More elementary problems [STUD]

STRThe Woman is back with some more reviews though she is somewhat perturbed by references to “Irene” in some of these episodes . . .

Episode 4 – The Rat Race

A simple missing person case soon evolves into a murder case and Sherlock is about to be tested more than we have seen in previous episodes. He is faced with a case with drugs, his addiction is laid bare and Watson is worried of any sudden relapse. The opening scene sees a worried and confused Watson with Gregson as Sherlock is missing, then she tells him about Sherlock’s past drug addiction as she is so worried about her client. Then we skip back in time to the case and it all becomes clear.

There are moments of pure Sherlock joy with the acronym ‘IMLTHO’ confusing both Watson and us, of course it means ‘In My Less Than Humble Opinion’ – who will admit to using that in texts from now on? I may have done it. Twice.

This episode brings more of the dynamic between Sherlock and Watson and also Sherlock and Gregson. With Sherlock’s insistence that Watson get back in the dating game, he helps by looking up her date online. He’s not been married because of course he still is married! Watson is also annoyed by his interference, a big brother move. Deep down he’s showing he cares and she knows that, however much it annoys her. The final scene of the episode we see a different Sherlock, a broken and fragile man telling Gregson about his drug past. Again he is laid bare, emotional and then the real twist.

Gregson knew. How could he not?

Another great episode, the case again somewhat flaky but the character development is spot on. More please.

Episode 5 – Lesser Evils

With Watson having giving up her surgical career it was time we got to see if she missed it and yes she most certainly does. The case causes her to meet up with an old friend from her surgeon days.

The case involved the pair finding serial killer ‘The Angel’ who targeted terminally ill patients in the hospital. FYI producers, if you’re going to put David Constabile (The Wire, Damages, Breaking Bad) in an episode and expect me not to shout “it was him, he did it” then you’re an idiot. You never cast a major star as the culprit so within minutes of them entering I had the crime all tied up and Sherlock needed to catch up. They also let the camera follow the janitor around and focus on him, it was all just way too obvious.

The other side story with Watson helping her friend with a case showed that she can still do medical cases but she is tied to her past. But she seemed more resolute by the end, maybe Sherlock and Watson can be good for each other.
An ok episode, I enjoyed the Watson side story but the main plot was weak. Good to see David Constabile though, although a bit obvious…

Episode 6 – Flight Risk

Possibly the best episode of Elementary yet, with an enticing plane crash investigation that of course is not what it seems. The case sadly then falls away again but luckily there is a very good side story emerging – Watson has arranged to meet Holmes Snr.

Sherlock is adamant that he won’t go as his Dad will not meet them, Watson is absolutely sure that he will after conversing with him throughout her stay with Sherlock. Watson goes to dinner and meets Holmes Snr but a few questions in and it is clear this is not him. Sherlock hired an actor to pose as his father as he knew he would cancel and he didn’t want to disappoint Watson.

After Watson has discovered that Allister is not Holmes Snr she soon discovers that he is an old friend of Sherlock’s and has many stories from his drug fuelled days. We also get to hear a woman’s name mentioned.
“Irene”
*credits roll*

I have to wait a week? OH COME ON!

Episode 7 – One Way To Get Off

After the wait for this episode after the revelation at the end of the previous episode, it’s clear we are not going to get a quick explanation. Sherlock is now ignoring Watson and she desperate for answers heads to his rehab place and despite no luck from the doctor she finds more luck from the groundsman whom Sherlock shared an interest with -bees.

He also gives her some letters that Sherlock had left from Irene. Watson then obviously chooses to give them to Sherlock who then stuffs them in the blender. Watson is forced to give up asking about Irene. I’m so disappointed!
Whilst all this is going on there is also a case and this time the writers got this spot on. Finally! Gregson looks back into an old case after a serial killer seems to be repeating. He looks back into the old case and is worried that maybe he caught the wrong man and when he finds out that his partner at the time had planted evidence to frame their suspect, Gregson is forced to admit that he was wrong. Sherlock’s relationship with Gregson has been steadily growing and this time we see how much Sherlock respects Gregson. Sherlock finds out that the right person was arrested at the time and there is a new serial killer, Wade’s son. He had wanted to get to understand his father and the only way he could see that was a possibility, was to become him.

With the case all sorted it causes Sherlock to reflect. He mentions Irene

“I did not take her passing well”

She can’t be dead, can she?

Episode 8 – The Long Fuse

Here we have another episode which looked into the developing relationship between Sherlock and Watson. They are looking for a sponsor for Sherlock as Watson’s six week stay is coming to an end. Sherlock is his usual unhelpful self as he is unhappy with all the candidates until he finds a carjacking ex-con only because he’s sure she will dismiss him. She doesn’t and Sherlock is forced to admit that he is going to lose Watson

The case this episode is about a bomb that goes off several years after being planted. Sherlock must find out who planted it and he has to meet a flirty PR executive who he enjoys meeting with. Now if I told you that she was played by Lisa Edelstein who was of course Cuddy in House and much the same as Episode 5 it was obvious the main star was the guilty party. Otherwise this case was enticing and well thought out, the casting was the major problem.

Now with Sherlock accepting his new sponsor, Alfredo (Ato Essandoh from the movie Blood Diamond) and even suggesting they test car security systems as part of his job, it seems we might get a new regular cast member. At the moment there are only four main characters; Sherlock, Watson, Captain Gregson and Detective Bell so Alfredo would be a welcome addition.

