Jonny Lee Miller is underrated. I understand that the Cumberbatch shadow is nearly as large as that of a 40 story sky scraper, but the man is killing it week after week on Elementary and no one is talking about it. Well, I am, I guess. In No Lack of Void, Miller shows us how he is evolving this character into something so much more than a consulting detective.
There’s definitely a crime to be solved this week, but the real point of interest for me is the death of Sherlock’s friend and dialect coach, Alistair. The character is so promising and one from canon, so I was hoping for a longer run. Plus, the idea of Holmes having a lifelong friend is so charming that it’s a real disappointment he’s dead and gone before we even had a chance to get to know him. Not only are we missing out on the chance to hear Holmes interpret a wide range of global accents, but we are deprived the privilege of seeing how Holmes would interact with someone teaching him.
So things got in the way of this review and for that, I apologize. You know, nerdy things, Sherlock things. 221B Con was a big success and I am better you’ll all love the live podcast from the Con in the weeks to come. Then there were the Shorty Awards, which we didn’t win, but were honored to be nominated for. Somewhere in there, Jonny Lee Miller attempted to understand how the same teeth could co-exist in many mouths at once.
When a pair of murders show eery similarities to what police thought was a previously solved case involving bite marks on victims, the entire history gets re-examined. And it also causes Joan to do some re-examining of her own. The man who had previously confessed to the bite mark murders, Aaron Colville, ended up on Joan’s operating table while she was still working as a surgeon. In the heated moments after he was stabbed, her residing surgeon let the man die, in Joan’s assessment, which causes her to feel slightly haunted by the concept of justice. Had he been innocent after all, he died for no reason. Ah, but Joan needn’t worry, because other moral quandaries of even greater confusion are about to wrap around her.
After nearly two seasons and more than forty episodes, for the first time ever, I was thoroughly creeped out by a murder on Elementary this week. Helium death not only sounds creepy, it is remarkably simple to pull off. And while I found myself comparing the hallucinogenic effects described and seen in BBC’s Sherlock and its ability to create near-death experiences or the perception of such an event, the simplicity of the chemical murder in this particular adaptation was far more skin-crawling.
We start where most medical mysteries should start: in the lab. When a Doctor and researcher named Barry Granger is found dead from a supposed suicide by helium poisoning, Lestrade and Holmes figure out immediately that he’s been murdered.
Last week I hoped Lestrade would be given a chance to redeem himself before season 2 came to a close. Well, my wish came true. When Elementary excels, it’s because they’re focusing on relationships. Between Holmes and everyone else, yes, but also specifically when the people in Holmes’s life intersect and can teach one another something about working with, living with or even dare I say, being friends with the detective. For the first time, we see one of Holmes’s previous partners and current partners butting heads, but it may not be for the reasons you’d expect.
Holmes and Watson agree to let Lestrade stay with them while he seeks out his next job. Offers are flying in from all over the world and yet he drags his feet in making a decision. After coming off like a bombastic egotist last week, Lestrade is considerably more humble in light of his employment choices and confides in Joan that he doesn’t believe he will be able to live up to expectations. He thoroughly believes he was never more than an average detective. But as Joan points out, there’s no such thing as an average partner when it comes to Sherlock. He only tolerates the best, even if they look average alongside him.
Sometimes I find myself at a dinner party talking about Sherlock Holmes related topics, because yeah, I’m a BSB, of course I’m talking about Holmes at dinner parties. Anyway, after all topics related to Benedict Cumberbatch and the BBC are exhausted, I try to kindly stir people towards CBS’s Elementary. I often find myself saying people should give the show a shot and not discredit it before seeing it. Sometimes I’ll even say, GASP, there are elements of Elementary I like better than Sherlock. Joan Watson is a delight. Canonical references are aplenty. There’s even an update on Sherlock’s drug use, which is handled with tact and dignity.
See, just when I was getting comfortable, a crazy episode like One Percent Solution comes along and I find myself wondering if I’m even watching the same show week to week.
Don’t you hate it when crime procedurals hire way too famous an actor for a part, thus, giving away the killer far too early in the episode and deflating any sense of drama from the story? Yeah, me too. It’s been said before, but this week it was easy to see that CBS often falls into the trap of making CSI: Baker Street when it doesn’t know what else to do.
When a brutally murdered ballerina is found during a dress rehearsal, a dance company is completely uprooted. The prima ballerina, Iris Lanzer, becomes a suspect early on, because it turns out she replaced the now murdered girl as the lead late in the production. It would seem that competition would be the cause for murder, but this is where CBS does itself a disservice. By casting Scott Cohen as Iris’s lawyer, it’s easy to pick him out as being too famous and too prominent to take a small bit part. Of course, it could be a fake out, but in this case it all comes down to a really thin motive that doesn’t necessarily ring true. It does, however, give Sherlock a chance to geek out about the ballet, which was both surprising and delightful because it harkens back to the 1970s Billy Wilder film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. The comical film infamously pairs Holmes with a Russian ballerina who proposes that they have a baby. Her hope is that his intellect and her beauty will produce the perfect child. As you can imagine, the two never pair up in the 1970s film, but that didn’t stop CBS from giving Holmes another ballerina flirtation.