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.
I don’t want to be so bold as to suggest that dinosaurs are a sure fire way to get wavering fans back into a show, BUT, dinosaurs sure did keep me interested in Elementary this week.
Joan has been revisiting some of Sherlock’s “unsolved” cases and comes across an unusual homicide where a man’s home is ransacked and he’s murdered in the back yard, but no weapon, motive or murderer ever emerges. In the case photos, Joan zeros in on an unusual stone, which a geologist named Gay helpfully points out is pre-historic. At the time of the initial investigation, Sherlock was struggling with his addiction and was unable to zero in on any helpful details which may have solved the case. With Joan’s new discovery and a few scans of this rare rock, a dinosaur fossil is uncovered and Sherlock’s passion for the case is piqued. When the thief (a man who goes by Magpie) who got his hands on the fossil turns up dead too, well as Doyle would say, The Game is On.
Let’s solve a mystery this week, friends. Why bring Moriarty back and then just pretend like she never showed up at all? After her return last week, I was hopeful the season would be headed in a new direction that acknowledged both the difficult dynamic of loving someone who is definably evil and the changed relationship between Holmes and everyone around him because he is clearly capable of this deep love. And yet, this week, it’s like it never happened. I get that she might be back in future weeks, but because we know it’s not the end, this week feels like filler.
Moriarty’s return wasn’t the only huge missed opportunity. Holmes and Watson are having a hard time developing working relationships with the other members of the NYPD. It turns out Detective Bell is missed in more ways than one now that he has taken on a new role in a counter-terrorism unit. It gives the show a reason to bring him back, but not on a counter-terrorism case, which is a bummer. I was hoping for hacking and patterns and data – a real chance to show another side of Holmes’s incredible mind. Despite this, it was great to see Bell again, especially out in the field and working alongside others. Holmes latches onto a bit of hope that he can get involved in this new mafia case Bell is investigating and maybe repair the relationship between the two for a bit. If things go really well, perhaps he and Bell can even work together again in the long-term.
Did the Elementary writers hear my calls? Did they see into my dreams? Did they read my tweets? Whatever the reason, I’m so glad to report that Sherlock Holmes’s sponsor, friend and fellow expert lock picker is back. Holmes is still reeling from recent incidents with Detective Bell and a visit to his sponsor’s garage is in order. Talking things out while trying to break into a car? This is therapy, Sherlock Holmes style.
The case this week leaves a lot to be desired. I could have done without it entirely, that’s how lame it is. But here’s a summary: a man pulls a Bernie Madoff like scheme, tries to kill himself, but is beat to it when someone breaks in and murders him before he can do the job.
Not every cop loves Holmes and Watson. And why would they? They are constantly solving their cases or identifying problems in their investigations. I’ve always wondered what every other cop thought about their work and this week we get a clue. The contempt Holmes has for incompetence is always bubbling beneath the surface as he roams the halls of the NYPD. And it turns out that contempt the other cops have for Holmes and Watson working in their space is equally intense. This case is the proof that the relationship between the NYPD and our favorite consulting detectives is not always a rosy one.
In the opening moments of this episode, a woman kills herself and tries to frame a man named Lucas Bundsch. Sherlock figures out quickly that she in fact committed suicide and her attempts to frame the killer were based on a more terrifying back story. This woman believed he tortured, raped and murdered her sister years earlier. It turns out, she was right and by proving her death was by suicide, Sherlock’s sense of justice is now on the line. It may not be perfect, but justice is justice when it comes to Holmes, so even though Lucas didn’t kills this woman, he needs to be brought to justice.