It is now 10 P.M. C.S.T. on the first Friday night in March. And for the next five days and twenty-three hours, I can say for certain which episode of CBS's Elementary is the best episode in its entire run.
The episode's title is "Hounded" and the CBS press release describes it as follows:
"At the urging of Morland's wealthy associate, Henry Baskerville (Tom Everett Scott), Holmes and Watson look into the death of his brother and discover that a witness saw the man chased to his death by a large, glowing animal too fantastic to be real. Sherlock considers intervening when the trauma from the bombing at the morgue negatively impacts ME Hawes' work . . . Tom Everett Scott guest stars as Henry Baskerville in an episode inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel "The Hound of the Baskervilles."
Yes, gentle residents of that Dartmoor of the mind, Elementary is doing their adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Well, maybe not "adaptation" so much as "inspiredaptation," which is pretty much what its predecessor, BBC's Sherlock did in their Hound-inspired episode. To this viewer, Sherlock's "Hounds of Baskerville" was one of its weaker outings, so who knows? Maybe Elementary can one-up the master of modern Sherlocks this week?
For five days and twenty-two hours and forty-eight minutes, anything is possible. Hope springs eternal.
Many a screen Sherlock started their career with The Hound of the Baskervilles. Basil Rathbone. Peter Cushing. Ian Richardson. Matt Frewer. Others got around to Hound after settling into the role. Jeremy Brett. Benedict Cumberbatch. Vasily Livanov. And then there are the one-shots. Peter Cook. Stewart Granger. Richard Roxburgh. The list of screen Sherlocks in Hound adaptations is long and lovely, and now Jonny Lee Miller gets to enter that great club of actors to play a "Sherlock Holmes" in something spinning off the original Doyle novel.
The preview for the episode on YouTube actually blazes "Inspired by The Hound of the Baskervilles" across the screen and shows an actual fake copy of the novel. And a large share of the preview is taken up by the words "BUT YOU'VE NEVER . . . SEEN IT . . . LIKE THIS."
What are we going to see it like? Who knows! Not like anything we've seen before, they're telling us that much. We've seen Elementary do an episode inspired by "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton." We've seen Elementary do an episode inspired by "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client." And we've seen an episode whose title, "The Hound of the Cancer Cells," was inspired by The Hound of the Baskervilles. And now, after eighty-six episodes, Elementary goes to the Canon for a third time for that most classic adapted-for-the-screen of all Sherlock Holmes stories.
It's an episode of Elementary that all Sherlockians should look forward to, and tune in, and watch this coming Thursday.
Because for another five days, twenty-three hours, and twenty minutes, it might just be the best episode of Elementary ever.