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Elementary: Season 2, Episode 17. Ears to You (2014)

March 8, 2014 4 comments

Elementary poster

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

The pun in the title is almost excruciating and beneath contempt, but here we go with Elementary: Season 2, episode 17. Ears to You (2014). I suppose we should be grateful the producers didn’t go with “Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow”. Worse we’re pursuing the overdone metaphor of reformed cocks inhabiting the same house as Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) is still in the brownstone after nineteen days and incapable of going quietly into the night (or anywhere else for that matter). The only good thing about the presence of the cocks is that, in the end, they (or their feathers) are responsible for the satisfactory resolution of the difficulty between Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Lestrade. While we wait, you can see why Holmes might be working on the construction (and disarming) of bombs. Of course Lestrade is overflowing with job offers, but speaking only a curious version of British English, he’s disinclined to take off for Brazil or any other foreign parts.

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, a man called Gordon Cushing (Jeremy Davidson) opens a package and finds two severed ears which does rather recall The Adventure of the Cardboard Box. This man is somewhat notorious because, four years ago, he was suspected of doing away with Sarah Cushing (Cara Buono), his wife, but there was not enough evidence to go to trial. Along with the hearing aids there’s a ransom note offering whatever remains of his wife for a cash sum. This is allegedly the second time he’s been asked for money. One year after his wife disappeared, he left $1 million under a tree, but the good tooth fairy failed to leave any part of his wife under a convenient pillow. When Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and the NYPD organises the transfer of the latest demand ($4 million for the best bits) it all goes wrong when the man jumps off the subway platform and walks down the tunnel. Gordon thinks this is a bad idea and, when the police track them down, Gordon is standing over the body of the man with an iron bar. This presents an interesting problem. DNA confirms the ears do belong to his wife so she was alive “yesterday”. Gordon has no real motive to stage any of this just to prove his wife is still alive — he’s pleading self-defence to killing to ransom collector.

Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) and Watson (Lucy Liu)

Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) and Watson (Lucy Liu)

Meanwhile, Lestrade is having an anxiety attack. For years he traded on Sherlock’s good name. Now he’s forced to look for work again, he’s aware he’s not really competent enough to do many of the jobs on offer. He advises Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) to enjoy her life basking in the shadow of the great man because, once her mentor moves on, she’ll be yesterday’s news (again). This leads Watson to begin a course of therapy. Since Lestrade lacks self-confidence, she gets two files on recent muggings in the vicinity of the brownstone and tells him to find the guy responsible. She asks him to remember that Holmes identified him as competent when they worked together in London. She invites him to remember he’s a detective and stop wallowing in self-pity.

The analysis of the dead body with Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) allowed a moment of screen time is interesting as we discover this is a man of little education, possibly a recent immigrant, and not a man who, three years ago, collected a $1 million in ransom. He’s just a messenger boy but with Alcoholics Anonymous tattoos. This leads them to AA meetings in an area matching a keyring in his possession where, surprisingly, they meet Sarah. We then get into the fringes of science fiction. When it comes to tissue engineering, we’re approaching the time when it might be possible to grow human ears or a nose in a laboratory, but scientists are still some years away from being able to run clinical trials. For the pair which appeared in this version of the cardboard box to have been grown in this less than a clinically secure environment is literally impossible today. Although I’m not averse to scriptwriters getting creative when it comes to elements in a murder mystery, this seems to be going rather beyond acceptable limits. Just because it’s an ingenious solution to the initial problem does not make it appropriate.

As to the resolution of the Lestrade case, he shows why he’s a good detective and a terrible judge of character. Although he tracks down the mugger, his complete inability to understand how the feather came to be in the man’s apartment defies belief. But that’s the quality of the man and it’s a quite remarkable act of humility for Holmes to fall in with the delusion. Although it’s self-interested and does get the man out of the brownstone, it shows Holmes able to think quickly on his feet and make good decisions under pressure. Between them, Holmes and Watson have given the man enough self-confidence to leave America in search of a better future. No doubt they devoutly hope never to see him again. Although the plot element featuring Lestrade was quite interesting, the mystery portion was less so, leaving Elementary: Ears to You slightly below average.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 16. One Percent Solution (2014)

