elementary my dear watson

elementary-youve-come-a-long-way-baby

Although she doesn’t appear in the episode, Jaime Moriarty‘s (Natalie Dormer) shadow looms large over “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” as Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) mulls over his father’s (John Noble) plea for Sherlock to help him kill the only woman his son has ever loved before she kills his father. Of course there’s also a case of the week to solve, this one involving murder, cigarette smuggling, and an ATF undercover operation that has spiraled out of control, but it’s Sherlock’s dilemma which carries the episode.

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elementary-the-adventure-of-ersatz-sobekneferu

With Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) preoccupied with the arrival of his father (John Noble) in New York and the discovery that a potential assassin is trailing him, Watson (Lucy Liu) takes the lead in an odd case where a woman was murdered and had begun to be mummified by one of the world’s most famous forgers (Stephen Spinella). The investigation leads to another forger (Julian Sands), and the father of the murdered young girl, but the real culprit is closer than the NYPD realizes.

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elementary-nobody-lives-forever

With Holmes‘ (Jonny Lee Miller) mental issues seemingly behind him and his new adversary still laying low. “Nobody Lives Forever” offers the opportunity for the return of Sherlock’s former sponsor Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) who hopes to enlist him in a criminal endeavor. In an episode where the B-story proves more interesting than the crime of the week, Alfredo teaches the detective an important lesson about forgiveness (oddly enough while attempting to coerce Holmes into helping rob a business owner of money he stiffed the security expert on) as Holmes not only helps Alfredo’s older brother, whom he loathes, but also makes an attempt to mend fences with his own. This leads to both a humorous wisecrack about his brother and his partner as well as a touching final scene where the Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) bonding over the loss of a mutual loved one.

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elementary-sober-companions

Opening with the discovery of a murder victim which both hits close to home with the NYPD and also reveals that several other women all murdered by the same killer, “Sober Companions” brings two ongoing storylines to a head. The first involves Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) discovering Michael’s (Desmond Harrington) secret. And the second involves the detective pushing himself beyond the limitations of his medical condition in a futile attempt to catch a serial killer who has been two-steps ahead of him the entire season (and credits Sherlock’s words of wisdom about sobriety for much of his success).

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elementary-bits-and-pieces

For the first time this season Sherlock‘s (Jonny Lee Miller) condition interferes with an investigation as he discovers himself on the front steps of the brownstone with a severed head in in a bag and no memory of how he, or it, got there. This forces Holmes to share his condition with the NYPD. While its obvious Gregson (Aidan Quinn) would be upset that Holmes kept his condition hidden from the department for so long, I can’t say I’m wild about the show returning the pair to a more adversarial relationship (and Gregson’s complete, almost Holmesian, lack of empathy to his friend’s condition – which up until this point hasn’t interfered with a single case – unfortunately makes him come off like the bad guy in the situation). That said, the episode’s set-up is one of the more interesting of the series.

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elementary-pushing-buttons

While the theme of Holmes‘ (Jonny Lee Miller) illness is present yet again, the main focus of “Pushing Buttons” involves the murder of Revolutionary War reenactor (and pyramid scheme creator) on the battlefield followed up by the arson of his home. As with many previous episodes of the series, Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) will work their way through suspects and various motives before finding the true reason for both crimes. This week’s reveal is almost too convoluted for its own good (hopefully not a sign of things to come). Given his condition, and his doctor’s prescription of rest, it would seem to be an interesting way to gear multiple episodes of the season towards Watson as the primary character, although that doesn’t seem to be what the writes have in mind.

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elementary-once-youve-ruled-out-god

Murder by lightning gun turns Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan (Lucy Liu) on to a local laboratory missing some platinum, a dead Nazi bomb maker, and a legitimate threat of a dirty bomb being detonated in New York City. While the threat is very much real, the truth behind the series of events is never quite what it seems. The episode’s B-story involves more of Joan’s sister (Samantha Quan) and the death of her estranged and mentally-unstable biological father. While mostly filler, the B-story does feature a nice moment between the detectives which ties in Sherlock’s current illness with that of the father Joan barely knew.

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elementary-an-infinite-capacity-for-taking-pains

After nearly a full year off the air, Elementary finally returns for the show’s Sixth Season. Along with introducing a new case involving a missing person that leads to two separate murders, the season premiere picks up on the thread introduced at the end of last season involving Sherlock‘s (Jonny Lee Miller) deteriorating mental state. With the detective coming clean to Joan (Lucy Liu), we learn that although is condition likely isn’t permanent it is effecting his ability to do his job which puts further strain on the detective in realizing that without his work there’s a very real chance of losing his sobriety (which would further complicate him getting better). It’s a vicious circle that is met with quiet frustration by the detective and concern from his partner.

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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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