Home > TV and anime > Elementary: Season 1, Episode 9. You Do It To Yourself (2012)

Elementary: Season 1, Episode 9. You Do It To Yourself (2012)

Elementary poster

Well, this is interesting on a number of levels so we need to start with the headline. Elementary: Season 1, Episode 9. You Do It To Yourself (2012) is the first episode in which Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) has been allowed a fair share of the limelight, relegating Gregson (Aidan Quinn) to a token appearance towards the end. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve been concerned at the unfairness of all the scripts as applied to this particular support actor. Let’s hope this episode heralds a better balance between the four principals. The second feature of note is the enhanced contribution by Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). Although she’s been lurking in the background as white noise to help Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) filter out the distractions, this is the first time she’s been allowed an investigation of her own. It may not have been anything major in the real sense of the word, but it was important to her.

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller discuss the effectiveness of tea

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller discuss the effectiveness of tea

Series gain credibility by slowly building up a backstory for each of the principal characters. Here we have an ex-partner who fell into drug abuse while in a relationship with Watson. This explains how she managed to build up some expertise in dealing with addicts and could make a career change from surgeon to counsellor without pausing for breath. So although she’s no longer sleeping with this man, having “given up” waiting for him to get clean, there’s still enough affection for her to investigate whether he’s been properly arrested for a hit-and-run accident. In police photographs, she spots a missing ornament from the keychain and, when he confirms it missing, she walks the streets round the pawnshops until she finds it. Obviously, she’s inherently loyal to her friends even if they are no longer her intimate friends. It’s also pleasing to see Sherlock being supportive. Although he uses the need to avoid boredom as a smokescreen, he doesn’t have to get the police file or encourage her. She repays him by introducing him to some Traditional Chinese Medicinal tea (as prepared by her mother for the relief of high temperatures). There’s mutual bonding going on even though they are both careful around each other. Disappointingly, there’s no follow-up from our replacement sponsor and potential Irregular. That particular plot thread was obviously put on to the back burner to allow Watson some additional screen time. Even more significantly, she makes two key observations. The first is an assessment of the victim’s eye health based on a photograph of him sitting with his students. The second is about the psychology of the one probably responsible for taking out the hit on the victim. Both are critical to the solution of the puzzle and, although Sherlock might have come up with a different way of proving the case, her contribution was significant.

Jon Michael Hill and Aidan Quinn wondering how it will end

Jon Michael Hill and Aidan Quinn wondering how it will end

As to the puzzle itself, we have a fairly routine idea given quite a malicious twist as in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Thor Bridge“. The question to be resolved is actually quite simple, but the problem is proof. It’s a shame the solution has to depend on a deus ex machina element but, in the time available to pose the puzzle and solve it, this type of cheating is probably unavoidable. We have Holmes suffering a high fever but nevertheless able to identify a victim from a quick examination of the body. The additional fact of the victim’s gambling habit is nicely managed and Bell is allowed to know something Holmes does not! The analysis of the people and set-up of the gambling club is also refreshingly to the point. In a sense, this is the Holmes we want to see, making surprising statements and immediately explaining them in a form of continuous consciousness. In the previous episodes, there’s been a tendency to gloss over the Great Detective’s deductive reasoning. This episode make it more transparent and is therefore more successful. The initiative shown by the hitman in changing the place for the execution is also a delightful spanner in the works. Put all this together and you have one of the better episodes. I confess to having started watching this series with some degree of pessimism but, after Elementary: You Do It To Yourself, we have nine episodes of reasonably good or better standard. In these days of instant gratification, you can’t ask for more than that.

For the reviews of other episodes, see:
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 1. Pilot (2012)

Elementary: Season 1, Episode 2. While You Were Sleeping (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 3. Child Predator (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 4. The Rat Race (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 5. Lesser Evils (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 6. Flight Risk (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 7. One Way to Get Off (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 8. The Long Fuse (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 10. The Leviathan (2012)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 11. Dirty Laundry (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 12. M (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 13. The Red Team (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 14. The Deductionist (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 15. A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 16. Details (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 17. Possibility Two (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 18. Déjà Vu All Over Again. (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 19. Snow Angel. (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 20. Dead Man’s Switch. (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 21. A Landmark Story. (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episode 22. Risk Management. (2013)
Elementary: Season 1, Episodes 23 & 24. The Woman and Heroine. (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 1. Step Nine. (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 2. Solve For X (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 3. We Are Everyone (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 4. Poison Pen (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 5. Ancient History (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 6. An Unnatural Arrangement (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 7. The Marchioness (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 8. Blood Is Thicker (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 9. On the Line (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 10. Tremors (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 11. Internal Audit (2013)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 12. The Diabolical Kind (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 13. All in the Family (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 14. Dead Clade Walking (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 15. Corps de Ballet (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 16. One Percent Solution (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 17. Ears to You (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 18. The Hound of the Cancer Cells (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 19. The Many Mouths of Andrew Colville (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 20. No Lack of Void (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 21. The Man With the Twisted Lip (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 22. Paint It Black (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 23. Art in the Blood (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 24. The Great Experiment (2014).

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