Thursday, November 27, 2014

E3:5. It's an Thanksgiving Elementary miracle!

What am I thankful for on this Thanksgiving Thursday night?

Well, Jason Tracey, for one. My favorite Elementary writer, who was responsible for tonight's episode of said show. (Director John Poison had a hand in it as well, probably glad to get a better script than some he's had in the past. Either that or . . . well, we'll leave the other factor that makes tonight's show different out of this.)

Also Clyde the turtle, who can amazingly press a metal switch, and is being used to test empathy in reptiles. (One of those random Mr. Elementary data things, yes, but hey, Clyde is smart enough to press switches!)

And Kitty Winter, who is getting to actually act as the Watson tonight. I'm finding that two  British accents in a Holmes/Watson partnership makes for more of a . . . Holmes/Watson partnership.

"Paranoia is the by-product of being consistently right. You should aspire to it." Good Mr. Elementary quote. He's much more egotistical than Sherlock Holmes, and it suits him to a "T." And Jonny Lee Miller delivers it wonderfully.

Tonight we find that Joan Watson's unpublished Canon begins with The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. Why does that not surprise me? (Elementary apparently wants to get their money's worth out of what they've paid the Doyle estate for, referencing the parts of the true Holmes Canon still in copyright.) But here's the thing . . . Mr. Elementary found it while Joan Watson is off in Copenhagen having sexual escapades, which it seems mandatory that Mr. E. has to mention, but the mention is fleeting. And I find myself going, "Yay, Joan is going to be gone all episode!"

Kitty is actually getting a chance to be a character tonight. And no stupid stick-whacking!

Interesting sub-plot between Gregson and his cop daughter.

Mr. Elementary has a curious little cock-of-the-walk stance, which comes out interestingly when he confronts a massive weight-lifter. And his little trick to get a DNA sample isn't just irritating to the weight-lifter, that guy just doesn't do charm. Still wonder how he ever got all those women to sleep with him.

Jason Tracey's script, without the demands of a "something to have Joan do" extraneous subplot, is wonderfully single-thread, and not over-working the "shocking twist before each commercial" muscle too hard or crazily. It's still a procedural. Mr. Elementary might as well be an NYPD detective, and Kitty his partner. But, hey, the show is watchable for a change.

And Kitty Winter and Captain Gregson are even developing a rapport. An actual human rapport. Holy Hosmer Angel, kids, this show is going places it's never been before!

NYPD's Bell had his suspect picked out, Mr. Elementary knows he's got the wrong man . . . and it's a simple thing that feels like Mr. Elementary is actually imitating Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Elementary has grown into his own character, and this episode is showing how he might exist in a decent show without needing the "Hi, my name is Sherlock Holmes" name tag.

Could this be my favorite episode of Elementary ever? Ah, but every seriously crazed collector of things Sherlockian has to grit their teeth and cringe at something Kitty Winter does this episode. I think I love her. And, dare I say, it? Am I actually seeing chemistry between her and Jonny Lee?

Had a good guess as to who the true culprit was, but that's because this story makes sense. It's solid. No gimmicks, no cheap Trivial Pursuit smartiness. No sex bullshit or relationships that seem forced. And Kitty Winter does a little off-stage coolness that made me laugh out loud and clap with joy. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD SHOW FOR BEING AN ELEMENTARY EPISODE!!!

I give it five ball bearings in a Rube Goldberg opening credits device out of five.

Now, if you don't watch Elementary regularly, don't dive in and watch this one expecting too much. You have to really feel the pain of the average episode to feel the pleasure of this one, so if you switch over after watching your latest episode of your favorite show, it might not live up to that standard. But for Elementary standards?

Wonderful. Simply wonderful. Pity the ratings have been on a downward slide and the Thanksgiving-and-football combo are probably going to hit its viewership hard tonight. And the preview of next week looks like a return to same-old, same-old. But for one happy evening . . . ahhh. Consider me satisfied.


  1. I to liked the relationship between Kitty and Holmes much better than with Holmes and Joan. And I am glad after a hopefully filling Thanksgiving meal, the episode did not make you. . um . . . well . . . want to throw-up.
    Good review.

  2. I'm so glad that you are finally satisfied. You seem to know more about the writers and directors than me. I just watch and haven't made it a study. Certainly last night's episode was better than average but I don't like 2 parters. Last I recall Capt. Gregson was having marital problems and now his daughter is a Blue Blood. Perhaps we can trade places and you be the fan-boy and I can make grumpy comments.

  3. If you full at a force of 400 something pounds at a mans hand, wouldn't the culprit need to have weighted the body down? With a foot or an...anything, causing bruising on the body?

    Love the show...excuse my here by the beautiful paranoia quote.


  4. So it wasn't just me; good to know someone else actually liked it a little. Couldn't believe it when I noticed I was actually paying attention. Don't judge, but I snorted at the juvenile humor of the arm wrestling.


  5. Shame on you Brad, I had quit watching the series, but your review perked my interest, and I watched this episode. Still doesn't do it for me, but I must admit I prefered the relationship between Mr. Elemental & Kitty to that of his with Joan. I see they have continued that trend of a new character appearing, probably never to be seen again, this time with Gregson's daughter. Has there ever been another Ms. Hudson sighting? I also enjoyed the fact that Lucy Liu wasn't in the episode... now only if the whole show would make like Houdini and just disappear.

    1. Ms. Hudson has appeared twice -- "Snow Angels" in the first season and "The Man With The Twisted Lip" in the second. I was hoping she would be in this one, since it was Jason Tracey whose first script introduced her.

      And I'm not too ashamed -- I gave fair warning not to get your hopes up, and you do need to check in now and then to keep your Holmes (and pseudo-Holmes) film expert license up to date!