March 2, 2014 5 comments

Elementary poster

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

Sometimes the use of symbolism gets a little out of hand as the scriptwriters try to find the best metaphors for capturing the essence of their latest episode. Elementary: Season 2, episode 16. One Percent Solution begins with Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) “rescuing” two cocks from the evil clutches of the animal welfare people — the birds had been in line to make sushi of each other at a fight. He has this theory that two bird trained by their genes and several months, if not years of practice, can be induced to give up their fighting ways and live in peaceful coexistence. All it takes is Sherlock’s gentle voice and the threat of bees stinging them to death if they fail to co-operate. In parallel, Holmes and Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) are called to the scene of a bomb explosion. Several bankers and senior officers at the Treasury and Department of Labor have been exterminated. No loss, you may think but the Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) must be seen to go through the motions. Unfortunately, there’s already a consultant on the scene. Yes, it’s the ever-lovable Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) (as in Step Nine, the opening episode for this season) who’s moved from the London Metropolitan Police force to private consultancy. Years of taking the credit for Sherlock’s brilliance have landed him a top job with the boss of the now deceased banker. This brings the two cocks together again and the eyeballs are soon rolling in the heads of Holmes and Watson as Lestrade proceeds to make a fool of himself in the hospital with one of the survivors. Then someone, possibly a bomber with a known record calling himself Aurelius, claims responsibility for the bomb. Holmes is sceptical. In previous notes, Aurelius has never directly quoted from the Greek philosophers, but demonstrated a reasonable understanding of their work. This note is mostly quoted content and therefore suspicious.

Lestrade then further endears himself by having the dynamic duo thrown out of his boss’s office when they try to explore whether the banker at the table might have been the target, and then asking Joan if she would like to come and work for him. So Holmes is forced into treating Lestrade as a potential conspirator in the bombing. Yes, there was a young server at the restaurant who could have placed the bomb and then went into hiding, but Holmes is unconvinced. In due course, Holmes uncovers evidence that Lestrade’s boss has an unorthodox approach to sexual gratification. This forces Lestrade to confess he’s been acting as the man’s pimp. This line of inquiry having proved a dead end, Holmes is then forced to go back to the other victims sitting around the table. Fortunately, the arrival of a blackmail letter discloses the motive and the identity of the bomber.

Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee)

Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee)

This type of episode is somewhat annoying because it assumes the killer will be unduly afraid of detection and so impatient to cash in. The killer has decided to “blame” Aurelius, a bomber with a track record of setting off anti-establishment bombs. The involvement of an angry member of the Occupy Movement who worked in the restaurant further muddies the waters. Whereas the server is intended to be visible, the FBI has had a task force looking for Aurelius for years. The chances of the scapegoat being found are minimal and the chances of getting away the the crime good. It’s therefore premature to use the threat of blackmail. Waiting until the next opportunity for profit would have been the safest and most profitable bet. Yet the killer is required to give him/herself away in the final section of the show. That way, we can have sight of the two retired cocks fraternising while Lestrade intrudes, looking to stay in the brownstone until he can find another job.

I suppose this episode is interesting both because of what it says about the lives of those in subordinate positions, and because of the greater degree of flexibility in Sherlock’s interpersonal skills. Throughout the episode, we’re shown how awful life is as a second-in-command. The banker who died was plotting a coup to depose his boss, Lestrade’s assistant is well-paid but treated like dirt, Lestrade is regarded as nothing better than a pimp by his boss, and Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) is almost invisible. Only Watson is given a free pass because she’s treated as more of an equal. Then there’s Sherlock’s willingness not to assume the worst of Lestrade. Holmes could have gone to Gregson with his evidence but waits to hear Lestrade’s explanation. He’s plainly exasperated by the man but still not prepared to drive him away. I’m not sure if this is a step forward but it’s certainly an interesting development. On balance, this leaves me thinking Elementary: One Percent Solution is slightly above average.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 15. Corps de Ballet (2014)

February 8, 2014 2 comments

Elementary poster

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

Elementary: Season 2, episode 15. Corps de Ballet (2014) confirms an emerging pattern of separate but shared lifestyles in the brownstone. Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) can entertain “friends” in the front room so long as there’s a suitable warning notice on the door (obviously the couple are completely silent in their activity making the notice necessary), and Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) supplies the postcoital coffee. The platonic partners confirm his busy sexual schedule with teacher, mortician (not to be confused with the magician), and pastor being the most recent visitors. We should be grateful he’s not becoming a sex addict otherwise things might get out of hand or whatever part of the anatomy is involved. Anyway, we’re now back into classic episode mode with a murder in the introduction. This time, a corpse is literally cut in two in the flies gallery above stage with the bits dropping down on to the dancers below as they rehearse. It has a certain melodramatic quality. Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) is waiting for them on stage and Watson is able to meet and greet Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) who, despite not being allowed to carry a gun, is nevertheless back on duty in the field. Ever the eager beaver, he’s found a box cutter marked with an iris which shows the ownership of one of the dancers (that’s Iris Lanzer (Aleksa Palladino), one of the stars of the ballet).

