Clyde the turtle. Angus the phrenology bust. Bob the dummy.
Inanimate and near-inamimate characters are an ongoing staple of Elementary. That's one way to get around the Screen Actor's Guild, I guess.
Bob the singlestick dummy is back this week. Joan Watson is getting all fiesty toward a woman who was once all fiesty with her, and apparently a part of her thinks punching is in order. I guess she graduated from hitting people on the top of their head with a stick this season.
And a lively policewoman visiting the morgue is singing about fighting a woman after her man. The morgue guy likes her, and why shouldn't he? She's livelier than 97.5% of the people on this show. She even infects the morgue guy with her energy. Which means she has to die. BOOM.
Dammit, Elementary, you just want me to hate you, don't you? That was the most likable victim ever. They should bring her twin sister on to a future episode.
Mr. Elementary goes off to work on the case, while Joan goes off to be testy at the woman she was punching the dummy about earlier. And no, "punching the dummy" is not a euphemism. But Joan has such shimmy-shammy character development sometimes, it might as well be.
Oh, drug cartels. Such a convenient scapegoat to chase around for a while before we get to the real plot. Filling an hour with mystery can be tough, can't it?
Joan's blouse in covered in leopards. "Catfight" symbolism?
And the ID of a corpse as "Janet of the Apes" brings us to a roller derby track . . . more woman-on-woman violence this episode. Seems to be a theme. But back to Joan and her nemesis.
"She's not an enemy. I don't have enemies. I'm not like you," Joan Watson snipes at Mr. Elementary, who responds by making up roller derby names for her.
"Joan of Bark." "Joan Cold Killier." "Swatson."
But now we're on to oxy-cotton drug-dealing. Boy, TV procedurals just swing from topic-vine to topic-vine like Tarzan of the Apes sometimes, don't they. ("Tarzan of the Apes" is not a roller derby name, in case any youngsters out there need a prod to Google it.)
The villain of the piece seems to be a living-with-the-parents young guy named Toby. Did he get that name from the dog that Holmes and Watson use in The Sign of the Four, or from random chance, or a Toby Maguire nod?
Ah, Joan's nemesis is all about vigilante justice. The main plot is wibbly-wobbly enough. This side-story just adds to the randomness stew this week.
Oh, please. This half-mentally-disabled genius stalker character is just too much cheese. Too much. And the fact that we had both the cheesey drug cartel guy and "creepy young guy" in the same episode betrays a certain desperation in scripting. Mr. Elementary should spend every other week making deductions about the creation of the previous week's episode. That might be fun. He could build one of those big wall collages connected with yarn that these shows like so much.
Being bullied for being gay figures into Joan Watson's side-plot all of a sudden . . . more random . . . but her nemesis has Joan's number.
"You're been doing this four years, right? And before that you were some kinda rehab expert, and before that, you were a doctor? Four years is nothing. You think you've seen things, but you haven't. Stay the course this time, Joan, stick this one out." Stick what out? The season?
Joan shoots "Race you to the bottom!" at her nemesis before turning for a dramatic stalk-away. What?
I wish my cat watched TV, as I think he would really like Elementary. Having random objects shaken in front of his face is one of his favorite things. I remember that film of Conan Doyle sitting with a dog while he talked about Sherlock Holmes . . . Doyle was a dog guy. And I think I'm kind of glad about that. A little focus is good sometimes.
Especially if you want to put some Sherlock Holmes in your "Sherlock Holmes."