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The Good Wife Review: Roll in the Campaign Bus

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Lockhart/Gardner's troubles were put on the sideline this week, providing a refreshing break from the firm's never-ending turmoil.

Instead, Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) sought the lawyers' help with her problems in "Je Ne Sais What?" Whenever Elsbeth shows up, there's a lightness added to the hour due to her unintentionally humorous demeanor, thought process and speaking style.

The Good Wife Cast Pic

With performance-enhancing drugs running rampant in sports, Anna's positive doping test of an unidentified source was a timely situation for The Good Wife to address. In Anna's case, instead of a sponsor wanting to protect their endorsement, hers wanted to dump her to save money. And they weren't against using the court system's red tape to inhibit Elsbeth from representing her client.

As horrible as it sounds, that is exactly a move that Lockhart/Gardner would make if it would help them win their case. From watching The Good Wife, Suits and other legal shows, court victories are not always about getting justice, but about having the better lawyer. The ones that make the right moves, manipulate facts in their favor and don't miss anything are the ones that more often than not get the win for their client.

Elsbeth's imprisonment in Skokie, not getting bonded out, psych evaluation, court hearing in Chicago about constitutionality and then almost NOT getting bonded out again was a ridiculous use of the legal system. What a waste of money! In the end, the judge agreed and allowed her to be bonded out rather than sending her back to Skokie. For Anna, it was a blessing, because Elsbeth had a final play to prevent her suspension.

I hope that Anna's hearing was not a realistic representation of what happens. What a joke! French and English are the two official languages of the Olympics, but would a hearing held in the United States automatically be conducted in French? That seems unlikely, though it did create unique situations, so in that regard it worked. While Will didn't know French, it was a smart move bringing in Diane to assist on the case.

Her move to call out the panel for their comments in French was brilliant. It not only added credence to their case, but the men seemed to be impressed by her as well. In many ways, the hearing was a joke. The panel made the rules as they went along and arbitrarily followed them. That dragged the hearing out, but it also was what ultimately won the case for Anna. The faulty handling of the test was initially disregarded, but Elsbeth was able to use the messed up politics of the system to their advantage. Anna ended up getting her suspension overturned so she could run in the next race.

The incomplete science of the testing is problematic though and is worth noting. In Anna's case, her blood test was questioned, not because she was doping, but because she was pregnant. That's a huge flaw.  Of course, she could have revealed the pregnancy, showed her medical records and the situation would have been dropped, but that created a dilemma for her. She valued her privacy over that matter over her career and money, which demonstrated her strength.

As manipulative as Will and Diane can be at times, they showed their limits when they decided not to betray their clients secret even to win the case. If Elsbeth didn't come through with the answer in the end, I wonder if they would have held strong on that or if they would have pushed Anna to reveal the truth?

Elsewhere, Peter was having trouble with his campaign which wasn't helped by Eli and Jordan pushing opposing strategies to deal with it. I don't really care much for Peter's campaign. The troubles seem contrived and win or lose... who cares? I prefer when the show sticks with the firm's legal cases and stays far away from Chicago politics. In fact, I'd be okay if Peter disappeared entirely or only showed up for family events.

That preference has nothing to do with Alicia and Peter's roll in the hay campaign bus. However, their relationship is beyond confusing. Alicia had a quickie with him in the bathroom at Thanksgiving because she was upset at her mother and now on the bus? There's no indication that they are working on rebuilding their marriage, so why are they having sex?

Is it about satisfying needs without "cheating?" Given Peter's campaign and the rumors of indiscretions, it would make sense that Alicia wouldn't want to risk a relationship with someone else. Since it has happened twice now, they really need to talk with one another if they are going to continue in any way.

Of course, Peter isn't going anywhere. That's just wishful thinking. And, it doesn't look like Elsbeth will be leaving anytime soon either. Out of all the lawyers, Eli could select to represent him last week, I expected it to be Elsbeth. She's formidable. Odd, but formidable. Her presence could give new life and interest to the campaign storyline.