So now the story forks. Watson goes off to see a homeless man who’s been arrested for creating a disturbance in the streets because he can’t find his friend. Holmes and Bell go off to interview the ex-boyfriend of the murder victim. He’s got an alibi so, in the hope of getting co-operation from Iris the difficult diva, Gregson and Bell call her in for interview. When she’s divaish and tells them she’s going off to Montreal, they arrest her — it was her box cutter and she has no alibi. Holmes registers his scepticism as to her guilt. Meanwhile Watson has verified that a man may actually be missing and so justifies the homeless one’s distress. She goes to see Bell about it.

Jon Michael Hill, Lucy Liu, Jonny Lee Miller and Aidan Quinn

Jon Michael Hill, Lucy Liu, Jonny Lee Miller and Aidan Quinn

The following day, the door to the front room opens and out comes Iris. Sherlock’s collection of professions is proceeding according to plan and he’s now convinced she’s innocent because she has an injury to her right shoulder which would have prevented her from lifting the body up into the flies above the stage. This leaves him looking at her attorney, the stalking paparazzi photographer, and anyone else who might have had the motive. Meanwhile Watson has found the missing man’s sister and evidence emerges that Iris was “seeing” the deceased. Yes, she not only swings both ways when she dances.

This would have been a fairly routine episode but for a surprising moment of sharing between Holmes and Watson in which she explained that her birth father is schizophrenic and lives on the streets. The family we’ve already met is a stepfather and stepsister (season 1, episode 10). In a way that not only explains her current volunteering at a homeless charity, but also her involvement in helping deadbeat addicts like Holmes. As a piece of acting, her “confession” worked well — it also gave Holmes a chance to “empathise” and that’s where I’m less certain the script rings wholly true. We’ve been watching Holmes become less self-absorbed and more aware of other people’s feelings as this season has progressed. It forms an ironic counterpoint to the sequence of women he apparently beds without getting in any way involved, that he can be influenced by and involved with the one woman he’s not sleeping with. If this had remained purely theoretical, I would have been seriously impressed. But I’m not convinced Holmes would modify his behaviour to physically go out into the park in winter to distribute some of his own clothes to the homeless. Despite this, Elementary; Corps de Ballet showed a determined Watson crack her case (albeit with some inadvertent help from Holmes with the identification of the cigarettes), the scriptwriters refused the coincidence of both cases being linked, and Holmes was able to acquire proof of the killer’s guilt (I confess to being slightly sceptical a judge would have given a blanket search warrant on mere suspicion but, hey, this is fiction). So this was another slightly better than average episode.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 14. Dead Clade Walking (2014)

February 1, 2014 4 comments

Elementary poster

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

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 14. Dead Clade Walking (2014) starts us off with Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) considering the possibility of a trepanning by electric drill to release his evil humours. If it were not for these annoying messages from Randy (Stephen Tyrone Williams), the new addict for whom he’s accepted some responsibility, he would no doubt get right down to it just behind the right ear. But he’s decided to take his duty seriously. On his way out, he meets Gay, who is, and Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) tells him she’s continuing to work through his cold cases file. She has a clue on an old murder, but duty calls Holmes away when Randy messages. So then we’re into the “do as I say, not what I do” part of the advice from one addict to another. When the implied question of Sherlock’s relationship with Moriarty is raised, this forces Sherlock to admit his own performance leaves much to be desired. Randy continues his campaign of distraction. Holmes, of course, has a solution to Randy’s problem. Since the return of Randy’s girlfriend is the threat to him staying clean, all Holmes has to do is engineer her arrest and return to Chicago. Except when it comes to the crunch, he can’t be that coldblooded. Even he can see it would be too destructive to Randy to unilaterally whisk his girlfriend away. But since Randy won’t stop pestering him, Holmes is uncertain what to do.