With Watson’s time coming to an end my mind has already been wandering as to how the writers will keep her there. Is Sherlock going to have a relapse? Will she just end up staying on?

Episode 9 – You Do It To Yourself

We’re back to the case being the real side point of the story and Sherlock’s deducing skills are back to the ridiculous. I think if the series is going to progress more in the minds of Sherlock Holmes fans it needs to make the cases and the deducing skills needed much more realistic. That aside, this week we’re back focusing on Watson as her ex-boyfriend has been arrested and accused of a hit-and-run. He also a recovering addict seems to have fallen off the wagon before the accident and Watson confides in Sherlock but doesn’t tell him all the details.

Sherlock can of course find all the information that is needed and the case is indeed solved. Watson admits that she knew Liam (her ex) before he started using drugs and she gives a very good performance as she says how much she longs for someone she used to know. When Watson decides to go and wait for Liam at the rehab facility, even though she told him she wouldn’t, Sherlock arrives. She tells him that he doesn’t need to stay and he says “I have nowhere else to be. Not tonight”. The scene and the way they are sat on the bench shows their need for each other’s companionship and also how far their characters have developed through the episodes so far.

A very good episode but the cases have to get better but I can understand why this series is proving to be more successful than critics would have you believe.

Episode 10 – The Leviathan

Finally a case that has Sherlock confused and also quite energised to resolve the case that you can’t help but get swept away by it. ‘The Leviathan’ is the Fort Knox of bank vaults but somehow it has been robbed. The case itself is quite complicated and I would certainly confuse myself and you if I tried to explain it so you really have to watch it for yourself.

Both Sherlock and Watson have in recent episodes really developed as a team and when Watson’s family arrives in town it’s time for Sherlock to meet them. Of course he goes early to the arranged dinner to the surprise of Watson and at the end her mother realises that Watson is enjoying her time with Sherlock. Watson has always felt that her family were disappointed that she gave up her surgeon job and did not like her companion job but they just want her to be happy. Now that they have seen that she is with Sherlock they are also happier.

This really could be how Watson will stay with Sherlock, she is enjoying being with him.

Despite his rudeness and his quirks they have much common ground laid already with more being revealed each episode. They are still opposites in many ways and I do like how Watson is given more of a stand out part on her own, I feel I know her more than Sherlock. He still intrigues me and I still want to know more about Irene.
Definitely the best episode so far and hopefully many more to come after the Christmas break. I can also see that Episode 12 is titled “M.”

Could it be Moriarty?

I hope to have more for you in the New Year! Amazon are now listing the Season 1 DVD but no release date yet . . .

Comments

4 Responses

  1. Read all your reviews of Elementary. Agree that the show needs to improve a lot. I did like “Child Predator” and “Flight Risk”. The latest episode was also ok.

    Cheers, B2B.

    • The Good Doctor says:

      I cannot really express an opinion as I have only seen the pilot but I am grateful to The Woman who is supplying these reviews.

      JHW

  2. Leah Guinn says:

    I’ve seen all but (I think) two of these, and you’ve hit on the big problem–for me, anyway. Although I have a hard time buying these two as Holmes and Watson, I do like watching their relationship develop, and seeing the actors grow into the characters (although I don’t think they’re doing very well by Gregson). I’d probably remember to watch it if the stories were better. But…the plots are just not all that gripping, have gaping holes, or have villains that are easy to catch right away. This isn’t unusual for network TV, but I wonder how much better the show would be if the plots were continuing, to make up for the shorter US television format?

  3. James says:

    I do appreciate The Woman’s very fair reviews of “Elementary”, I show which I enjoy as a Sherlockian and as a TV viewer. While it may be unfair to compare apples, oranges and pears, human beings do that all the time. We compare “Elementary” to “Sherlock”, the Downey movies, and other police procedurals, consciously or unconsciously, and there can be profit in that as well as unfairness. When it comes to the plots of “Elementary”, I tend to be a bit forgiving because, with 60 plus years of television mystery history, it’s all been done before. How it’s worked within the framework of Holmes is a more important criterion, I think, and there Miller’s Holmes is not as bright as Doyle’s Holmes at his best. Of course, if he was “Elementary” would be 15 minutes long–with two commercial breaks. Miller is smart enough to carry an hour show, which makes him no more special that any other TV investigator. This doesn’t leave Cumberbatch of the hook. His Holmes is also as brilliant or dull as a 90 minute script require. The man who can unscramble a string of letters and numbers in his head in mere slow-motion seconds is not the same guy who is half-a-step behind Moriarty for a whole show (and, yes, I am including faking his own death. If Cumberbatch were ahead of Moriarty, he wouldn’t have to. As it is, I think it is a game that two are playing). I would like the writers of “Elementary” to make Miller seem two steps ahead of the viewer and thus more Holmesian, rather than the viewer being right at Miller’s side. I enjoy the interplay between Miller and Liu. I think she makes as credible a Watson as Freeman or Law, even without the military service that has some people’s shorts in a bunch. I understand and sympathize with those people who have a hard time accepting Miller and Liu as Holmes and Watson. I feel the same way about Cumberbatch and Freeman. Downey and Law. Rathbone and Bruce. Brett and Burke/Hardwicke. But that’s just me. There is the Canonical and unCanonical in all those turns. We accept those that appeal to us and reject those that don’t. I accept Miller and Liu and look forward to The Woman’s future reports.

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