Once upon a time, in that ever-present ire of the Elementary fans toward the unappreciated critic, this blog obtained the description of "ego-driven." But come Thursday nights, those looking for a reason behind my usual typing don't have to look far: any lazy writer who feels compelled to write something vaguely related to Sherlock Holmes on a Thursday can have only one target, as non-Sherlockian and sad as it can be.
Case in point: Tonight's episode revolved around one Apollo Mercer, who died of weaponized anthrax.
Mercer . . . sound familiar?
The second mate of the good ship Gloria Scott for one. And in 1902, Mercer was the name of Sherlock Holmes's "general utility man who looks of routine business." That latter fellow would actually be an interesting character to bring to the screen. Elementary, however, gives us a pickpocket who dies of anthrax in a jail cell. Nobody reading the Sherlockian Canon this week. Maybe they at least pulled the name out of The Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana, or some other reference work, one would hope.
And things just get weirder from there. Last week, I noted that continuity seemed to be picking up on the show, as Miss Hudson got a mention or two and Clyde the turtle was back. So when this week's episode started with a "previously on" scene from last season with a character named Alistair, an actor friend who Mr. Elementary got to play his father for Joan Watson, it seemed like the trend was continuing . . . until Alistair died before ever showing up in the episode.
But we still got to see Alistair this week, as a ghost whom Mr. Elementary talks to while on the Mercer case.
Does Sherlock Holmes's famous quote, "No ghosts need apply!" pertain to those spectral folk that TV characters like to talk to when they're under mental duress? I don't know, but the whole thing seems a lot more Conan Doyle than Sherlock Holmes.
Mr. Elementary and Joan Watson later indulged in one of those conversations that requires plate-smashing for emotional emphasis. Never enjoyed that trope, but let me leave this one to Mr. Elementary's buddy Alistair.
"Sherlock Holmes. When did you become such a cliche?" Alistair's ghost pronounces later in the episode, when Mr. Elementary visits his grave. "If this were a scene in a play, I would refuse to perform it."
By the way, Alistair's last name is "Moore" as we learn from his headstone. Dr. Moore Agar was a Canonical character. Those two facts have nothing to do with each other, but then, it's Thursday night, after all, and I'm not the only one who seems to be a bit lazy.