Thursday, October 24, 2013

Positively Elementary S2E5: He's a player and I don't mean chess.

(SPOILER ALERT! It's time to spill all the beans on this week's Elementary. Abandon hope of freshness, all ye who enter here!)

"No interesting murder cases in the last few weeks."

Only in TV land do we get statements like that. Murder, murder, murder . . . Joan Watson's instincts are to take up a missing-boyfriend case instead of insisting on murder this week, but her partner Sean "Sherlock" Holmes is sticking to the TV network agenda: Procedurals need murders to have their procedure.

Sigh. But as this week's episode is by the writer of last year's favorite offering, "Snow Angels," I'm curious to see what develops.

Interestingly, we learn that Sean Holmes is a chess player this week: the mark of a scheming mind, according to our old friend Sherlock Holmes. While chess is traditionally the tag writers like to add to demonstrate someone's intellectual nature, it has always been interesting to me that Sherlock Holmes made more references to playing cards -- and actually playing cards himself -- than anything to do with chess. Cards always made more sense with Holmes, playing the hand one is dealt, reading one's opponents. Moriarty was the chess man in the Canon, if ever there was one.

But that's okay. While Sean has been holding back in the area of disguise, where Sherlock excelled, the New York Holmes does disguise his voice on the phone this week, and disguise it well, so he gets a few points for that. Still, I'm having more more fun watching Joan Watson on her side investigation . . . well, until they find a fun fellow named Leo in hotel room full of money, drugs, and whores. Like the male viewers, Leo is checking out Joan Watson during the interview and his crazy moustache is almost as much fun as the Sean's last line in the scene, when he walks off with Leo's wad of cash:

"That cocaine, however, that's entirely yours!" Good on you, Sean, for playing against overblown Sherlock stereotypes! Got an actual laugh out of that one, which has been a long time coming with Elementary.

But then it gets funnier still, as Joan's case to find her friend Jennifer's missing one-night-stand takes a sudden twist: That irrepressible scamp Sean was the culprit all along. Imagining him dodging Joan's encounters with her friend Jen for the past year adds a little spice.

In contrast to Sherlock Holmes, who let the ladies be John H. Watson's department, Sean Holmes seems to happily head down that road whenever he can slip it in outside of his weekly murder mystery. . . the fact that he's stayed clear of Joan Watson while she's living in the same house with him wearing some very sexy outfits -- which can even coordinate with bullet proof vests when called upon -- is a testament to his willpower. (Or maybe that Joan just isn't as quick-to-bed as at least one of her friends.)

After Sean Holmes's ludicrous demonstration of single-stick training this episode, however, I'm wondering if he's only doing that so he can make double-entendre references to his "stick" as he chases the ladies. He adopts a poor imitation of a fencer's stance and hits a dummy lightly on the top of the head, almost like he's pretending to do it just for Joan's benefit when she walks in. Which makes him seem all the goofier when she comes in and toys with him a bit, pretending her friend Jen might possibly be pregnant with Sean's love-child.

Writer Jason Tracey has turned in another amusing tale above Elementary's batting average this week, and I hope the show's producers have him back again soon . . . along with the one-shot Miss Hudson, who has yet to return to the show. (Yes, Clyde the turtle has made more appearances than Miss Hudson, which makes him the closest thing to a landlady or Billy the page Elementary has.)

But when all is said and done, it's still Elementary. And what that means is up to you.


  1. Well it means to me that Sean Holmes and his lady friend need to get off the air soon and stop pretending to be someone else.

  2. Are people really still watching "Elementary"? Why?