The result is interesting on two levels. First, Holmes has enough self-knowledge to know he can’t make Randy do anything he doesn’t want to do. The action to solve the problem has to come from Randy. He therefore bluntly tells Randy what to do and leaves it to him. Second, when Randy walks out of their meeting and then cuts off communication, Holmes has sufficient investment in the man to worry about him. Indeed, we can say Holmes fails to sparkle in this investigation. He’s merely efficient. When Randy eventually comes to the brownstone and confesses he fell off the wagon, there’s no condemnation. Only acceptance of what was inevitable and then, without comment, Holmes takes Randy off to a meeting. This is a well-managed intervention in Randy’s case and, with the girlfriend told to leave, Randy can now start a new count of the days clean. It’s good to see Holmes willing and able to take the role of sponsor seriously. Even though his empathy may be at vestigial levels, he’s still able to get the right results by mining his own experiences as an addict for the best strategy.

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) offering DIY trepanning

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) offering DIY trepanning

As to the cold case, Watson and Gay find the rock in the yard where the three-year-old murder occurred and, after it’s x-rayed, the dinosaur rears its ugly head (not trepanned). The continuing point for us to consider is the effect of addiction. Holmes took money from the victim’s parents but obviously failed to give the case his best efforts. At times, he was a high-functioning addict and the heroin enhanced his investigative skills. He finds it emotionally distressing to confront the times when he failed and he’s less than engaged in the case now. With Randy continuing his campaign of distraction, Watson is allowed time undisturbed to develop an elegant theory of who might have given the dinosaur to the victim and what this smuggler might be doing now. This is sufficiently impressive to get Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) out of his chair and into surveillance mode. However, the man they arrest seems genuinely not to have been aware of the value of the rock and, more importantly, not to have had a motive to kill the best man at his wedding. While the interrogation proceeds (including Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) for a token line of dialog), a fake ICE man appears and calmly acquires the dinosaur. This is impressive because anticipating the real ICE agent’s arrival implies inside information. Sherlock has his own sources including the erotically minded C who has heard whispers about The Magpie (presumably with some, but not all, his clothes on). Yet when this man is lured into communicating with Watson, he’s found dead when the duo arrive at his home.

As murder cases go, this has an elegant simplicity about it. Once we know the motive is suppressing evidence as to when the dinosaur died, there are only a limited number of experts whose reputation would be damaged if their theory of a mass extinction event was disproved. That the revelation is delayed by further bone purchases on the black market and the unlikely transfer of DNA material is padding. Yes, for once, the scriptwriters obviously thought the murder strand was sufficiently thin to need an extra few minutes adding. Again I’m forced to disagree with this scripting decision. There was more than enough scope in the Randy situation to give it proper time to develop. It would have been far more interesting to make Randy into a more substantial character and to allow Watson a better chance not to advise Holmes on what to do. So Elementary: Dead Clade Walking was one of the better episodes but not as good as it could have been.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 13. All in the Family (2014)

January 13, 2014 4 comments

Elementary poster

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

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 13. All in the Family (2014) has us back in the saddle with the problem of Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) who continues to lurk out of everyone’s sight in Demographics, this rather strange counter-terrorism unit established by New York state. Somewhat surprisingly, Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) prefers to stay out of all the politics surrounding Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) as they consult with the NYPD. He’s the man who brought in Holmes and defended him to the hilt. It doesn’t entirely run true he would now be acting indifferently to their plight. This leaves our dynamic duo working their way through all the detectives in the department, serially falling out with each of them. In their latest case, they instigate the arrest of a guard at the Aster Museum and, when they dramatically prove he done stole the golden egg, the detective throws them out of the interview room and takes all the credit for the arrest. I’m probably alone in wondering how this consulting exercise is paid for. After the judicial inquiry into the lead-up to Bell’s shooting, the powers-that-be must be aware of the pair’s activities. There must be regular performance reports whether money changes hands or not. So even if the pair are public spirited and donate their services pro bono, the Commissioner must be satisfied as to the quality of their work otherwise he would have thrown them out on their collective ear. What this or other detectives may claim in the clearance of crime seems slightly irrelevant. If the Commissioner continues to authorise payment to them, this confirms he attributes the high clearance rate directly to the pair’s activities.

