Sunday, November 10, 2013

Positively Elementary S2E7: Delusions and sexy time.

At this point, I suspect that anyone who insists that the main character of CBS's Elementary is Sherlock Holmes is just being stubborn. And I can appreciate stubborn, though, so I can sympathize.

Perhaps my sympathies are coming, in part, because Elementary is actually much better at doing what it does this season. The complete revisionism seems to have found its home reality and gotten comfortable there . . . pity they insist on calling Sean Holmes "Sherlock" and his brother "Mycroft," which still gives it a touch of cognitive dissonance. But Jonny Lee Miller started winning me over this week. Why?

His pre-opening credits soliloquy in this week's episode, "The Marchioness," was a touching, vulnerable portrayal of a man who knows that there's something very wrong with his place in the world. He feels like he would have been a healthier, more complete individual had he lived in another time. He blames our data-overload world for his addiction issues. There is an odd self-awareness to the character in that scene that almost makes one think that he's about to admit his pretense in calling himself "Sherlock Holmes."

Jonny Lee Miller's portrayal of this flawed, troubled individual is actually making the thought of him as a delusional Sherlock imitator a valid way to watch the series. Of course, one has to enjoy a soap opera, as one starts to wonder if the series is eventually going to climax with huge orgy in its series finale one day.

Let's review: Sean "Sherlock" Holmes has slept with Mycroft's former fiancee, Nigella Mason. Mycroft has slept with Sean's current partner, Joan Watson. Sean Holmes has slept with at least one of Joan's best friends. Sean Holmes has slept with Jamie Moriarty.  And to bring it full circle, Mycroft surely slept with Nigella at some point.

Now, I don't want to slut-shame the entire cast of Elementary, but they seem quite intent on making up for the lack of sex in the Victorian stories of a different character named "Sherlock Holmes." And the fact that the only woman who has currently slept with both Holmes brothers has a name that evokes Nigel Bruce and James Mason is both oddly disturbing and perhaps an omen of Joan Watson's eventual fate. Let us hope it's not a three-way, though at the rate they're going, who knows?

If Elementary actually took the time to portray all of the sex that is spoken of in the show, it would have to be on HBO instead of CBS. The core of this week's "Silver Blaze" inspired mystery is even horse sex. And lines like "Why are you poking me with your single-stick?" from Joan Watson in her bed are worthy of an old Three's Company episode. (That's an old American network TV sex comedy, for you youngsters out there.)

This week's episode may be my new favorite episode in the entire series, for what are probably all the wrong reasons. I like soap operas better than I like police procedurals. And silliness. And Olivia D'Abo, the title character and crux of all the soapy drama. But do any of those things have to do with Sherlock Holmes?

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