Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Rhys Ifans’

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 24. The Great Experiment (2014)

May 17, 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.

“I’m sorry, did you say I was being framed?” asked Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans), “That’s bollocks!” (a British English term of endearment). “You just invented that to break up Joan and I!” (British English speakers are always so precise in how they speak). “Well,” says Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), “what do you think about your car when we start the engine from up here?” “Oh, well, perhaps you have a point. Could you not just have shown me the bomb? I rather liked that car.” Isn’t it wonderful when brothers get on so well together. So with the injunction not to touch the first editions, Sherlock leaves Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) with Mycroft and gives his permission for them to resume rutting (British English for, “I’m not really jealous, just mildly upset.”). Once they are alone together (again) this actually gives Mycroft the chance to explain why he didn’t follow his father into business and never became the detective Sherlock once thought he might become (deliberate ambiguity). Instead he became a failed restauranteur and sometime operative for MI6, now surplus to requirements. Meanwhile Sherlock has broken into a car because he wants somewhere comfortable to sit while watching the bookstore that may hold the clue to the mole’s identity. Later he and Watson confirm the bookstore owner is an Iranian agent and, once the code on the arms is cracked, they confirm Mycroft’s handler, Sharington (Ralph Brown) as the mole (not really a surprise).

We have to see Elementary: Season 2, Episode 24 The Great Experiment (2014) on multiple levels. First it has to bring this four episode narrative arc to an end. That’s achieved with little mystery element involved. Watson identifies the vital link with a murder in New York. Sherlock understands how the blood splatter was generated (they make a great team even when not firing on all cylinders), and once they have the emails, the blood evidence and the wife’s testimony, they have enough to crack the Iranian spy’s morale. No need to threaten him with water-boarding. Just ten seconds watching Sherlock produce the evidence is enough for him to confess and give up his MI6 link — the Iranians don’t go in for hardening their spies to resist interrogation. They are not the fanatics we in the West believe. I suppose this is mildly successful as the solution to a murder goes in television series land. Let’s pass on.

Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller),  Joan (Lucy Liu) and Mycroft, (Rhys Ifans)

Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller), Joan (Lucy Liu) and Mycroft, (Rhys Ifans)

The other two elements plus one contingent question for the cliffhanger are how the triangle between the Holmes boys and Watson can be resolved and what Sherlock will then plan to do. For an American serial, one of the more interesting moments comes in the confrontation between Mycroft and Sharington. It’s making the cultural point that the British are still caught up in the class system and, if you come from the wrong side of the tracks, there’s a glass ceiling. No-one can be promoted unless they have the right family, the right school and university, and right view of the world. Recognition that a worthless member of the aristocracy is valued more highly than a grammar school boy is enough to drive our MI6 operative into the arms of the Iranians. Wow! on two levels. No matter whether it’s true of the British secret service, this is an epic stereotype to place before an American audience. Obviously this is the reason we Brits lost the Empire. The other extraordinary factor is that our slighted spy should have chosen the Iranians. Did they just pay better than everyone else?

So what do we think of this blood-is-thicker-than-water approach to the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft? I can perhaps see it working from Mycroft to Sherlock. He’s the more human of the two and would be more prepared to act out of sentiment. I’m even quite pleased to see Sherlock considering an apology to Mycroft as part of his addiction rehabilitation step program. But I’m not convinced Mycroft and the NSA would suddenly become best buddies. Even Sherlock is disgusted at the lazy solution to the problem. Watson, of course, is disgusted because she and Sherlock were making good progress toward resolving matters and now Mycroft has to disappear. This suggests he cared so little for her, he would not wait to see how the dynamic duo might be able to solve the problems. You would think he would be strongly motivated to stay around and would work with them to achieve that end. This is self-sacrifice for the plot and avoids the need to keep paying an imported British actor to continue in the show. I’m also pleased to see nothing changes for Watson. Creating her own space is still a good idea. As she puts it, staying in Sherlock’s gravity well does rather lock her into a fixed orbit. But I’m less convinced Sherlock has the temperament to go off with MI6. This almost certainly means breaking up the team with Watson which is bad emotional news for him. From the other side, I don’t really believe MI6 would accept him anyway which gives the scriptwriters an excuse to leave him in New York for the next season. So all of this leaves me reasonably satisfied. Elementary: The Great Experiment was inevitably convenient in the way it ended everything in the time available and had pleasing emotional resonance in Sherlock’s responses to a difficult situation. When the series returns, it will be interesting to see whether Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) and Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) get more screen time. The show has a better balance when Sherlock and Watson have someone to play off.

