Home > TV and anime > Elementary: Season 1, Episode 14. The Deductionist (2013)

Elementary: Season 1, Episode 14. The Deductionist (2013)

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Elementary: Season 1, Episode 14. The Deductionist (2013) starts us off with Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) actually using himself as bait to catch two robbers. I’ve been waiting in hope of an investigation of a crime other than homicide so I was initially filled with hope. Which was then almost immediately dashed as we transitioned into the now obligatory multiple murder scenario. The only innovation is lip service paid to the notion of an inverted crime theme with us able to watch the serial killer come to the hospital in chains and then slaughter the operating staff to facilitate his departure. Shortly thereafter, he kills several other people for no reason other than to confuse the FBI profiler, Kathryn Drummond (Keri Matchett). In other words we dropped from a potentially interesting investigation of vice used as a means of home invasion and burglary, and morphed into a saga of revenge.

As a subplot, Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is questioning where she should live. From her immediate point of view, it seems she prefers not to move more permanently into the brownstone occupied by Sherlock Holmes. To keep her options open, she therefore wants to keep her current apartment available as a bolt hole. Unfortunately, she discovers the current tenant has been using her home as the setting for a hard core porn film. This has meant abuse of her sofa and kitchen equipment. Worse, the owner of the block is also aware of the illegal use of the apartment by her subtenant. He proposes to terminate her lease. Fortunately she’s able to use her growing powers of observation to notice something significant in the amateurish film. This produces a not unacceptable compromise outcome to preserve a precautionary option for evacuation. Her powers of observation are also available for the benefit of Holmes as more of her medical expertise comes to his rescue.

Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) growing closer to Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller)

Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) growing closer to Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller)

That said this entire episode is somewhat thin and growing less credible by the minute. It seems Inspector Gregson (Aidan Quinn) has more or less dropped back into the same routine as before. For all there’s a reference back to the previous unilateral action by Holmes, his reaction at the end of this episode is completely implausible. If he was angry with Holmes for taking off with Moran, why is this not just as bad? It’s a pathetic excuse that Holmes texted Gregson. This is exactly the behaviour up with which Gregson said he would not put. The fact Holmes just used a big stick and not a knife or gun is neither here nor there. He’s putting himself above the law for entirely selfish reasons. What makes this all the worse is Watson considering her role in the light of the profile written by Kathryn Drummond. In that profile, Drummond asserted that Holmes would never be able to find a friend. Watson pauses at this point and looks Holmes in the eye. She then says something to the effect that Drummond was wrong. She, Watson, has become Holmes’ friend. This is the kind of emotional commitment the scriptwriters should be avoiding. They are making it physically difficult for Watson to move out while edging her towards some an unfortunate commitment with possible romantic overtones.

So this all leaves me profoundly dissatisfied. The means whereby Holmes tracks down the escaped serial killer is seriously improbable. The relationships between Holmes and both Watson and Gregson are increasingly lacking realism and poor Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) is hardly getting a look in. Elementary: The Deductionist does not augur well for the future.

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 9. You Do It To Yourself (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 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).

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  1. February 11, 2013 at 5:25 am | #1

    WARNING: SPOILERS.

    Just caught up on this one, and found it dissatisfying for a whole ‘nother reason; our family-minded serial killer escapes using a barely plausible technique–which requires his sister’s help. Supposedly they didn’t communicate and yet his escape needed serious planning (the help of the anesthesiologist and time to learn an eastern meditation trick), yet the donor request was an emergency-situation.

    It should have been instantly plain to Holmes and EVERYONE ELSE, once Holmes cleverly deduced the method, that the escape was planned and the sister had to be involved. Instead it was left to Watson much later do deduce from the sister’s kitchen that her kidney problem couldn’t be as it seemed.

    On the other hand, the whole situation with the Deductionist Paper–and Holmes’ real fear that he is doomed to self-destruct–is a very interesting character arc.

    • February 11, 2013 at 10:30 am | #2

      Not having watched Superbowl, I had no idea we were getting two for the price of one this week. I couldn’t agree more with your analysis. Selecting this episode for such a high-profile time-slot was a serious miscalculation. It was, on every count, one of the worst episodes to date.

  1. April 5, 2014 at 12:38 am | #1
  2. April 12, 2014 at 12:04 am | #2

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