Friday, May 9, 2014


This week's Elementary began with the shocking revelation that Mycroft Holmes was British Intelligence, a fact that his little brother never suspected, deduced, or had any clue whatsoever about.

Think about that for a moment. His little brother is supposed to be Sherlock Holmes.

Once more, we find Elementary basing its entire ongoing storyline on something that is not only not based upon the original material in the slightest, it goes the opposite direction of the true character's nature and abilities. And in this twisted universe, Mycroft Holmes isn't even holding a respectable position in MI-6, he's still a failed restauranteur . . . he's just also an "asset" with a handler.

And Mycroft's handler has a sort of club setting for anti-social men. Mycroft's handler.

MI-6 offers Mr. Elementary a case, however, and his brother tries to talk him out of it because it might hurt Joan Watson's feelings, after her kidnapping due to Mycroft's fairly botched operation earlier.

Now, this is the part where I might usually start insulting Elementary, calling it cloud cuckoo land or something, but it is just so far off the Sherlock Holmes mark that it would seem like kicking a mangy, limping dog.

As it is, they seem to be using parts of "The Bruce-Partington Plans" but adding a quadruple-amputee corpse who came to the morgue with all his limbs. Miss Hudson gets an obligatory mention without an appearance, the kind of expense-cutting one gets used to on this show. (Like the shotgun-wielding drone murderer from a previous episode that never showed up at all.)

Ah, but if I was going to complain, I'd complain about the tattoos on tattoo artist Marion West. Those are some very bad tattoos. And it certainly didn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that anyone stealing the arms off a corpse probably did it for tattoos on those arms.

But, y'know, I have to give Lucy Liu points for the scene where Joan Watson breaks it off with Mycroft Holmes. It's acted well enough that you would have thought the two had a relationship, instead of a poorly constructed series of lines to indicate such a thing sprinkled through previous episodes.

"I know what it's like, to be deceived by a lover . . . Irene . . . Moriarty," Mr. Elementary sympathetically tells Joan Watson over her feelings of betrayal toward Mycroft. Can you believe I actually just wrote that sentence about a Sherlock Holmes adaptation that is the most popular thing in American Sherlockiana, based on sheer viewership? I can't.

Oh, come on! Marion West just walks in and hands Mr. Elementary the answers he's been looking for because her dead husband Arthur was an MI-6 analyst who had been studying the detective since his time in London. So much wrong with that.

And then Joan Watson announces she's moving out of whatever-address-besides-221B-Baker-Street they live at. Another good scene for Lucy, another bit of over-wrought drama for Mr. Elementary. And then Mr. Elementary turns a coded message over to MI-6 without having decoded it . . . who the frick is this guy supposed to be? Why MI-6 then offers him a job, I have no idea. It's not like he's as good as Sherlock Holmes or anything.

Captain Gregson comes in and literally hands him some more clues, though, so he can get back to working on the case.

Oh . . . my . . . Godfrey Staunton . . . Mycroft actually has a secret that's dramatic telling inspires Joan Watson to connect with him enough for a romantic kiss. They've both been taking care of the "fragile" Mr. Elementary all along. Taken by itself, it's not actually a . . . oh . . . my Godfrey Cambridge, they're naked in bed together post-coitus! Mycroft and Watson naked in bed together. Of course, if Joan Watson is in a bed, you know Mr. Elementary has to appear in the bedroom at some point, it's one of the show's established tropes.

Well, Elementary's fans are sure to be very happy this week. I can put myself in their place enough to see how . . . if you managed to believe everything else the show has shoveled for two seasons as something that worked with the name "Sherlock Holmes" attached . . . this would be a pretty great episode. But to the man who loves Sherlock Holmes for actual Sherlock Holmes's sake?

Oh, man, is this thing off the rails. "It as if you met a tram-car coming down a country lane," to use a quote from an actual Sherlock Holmes story, ironically also Mycroft-based. The most expensive bad fan-fic ever produced.

Where is Beatrix Kiddo when you need her?


  1. Considering Elementary, not overly surprising. In fact, the most surprising aspect of your blog entry is the fact that you posted it at 5:17 AM. Clearly you do not emulate JHW; and it's even far too early to be munching silently at your toast...

    1. There's an odd two-hour lag in the time stamp of these things. Trust me, I would not be even this coherent were I writing at 5 a.m. (By the way, it's 7:11 AM now.)

  2. why is it so hard to understand that Elementary isn't trying to tell the stories that have been told over and over again...its a show about Sherlock Holmes in a modern time...thats it, its not about the stories just the characters in new stories that only sometimes are inspired by the books...if you want a modern version of the books you watch Sherlock with Cumberbatch...they are different shows for a reason

    1. That is actually the best explanation of Elementary that I've heard in two years of writing this blog. Thank you. I still think it could be a much better show, even at that, and taking a little more from the originals would help it be better. But the "inspired by" tag instead of "based on" helps.