Putting this speculation to one side, one thing is clear. Holmes and Watson would have a better time if Bell would return to Gregson’s department and resume working with them. Hence, this is the episode to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. So when Deputy Commissioner Frank Da Silva (Peter Gerety) sends Bell (and armed sidekick) to an oil recycling facility to investigate a report of strange behaviour, Bell quickly finds the only barrel out of think-of-a-high-number that contains a dead body. It’s a knack or flair or just what the script requires to get Sherlock and Watson involved. And to maintain our quota of coincidences, it turns our Watson is an expert on the Mob and can recognise Handsome Bobby even if his hands and head have been removed. Fortunately, there’s nothing sinister in her being able to recognise a mobster’s naked leg. He was notorious for showing it off back in the day. Yes our Joan grew up in Queens and so knows everything there is to know about local criminal celebrities. When Papa Pardillo (Paul Sorvino) comes into the mortuary, he’s able to confirm the scars belong to his son. Now it looks as though an old feud is returning to haunt the New York families. In due course, Scalice (Fulvio Cecere), one of the men employed by the rival Big Teddy Ferrara (Vincent Curatola), is killed by a car bomb.

Holmes and Bell resume a working relationship

Holmes and Bell resume a working relationship

After the last couple of episodes, I would like to be able to confirm this as equally impressive. But it isn’t! In fact, it has almost no redeeming features at all. People move around, say things and do stuff mechanically. Stereotypically stupid detectives and Italian American mob types dominate. All that’s required is a crisis which gives Holmes the chance to talk with Bell again. There are minor confessions: Holmes was an addicted but has recovered. Bell is trading on his tremor without giving rehabilitation the chance to work a miracle. Sigh. Whereas the last episode was full of interesting ideas about the psychology of the characters, this is threadbare. I really don’t believe Bell would be influenced by such an attack on his motives. And the whole plot to incite a mob war is laughably unlikely and a horrendous coincidence given Bell’s arrival in this unit (or are we supposed to believe Bell was recruited so he could be used in this way?). Whereas the story arcs to advance Holmes, Watson, Mycroft and Moriarty have been significantly impressive, this is pure contrivance to get our fourth lead back into play. He even gets his old desk back. Well that saves having to place new camera angles into the set. Production can just resume as if nothing happened.

So let’s take a moment to think about the plot. Bell did the entirely human and instinctive thing when he put out his arm to “save” Homes”. For all the rocks in the road of their relationship, he cannot stand by and watch the man shot. So what does he expect as the reaction? Bell is always pushed as a good detective. He’s even supposed to have the Holmes imprimatur as one of the best in the department. Although, truth be told, we’re never really shown any signs of startling initiative and insights. In his brief appearances, he’s presented as a nuts and bolts guy who gets the job done when he’s told what to do. But let’s take this “good detective” thing and run with it. He should understand Holmes. He can’t avoid noticing his indifference to others. Although Holmes was very helpful when Bell’s brother came on to the scene, nothing changed in the relationship between Holmes and Bell. There never has been anything “special” on display. Bell has been just one of the sheep Holmes shepherds around when he consults. So Bell should not be expecting Holmes to follow him to hospital, lurk by his bed and gush tears of gratitude and guilt when Bell regains consciousness. Bell should be expecting what he gets, i.e. after a period for reflection, Holmes comes in with a once in a lifetime offer of treatment at the best clinic in the world. So we’re supposed to believe Bell would punish himself (and so punish Holmes?) by turning down this incredible offer? And then wallow in self-pity when his arm didn’t immediately get better? Is this an intelligent and dedicated officer or what? In fact, I’ve never thought Bell’s behaviour following the shooting to be rational. Which means this tepid “be true to yourself” appeal should sink like the proverbial lead balloon. Overall, this makes Elementary: All in the Family implausible and rather boring.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 12. The Diabolical Kind (2014)

January 12, 2014 6 comments

Elementary poster

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

Elementary: Season 2, episode 12. The Diabolical Kind (2014) starts in the brownstone world of Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). He’s happy up on the roof with his bees where, close to his heart, he hides the letters he has been exchanging with Jamie Moriarty (Natalie Dormer). In these letters, he reflects on his own unhappiness and the problems of those around him. If nothing else, this shows an evolving empathy through which he begins to see how unsatisfactory life is for the others in his life. Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is engaged in a serial dating ritual in which she meets potential mates only to be disappointed. Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) remains in love with his wife, but equally seems tinged with sadness and regret at the way things have turned out. Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) struggles with his disability and so is wrapped up in himself to the exclusion of others who might help him reach an accommodation with himself. While Holmes himself cannot avoid melancholia. Perhaps his inability to stop thinking about Moriarty is a sign of weakness that can only be put in abeyance when the next interesting case comes along, but he does at least feel.

