ELSBETH Post-Mortem: The Team on Elsbeth's Secret Mission and That GOOD WIFE Reference - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

ELSBETH Post-Mortem: The Team on Elsbeth’s Secret Mission and That GOOD WIFE Reference

February 29, 2024 by  

ELSBETH secret mission

Carrie Preston stars as Elsbeth Tascioni and Wendell Pierce stars as Captain C.W. Wagner in ELSBETH, a new drama based on the character featured in THE GOOD WIFE and THE GOOD FIGHT. The show follows Elsbeth Tascioni, an astute but unconventional attorney who, after her successful career in Chicago, utilizes her singular point of view to make unique observations and corner brilliant criminals alongside the NYPD. ELSBETH premiers in the 2023-2024 season on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured (L-R): Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni and Wendell Pierce as Captain C.W. Wagner. Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the ELSBETH series premiere.]

Elsbeth (Carrie Preston) officially is working with the NYPD…but her task is more complex than meets the eye.

Though she’s officially there as part of the consent decree, assigned by City Hall to oversee police activity for a year in the aftermath of wrongful arrest lawsuits, she got the (reluctant) seal of approval from Captain Wagner (Wendell Pierce) after she helped solve a case.

“You want me? You don’t want Cary Agos?” she asks Wagner. (Cary, for those new to THE GOOD FIGHT/WIFE world, was a lawyer in TGW portrayed by Matt Czuchry.)

“The department wants you,” Wagner reiterates.

“You want me, too,” she says, getting emotional, insisting they need to hug. (Wagner, however, declines that offer.)

But after he leaves, things get serious when Elsbeth gets a call from her boss. ”I think you’re wrong about him, sir,” she says. “Captain Wagner has been nice to me.”

“Nice people can be corrupt, too,” her boss insists.

Though Elsbeth is skeptical Wagner is bad—and expresses concern about pursuing what she’s been asked to—her boss is unmoved.

“Elsbeth doesn’t want to be a villain in her life,” Preston tells Give Me My Remote. “She doesn’t want to be that person. However, she is certainly, in her profession as a lawyer, quite a killer. I mean, she’s really good at what she does.”

“But I think that the conflict is going to be that she really likes Captain Wagner,” she continues. “And so she got to be conflicted as to whether or not she wants to do that. But she [says] in the pilot, ‘I want to tell the truth, I want to unveil the truth.’ And so I think the truth is hard to hear and hard to deal with. I think we certainly see that in our world as well. And what is the truth? Is it relative? I’m hoping we’ll be able to do a deeper dive into that along the way. Conflict is way more interesting to watch than everybody liking each other.”

“That is something that will continue and we’ll have surprises along the way,” teases showrunner Jonathan Tolins. “And we’ll make relationships complicated not only for Elsbeth and Captain Wagner, but also Captain Wagner and Elsbeth and Officer Kaya, who is sort of in the middle between the two of them, with each one wanting to know what the other is asking about.”

But what about the repeated Cary name-drops? Is he going to be a player in the ELSBETH world?

“We’re going to be mentioning them when it turns out to be important…he was mentioned in the pilot showing that we are still in that universe,” Tolins explains. “One of the things we’ve done is that we’ve gone back to all of the episodes Elsbeth appeared on in GOOD FIGHT and GOOD WIFE and we’ve sort of taken notes on everything that’s ever been established about her. And we are using those things as we go forward. But I will say while I think GOOD WIFE and GOOD FIGHT viewers will be rewarded by their love for this character and by the sort of general approach of the show, you do not have to know who Cary Agos is to enjoy the show.”

”I will neither confirm or deny any appearance of Cary Agos nor any other GOOD FIGHT or GOOD WIFE characters coming on this show,” he continues. “This is a show that springs from the character of Elsbeth, who came from that universe, but this is not really a continuation of that universe because they’re all in Chicago. I’m not closing the door to it, but that’s not the reason to tune in. There are plenty of other reasons to tune in.”

ELSBETH, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS


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