This week on Elementary? Joan Watson can't sleep because of hard-partying neighbors. Mr. Elementary tries to escape a straight jacket while wearing noise-cancelling headphones, and doesn't seem to be doing to well at it.
Somewhere else in New York, a mild-mannered herbal tea enthusiast makes a comment about life "throwing up challenges" before he returns to his apartment full of collapsed and puking guests. Yes, he really said "throwing up" before seeing the pukefest.
Mr. Elementary was somehow listening to his police scanner, despite the previous scene, and shows up uninvited to the resulting crime scene above where the investigating officers aren't exactly thrilled to see him gleefully showing up to tell them they're wrong about poison mushrooms in the tea the botany folk drank. But that's okay, by the very next scene of the investigation, good old detective Bell will be on the case instead of those two. After we see Joan going next door to see what the noisy neighbor problem is.
Fiona, Mr. Elementary's new date from last week, is nowhere to be seen of course. Nor is Mr. Elementary's father whose assassin-plagued life was very important to Mr. Elementary to investigate a couple weeks ago. But hey, Joan Watson has a noisy neighbor issue and Mr. Elementary is listening to the police scanner looking for random crime to investigate, so why do we need either of those things? Not like anyone following the show might be curious about them. Hey, a dead girl with mushrooms growing on her! Squirrel!
Oh, did you know Sebastian Moran used soft-nosed bullets that mushroomed after striking their victims in "The Adventure of the Empty House?" This actual Sherlock Holmes moment brought to you by Mr. Moon's Moonfind Search Engine. Mr. Moon's Moonfind Search Engine, helping Sherlockians find words having to do with Sherlock Holmes since 1998.
Veteran character actor Richard Kind, most recently seen as Mayor James on the very involving and continuity-heavy Gotham, pops up as the neighbor Mr. Elementary drove out, but who apparently stuck it out from Mr. E's early drug addict days until the fourth season. Joan and Mr. Elementary's later discussion of him brings up references to Moriarty a.k.a. Irene and 221B, as well as 221A Baker Street, along with the rooftop bees, the roosters from a previous episode, etc., so this episode manages to tie itself to the rest of the series about 36 minutes in.
And then a really weird thing happens . . . an Ebola awareness commercial comes on. Remember Ebola, that thing we were all really aware of last year, that Africa go under control so we quit worrying so much about it and started worrying about Zika? That commercial is a more intriguing mystery than the plot Elementary is strolling through this week.
But we do learn that Mr. Elementary bought 221A Baker Street to keep from disturbing the neighbors, which means there was no landlady at 221 Baker Street. But we already know Ms. Hudson didn't show up until he wandered to New York. Or that Elementary doesn't have anything to do wtih the Sherlock Holmes written of by John H. Watson as agented by Conan Doyle. So that's okay.
Reallly, it's okay. After three and a half seasons of this, an episode of Elementary entitled "A Study in Charlotte" just being a mushroom-poisoning mystery with a noisy neighbor subplot, it's pretty much business as usual for the Thursday night procedural. And this week's episode isn't quite as sensationally ADD as some others . . . hey, an episode of Limitless coming up on CBS has the abduction of a Henry Watson . . . sorry, my own attention deficit disorder just kicked in, as it often does on Thursday night. Or Friday morning, if I decided to watch an old episode of Batman the night before instead. (Hey, Penguin said "Elementary, my dear Reggie!" -- it was just like watching Elementary, Sherlockian content-wise.)
Joan Watson really connects with the Richard Kind-portrayed next door neighbor who was renting out the brownstone next door to noisy vacactioners, so it looks like he's going to move back in and be another ongoing supporting character whom we never see again. Or maybe once or twice, if some future writer takes a shine to him.
And that's okay. Like Richard Kind, I'm coming to accept this oft-unpleasant next-door-neighbor to an actual Sherlock Holmes. With a little sound-proofing and an occasional nice moment with Lucy Liu.