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 22. Paint It Black (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 23. Art in the Blood (2014).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 23. Art in the Blood (2014)

May 10, 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 23. Art in the Blood (2014) starts off by confirming the most probable scenario for the behaviour of Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans). His Diogenes restaurant in London had been in trouble. He was approached by the criminals some ten years ago. Their visit was followed by MI6 operatives who turned him into an “asset” — what a nicely ambiguous word to apply to a human being. Anyway, the new version of reality is that brother Holmes had a flair for duplicity and was also possessed of a highly retentive memory. His collaboration with the first criminal gang led to other contacts. In due course, he was in the first rank of people capable of becoming a supergrass and giving evidence to bring down multiple criminal organisations. His handler had suggested removing Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) from New York, fearing he might queer the pitch. Sadly, the handler’s fears were not unfounded, but now we have Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) back. So is everything alright? She’s remarkably calm about the entire experience. At no point during her kidnapping did she seem unduly worried. Either she had perfect confidence Sherlock would rescue her or, as the director of the episode, she’d read the script. Now the handler has tasked Sherlock with a New York case. It’s a quid pro quo for saving Watson’s life and sweeping the bodies under the carpet in a way that should prevent the criminals from coming after our heroes for revenge.

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller

The case is being handled by NYPD as a robbery gone wrong, but the man who died was a retired MI6 agent. He’d become bipolar, hence his rustication. But a week or so before his death, he’d contacted London claiming intelligence (sic). MI6 ignored him as mentally unstable. Now he’s dead, they are worried he might actually have discovered something important. Holmes and Watson therefore insert themselves into the police investigation to find out what’s what — it also gives a fleeting moment of screen-time for Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) and a glance of Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn). When our detective duo go to the mortuary, they find someone has removed the arms from the dead body. It seems there are no good locks on mortuary doors these days. Anyway, with an hour gap in the surveillance tape, we’re into the devious world of spying and, after interviewing the ex-wife who wasn’t wholly ex, Sherlock has a theory about why the arms were taken. This leaves us with a refreshing moment between Watson and Mycroft. He wants humbly to apologise and seems to hope they can go back to where they were before. In what represents a quite impassioned speech from Watson, she considers the full extent of Mycroft’s dishonesty and, for all his faults, explains why Sherlock is preferable. Later Sherlock offers a lengthy sharing (about five seconds) about how it feels to be deceived by someone “you” love. Yes, our platonic couple are just about to have an intelligent conversation when the ex who wasn’t turns up. She didn’t want to say anything in front of the police but she has photographs and, potentially, they explain everything. Now all we have to do is rerun the dancing men decoding game to solve the case and keep British secrets safe. Everything would be just dandy if Watson did not chose this moment to tell Sherlock she’s going to move out of the brownstone. Life never runs smooth for these couples in television series.

Lucy Liu and Rhys Ifans

Lucy Liu and Rhys Ifans

Let’s treat all this as the set-up because, after this point, the episode takes off into higher levels of ingenuity. Keeping this slightly hypothetical, let’s assume there’s a mole inside MI6 and that, despite his mental disorder, the dead ex-agent had come up with a way to identify him or her. There might be suspicion about a particular New York bookstore but no evidence. Now more people know about the death of the ex-agent (the theft of the arms does rather elevate the profile of the case), there’s a chance to resolve matters. Holmes could identify the mole, or the mole could frame Mycroft. If the latter was a correct supposition, this would give Sherlock an interesting dilemma. This is the brother who has consistently lied to him, tasered him when he might have interfered too much, and the man who might take Watson away from him. Should Sherlock listen to the title of this episode, act as if blood is thicker than water, and save Mycroft (assuming he’s innocent, of course)? In the meantime, let’s assume Watson has discovered more about the lies Mycroft has been spinning. If he had previously been inside MI6 and then got out, what might persuade him to return to the fold? The answer, of course, is a threat to Sherlock. If we can believe Mycroft this time, it seems he might just have been his brother’s keeper, i.e. keeping him out of jail. Such a disclosure might persuade Watson to forgive Mycroft and get back into bed with him. Quite how Sherlock would react if he discovered their resumption of sexual activity is uncertain in the long run.