Were you glad the firm's troubles were sidelined for a week? Do you enjoy the campaign storylines? Big question: What do you make of Alicia and Peter's non-relationship relationship?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (105 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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From one of the commentators: ["I don't really want to go down the road of racial bias. I think Peter makes decisions sometimes based on personal preference but not racial bias. Lets leave that topic alone as I hear about it enough in real life."] This is the second article on this episode that avoided the issue of Peter's campaign dealing with racism. America has not changed one bit, even if its citizens pretend that it has.

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Very good episode. More Elsbeth and more Cary please. Is it just me or are there too many subplots getting started? What happened to Matthew Perry's annoying character? M.J. Fox buys the company's debt but no follow-on yet. The annoying ex-military lawyer. Lots of others. Starting to feel like Desperate Housewives. Hard to remember the various story lines that appear and then disappear for a while. Had trouble remembering how they met Elsbeth last season. NOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T GET THE WHOLE SHOW RECORDED: If your TIVO or PVR lets you add extra time at the end, set it that way. I add almost an hour to 60 Minutes during football season because the start is delayed so often. Also, if your cable includes west coast stations use them to record The Good Wife because they don't seem as likely to get delayed by football.

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I think it is about time to put the cards on the table and sit down and talk about what she wants and needs, these high school rumps are not the answer to anything but disrespect. If she has any backbone or cast iron ones there is only one answer a big fat YES, stop playing with him and put the family back on track and carry on with work and life again. If anything she needs to get away from this firm and advance herself in the law field, staying there only plays into Dianne and Wills dirty plans.

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Alicia and Peter's sex thing is to show who is in charge now. She isn't harsh or nasty about it and Peter cannot resist, it gives him hope that she's coming closer to him.This is a good example of passive aggression, she feels the need to be satisfied and perhaps familiarity is comfort, she knows he isn't going to say no, she goes in and gets some and as you can see by the way she leaves the bus, wearing a Cheshire smile. It may be the way their marriage used to be, she would give in to Peter (whenever he felt like it) and think that he was getting closer to him etc., so now the nightie is on the other back : )
BTW does anyone know the name of the final song on the episode? (Not the Edith Piaf song) I would like to hear it in its entirety. Thanks to all!
ps. Glad Kalinda's husband is out of the show! Give Cary something to do, please!

Beverly-brooks

NO Carey this week!!!

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I love Alicia and Peter together. She acts like she kind of has a thing still for Will but i hope that ship has sailed. Will is completely willing to be dishonest and Peter cheated with hookers. I think Peter might be the lesser of the two evils here. It is kind of funny how she i confusing the heck out of Peter. He seems afraid to push for clarification and looks like he has a question mark tattooed to his forehead.

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I really enjoyed Elsbeth, she always brings a sense of fun to the show. The gaming committee is probably true to form, group of pompous a$$e$ who rule according to whim. Loved Diane, she is such a charming and classy Lady. I've enjoyed her in other movies and never get tired of watching her. I like Alecia and if she wants to hook up with Peter, so what. I think they still love and respect each other. I don't really want to go down the road of racial bias. I think Peter makes decisions sometimes based on personal preference but not racial bias. Lets leave that topic alone as I hear about it enough in real life. Also the 2nd time I have set to record and due to delays miss the last of the show.

Drea-xoxo

loved it it was tgw at its best. alicia is one confused mama who needs to find a priest and beads and repent. at least the kids weren't featured long enough to annoy me. peter meh can stay in back. what happened to hotshot lady? glad kalinda live n kicking. diana so funny. sad for eli someone protect him please!!!

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@DW Do you know a thing? I'm tired. Cary will never get writers' attention. I don't know why. Maybe they hate the character. They hate the actor. Or they just hate me and everyone asked JUST for a storyline for the charcter in the last 2 years. I need to face it and then move on. Maybe watching something else, because honestly, besides Cary, there's not so much I look forward to as for that show.

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Yes, this was a good episode. Loved seeing Diane in good form. And Kalinda back in good form. Loved seeing Eli flummoxed. Loved the brilliant and whacky lawyer. More of her, please. Neither Peter nor I seem to understand Alicia's intentions in pursuing Peter for a quickie. This is twice now. If it were Peter pursuing Alicia this way, everybody would be outraged. So, what gives?

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