elementary my dear watson

elementary-season-5-dvdHoping to artificially instill some continuity to the show’s Fifth Season, the first episode of the year introduces us to Joan‘s (Lucy Liu) former patient and reformed gangbanger Shinwell (Nelsan Ellis). Shinwell’s issues will be a recurring theme throughout the year as Sherlock‘s (Jonny Lee Miller) attempts to help the man infiltrate and bring down a local gang have consequences for everyone involved. Sherlock’s odd behavior, getting even odder towards the end of the year, will culminate in his conversations with a stranger (Joanna Christie) and larger implications for his partnership with Watson heading into Season Six.

While far from the show’s strongest season, highlights include the death of a magician, murder and pirate gold, the return of Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond), a desperate client, Holmes struggling with attending his AA meetings, and the murder of a mathematician.

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elementary-scrambled

The death of Shinwell (Nelsan Ellis) spurs Watson (Lucy Liu) into taking up the man’s crusade. While suggesting a level of caution, and with far more mixed emotions towards the recently departed than what he knows what to do with, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) proves equally up the challenge of the case although in his case he is distracted by a B-story which feels largely out-of-place shoehorned in here. One of the effects of having Holmes and Watson work for the police is they rarely choose their own cases. In this instance the episode is fueled by Joan’s need for retribution for Shinwell’s death which leads them to confront the apparent head of the gang and his upstanding brother who actually knows far more about its inter-workings than it appears.

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elementary-moving-targets

Elementary makes a surprising move with a storyline they’ve slowly been building this season. Given Shinwell‘s (Nelsan Ellis) recent attack on Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) I expected something to shift. With the skills Shinwell had picked by Sherlock, and how well he appeared to be putting them to use for his own ends, I half-expected the former gangbanger to decide to take over, rather than destroy, it from within. This would not only create a new adversary for Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) but also provide a constant source of grief for the pair in knowing they are responsible. Instead, Shinwell’s death shifts the focus of the season in an entirely different direction by turning the detectives’ attention to the gang which is likely responsible for the man’s murder.

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elementary-the-art-of-sleights-and-deception

Obsession can be deadly, and there’s plenty of obsession in “The Art of Sleights and Deception.” The death of a magician performing his trademark illusion sends Homes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) down the rabbit hole which includes tricks of the trade, a sixty-year old mystery, and Nazi memorabilia. Despite plenty of dead ends, the pair eventually discover the true motive for the murder. The mystery proves to have quite a few twists and turns before the killer is raveled, plus there’s the added fun of seeing Watson’s reaction to Holmes’ unannounced performance of the magician’s trick in the middle of the brownstone.

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elementary-dead-mans-tale

The discovery of a body in a storage locker sends Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) down the rabbit hole on a dizzying case involving sunken pirate treasury, theft, murder, and fraud, with no scarcity of suspects. While the true motivation for the killing alludes them, eventually the pair will discover the truth about the pirate gold, and their murder victim.

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elementary-the-ballad-of-lady-frances

“The Ballad of Lady Frances” is one of those mysteries where nothing is initially what it appears to be. When an experimental new monitoring device captures the murder and torture of a construction worker refusing to give up the location of Frances, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) begin scouring the man for a woman in his life who may also be in danger. What they uncover instead is a missing guitar worth millions that it’s owner (Meat Loaf) is willing to kill to get back. Further investigation into the crime uncovers corruption within the city’s new surveillance system and the motive for a second, far more expensive, murder.

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elementary-wrong-side-of-the-road

The death of someone Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) worked with in London brings Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond) back to New York believing that the apparently death of natural causes is actually the third of such crimes hiding three murders tied to a case she and Sherlock worked in London. While initially skeptical, Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) begin to agree with Kitty’s assessment which suggests the defendant (Michael Patrick Thornton) involved in the case is likely responsible. And then events take an unexpected turn.

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elementary-rekt-in-real-life

The murder of a former gamer (Bobby Moreno) turned online personality and agent for eSports during his live streaming sends Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) in search of the victim’s missing client, an Inuit (Connor Johnston) who Sherlock believes has been framed for the crime. The true motive takes more than a little untangling as the detectives slowly unravel the motives which it turns out don’t have to deal with a $2,000,000 cash prize, cut-throat competition, human traffickers, or prostitution, but instead involve land rights in the missing gamer’s hometown. There are certainly some interesting pieces here, but it turns out some of the red herrings and wrong turns are more interesting than the final reveal.

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elementary-over-a-barrel

It’s rare to see Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) beaten, even if only for an instant. Opening with a montage of a frustrated father’s (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) previous attempts to illicit the assistance of Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) into an attack that led to his son’s eventual death, the episode begins in earnest with the man taking a diner full of hostages and giving the detective 16 hours to solve the case. Or else. With Joan as one of the hostages, it falls on Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) to work alongside Holmes and help him piece together events from five years ago before time runs out.

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elementary-crowned-clown-downtown-brown

The murder of a clown in the woods leads Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) to discover an attempt to poison the New York aquifer with a weaponized virus. Tracing the pathogen back to a virologist who has fled the country, it takes longer for Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) to discover the true motive for the crime – old fashioned greed.

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