Home > TV and anime > Elementary: Season 2, Episode 22. Paint It Black (2014)

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 22. Paint It Black (2014)

Elementary poster

This review discusses the plot so, if you have not already watched this episode, you may wish to delay reading this.

Well Elementary: Season 2, Episode 22 Paint It Black (2014) gives us a better view of the relationship between the brothers — not the most loving might be the best way of describing the depths of the emotions on display. It seems the Diogenes Restaurant has not been doing quite as well as might be expected and, to help pay the bills, Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) has been funding the enterprise by doing a little money laundering and other minor criminal things. For these purposes, it doesn’t really matter who approached whom nor whose idea it was that Mycroft open a New York branch. The criminals wanted a foothold in America and it was achieved. Now the deal has been complicated. The criminals who routinely meet in the restaurant noticed Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) taking a photograph. She’s now kidnapped and held to persuade Mycroft to do one more small favour. A senior executive in the New York office of a Swiss bank has acquired details of customers who would prefer their account holdings remain private. He’s gone into hiding but a large group of people from the US Federal Government, various other governments, acronymed organisations, and wealthy individuals all want him and the list found. The claimed deal with the criminals using Mycroft is that they won’t kill Watson if Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) finds the missing banker first. He and Mycroft have been given 48 hours to work their magic. Except it isn’t quite as simple as that — hardly a surprise given we’ve already seen Mycroft talking with someone about forcing Sherlock to leave New York.

Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) feeling the love from Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller)

Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) feeling the love from Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller)

So while Sherlock and Mycroft use their father’s name to get into the bank and then Sherlock persuades the senior management to hire him to find their missing executive and the list, Watson is saving the life of one of the gang who has kidnapped her. It really does come in useful when you can use a bottle of vodka and a box cutter to do surgery on a kitchen table. During this humanitarian effort, the lead criminal tells Watson that Mycroft has criminal tendencies. If nothing else, this probably signals an intention to kill her (that and the fact she has seen all their faces, of course). So with her fate sealed, we watch Holmes work out where the missing man is probably hiding. It’s a not quite impossible trick which I remember seeing before in one of these CSI episodes where the height of the moon (or perhaps it was the sun) on a known date enabled the team to work out where the lakeside cabin was to be found. I suppose it doesn’t matter whether it’s actually possible. It sounds vaguely credible in both series so we should accept it. Anyway, having arrived at the right place, the Holmes boys find the banker and work out the detail of the plot.

I’m quite happy to see Holmes revert to the man who would have tortured Moran when it comes to asking Kurt Yoder (Michael Gaston) a few pertinent questions — the unadmitted love for Watson is an effective driving force. However, it’s at this point that I slightly switched off. We’re now deep into a serial as this metanarrative works its way through to the last two episodes. This incident of betrayal, while not unexpected, is not something to be lightly assessed. I might speculate, assuming we’re being canonical, that Mycroft has been working for British intelligence from the outset and this entire venture into America has been a sting operation to bring some serious criminals out into the light — the fact the British sniper calls him “Sir” is indicative. But, if that’s the case, there would be no reason to be quite so dishonest with Sherlock, or to be negotiating to try and remove him from New York. So I’m not going to play the game of second-guessing the script. If it’s satisfactorily resolved, this episode will be a good step forward. But if the explanation is fudged, which seems not unlikely, this bait and switch with Mycroft’s character will seem contrived and I’ll be glad to see the end of this season. This leaves me with two asides. The first is the fleeting presence of Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) and the complete absence of Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn). I suppose they will be given compensatory extra minutes in the next episode to make up for the script writing them out this time round. The second point of interest is Elementary: Paint It Black was directed by Lucy Liu. Credit where credit is due. This is a very professional job.

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 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 23. Art in the Blood (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 24. The Great Experiment (2014).

  1. May 3, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Just a few notes:1.) Without the ridiculous and distracting mystery of the last episode, this one was MUCH better, 2.) I am actually cheered by the “revelation” of Mycroft’s true background: I had been feeling quite put out by how badly the series seemed to have rewritten the character, 3.) I agree that it really all depends on how this arc is tied up, but at least now I’m hopeful.

    • May 3, 2014 at 3:31 am

      I agree this was better than last week but I’m not quite as optimistic as you about how this will be resolved. Only a few days to wait. . .

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