Perhaps I was a little too light on my comments on the third season premiere of CBS's Elementary. So let's get a little more in depth . . .
Joan Watson is having lunch at a nice restaurant with her own Professor Moriarty, Elana March, having set in motion plans to bring the criminal kingpin down. A few months later, she's solving a theft for a private client. She then finds a missing lizard for her neighbor's brother . . . and has a meet-cute in the process. (She has a turtle, he has a lizard.)
Joan Watson is a mystery-solving machine.
At least she is until Mr. Elementary's presence in New York mystically lowers her detective quotient with his cloud of random weirdness. For some reason he thinks that an "isolator helmet" from the 1920s is an effective and useful mental aid.
Captain Gregson doesn't want him back, and lectures Mr. Elementary like a schoolboy who's missed a few classes: "You want to come back, that's fine. You want to leave again, that's fine, too. But the work is going to have to be exceptional." Because Joan Watson seems to be covering things just fine.
Except that she still thinks whacking people with a baton is an effective form of self-defense, and gets in a fight with the only other person in New York stupid enough to agree with that notion . . . the one other woman in NYC trained by Mr. Elementary to whack things with a baton. Whack fight! Whack fight!
Pity Kitty Winter isn't the fiery female from the old Canon of real Sherlock. Well, maybe not a pity, because her weapon of choice was acid. Anyway, Kitty is Mr. Elementary's "protege, not my partner" -- in other words, another woman he can abuse the way he once abused Joan . . . and still seems to think he can.
Mr. Elementary has come to the conclusion that his calling in life is as a mentor and teacher, and not some kind of dom-sub detective kinkster. Joan doesn't like him. Gregson doesn't like him. The jury is still out on Kitty Winter's opinion of him, but I'm betting she doesn't like him either.
I know I don't like him. He's still running around like he deserves the name of the world's first and foremost consulting detective, a guy who knew exactly what his purpose in life was. Mr. Elementary simply solves crimes because his writers make him say the solution. Before he returned to town, Joan Watson got to say solutions for the writers. But she gets to spot the final clue in this episode, and bring down her nemesis, Elana March.
So one basically has to ask one's self, why is anyone putting up with Mr. Elementary at all any more . . . except as someone Joan can secretly be harboring affection for. Joan's "Why here?" and Mr. Elementary's "Because I belong here, as do you" belies the showrunners early statements that Mr. Elementary and Joan will never become a couple. They're bad fiction soulmates, not a well matched set of friends like the real Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Now rivals, secretly in love. Sheesh.
For all the feminist hype about a female Watson, Elementary is now in a place where it would be a better show if Joan Watson was just the main character, and it let go its pretense of knowing anything about a man called Sherlock Holmes.
A better show. Maybe not yet a good show, without some improvements backstage, but still . . . better without that British guy, whom it now seems Britain doesn't want either.