Normally I do not review non-sci-fi shows on this website but since sci-fi is undergoing a bit of drought I thought it would be a good idea to write about ‘Elementary’ the latest Sherlock Holmes inspired TV-show starring Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes, Lucy Liu as doctor Joan Watson and Aidan Quinn as Captain Gregson. The show has come about mainly due to the popularity of the British Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch but distinguishes itself with a new setting and premise. Whereas the British show is very tightly written the American show is procedural . At first it seemed to have this fact against itself but it has managed to build it’s own fan base. Today it was confirmed that Elementary was to be extended to a full 24 episodes for it’s first season.
As for the plot of ‘One way to get off’…
The story starts with the perpetrator murdering two wealthy occupants during a home robbery after he has stolen a single high heeled shoe. As Watson and Sherlock are preparing their own breakfasts Watson tries to lure him into a conversation about Irene, but Sherlock dismisses her interests as an invasion of privacy. After Sherlock gets a text message from Captain Gregson he walks out of the apartment by telling her that he is going to make coffee so they can continue their conversation. At the crime scene Gregson has to admit that the way the murders have occurred is eerily similar to those committed by a man called Wade Crewes. Sherlock confirms a connection with the murders from 1999 after he finds that a single high heel has been stolen just as before though Gregson remains adamant that Crewes is guilty of those murders.
Detective bell meanwhile has found out that the murder victims recently fired a contractor named Walsh and that the man sent threatening emails afterwards. As Walsh is interrogated at home Sherlock notices that he frequently stares down at the floor and deduces the man has something to hide in his basement. After Sherlock excuses himself to go to the lavatory (bathroom) and discovers that he has kept a sex slave chained up to a pole. After questioning her she admits that Walsh spent the night with her and couldn’t have murdered the couple in the apartment.
After examining a bullet that was used in the double homicide with descriptions of those used in 1999 Sherlock declares that the murders are also connected through the weapon used, as the bullet grooves are the same. Sherlock also contacts detective D’Amico who was Gregson’s partner on the case in 1999. For Gregson it is becoming almost too much as he might have to admit that the man in jail for the murders now maybe innocent.
Dr. Watson meanwhile visits the rehab clinic where Sherlock received treatment and discovers that neither the doctor nor the psychiatrist treating him ever discovered anything personal about him, after Watson is about to leave she spots the groundskeeper attending to a beehive and deduces that the man probably would have had contact with Sherlock as beekeeping is one of his hobbies. In this she is proven correct but the man also tells her that Sherlock did not discuss anything personal with him, he does give her a number of letters from a woman called Irene Adler addressed to Sherlock.
Captain Gregson and Sherlock visit the man convicted of the murders from 1999, Wade Crewes, in Sing Sing. Crewes maintains he confessed because his lawyer told him to do it. Sherlock notices the man has become literate after quoting Tolstoy’s War and Peace. As the visit proves to be a dead-end Sherlock attempts to visit the woman with which Crewes had and affair in 1999, he learns she died some years back but does meet her son Sean Figueroa. As the leads have dried up Sherlock views the tapes of the confession of Crewes from 1999, Watson contemplates giving the letters from Irene to Sherlock but doesn’t. Sherlock calls on her opinion after he finds out that the coffee mug from an earlier interrogation was later used as evidence when it was found in the apartment of one of the victims thus proving that Crewes was framed.
Captain Gregson doesn’t take this revelation well and is adamant that Crewes must have an accomplice. A man named Victor Nardin was seen as a possible suspect in 1999 and has been released a few backs. Sherlock and Watson manage to find his apartment before the police do after they deduce that because of the man’s love of Chechen soccer he must be staying at a hotel near a bar which broadcasts Chechen soccer. In his apartment Sherlock quickly finds the gun used in the apartment murders but seems to contemplate that it was planted there. Gregson meanwhile confronts his previous partner D’Amico who admits she planted the mug to frame Crewes.
Watson meanwhile gives Sherlock the letters she received at the clinic but Sherlock promptly puts them in the blender and accuses her of involving herself too much in his private life.
Gregson later calls Sherlock and Watson to the scene of a triple homicide. Gregson seems to think the murderer is Nardin and states he can convict him if the cigarette buds found outside the home have his DNA on it. Sherlock is unconvinced. As detective Bell is interrogating Nardin Sherlock storms in and throws a orange at Nardin’s face, this is meant to prove that Nardin is blinded in one eye and couldn’t have committed the triple homicide. This is further supported by the fact that that Nardin uses a practice ball to get his sense of depth back and there are markings of this all over his apartment. Because the cigarette buds were not found squashed by shoes but intact suggest that somebody took them from Nardin’s apartment to frame him. All this proves Nardin is innocent but not who Crewes’s accomplice is. The risks exists that Crewes might be set free if the killings continue.
Sherlock deduces that after Crewes quotes Oscar Wilde in a TV interview somebody must have given him reading lesson’s, Sherlock discovers that this has been by none other than Sean Figueroa who according to Sherlock must have discovered that his father is Crewes. Sherlock and Bell confront Sean who admits to the scheme, Sean leads them to the four high heels stolen by Crewes during the 1999 murders which not only confirms his guilt but also his involvement in the latest murders which was a scheme to have his sentence reduced.
In the last scene of the episode Sherlock says he forgives Watson’s discovery of Irene Adler’s existence, according to him he did not take her death very well. Joan Watson seems to be at a loss about how to support Sherlock with this revelation.
Conclusion; ‘One way to get off’ was probably the best episode so far, even better than last weeks episode which was already great. Elementary previously remained high on my to see list mainly because of the excellent banter between Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, often the identity of the perpetrator was already obvious after a few minutes (Pilot, Rat Race, Lesser Evils). This weeks episode does a great job at hiding the perpetrator because it threw a very clever red-herring in the form of Captain Gregsons’ previous partner D’Amico, she had the same built and height as the murderer and even admitted to framing the man who had committed the earlier series of murders.
The continued discovery of Sherlock Holmes’s past makes for intriguing TV and this show is quickly building the mythology that it will need to sustain itself over the coming years, the fact that much of the story is seen through Joan Watson’s eyes makes it very easy to relate to her. However, only in the pilot and the episode Lesser Evils have we seen anything of her background and so I think it is high time for a more Watson centric episode.
Detective Bell’s behavior of first blasting all of Sherlock’s suggestions and then fully cooperating with him is starting to become a bit of a liability as his character seems to act as a fifth wheel to Gregson, Sherlock and Watson.
‘One Way to get off’ also hit the nail right when it comes to the amount of gore that goes into a murder, previous episodes often had the victim neatly slumped over in a chair with little to no blood on the body, this week’s episode let open the fountain because it is everywhere.
One thing I will say is that the whoever is putting together the clothing style of Lucy Liu’s character Dr. Watson should get an award because she looks very chic with her urban clothing .
Score; 9 / 10.
Viewer Rating; 10.75 million. The ratings for Elementary seem to be stabilizing north of 10 million. Revolution could take this as an example.
Unfortunately, Elementary won’t be back until November 29th with the episode ‘The Long Fuse’ which will guest star Lisa Edelstein (House).