When I wrote the review of the last episode, I confess to scepticism the scriptwriters could get out of the corner into which they had painted themselves. I humbly admit I was wrong. The way this episode plays out is beautifully judged and represents a new high in the series. Everything is left poised for the season conclusion next week. Only seven more days to wait to see how the script ties up all the loose ends. At this point it’s appropriate to commend the acting from the three principals. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu haven’t been given a great deal to do in the early part of the season, but this episode sees both of them demonstrating a significant emotional range. In part, this is due to the chemistry with Rhys Ifans who has proved outstanding in all the episodes in which he’s appeared. It’s also interesting to see two MI6 senior officials in Jim Norton and Ralph Brown. These are very experienced British actors and it shows. The only slightly false note in the episode was the establishment where the British agents were hanging. Does such a place exist in New York? It just looked too like an old-fashioned London club to be convincing. Other than this, Elementary: Art in the Blood was outstanding.

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 22. Paint It Black (2014)
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 24. The Great Experiment (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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 21. The Man With the Twisted Lip (2014)

April 26, 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 21. The Man With the Twisted Lip (2014) demonstrates the strength and weakness of the formula adopted by the series producers. The early decision was made to present this show as essentially a series of standalone episodes with only the occasional linkage and minimal character development. Past experience usually means this condemns the show to death by formula. There just aren’t enough interesting plots to maintain the series over a season. More to the point, there are a number of canonical expectations the fans will have so, with common sense prevailing, the show has slowly been developing the character arcs and introducing a metanarrative. When the two elements collide as in this episode, something has to give. In this case, the balance between the murder mystery and the metanarrative left neither very satisfactory.

We start off in an AA meeting which is, to put it mildly, a very heavy-handed way of establishing the theme for this end-run of episodes. When asked to identify the greatest threat to his continued sobriety, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) tells the room his uniqueness as an individual is likely to be his downfall. With characteristic arrogance, he perceives himself as literally without peer. In practical terms, he feels he’s lowering himself to relate to others (this sounds really bad so we’ll pass quickly on). He wonders how he should react to other people when he sees no value in relationships. At what point should he stop trying to maintain them? I suppose we’re to take this as an overflow from the loss of his friend Alistair in the previous episode. Having just lost one of his few friends, he’s naturally foreseeing a life of increasing loneliness. Many lie to themselves when they claim not to need others. Holmes has enough realism to see loss of human contact would leave him seeking alternative approaches to filling in the emptiness. Meanwhile, Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) hears someone crying on the stairs outside the room where the AA meeting is being held. It’s one of the early regulars who’s concerned she hasn’t heard from her sister. This gives us the lead into the murder mystery which is solved but without any reference back to the sister fighting addiction. So she’s just left to deal with the grief of her sister’s loss without Watson (or Holmes) offering any kind of support. Sadly there just isn’t enough time to follow through with plot elements that don’t fit the metanarrative theme.

Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) and Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) enjoying the great weather for drones

Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) and Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) enjoying the great weather for drones

In the other part of the episode, we begin with a moment of madness. Yes, we get to see Mrs Hudson (Candis Cayne) and Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) again. Our devious brother has made the trip back across the Atlantic to try to break up Holmes and Watson so, to make Holmes jealous, Mycroft not only asks Watson to visit his restaurant, but also then proposes they resume their relationship. So this stays with the initial theme of the episode set in the AA meeting as we now wait to see how far Holmes will go to keep the relationship with Watson. At first, his reaction to being told of Mycroft’s proposal is to say nothing. For once, he’s showing maturity, giving her space while she crafts a reply to Mycroft. While she’s thinking, the search for the missing sister turns up two dead bodies. It seems the sister was collateral damage in a hit on the “unknown” male. When they check his wallet, they find he was working at a start-up developing drones for the military. So Holmes is implicitly respecting Watson’s privacy while dealing with a case giving surveillance capacity to the government. Except, of course, he doesn’t respect her privacy and goes to see Mycroft at the restaurant where, just by chance, he sees someone who was there the last time he visited. A photograph shows this regular customer to have an interesting provenance.

Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans)

Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans)

As to the murder mystery, this is another of these vaguely SFnal, near future technology episodes where we’re supposed to accept the faintly absurd notion of a microminiaturized murder weapon. I was just about onboard for the surveillance aspect (although the machine really does have the most powerful batteries since the energizer bunny first hopped into view). The use we see here is ridiculous. The larger drone version is far more credible although it would be very visible and, if actually fitted with a shotgun usually only firing two bullets, less practical. A machine gun would be more sensible. Anyway, Watson able to infiltrate the office of the suspect and open his superduper safe with a hairpin were equally silly plot devices to bring this part of the episode juddering to a halt before they had rounded up all the technicians to equip and fly these drones. This is another of these major government scandal stories that fails to spark any political intervention from any of the federal bodies. As to the metanarrative, it’s all left in a nicely balanced way with Watson kidnapped, but the build-up to it is far too cursory. This is a potentially far more interesting development and, for once, it could mean the next episode is entirely devoted to the metanarrative and has no murder for Holmes to investigate. This might also give more screen time to Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) who have been less visible recently. We can only live in hope. As it stands, Elementary: The Man With the Twisted Lip is a below average episode despite the cliffhanger ending.