Now we come to the trigger event. High-tech kidnappers abduct a girl and demand a ransom of $50 million. Holmes recognizes the voice as belonging to a man who acted as Moriarty in previous dealings. He therefore discloses the twenty-seven letters from Moriarty, explaining he has maintained the connection out of scientific interest. Now, it seems, he has a reason for actually going to see her. It turns out that, instead of being inside a supermax prison, she has relatively comfortable surroundings in a black site run by the FBI in the Brooklyn Naval Yard. Moriarty has made no admissions of criminal wrongdoing, but has been trading information for “concessions”. Not unnaturally, the appearance of Holmes, Watson and Gregson in her warehouse holding facility elicits a smile and an offer of help in return for more “concessions”. The FBI has a list from which they could choose. Given the seriousness of the case and without asking for Gregon’s permission, the US Government release Moriarty from custody so she can help.

It’s a pleasing set-up even if not terribly credible. So now let’s come to what this episode is actually about. If we go back in time, we have a man who was always on the verge of a breakdown: brilliant but unstable, easily bored and so at risk of addiction to distracting substances. The trigger for pushing him over the edge was manufactured by Moriarty. He spent at least two years scraping the bottom of a physical and emotional barrel and then, to his surprise, a rescue operation succeeded. The mechanism is inherently ironic. He was tipped into an abyss through his love of a woman and he’s shown how to climb out of it by another woman. In contemporary times, these two women therefore hold the soul of the man. He still loves the first and, in a so far platonic way, he’s dependent on the other. Perhaps not surprisingly, the relationship between these two women is strained. The first woman is potentially jealous. The second being an empath, is protective of the man she rescued.

Natalie Dormer is back as Jamie Moriarty  with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in oils.

Natalie Dormer is back as Jamie Moriarty with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in oils.

In many contexts, both insect and animal, there are lifecycles in which the young go through a metamorphosis. What begins with one shape later emerges into the world with a different shape and behaviour. For these purposes, let’s assume that two individual humans are born with a psychopathic disorder, i.e. with diminished empathy and a general lack of remorse. They meet and form an attachment. I would like to call it love but, in this early state, it’s probably not something the rest of humanity would recognise as love. Then one falls into a pupal or resting form from which he emerges with a changed point of view. He’s now able to modify his own behaviour depending on how others perceive him. We can think of this as being the first step in becoming a more social animal. While it may not be true empathy, it does depend on the ability to observe and understand how others feel and see the world. So if the first can transform, can the second follow in his footsteps?

For these purposes, let’s assume the second individual is a woman and she can be threatened in a primal way. For example, no matter how great the degree of disorder, a woman who has given birth is always vulnerable to a threat to her own child. This is something she would take as a personal threat. She would respond to it in a protective way. Having dealt with that threat, would she run away? Well, here’s the rub. If she escaped, she would have to go on the run and might never see the man again. This might be distressing to her. Now let’s assume she might have enough information of criminal activity to be able to “buy” her freedom. If she sincerely believed the US government would give her freedom, she could also believe it possible to resume an open relationship with the man — assuming he would have her, of course. That might induce her to surrender herself back into custody. She’s removed the threat. Now she can resume planning for the possibility of freedom and a relationship with the man. To perfect this plan, all she has to do is transform herself. She felt for her own child. She feels some emotion for the man. Can she take the next step? He would have to believe a metamorphosis possible, otherwise he would never wait. The one fly in all this ointment, though, is that she’s just slaughtered several men (and attacked the nice gay jailor). So the government has a steeper hill to climb if it’s officially to free her.

