This weeks episode of Elementary entitled ‘Just a Regular Irregular’ starts off just as you would expect. Consulting mathematician Harlan Emple discovers a body stuffed in a storage box after he arrives at a warehouse. He discovered the place following various math puzzles. The unusual circumstances of the murder might seem just right for an episode of Elementary. And though I have no doubt it would be good otherwise it turns out to be a great episode because at its center it deals with the ‘irregulars’ as Sherlock calls them. They are the experts Sherlock Holmes consults to solve parts crimes he doesn’t understand. Harlan Emple (played by Rich Sommer) of course we have seen before in the season 2 episode ‘Solve for X’ in which a murderer tried to stop the solution to P vs. NP from becoming public knowledge.
Elementary Just a Regular Irregular Review
I have before criticized Elementary for not using secondary characters enough. They almost certainly never occur more than twice and though I do remember Harlan I feel surprised they selected him to become a recurring character. During the episode he can only marginally help Sherlock and Detective Bell with his math knowledge. The math puzzle that were devised by the killer intended as a trap so he can kill brilliant mathematicians in secluded places. Sadly for Harlan there is no 1.7 million dollar prize for being the first to solve all puzzle pieces. Instead most victims end up being tortured and then shot in the head. Harlan most unfortunate event was a fit of vomiting after discovering he was the next intended victim. To Sherlock it occurs that the murdered tortures to uncover what the math experts knew, but Sherlock can’t figure out why. Harlan meanwhile discovers from Joan that Sherlock has in the past consulted other math experts and wonders why he has been ditched.
After a paranoid schizophrenic who had been Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Bell’s primary suspect is found murdered the trail becomes cold. Several math expert point to a millionaire mathematician named Paul. Paul states that the most likely culprit is a blogger using the pseudonym Mo Shellshocker. According to Paul Mo has been a vigilante mathematician who has discovered numerous cases where math’s was abused to give a false account of facts. In one case, he showed that a proposed new jet fighter could never work but this also caused him to reveal sensitive information and thus he is wanted by the FBI. Paul suggests that he and other math experts can uncover who Mo is by studying the blog post for clues in the math’s. Outside the building Sherlock confronts Harlan with being Mo Shellshocker. Harlan doesn’t deny it but resolutely states he is not the murderer. Sherlock believes him, but Harlan questions why he never consulted with him again after Sherlock left for London. Sherlock admits he felt Harlan was becoming to friendly and close to him and he prefers to work like professionals. A wounded Harlan leaves Sherlock and doesn’t respond to the latter’s phone calls.
Meanwhile Joan (Lucy Liu) and Kitty deal with the aftermath of her reading the file on Kitty’s past. During a conversation Joan reveals to Sherlock she knows Kitty was abducted and raped. She states that Kitty needs more help besides working for Sherlock. Despite his attempts to proof otherwise he eventually gives in and tasks Kitty with following Joan’s instructions. However, Kitty goes about it her own way in trying to have Sherlock think more highly of her. By the end of the episode she agrees to Joan’s suggestion that they both should attend counseling meetings together though she thinks they are ‘bollocks’.
Sherlock continues the case with the help of Joan and Kitty. Both suggest that the murderer killed the math experts because of what they knew but didn’t know which one knew what he was looking for. The torture was used to question their knowledge. It occurs to Sherlock that Paul has assembled all great math experts and that one if them might be the killer. He leaks to Paul that Harlan is Mo Shellshocker in the hopes that one of them will make an attempt on Harlan’s life. Outside Harlan’s apartment Sherlock apologizes to Harlan for abandoning him, he should have recognized a genius equal to his own. He explains to Harlan that Paul was indeed the murderer. Paul became rich after he discovered that scratch cards did not post random winnings. After Harlan exposed the flaw through his blog as Mo Shellshocker Paul’s livelihood became threatened.
Sherlock also reveals he gave Harlan’s address to Paul. Before Harlan becomes panicked Sherlock assures him that Paul had already been arrested several floors down about an hour before. Apparently because Harlan refused to answer his phone Sherlock couldn’t give him the good news. Harlan questions whether Sherlock will turn him to the FBI. Sherlock tells him he told the NYPD he made up the story to Paul that Harlan was Mo Shellshocker and so he won’t give him up.
The Harlan Emple I knew from before is pretty much how he was portrayed at the start of the episode, but slowly and surely we learn more about him that just the quirks that become associated with a one time Elementary appearance. Despite not having much courage for violence Harlan at lives by his own code of conduct. He berates other math experts for trying to work together to solve what they think is a puzzle with a million dollar prize. He maintains the blog of Mo Shellshocker to uncover fraud that used math at its basis. His character contrasts greatly with that of Paul who uses math’s for purely selfish reasons. Harlan’s code of conduct makes him more like Sherlock than he really knows though he thanks Sherlock for making him feel happier for being a geek just like him. Though I doubt we will Harlan very often if he can at least make a regular appearance it would definitely add color to the cast of Elementary. ‘Just a Regular Irregular’ was an effective episode with red-herrings right until the end. Sadly the storyline of Kitty has so far not yet paid of even if she and Joan are becoming closer and develop a mutual respect.
Score; 8.3. A wonderful performance of Rich Sommer as Harlan Temple. Sadly the kitty gone crazy story is not yet over.
This was Elementary Just a Regular Irregular Review. Thanks for reading. Elementary will be back next week with the episode Bella. Until then.