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 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 8. Blood Is Thicker (2013)

November 17, 2013 Leave a comment

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 8 Blood Is Thicker (2013) sees the series continue on a higher level. “Ah ha!” say the viewers. “So not only is Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) still in New York, but we also have the canonical name of his new restaurant as Diogenes. What a good start as the two brothers set out to settle their differences through the age-old practice of trying to smash each other’s brains (or eggs) with a stout stick.” And then we get to this week’s death which sees a delivery man who might be interested to learn his stomach is rumbling, fail to notice the body of a young lady has appeared on the roof of his truck. Fortunately, when the body hit the roof, it caused a small blizzard of paint chips to fall inside the truck and this gives us a line on the top shelf showing which boxes had already been delivered before the body fell. This is the first really clever piece of observational reasoning we’ve had for quite a while. When they arrive at the probable place of attempted flight, Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is quick to point out the lack of plants showing on one of the apartment balconies. It’s nip and tuck in the deduction game tonight.

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) is next with the three pairs of shoes and the new designer rather than more homely clothes in the closet, while Watson reads the victim’s name and address from the driving licence. It’s not a fair competition really. Fortunately Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) who has been lurking in plain sight for a while, persuades the building super to give up the name of the apartment owner. It seems we’re moving in monied circles with Ian Gale (William Sadler), a technological whizz. So when the three in pursuit turn up at Gale’s offices, they get to see his lawyer who’s always ready to be wheeled out at times like this. We then get to see the alibi presented. See, here’s the suspect half a world away in Malaysia. Sorry, that’s a stand-in lookalike who’s three inches shorter than the SUV he’s standing beside assuming the world is flat near the equator in that part of the world. That’s a clever but rather surreal piece of observation and calculation. Then pausing for the moose joke, we’re off to find Gale hiding out in one of New York’s finest hotels. Now we finally get to meet the murder suspect on the run (metaphorically speaking, of course) and learn the relationship between him and the deceased. It’s a nice change of direction.

Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) finds his gambit has failed

Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) finds his gambit has failed

And, talking of changes of direction, Watson goes to the autopsy and sends Sherlock to meet Mycroft at the Diogenes. As a “reward”. Mycroft gives Sherlock the keys to 221B. He says he’s moved out and leaves the place for Sherlock whenever he comes to London. He also warns Sherlock that their father wants Sherlock back in London and is prepared to take steps to achieve that end, i.e. cut off money, evict Sherlock from the brownstone, etc. This leads to a major tonal shift in the episode and proves the strength and weakness of the title the scriptwriters chose. In the idiom, blood is thicker than water, the point is that family relationships are stronger than the more casual variety. We’re therefore supposed to believe the simmering conflict between the brothers will always be surmounted, no matter what they do to upset each other. Similarly, the parental relationship will be held out as strong — a factor relevant to the motive for the episode’s murder(s).

Let’s now hypothesise Mycroft deliberately slept with Watson, hoping it would break the relationship with Sherlock. The sexual betrayal might persuade Sherlock to sever his ties in New York and return to London permanently. When Watson failed to tell Holmes, Mycroft came to New York to rub his face in it. Now Watson makes the choice that they stand together against the threat of the father, she’s choosing Sherlock more positively. At the end, Mycroft telephones a London number to admit the failure of his gambit and the need to come up with an alternative.

