This weeks episode of Elementary gave me mixed feelings, not because it was a so-so episode (it was in fact great) but because the suspect of the week suddenly turned from a would-be hero into a villain and for both roles he lacked a motivation. The story of ‘We Are Everyone’ is inspired by the rise hacktivists such as Assange, Manning and Snowden. The fact that the suspect of the week seems inhabit traits from all three applause should have to got to the writers. However, just as in real-life the question remains what to make of these people, are they hero’s or villains. You might say it depends on the context, in that case this episode of Elementary got things wrong because the moral arguments are never adequately explained.
We Are Everyone
The episode starts with Joan taking quizzes from Sherlock over her mobile phone in the park. Joan’s friend alludes that she doesn’t quite agree in her new line of work and offers her a 6 month membership of an online dating site to try and meet men. Joan contemplates the offer. Sherlock meanwhile entertains a client, a Mr. Muller from Brussels who wants Sherlock to find Ezra Kleinfelter. Ezra has leaked sensitive documents from the intelligence agency where he works and Muller wants to guarantee the man will get a fair trial. To Joan it all sounds too hokey and Sherlock agrees. In fact, Sherlock quickly deduces the man Muller is in fact American because he can’t play Backgammon and deduces he works for a CIA subcontractor.
Sherlock and Joan set out to find Ezra Kleinfelter but they haven’t agreed what to do when they succeed. Joan meanwhile has signed up for the dating site but Sherlock doesn’t seem impressed. Sherlock finds out that contrary to most intelligence leakers Ezra has only sent his documents to one female journalist, a Celia Carroll. She denies knowing where Ezra is but Joan and Sherlock things she is lying and stake out her office. She switches a bag with the security guard and thus Sherlock steals the man’s mobile phone. From that Sherlock discovers that the guard is in touch with a diverse group of hacktivists who call themselves ‘Everyone’. Looking at the chat logs Sherlock finds a woman called Vanessa Hiskey who has recently bough some serious computer equipment. After breaking into he apartment they find her murdered. Sherlock thinks that spurned advances from Ezra may have caused it which is an eerie similarity to the Assange rape allegation.
A box of crackers stuffed into cardboard box with the initials OCD written on it causes Sherlock to discover that Ezra is hiding in an old Cold war fallout shelter. Meanwhile Joan’s online dating gamble takes a turn for the worse when she receives messages from men wishing to play with her model trains while she is naked. It transpires that Ezra’s ‘Everyone’ are taking revenge for the manhunt on Sherlock and Joan. Sherlock is even arrested by the Secret Service for threatening the president. Joan gets unexpected help from a man using the dating site who inquires if she is alright. It would seem that he could act a wedge between Joan and Sherlock in upcoming episodes.
Meanwhile Sherlock has been chatting to the ‘Everyone’ and after demands that he put a show on his head and Joan to take her clothes off Sherlock deduces that one of the chatters is a rich billionaire with a private airplane. Gregson, Sherlock and Joan stake out the airplane and soon capture Ezra. Ezra however demands to be released otherwise he will reveal the names of over a dozen undercover operatives of the CIA. Gregson has no recourse other than to release Ezra. Joan manages to steal his wristwatch which contains his DNA linking him to the murder of Vanessa. Sherlock probes his CIA contractor (Mr. Muller or Honeycutt) and states that it would be best to retrieve the operatives as they are in acute regardless of Ezra’s freedom. After Ezra’s airplane has been sent back from Venezuela because it won’t harbor any murderers Ezra is arrested. He has no leverage anymore.
As the episode draws to a close Joan says that she needs some real time for her life and states she will try and find some dates. Sherlock seems unresponsive but quickly takes up reading Jamie Moriarty’s/Irene Adler’s letters from prison. Joan meanwhile seems to be contemplating whether she should document Sherlock’s work.
I really liked this episode, it had a lot of humor while also did well with drama. Joan’s continued probing of Sherlock’s eccentricities deepens their personal relations and makes their friendship seem a lot more real. However, the twists and turns of the storyline of Ezra Kleinfelter felt a bit absurd. Him murdering Vanessa may have seemed like real-life drama more than other murders but the episode never quite recovers from it. The last twist with the airplane being sent back from Venezuela also seemed too convenient.
As Joan questions her continued commitment to Sherlock it would seem we can expect some changes for her in the upcoming episodes. With Sherlock reading Moriarty’s letter we can expect the same for him though I suspect it will not entail any great personal changes. This episode also shows that Joan’s investigative skill are improving greatly.
Though I have remarked before on the wonderful fashion that Lucy Liu wears on this show it has become rather noticeable that she isn’t wearing pantyhose anymore but instead wears mini-skirt mini-dresses, mini-briefs and mini-boxers pretty much anytime she has screen time. I am certainly not complaining as she does look beautiful but I am not certain if it realistic. Otherwise New York is a great place to stay.
Score; 8.7 / 10. Some odd twists drag this episode down. Otherwise it is a effective criticism of intelligence leaking.