we were promised last season but never really happened.

Meanwhile the political campaign continues. Jordan remains something of a non-entity for me. Saying that Peter shouldn’t pick at the racial “scab” and then being sort of right when Peter’s speech to a minority’s rights group sort of bombs isn’t him being smart or clever or showing why he should be there, it’s just a set of actions that makes it look like he’s clever. There’s a storytelling difference between the two, and it doesn’t impress me, nor explain why he’s some sort of wunderkind.

But Peter sitting down with Geneva was easily the highlight of the plot this week. It’s deftly written and acted in that it shows how Peter screwed up in his hiring and firing practices (once again, the show turns its potential criticisms in an excellent plot point) without making him look like a horrible racist. I’m glad the show’s returning to this issue of race, as it was one of the stronger aspects of the show’s universe back when Peter was campaigning and finding Jesus in Pastor Isaiah’s church, and then it sort of dropped it. I hope we get more of it.

Sorry for the brief thoughts this week, but I had a medical procedure today (I’m fine, no worries), so I’m sort of out of it today. I just wanted to get this taken of before it was too late in the week and I fell out of the habit of writing about the show on a weekly basis again.


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