In the midst of all this, Watson solves the case but doesn’t quite link up the medical clues with the background to explain the motive. It’s actually one of the better puzzles to solve even though it’s submerged by the development of the metanarrative (for once, Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) is almost invisible). In Season 1, the dynamic was supplied by the mystery of Moriarty. This has been replaced by the mystery of Mycroft’s motives for wanting Sherlock to return to London. In the original canon, Arthur Conan Doyle has Mycroft work for the British government. If he has a terminal condition arising from the leukemia, he may be trying to recruit Sherlock to work for the British government in his place. That, I suppose, would be the benign explanation. Since Moriarty is currently in jail, it hardly seems likely she and Mycroft are acting in concert but the possibility cannot be dismissed. In the British television series Sherlock, Mycroft arrests Moriarty and inadvertently gives the master-criminal the clue how to become his brother’s unstoppable nemesis. Some kind of backroom deal could be possible between Mycroft and Moriarty for as yet undisclosed reasons. Or there’s a third option we’ve yet to see, but which could be wrapped up in the father’s needs. Let’s say Daddy Holmes is dying and there are succession issues to resolve. This is interesting to speculate on so kudos to the scriptwriters. They have come up with an interesting hook to hold us while the season develops.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 7. The Marchioness (2013)

November 11, 2013 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 7. The Marchioness perhaps sees the series starting to get on to a roll as we yet again begin with another thoughtful prologue. It answers one of the questions that has been nagging away at the back of my mind. Is Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) still going to AA meetings. The answer is a very positive, “Yes!” and he’s talking to the other addicts. This time he has a very interesting explanation for his addiction and wishes he’d been born at an earlier time when the word was less intrusive. He’s rather thrown off balance when Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) sticks his head above the parapet and even more surprised when his brother reintroduces Nigella Mason (Olivia d’Abo), his ex-finance (she slept with Sherlock which is why she’s his ex).

The episode then flirts with the Arthur Conan Doyle canon because Nigella went on to marry a Martian (well, I was close) who, amongst other things, kept a stable of horses. One of the herd was Silver Blaze, a rather successful nag on the race track. In the prenup, our speculate-to-accumulate Nigella was prepared to forego claims to the full extent of the estate in favour of ownership of the pony. After twenty-two months of matrimony, she was found in flagrante and divorce followed. This left her saddened, still burdened by the title and the proud owner of Silver Blaze. Having arrived in America to sell off stud rights, she’s making very good money until someone comes to the stable obviously equipped to kill the randy stallion. Disturbed before he could despatch the beast, the agent for the beef burger chains shot one of the stable employees and ran off across the fields. Now caught up in a murder case, Nigella contacts Mycroft who, in turn, persuades Sherlock to investigate this murder.

Mycroft (Rhys Ifans) shows Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) what's cooking

Mycroft (Rhys Ifans) shows Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) what’s cooking

Thematically, this episode plays the game of “who’s the biggest stud around?” game. Obviously we have Nigella making fistfuls of dollars from the vaunted prowess of her matrimonial asset, Sherlock claims the reason he seduced the all-too-willing Nigella was to prove her lack of loyalty to Mycroft, and Mycroft slept with Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) when she went to London (their respective motives remain ambiguous other than two adults enjoying each other’s company). This sexual merry-go-round both provokes the attack on the pony and, later, on Nigella, while there’s a dog in the manger overtone to the jealousy between the Holmes boys — it’s a rather pleasing metaphor. Mycroft was sleeping with Nigella which should have kept Sherlock away. He nevertheless barked. There were many ways in which he could have shown love for his brother and proved Nigella’s unreliability. That he chose to sleep with her is obviously the most hurtful method he could have picked. Sherlock is not sleeping with Watson so there’s no reason for Mycroft to stay away so long as he ignores the dog’s bark. But it does represent a form of payback, a biter bit, except neither Mycroft nor Watson mentioned it. Sherlock is able to deduce it from their body language, i.e. he’s the victim of his own cleverness. Mycroft’s failure to tell Sherlock of his leukemia is also indicative of a desire to protect Sherlock (if only from himself).

Wedged somewhere in the middle of this fratricidal angst, there was a murder mystery to solve. Staying with the dog metaphor, this time it’s a tree that barks. Yes, our would-be horse killer left a perfect set of prints on a tree. Frankly, I’m sceptical the bark would have paper-like qualities to show sufficient ridge detail and enable comparison in the databases. However, if we pass over that, we then come to the second fingerprint component which is that our killer had the technology to preserve a pair of human hands and to endlessly take castings so he could stick fake prints on his own fingers whenever he felt the need to disguise his identity. Having read Wikihow, I take it on trust it can be done without the police noticing it when taking sample prints. Then it’s back out into the urban parklands of America to compare tree sizes and we have our man (and his killer). Perhaps I was feeling too uncharitable when I watched this episode but I found this investigation bordering on the absurd. But I forgave it because the dominant storyline exploring the relationship between the brothers was pleasing. Rhys Ifans is nicely understated, not getting in Jonny Lee Miller’s way. Lucy Liu spent the episode not being too embarrassed by all the shenanigans. And the forces of the law, Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) got seats even further back from the main action that usual. The script obviously bore the legend, “Warning. Make room for visiting Brit actor.” So with the heavyweight hitters dominating the episode, the mandatory murder mystery felt even more superfluous than usual. I would have enjoyed an episode with just the four of them sitting around reminiscing about the great sex they’d had. As it turned out, this was one of the better efforts — the episode, not the sex, of course.

