Taking place almost entirely in 1895, the natural habitat for Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman), “The Abominable Bride” is an unusual episode that allows the modern retelling of the detective’s adventures to journey back to his original hunting grounds. After a brief reintroduction the characters, things start in earnest when Lestrade (Rupert Graves) brings the pair an unusual case of a suicidal bride whose ghost has appeared multiple times to wreak havoc.
The holiday special works fairly well until its final act where it stalls trying to incorporate the show’s current storyline with the unsolved mystery (rather than just allowing the tale to exist on its own).
Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include an extended featurette on the episode and the series, a Q&A about the series, a production diary, and shorter featurettes on the show’s writing and various aspects of recreating the look of 19th Century London for the episode.
[BBC Home Entertainment, Blu-ray $21.71 / DVD $22.99]
When the daughter of an incarceration serial killer (Michael O’Keefe) is murdered in his preferred method Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) take the case. Given the nature of the murder at first the detectives suspect a revenge killing by a relative of one of the serial killer’s many victims. The discovery of an unexpected pregnancy as the result of an affair also provides multiple new suspects.
Adapted from Mitch Cullen‘s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, Mr. Holmes is an intriguing, if flawed, idea offering audiences a look at the retired detective fighting senility while struggling to remember the details of his final case decades before. I say flawed because despite a terrific performance from Ian McKellen removing the keen intellect from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes also removes the character’s most definable trait leaving only a hollow shell in its place.
In terms of mysteries the Season Three episode of Elementary is weakest of the series but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver in other ways. The abduction of Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) by Holmes’ old drug associate Oscar (Michael Weston), who demands the detective’s help in locating his missing sister, sends Holmes down a dark path in a finale that deals with Holmes’ inner demons, his addiction, his guilt, and a growing frustration with a situation he can not control. It’s immediately clear what Oscar is really after, but it does take the detective time to piece the series of events together and deduce the reasons behind Oscar darkening Holmes’ door once more.
Things get personal for Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) when he becomes the prime suspect in a three-year-old murder which occurred during the hazy day of heavy heroin use make everyone except Watson (Lucy Liu) question whether or not the detective might be responsible. As Watson begins an investigation into the murder Holmes seeks out an old associate (Michael Weston) and is visited by the dead woman’s family who, based on what the police have told them, hold Sherlock responsible for the crime and take it upon themselves to offer some violent retribution.
The murder of a police officer brings all of the department’s resources to bear including Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), Watson (Lucy Liu), and Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond) who uncover some unsettling news about the victim’s drug habit and the lengths he took to try and pay for it. When a second patrolmen is killed soon after, with no ties to the now disgraced first victim, Holmes and his team work to find a connection and uncover what is really going on.