Thursday, February 12, 2015

E3:14. Elana Marching to a different drummer.

WARNING! Big Elementary spoilers ahead, if you can spoil
something that's already rotten to the core. WARNING!

Last week, between two and three percent of the total U.S. population watched CBS's Elementary.

318.9 million folks in the United States, 7.87 million of those decided to join our little society, the Thursday Night Elementals. Not sure how many of those club members came back for this week's meeting in front of the TV set, but it was kind of key to finding out why last week's episode was called "Hemlock."

Hemlock was the poison used to kill Joan Watson's boyfriend at the very end of last week's episode, a turn of events that had nothing to do with the rest of the show's plot and a poison that was not identified in said episode. So, as titles go, pretty bad title. Luckily, TV shows never put their titles up front these days, with a few pleasant exceptions.

The poisoning of Joan Watson's boyfriend has one very curious result. Not only does she not tell her former partner, Mr. Elementary, their friends at the NYPD don't seem to know about it either. Her boyfriend's father knows that his son was poisoned by someone trying to poison Joan Watson. And Joan is trying to figure out what her arch-nemises, Elana March, had to do with the murder from her prison cell, serving a life sentence that Joan was responsible for getting her.

Meanwhile, Mr. Elementary and Marcus Bell are tracking stolen zebras.

Let's go over that again: Watson's love is murdered in an attempt on her life, and the "Sherlock Holmes" in her life is not only ignorant of the situation, which occurred in his very city, he'd not even looking into it at all. He's chasing zebras.

What the hell?

Okay, i understand there are some real Watson fans out there who think the good doctor (or the failed doctor, in Joan Watson's case) should be taken as an equal to Sherlock Holmes. But splitting a Watson off as a consulting detective of equal status, giving them an arch nemesis, and then contriving a plot where the Holmes just meanders blindly off on something trivial just to allow consulting Watson to face a murderous plot by her arch-enemy as a sort of side-plot?

Are these people even trying?

So much wasted potential for . . . oh, wait, Mr. Elementary is bringing Joan some lasagna. I guess he does know that her boyfriend was murdered. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE THE GREATEST FREAKING DETECTIVE IN THE WORLD, AND HE'S BRINGING WATSON LASAGNA INSTEAD OF TRYING TO CATCH HER BOYFRIEND'S KILLER!

What the hell, Elementary? Seriously!

Is this show even written by humans? Are we supposed to be more interested in extinct equines than a murderous attack on Dr. Watson? Or are they just trying to pad that bit out for more episodes with a zebra plot? Why not just have Mr. Elementary come out with, "I'm sorry, Watson. I will get around to solving your disposable boyfriend's murder eventually, but we have like ten episodes left in the season! Or maybe you'll get to figure it out at some point, but for now, ZEBRA BABIES!"

Okay, so they're not zebra babies, they're "kwah-hahs" or some other combination of nonsense syllables. The point is, this plot that none of us care about while Watson's life is endangered and her boyfriend killed just keeps going on . . . and on . . . could they have designed this episode to be more annoying?

Joan Watson and Elana March just seem to have been a teaser to get us to watch all this talk of "zeh-bras."

Zeh-bras, zeh-bras, zeh-bras.

Zeh-bras, zeh-bras, zeh-bras.

Oh, wait, Joan got some mail from Elana March! Mail! Now that's exciting! Sort of.

But back to the zeh-bra plot. ARRRGH!

Look, I have to be at work early tomorrow, I was hoping for a little relaxation, a sleepy little Elementary plot like so many before, to ease my way to slumberland right after it's done. But this? I haven't been as thoroughly irritated by this show's idiocy for all of the current season. And they're dragging the stupid zeb-bra plot out by having the culprit escape.

"The fire of deduction cannot be kindled without the free song of person-to-person contact." Oh, that Mr. Elementary quote was worth the frustration . . . not. Filler episode, filler episode, filler episode. Marcus Bell is the new replacement Watson, sleeping at the brownstone, going to breakfast with Mr. Elementary, helping him enjoy life while Watson stews over her dead boyfriend and the threat to her life.

And Mr. Elementary uses his pseudonym of "Sigerson" for no especially good reason, to do what Marcus Bell could have done without him. And how long have we ignored Watson's mail from Elena March . . . oh, no, Watson's arch-enemy has been killed by Jamie Moriarty, who is apparently Watson's true arch-enemy.

Lets get this straight: Mr. Elementary ignored the villain going after Joan Watson and the killer of her boyfriend, and Mori-freaking-arty solved the crime, protected Watson, and dispensed justice. (Which she explained in a voice-over.)  Of course, Moriarty is just saving Watson so eventually they can go off Reichenbach Falls together in this Bizarro Sherlock world.

If this thing were a book instead of a low-grade hypnotic produced by a TV network, no Sherlockian on Earth would be giving this silliness a thumbs up. Just another wacky pastiche by some misguided fan.

But y'know, Backstrom is on before it now, so the night's not a total loss.

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