Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Elementary explanation.

Another Thursday night, another rerun, as Elementary saves up its energies for one last run of the season. But we can't let Thursday pass without a little tale of Mr. Elementary and Joan Watson, can we? So let us consider that little theory I've been kicking about of late, and see just how it plays out. You know the stories.

Remember how a fellow named Richard Brook exposed the famous Mr. Sherlock Holmes to reporter Kitty Riley? Exposed him as a complete and utter fraud, demonstrated how his greatest case was completely staged, and cast John Watson's blogs in a very unfavorable light? Sherlock Holmes had become quite the celebrity detective, with fans, real fans just like Kitty Riley pretended to be. Seeing their hero discredited had to be quite a blow to those fans. Sherlock's suicide soon after, added to the damage.

So suppose you were one of those fans, a fellow whose mental state included traits of Asperger's, an encyclopedic knowledge of trivia, and a near obsessive fascination with Sherlock. And just before your hero's fall, your girlfriend, that one rare woman who could look past your quirks and love you anyway, was hung upside down and exsanguinated by a serial killer whose path she was unlucky enough to cross. But Sherlock Holmes, the one man who could get justice for her death, the one man you know could make things right, is suddenly gone. The pain is incredible, beyond the mind-numbing drugs you attention to escape with, so much so that eventually your damaged, bent, and drugged psyche comes to the one answer to your problem that seems at all workable.

Sherlock Holmes must solve the murder. Sherlock Holmes must right the wrongs. The slogan "I believe in Sherlock Holmes" becomes more than just a belief. It becomes certain knowledge. You know Sherlock Holmes exists, because you areSherlock Holmes.

In London, that might mean institutionalization. But your father is so very, very wealthy. And he has friends in America, powerful friends in the right places to have some influence with the NYPD. He's also wealthy enough to find and hire a disgraced surgeon whose name happens to be "Joan Watson." If your wealthy father can set you up in a situation where your delusion can be somewhat functional, perhaps you can work your way out of it without the scandal of the nuthouse. (What's a little heroin addiction between rich friends? But madness? Delusions of being a disgraced celebrity? That's just not done.)

So your find yourself in New York City, calling yourself Sherlock Holmes, and working for the police in some odd consultory fashion whose paycheck probably comes from the same source as your Dr. Watson's. Your methods are quite the same as the original Sherlock, who you never really knew, but quick statements of the obvious, a constant barrage of trivia, and some assistance from the real police to keep you on the right path all seems to get the job done. You must be Sherlock Holmes.

Of course, when the girlfriend's actual murderer does show up in New York, you go a little mad and head for torture, but the killer recognizes your madness (he's from England, too, of course, and knows all about Sherlock Holmes and the "mythical" Moriarty) and feeds you just what you need to keep from going psycho on him. And on you go.

At some point, you realize that your role needs a woman named Hudson to be a part of your domestic situation, so you hire a sex worker who specializes in fantasy to play the part. And on you go.

Now, if the world and the entertainment industry was a perfect place, when Sherlock comes back from the dead next year (or even while he's still letting all of England think he's dead), it would be an excellent climax to Elementary for he to appear in New York just as his biggest fan regains his sanity and bless the detective union of Mr. Elementary and Joan Watson, sort of like King Sean Connery showing up at the end of the movie Robin Hood. But alas, sometimes we have to let our fictions remain separated by their corporate masters.

One can always dream, however . . . .

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if I can actually watch the show if I pretend what you suggest. It may sound crazy, but it just might work.