Thursday, May 8, 2014

The night of Joan's evil twin.

An interesting side note on my Elementary viewing habits is that I never watch it on Thursday night when it rains. One might ascribe this to the melancholy brought on by a rainy eve, and one's lack of desire to further the mood by watching a show that I've long found . . . well, less than uplifting. Or one might, perhaps more accurately, point the finger of blame at the fact that our cable connection loses its digital signal during the rain.

Oddly, that same cable that won't carry television channels in the rain will still handle streaming over the internet, so deprived of my weekly Joan Watson watch on Elementary, I drifted toward one of Lucy Liu's more memorable roles. Yes, it was time for a bit of O-ren Ishii and Kill Bill, Volume 1.

If there was ever a character a universe apart from the mild Joan Watson of Elementary, it is O-ren Ishii. For two seasons, I've been looking for a bit of O-ren's spark in Joan as she put up the criminal threats and the little abuses of her room-mate. But . . . no.  Two women with tragedy in their pasts, spurring them to their current position in life, and yet two so very different reactions.

Of course, Joan Watson didn't mean to kill that patient. O-ren Ishii meant to kill a lot of people. One by one. Which leads to the climax of the film, an extended battle to the death worthy of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty. And as O-ren Ishii is a crime boss, that parallel is fitting.

Professor Moriarty fought a swordless swordsman who beat him with a Japanese system of wrestling.

O-ren Ishii was not so lucky . . . her nemesis had a sword. It is interesting to note that the foe to bring the crime boss down in Kill Bill, Volume 1 was a pretty blonde Caucasian, as Elementary's  doppelganger for O-ren, Joan Watson, has a pretty blonde Caucasian crime boss as her arch-foe. They are truly the Bizarro universe anti-theses to each other, O-ren and Joan.

Oddly, O-ren Ishii seems like the happier of the twins. Perhaps its because she isn't constantly waking up with an odd British chap staring at her every other morning. That and the fact she gets to do slow-motion entrances to cool music.

I don't know if Quentin Tarantino could do a proper Sherlock Holmes film. But it surely would be interesting to see him try.

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