Thursday, January 2, 2014

Elementary lives! Me, maybe not so much.

Faux brainy will never be the new sexy.

With all the crazy excitement across the Atlantic from last night's Sherlock return, I actually got myself slightly worked up about the return of Elementary tonight. Moriarty was coming back, which one could see as Elementary putting its best foot forward. England has had its big moment, so now America can have its, right?

Oh, God. Why? Why do we build up such hopes and dreams? Why do we forget how bad the pain can be, be it childbirth, dentistry, or . . . ?

So here's the spoilers:  Mr. Elementary is pen pals with Jamie Moriarty, because he is so adrift in making a connection with another human being that she is the only one who he feels he can discuss his inner workings with. Because he is such a genius. And she is too. Yes, they're so much smarter than you or I that to us, their exchanges sound like poseur teenagers affecting what they think super intelligent people sound like. But that's only because we're not smart enough to truly understand such genius. At all.

Moriarty is being kept in a super-secret abandoned warehouse prison that looks like a street urchin could break out of it, where she gets to paint giant pictures of Watson as her punishment. Ironically, Joan Watson and her partner's nemesis this week is "Faux-riarty," one of Jamie's henchman who went free-lance and decided to kidnap a young girl and play cribbage with her. So, of course, the government (represented by Arnold Vosloo from the Mummy movies) lets Jamie out of prison with some super-science fiction stun bracelets as her only restraints, so she can work with Mr. Elementary. He is as awkward as a super-intelligent teenage boy around her, despite the fact they once had lots of sex, which typically makes said boys a lot less awkward. Not so this time.

With Jamie Moriarty able to walk freely while still "in custody" in super-science fiction magical way, she and Joan Watson can have some alone time. Moriarty uses that alone time to explain how she and Mr. Elementary are pretty much the master race of big-brained humans, and how poor Joan will never understand how they relate to each other. 

More painful conversation about how smart these people are and how Mr. Elementary doesn't understand emotions . . . blah, blah, blah . . . itty bitty Jamie chokes Arnold Vosloo out with a towel, when I suspect in real life he'd just toss her into a wall even if she had a full fifteen seconds of choking in first. I want her to be scary, really I do,  but it's just not here. And here comes the big twist that anyone with a real life brain saw coming ten minutes ago . . . the kidnapped girl is Jamie Moriarty's daughter. (But not with Mr. Elementary . . . phew, we'd hate to think Nero Wolfe was now a girl, too. He'd hate that!)

This episode was literally nails on a chalkboard to me. A whole lot of people poorly explaining how smart they are instead of demonstrating it, telling how they have a connection rather than showing us something human . . . but then they're so far beyond us, right?

Anderson in Sherlock's  "Many Happy Returns" impressed me more with his brains than anything shown in this episode. Seriously. That dude should come to New York and rule the NYPD.

A lot of folks have tried to find excuses for my dislike of this show over the last couple of years. Deciding I didn't like it early and just being unwilling to reassess. Stirring the pot just to get readers. But let me explain it to you in as Elementary would do: I'm just of an intellectual level far too low for a normal CBS viewer's understanding, and I'm writing to my fellow unter-intellectuals in a coded form of English said viewers wouldn't understand to talk about 2 Broke Girls. That's all that's going on here. And I've got space bracelets on that neuronically inflame my positrons between nine and ten Central every Thursday night. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.



  1. "And here comes the big twist that anyone with a real life brain saw coming ten minutes ago . . . the kidnapped girl is Jamie Moriarty's daughter. (But not with Mr. Elementary . . . phew, we'd hate to think Nero Wolfe was now a girl, too. He'd hate that!)"

    That made me laugh out loud! Sounds really enticing, the whole thing, as you tell it. Not.

  2. You got the name of the 'Inn' keeper for Moriarty wrong, I believe. I think it was Faran Tahir.
    And although it pains me, I agree with you, mostly, about this episode.

    1. Thanks, John. The preview for next week actually seemed like a lot of fun after all the seriousness of this one. Hope springs eternal!

  3. One could fault your Arnold Vosloo, Faran Tahir, Ving Rhames--all those bald Middle-Eastern guys look alike statement. I won't. In your haste to write your review you failed to do a simple IMDb check. It happens. One could find fault with the super-science fiction space bracelets logic of your implied "See, this episode is why I've hated 'Elementary' since July 2012". I won't. As you pointed out so long ago: "I could rail on for hours about how much I hate the show....But no, this isn’t about chances, logic, or sense." I've long accepted that your nails-on-a-chalkboard reaction to "Elementary" would take a few sessions with Martin Freeman's psychiatrist to sort out (although I have my own theories). No; I'll have to agree that this episode of "Elementary" was a disappointment. It's no more a reason to say "The Diabolical Kind" is proof that "Elementary" sucks than it is to say that "The Blind Banker" is proof that "Sherlock" sucks.

    1. My check of IMDB was just too quick -- Arnold Vosloo does appear in an episode of Elementary, which I assumed was this one. Unfortunately, it was "Heroine," that previous Moriarty episode.