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 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).

Elementary: Season 2, Episode 1. Step Nine (2013)

September 28, 2013 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.

When a series is going to return (Elementary: Season 2, episode 1. Step Nine), there’s a moment when you wonder whether you should start watching again. Although the last season was less than perfect (indeed, at times, it was awful), there’s still some curiosity to see where the scriptwriters will take the characters this time around. For all the faults of the show, the emerging partnership between Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) was interesting. This time, the billing is we’re going to spare no expense and film on location in London. Sherlock is going “home” as it were.

So the prologue in what’s supposed to be Highgate Cemetery is an appalling piece of melodrama and populated by English actors speaking in a way only achieved for American consumption. This is the ultimate in unnatural accents. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Watson are tracking down a criminal who’s communicating with his minions using pinions, i.e. by using pigeons of the carrying variety. What better way is there to hide the messenger in plain sight and how clever of Holmes to be able to follow the flight of a bird across a city to just the right stretch of pedestrianised area within a park to which, even more remarkably, this stupid pigeon feels it must fly to return home. This is not what I wanted to see as an opening. Two incredibly absurd scenes in quick succession. Anyway, having arrested the pigeon wrangler, Holmes receives a telephone summons to London where his ex-police buddy — it’s Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) of the Yard from the Arthur Conan Doyle canon — needs an ‘elping ‘and with his accent from a British actor able to speak more proper on the small screen.

So the backstory is that Holmes was working anonymously and Lestrade’s reputation got puffed up beyond the limits of his ability. Then, without Holmes to guide him, he’s come unstuck. To show we’ve arrived in London, we have Oasis blasting out of the taxi’s sound system as we do a whistle-stop tour of tourist highlights like the Houses of Parliament, i.e. it’s one cliché after another to the music of a band from Manchester. Amazingly, DCI Hopkins (Tim McMullan) has nothing better to do than stand outside New Scotland Yard waiting for Holmes and Watson to arrive. Formalities of the welcome over, we come to the case itself. It seems Lawrence Pendry (Rufus Wright) called the police claiming he’d fought with someone who’d broken into his home and killed his wife. He only had five minutes or so until the police responded (even though he seems to have been in a country estate some distance from civilisation). The police searched diligently but found no gun. Ergo the husband was innocent and Lestrade was falsely accusing the innocent son of a media mogul who owned enough newspapers to shred the detective’s reputation and get him suspended.

Jonny Lee Miller and Rhys Ifans

Jonny Lee Miller and Rhys Ifans

At what’s presented as 221B Baker Street (not the real address which does exist), the Holmes boys get together again with Mycroft (Rhys Ifans) who got to redecorate the “apartment” in his brother’s absence. While Watson sleeps off the jet lag, Holmes walks straight to Lestrade who’s drowning what’s left of his sorrows in a Greenwich pub and is persuaded to look into the case. So now we veer off into near-future science fiction with a plastic gun from a 3D printer which was dissolved and hidden as a pint of milk in the fridge. At least we’re on the frontier of the possible. It’s possible to download the CAD file called Liberator and, with the right hardware, use it to manufacture a gun for just a few dollars. Except the resulting guns are dangerous both to the person aimed at and to the person holding the weapon, i.e. they can kill or, if they explode, maim the hand of the person holding it.

The title of this episode is Step Nine. Following the road to recovery from addiction, Holmes is supposed to apologise to those he has wronged. In this case, put simply, that means rescuing Lestrade and not killing Mycroft who blows up the furniture and accumulated stuff from 221B which he had lovingly stored. After the brothers have bonded, Holmes and Watson get into a train to go back to America — it’s the new trans-Atlantic tunnel (following on from the novel by Harry Harrison). I think Step Nine is a step too far into absurdity. I don’t mind less than credible elements so long as the underlying mystery to be solved is interesting. In this episode, everything was subordinated to the “London experience” and the rest followed along limply behind with Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) getting all of ten seconds screen time to show they had not been terminated from the cast. Had he seen this, Arthur Conan Doyle would have turned in his grave.

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 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).

%d bloggers like this: