I almost forgot about Elementary this week. With the show entering the final run of its second season, it deserves a little attention, even if it does have little to do with Sherlock Holmes as he exists outside the CBS network.
It's a quieter show these days, with Jonny Lee Miller playing Mr. Elementary with less strident tones. The pre-credits mini-case is almost soothing, even when poking an evil-doer with a pin. It's a little more self-aware, too, wandering into Joan Watson's past, actually mentioning Miss Hudson, and revisiting those sorts of hackers one can only contact by holding a cardboard sign.
Jason Tracey, the writer of the first season's best episode ("Snow Angels") does a nice job of giving "The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville" the outre elements that are associated with the best Sherlock Holmes stories. And he actually has four different scenes of Joan Watson waking up. I think that Joan Watson waking up may, when all is said and done with this series, be her defining character moment. Unlike Nigel Bruce's wake-ups with a comic start, Lucy Liu's wake-ups have a calm "What the hell?" that lets her comfy-looking bed-nest still seem like she could just tell her partner to buzz off and slip back into slumberland.
And Clyde the turtle gets to have screen-time in many of Joan's wake-ups, wearing outfits by the unseen Miss Hudson, which is nice.
Like I said at the start, Elementary has yet to convince me that it has much to do with Sherlock Holmes outside of the CBS network, as much as its apologists may protest to the contrary. But if it must exist, episodes like "The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville" are Elementary at its most palatable. It feels like the show is getting comfortable within its own skin, and when it gets one of its better writer/director teams at the helm, it's a nice change from the painful hours of its early days.