REVIEW - Elementary S1E10

Labels: , ,

Television shows possess a great ability to test your faith in them. Just as it starts to run out and you give up hope, they can manage to pull you back in. This has certainly been the case with Elementary. After a few signs of the show starting to run out of steam, it has begun to redeem itself with an episode the reignites the spark that had once seemed lost.

Moving away from the standard murder mystery format that the show had been indulging in, Sherlock is presented with something that he just cannot ignore. A seemingly impregnable safe is broken into leaving its designer with no other option but to turn to Sherlock as a last resort to save his reputation and his company and figure out how the thieves got it. The case takes in the search for a mythical thief, secret computer codes and Sherlock’s temporary ownership of a missing Van Gogh masterpiece. All in a day’s work!

The slight tweak in format and different style of mystery provides a refreshing alternative to the rather more formulaic offerings of previous weeks. If there is a weakness it is that towards the end it is an episode that resorts too willingly to safer ground by throwing in a few murders. The heist solution is also rather unsatisfactory but there are enough surprises and twists along the way so that it is not a disappointment that it too greatly felt.

Previous episodes have tried to explore some of Joan’s past and provide her with a greater backstory. This endeavour has not been entirely successful and has been unnecessarily tacked on to earlier episodes providing no great satisfaction in learning more about the character. However, this week’s customary Joan backstory subplot introduces her mother and brother and finally starts to offer a few genuine relationships rather than some of the forced ones we have been previously fed.

Jonny Lee Miller remains one of the strongest components of the show and his performance is back to the manic, high-octane state of earlier episodes. However, while it is a fun and entertaining turn, it is starting to feel less and less like the true essence of the character of Sherlock Holmes despite Miller getting to use one of the literary version’s greatest quotes during the course of the episode.

Lucy Liu continues to be quietly impressive as Watson and gets to share a heartfelt scene with her mother during the episode’s denouement. With Detectives Gregson and Bell left in the background it is truly an episode that gets to fully play with the Holmes/Watson dynamic. Just as there are signs that there is a genuine mutual respect developing between the two and that a partnership is being forged it is intriguing to ponder how the writers will deal with the impending conclusion of Watson’s employment as companion and how they will keep them together. This also proposes the tantalising prospect that an introduction to Sherlock’s father cannot be too far off.

This is a return to some kind of form and the return of a spark that will hopefully not be squandered.

Review by Jonathan Gray


Post a Comment