Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 6 Review: An Ear for an Ear


Like a much-needed lift from the previous episode, Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 6 brings things right back to what makes the show so fun.

After the tonal shift with Season 1 Episode 5, Elsbeth brought back the perfect amount of camp by bringing in the murderous Dr. Vanessa Holmes, played by the always talented and scene-stealing, Gina Gershon.

From New Amsterdam as Jeanie Bloom to Chucky as herself, the actress’s flawless face has graced the small screen many times in recent years.

However, in true Elsbeth fashion, Gina Gershon has already been seen as the former first lady in The Good Fight Season 3 Episode 6 “The One with the Celebrity Divorce.”

Stepping back into The Good Wife universe in killer shoes, viewers are treated to her portrayal of a cosmetic surgeon turned vengeful murderess.

Sometimes the plot writes itself.

Unlike some of the previous murderers, Dr. Holmes’ own strategic scrutiny actually poses a challenge for the sometimes manic pixie dream attorney that is Elsbeth Tascioni.

It’s pretty common for highly paid and prominent doctors to be perceived as cold and calculating. In their defense, they spent the better part of their brain space absorbing soul-crushing academic literature.

Elsbeth: You seem so calm. If my colleague was brutally murdered down the hall, I’d be choking down something glazed or powdered.
Dr. Holmes: Well, I suppose I have a very strong constitution. When you cut into people for a living, it’s pretty gruesome. If I had a weak stomach, I don’t think I’d get very far.

It doesn’t appear that much room was left for Dr. Holmes to remember the Hippocratic Oath.

Still, the way she sashays into every room can only be rivaled by all the camp of Jane Krakowski in Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 2 “A Classic New York Character.”

And while the victim, also known as Dr. Astrid Olsen, was unbearable in her own right, being as fake as the silicone she injects is no reason to be executed by way of off-brand botox.

Even if that is definitely one way to prevent wrinkles.

Dr. Holmes had the tenacity, talent, and intelligence to make it to the very end as the only murderer in the series so far to get one over on the titular character.

Although, it’s hard to imagine anyone ever being prepared for or expecting a character like Elsbeth. In that regard, at least, the doctor can be given a pass.

What we actually can fault her character for is not realizing just how chatty and informative her wife would be to the police.

Honestly. All the detailed plans Dr. Holmes made, and yet keeping her overearnest wife away from the overeager attorney was somehow completely off her radar.

As amazing as Gina Gershon is in the role, she wasn’t the only scene-stealer strutting around the city streets.

Audiences were introduced to Detective Edwards, and unlike her male counterparts, her sarcasm had the precision and skill rightfully placed in an episode about surgeons.

Detective Edwards: Aren’t you a defense attorney?
Elsbeth: Yes.
Detective Edwards: Then you know that only hard evidence holds up in court. Not gut feelings from women who wear polka dots over the age of 15.

While Elsbeth is as sweet as ever, it doesn’t hurt to have something a little sour from time to time.

At her core, what made the detective so much fun to watch, was how relatable her level of impatience was, especially with some of the random things that came out of Elsbeth’s mouth.

Ooh. Look, it’s the Empire State Building. Oh, I can’t believe it, I love it so much. Don’t tell the Chrysler Building I said that.


The previous investigators all treated Elsbeth with an air of arrogance but Edwards seemed solely interested in being as efficient as possible at her job.

In the real world, detectives have to actually detect. It’s a crazy concept, but apparently, still a thing.

Let’s hope Detective Edwards is a presence that viewers will enjoy at least once more before Elsbeth Season 1 wraps up.

Speaking of the end of the road, things are really starting to rev up now that Captain Wagner is wise to the true intentions behind Elsbeth’s assignment in New  York.

They just about squared off in the most subtly unsubtle way that two people who toe the line of workplace conduct can.

Elsbeth: The guard was worried about corruption. ‘Cause he knew that accepting any amount of money was wrong. That he could lose a stable job, even be on the hook for future favors.
Captain Wagner: Favors can be misinterpreted. Like how I helped your son get a new job. Someone might view you as exploiting the police force you are here to oversee.

Whether it’s a compulsion or moral conviction, Elsbeth just can’t help but lay all her cards on the table when face to face with a suspect. And supervisors are clearly no exception.

The most bittersweet aspect of “An Ear for an Ear” is that Officer Kaya was fully present from beginning to end, showcasing her grounded but soft approach to handling Elsbeth and yet another murder case.

There must be a surge of NYC real estate on the market with so many victims dropping like flies.

Sadly, as was expected, Kaya finds herself caught between two people with whom she has strong emotional ties. Not to mention, her career in law enforcement will be affected, whether the outcome is good or bad.

Thankfully, the beloved officer is much more forthcoming with her involvement by confronting Elsbeth directly about the whole situation.

At the very least, viewers now know what specific kind of corruption the captain might be caught up in.

But if that last-minute scene of shady figures with clear connections to Wagner meeting under the bridge is any indication, things might be more cut-and-dry than expected.

The show has a “howcatchem” premise after all.

Could Captain Wagner really be guilty of corruption? Or could things run deeper than even Elsbeth’s talent can deduce?

And most important of all, will Elsbeth ever find her own place in the city?

Drop a comment below and let us know where you think the road leads for this plucky crime-solving show!

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Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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