The Good Wife Review: Who's Poking the Bear?

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On an episode that saw Will and Peter go toe to toe and Diane figure out Alicia and Will may be more than colleagues, who would have guessed that the guest stars would steal the show? That's what happened on "Executive Order 13224."

Treasury Official Gordon Higgs had a love of cupcakes and a talent for being oddly intense. How could someone appear so innocuous yet come across so intimidating? Perhaps it was the threat of an eight-year prison term. 

Carrie Preston on The Good Wife

I was surprised that Alicia didn't take Will and Diane's offer of a high priced attorney. Instead, she found her own counsel in the form of Peter's former lawyer, Elsbeth Tascioni, someone for whom the term quirky is an understatement.

I was flummoxed as to why Alicia would choose this strange, scatterbrained woman to represent her. Then I finally caught on when Elsbeth used that ditzy demeanor to keep her opponent off balance... while she went in for the kill. Elsbeth turned out to be the perfect foil for Higgs and I was delighted with every scene that pitted these extraordinarily eccentric characters against one another.

Heck, even the judge was entertaining, poking fun at the attorneys whenever appropriate. He recognized how ridiculous this entire case was from start to finish but still respected that this was the law and played it out until the end.

Back on the family front, I'm not thrilled that we were revisiting Grace's interest in bible study. Didn't we wander down this road before? I'm not sure which storyline involving Grace I've found more tiresome, this one or her dance crazed tutor. 

An unconventional high point was that Jackie came back to over step her boundaries and attempt to stir up trouble. I do love to hate that woman.

Then we wandered back to the heavy hitting story lines. Peter's got his sights set on Will. The possibility of Will stealing $45,000 from a client fifteen years ago was like blood in the water for Peter, it didn't matter whose jurisdiction it was.

Peter's pissed. Will's treading all over his former territory and he's hunting for a way to take him down. Now that he's found a weapon, Peter's not about to let it go but he's smart enough not to say it out loud. Will's response?

 You're pitiful. Get a pair of balls and throw a punch. | permalink

Oh, wouldn't we all like to see that?!?

Cut to Lockhart Gardner where Will's afraid Diane's poking the bear in their court case and Diane's worried that Will's poking…well, you get the picture. The only thing better than the look on her face when she heard Alicia's ringtone over that phone was the look she leveled on Will when she asked about needing to up their insurance. Subtle? Not really but message delivered.

I loved the end with the staff watching the Sexual Harassment video. I'd swear I've sat through that video at work and it was just as eye rolling as it was here. Unfortunately, the only person who will be harassing Will or Alicia is her ex and these two need to find their own weapons, quick.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (145 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


I thought the redaction scenes were great.
" And did Dr. Bleeeeeeeeep, any comment regarding the accused."
The case not that intriguing, except for the exceptional cameo.
The pick for the best cameo is impossible to work out. Although Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni has to be on my top 3. Really can't help but smile when she's on screen. @ Melissa Have to agree with you on Alicia. Is like she slipped the last two years off. The writers gave us this strong woman. Who could not only survive in the deep end but flourish. Now they've gone and put her in shallow waters. I think her feelings toward Will have become the new OZ. As we're left to guess what or who is behind the curtain. Grace SL is really bad and the back and forth is damaging evidence. Peter going after Will is a bad move. Especially when his boots are muddier. Although it does make for some interesting TV. The Good Wife had probably one of the best seasons of any show last year. Season 3 however has been sub par. It started with a faulty premiere, that seems to have spoiled other episodes. Still in my top 5.




At one point, Alicia tells Elsbeth, in her typically understated way, that she came to her because she felt she needed to distance herself from the firm, but it was unclear to me whether that was for legal reasons or because she doesn't believe Lockhart Garnder really has her best interests at heart. I got the feeling she didn't trust Will and Diane - that if things went south on the terrorist case, they would withdraw their support and sacrifice her, especially since it was Diane who insisted that Alicia be the one to talk to Treasury. I can easily see Elsbeth as Mrs. Colombo.


I loved this episode!
not only did you have the staff at Lockhart/Gardner trying to protect their
client and also keep their heads above water.
You had Alicia having to deal with little toady Bob Balaban as the moderator
trying to scare Alicia so he could close Gardner/Lockhart.
So Alicia runs and "lawyer's Up"~ Smart move.
My first thought is that she would have run to Peter~ but no she goes to
the person who got Peter out of jail.
That person is Carrie Preston aka Arlene Fowler Bellefleur on TrueBlood!
I love this it was such a change of pace to see Carrie's humerous side
instead of her playing the Drama Queen during TrueBlood's reign.