Both in the intelligence of the ideas and in the sensitivity of the acting, this episode of Elementary has proved to be one the best pieces of television I’ve seen in the last year. Let’s hope The Diabolical Kind signals the start of a year of not less than good episodes — as a final thought, Marcus Bell was seen but not heard for ten seconds. There’s just not enough room in such meaty episodes for everyone to have a good part.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 11. Internal Audit (2013)

December 14, 2013 3 comments

Elementary poster

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

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 11. Internal Audit (2013) demonstrates the pleasing quality of twin track narratives in enabling us to see immediate differences in responses to the developing situation. Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is doing her people-skills act on Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) and, even though he’s not in the best of moods, you can tell it’s working. He’s back at work, albeit restricted to desk duties for now. He’s even teaching himself to write with the “wrong” hand which is no mean feat if you can do it (desperate effort at pun intended). Meanwhile Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Alfredo Llamosa (Ato Essandoh) his fellow recovering addict, sponsor and Irregular confederate in crime are demonstrating Holmes is not properly focusing on the job in hand. Whereas the expert can beat the new supercar’s security system, Holmes is reduced to kicking the car petulantly when he fails (cf. hitting the safe in Season 1, Episode 10). Worse, he then gets all self-righteous and claims not to have put a step wrong in the investigation resulting in the injury to Bell.

Meanwhile the news media are abuzz with the revelation that Donald Hauser (Thomas Ryan) has been running a Ponzi scheme. Sadly, before the old man can kill himself, he’s kneecapped and tied to a chair. In the morning, he’s found dead with the word “THIEF” written on the wall in blood. Chloe Butler (Heather Burns), the woman who found the dead body is an ex-client of Watson. Naturally, Holmes picks up on her nervousness and thinks of her as a suspect. Without telling Holmes, Watson goes round to see her and admires the new baby (her people skills are working overtime tonight). She digs out the news that the last person to see the victim (other than the killer, of course) was Jacob Weiss (Richard Masur). He seems to have no motive because, apparently the fraudster did not steal from his account. News then comes that the journalist who broke the story has also been tortured and killed in the same way. Someone shot the messenger (pleasing joke from the scriptwriters).

Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) discuss the murder with Gregson (Aidan Quinn)

Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) discuss the murder with Gregson (Aidan Quinn)

Putting all this murder stuff on the back-burner where it should be, we now get down to the substance of the episode which is what must be called a bridge. Understandably, Holmes and Bell are experiencing turbulence in their professional relationship. It’s going to take action from both sides with Watson and Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) mediating. Except, in a way, Watson and Gregson are too close to the problem. Not that he’s paranoid, but Holmes would hate to think the three were ganging up on him. It must therefore fall to the other trusted person, Alfredo, to talk sense to him. Coming at the problem from an oblique angle, Alfredo tries to persuade Holmes into becoming a sponsor for Randy (Stephen Tyrone Williams), an addict three-months dry. Alfredo diagnoses the Holmes recovery trajectory. Before he began attending AA meetings, he was completely self-absorbed. Now he’s been in the recovery program for eighteen months, he’s got a little bit of empathy back into his mind. That’s why he’s upset Bell won’t let him do anything to help. When Holmes unthinkingly rejects the role, Alfredo calmly reassures him that being a sponsor is not about the sponsor. It’s nothing more than a chance for the sponsor who has benefitted from the program to give something back. The point being, of course, that if Holmes can accept the notion of helping a fellow addict stay sober, he might be able to work out how to talk to Bell. After all, Holmes has benefitted from working with the NTPD and needs to give something back.

Meanwhile, Watson is quietly working the case on her own. Chloe Butler is able to identify Nelson Maddox, a criminal who knew Donald. But because Chloe is in a custody battle, she can’t afford to have anyone know about her drug problem. She refuses to confirm the identification formally and relies on the confidentiality agreement Watson signed to reinforce her refusal. This leads to disagreement with Holmes. He wants to tell Gregson anyway. Watson points out it’s exactly the same type of situation that got Bell shot. People who get dragged into investigations can be injured in unpredictable ways. In practical terms, compassion has to be in the Holmes tool box of the investigative art. If Holmes cannot understand people, he cannot see motives. That’s why, in the end, Holmes does the right thing. We’re not to mind that Watson’s work-around directly leads to a third murder. He deserved to die.

Holmes’ interview with Randy is hilarious. He’s been sober for a long time so he inadvertently adopts the right tone and doesn’t put Randy off. Bell is also facing a decision as an “Intelligence” unit wants to recruit him. He may not be able to go back on to the front line, but he can still help to keep the city safe from terrorist and comparable attacks. The metanarrative is therefore developing nicely. Holmes is slowly accepting the need for some change just as Bell may be removed from the scene. Incidentally, the murders were solved. I suppose it was a reasonable piece of misdirection after the fact. Since we could not read any of the names and check the court records, there was no way we viewers could ever have solved this case. It was just gift-wrapped in time for the Christmas break when the Holmes/Bell saga can continue.

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 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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