Friday, April 25, 2014

Episode 221 of the show that didn't go with 221.

The online listings for this week's Elementary held much promise: "Episode title: (#221) "The Man With The Twisted Lip."

Sure, it wasn't the two-hundred and twenty-first episode, but the twenty-first episode of the second season. But how could that magical number 221 be lost on the show's creators? And the title is pure Canon! (Though after the waste of a title in "The Hound of the Cancer Cells," we've learned not to expect Canon from Canon-title.) And brother Mycroft, who runs restaurants and somehow had an unremarkable one-night-stand with Joan Watson, is coming back! Surely, something exciting was due to come out of Elementary this week!

"I am without peer," Mr. Elementary states during the show's opening. "And that is the greatest threat to my sobriety."

Poor Mr. Elementary. Not a single person on Earth is as smart as he is, except for Jamie Moriarty whom he considers insane, and that's going to cause him to go back to the heroin, or whatever his often vague addiction issue is. Of course, the minute he returns home, two possibly smart people are already inside his home: the long-absent Miss Hudson and Joan Watson's former lover Mycroft. (That's not me emphasizing the Mycroft/Watson tryst, it was featured in the "previously on Elementary recap.)

Mr. Elementary and Watson actually discuss the two Holmes brothers having "shared custody" of Joan. When Mr. Elementary said he was without a sane peer, I think he may have over-rated his own sanity. Perhaps he and Jamie Moriarty do need to be together in a padded cell somewhere.

Mycroft gets Watson to his Diogenes Restaurant and reveals he has an interest in Joan . . . characterization and relationships on this show have always been ridiculously forced and ham-handed, and the scene is just painful to watch. I once wrote that the creators of Elementary didn't know how to write smart people, but I've decided to expand that statement: they don't know how to write relationships, addiction, or humans. Other than using the words that indicate such things exist, of course.

Joan and Mycroft apparently became e-mail buddies after their one-night stand, which is what real people do, right? Unless Mycroft is simply manipulating Joan for some future use and we're actually supposed to believe she's foolish enough to believe such a thing after being supposedly bright enough to be an apprentice consulting detective.

And let's cut to the chase: this season's finale has to be a crisis in the addiction, right? And something in Mr. Elementary and Joan's "relationship," though that thing is so badly constructed it's hard to line it up with anything in reality after all this time.

And then we get the robot mosquito surveillance drone. Seriously. Seriously! A robot mosquito drone that can inject toxins. We have entered Elementary's "serum of langur" phase, and if that makes it more Canonical to have come up with an idea as silly as one of the silliest moments Conan Doyle came up with, well, enjoy the Canonicity, Elementary fans.

Seriously, a killer robot mosquito. Wow.

I'm usually a big fan of TV show continuity, but when Elementary revisits its own continuity, we start getting a compilation of really stupid things that were probably best forgotten. And there is so much good material in the Sherlockian Canon that they're ignoring in favor of this teetering Jenga-stack of crap that the creators' crime becomes even worse.

And then, instead of jumping the shark, Elementary jumps the killer robot mosquito.

Only a month or two ago, it seemed like I might be adapting to Elementary, that I might even be becoming fond of the ugly little mutt. Episode 221 pretty much put those hopes to rest. I thought I'd enjoy Miss Hudson's unexpected return, if it ever happened. That hope was killed tonight by the rest of the episode. Oh, this show sucks.

At the end of this episode, Joan Watson is grabbed and hauled away in a van. One can only hope she's being driven somewhere off this show, for her own good. Maybe they can find a way to drive her on to the fourth season of Sherlock, as John's adopted sister or something. And then let Sherlock sort her entire messy New York past out.

Killer robot mosquito. Sigh.


  1. Killer robot mosquito - come on, it's obviously a buddy of the milk-sipping, rope-climbing Indian swamp adder! Not bad, Elementary. You follow in the master's footsteps. ;-)))

  2. Read this 'Elementary' review "But most importantly… And this is worth bolding: Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are as effective a duo as any in the history of Doyle adaptations and it would be a shame to miss it."

    These are two diametrically opposed reviews. Although I love reading Liz’s reviews I must go along with the “Sherlock Peoria” blog review in saying “Oh, this show sucks”.

    1. I enjoy reading Liz's reviews as well. For those few moments, I can live in a world where Elementary is a radically different show than the one grating on my Sherlockian nerve endings week after week. She is a much more positive person than I, bless her heart, especially when she's noticing some of the same things that I do and being much nicer about it.

  3. Insect Spy Drones are actually already real and out there. They could easily be equipped with poison.

    1. And the Snopes link to shoot that one down is . An interesting read, though, and the thought that Elementary is building plots off of Snopes myths is intriguing.