I felt it was a really excellent episode - and I have watched every one since the very first. So many juicy, exciting moments to appreciate. As noted, the guest stars were superb this time around. Treasury henchman against quirky redhead provided for numerous laugh-out-loud-in-sheer-delight moments of brilliance. Both of them (I think) deliberately using superficial quirkiness as a guise for their lethal tactics - yet only one could emerge the victor. Despite what should be obvious - that if Alicia went to jail the show would be over - awaiting the outcome still managed to prove suspenseful and entertaining. Other thoughts: Yes, will always love to hate Jackie. Doesn't surprise me that Peter told her he would back up Alicia's point of view. Despite everything, he still doesn't want to create more waves with her within their family, most evidently when it comes to their children. Speaking of which, I also agree with the sentiments here that the kids' storylines are beyond ridiculous and eye-rolling. They have become positively irritating. Perhaps Grace sitting in Peter's office was the first halfway decent scene involving one of their kids in ages. But still - the obvious storyline tool that Grace has become to plant the conservative seed of "divorce is wrong - the bible says so" is also prepostorous and thinly written. Shame on the writers for that. On the other hand, ADORED the moment of Alicia's phone going off - that was just a priceless storytelling moment. So kudos to the writers for that. Also thought the little face-off between Peter and Will was fantastic. Will looked quietly furious and utterly unafraid of Peter, and his reminder to Peter that "only one of us has seen the inside of a jail cell" was a great way of Will pointing out a WHOLE bunch of things to Peter on many levels in one brief statement (read: this is why you don't deserve your wife anymore, because you were a scumbag). Also: did anyone notice the looks on Cary's face when he first heard about the investigation into Will? He looked almost concerned, not gleeful to hear of the details. He also seemed to cast dark glances at his new love interest when she laid out the details, and notice how he was first in the room - not Peter, the obvious choice to make the observation - that it's not their jurisdiction (almost sounded like a "just let it go" response) -- this was only verified entirely later when his opinion to Peter upon private discussion was that they should let it go. Interesting, then, how Peter said no, we're pursuing it, and you're (Cary) heading it up. Next week's preview showed Cary and Kalinda together, laid out on the street dodging breaking glass together - makes me think Cary will let Kalinda know her boss is on notice. And one last point - speaking of Kalinda - in another "despite everything" flickering moment - did you notice Alicia's indigation - and a hint of a desire to protect Kalinda from prying eyes - when Treasury guy seemed to insinuate she was a bad guy? Truly fascinating.


Everything is good, in addition to Caitlin.


Weird. It's like every other week TGW is superb. After last week's sour taste,
the show is back on A+ form. Carrie Preston was great as the quirky, slightly
scatter brained Tascioni. I just smiled when I seen her laptop with flower stickers! I still don't care for Dana, but then I don't like Cary either so their scenes
were cliched and boring. At least Caitlin was useful at work, where was Kalinda?


Alicia STATED exactly why she didn't take the lawyer that Will and Diane offered: she felt there could be a conflict of interest. She felt that if she took the lawyer, then the lawyer could hang her out to dry if he had to choose between the firm's best interests and her best interests. Therefore, it would have been sheer stupidity for Alicia to take the high priced lawyer. Besides, Elsbeth proved her worth as an attorney in Peter's case. It's not that she uses her quirkiness to throw her opponents off guard the way that blond girl use her pretty ditzy-ness to throw her opponents and judges alike off guard. I feel that Elsbeth is simply a great lawyer who happens to be a very quirky techno-phobe. And really, if I was in legal troubles, I would hire her too.


I like the red-haired female lawyer, would like to see more of her. Hate Caitlin, why there is always her, what the actors'background? RK is her uncle? Don't want to see her! P / W's confrontation is very exciting . The way D / K found in A / W designed very clever. The best episode!


i liked the ep, i think it was wise of Alicia to get her own representation, she is in a very intricate position, she sleeps witht he boss but he can't show any impatiality to her plus Dianne obviously wants to protect the firm more than she want s to protect Alicia. it's always better to be safe than sorry.
the battle between Peter and Will is bound to be epic, i will definitely enjoy it.
Grace couldn't be more stupidly written out, all her story-lines are not just ridiculous, they also feel like the writers are pulling a mickey out of her character intentionally. it almost feels like they sit down and say to themselves "How can we make Grace seem more idiotic today? and how can we make this more uncomfortable for the characters around her and the viewers?"
Where was Jackie all this time? oh here she is, poking her nose in Alicia's turf again. i thought that was a nice touch, i, too, love to hate that woman. looking forward to a face off between her and Alicia again, they are always great to watch.
i think the fact that Cary slept with his co-counsel will come to light and it will damage their case.
the sexual harassment seminar was ridiculous, we had the same thing in our uni only it was oriented to Student-Professor harassment. they are so boring. but it was nice to see the reaction from Will and Alicia and how uncomfy it made them. nice touch that they sat together exactly when the video moved on to their topic.
can't wait till next week

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The Good Wife Season 3 Episode 7 Quotes

Will: You poked the bear. I asked you not to poke the bear.
Diane: Would you stop with the bear talk.

I thought you Feds were on some sort of a budget crunch. I get two of you?