Oh, Elementary, did you think I'd forgotten you this week?
With the age of "appointment television" long gone, I punched up Elementary on my phone, found "Gutshot," the second episode of the final seventh season, and voila! It's on. (And the spoilers are, too!)
We knew Captain Gregson had been shot at the end of last week's episode, but this week's still starts with the graffiti artists finding his bleeding body after it apparently fell out of his crashed car. And as Detective Bell questions one of them in the familiar precinct office, Joan Watson arrives, fresh from London. And soon, back at the old New York brownstone, we discover that Sherlock has come with her, as he appears out of the shadows.
It's one of the best beginnings the show has ever done.
But in a typical Elementary move, Sherlock and Joan first have to discuss about where they're going to go to the bathroom in their now-empty, no-utilities home base before getting to the case. Sherlock pulls out a big red bucket.
Sherlock investigating a case in a city where he can't show his face in public, after confessing to a murder last season, is a novel idea, and when we see him next, posing as Gregson's body on the street as he works with the graffiti-artist witness. This episode was co-written by one of Elementary's best writers, Jason Tracey, and the show's creator Robert Doherty, and directed by an old hand at directing this series, Guy Ferland, and it seems like they're all in the zone this episode. Getting this bonus last season is starting to look like a labor of love.
Another dead body turns up, and the procession of interviews that Detective Bell has to gather facts about that victim is nicely done, distracting from the fact that Sherlock just messed up a crime scene in a country where he's a wanted man in the previous bit.
Holmes and Watson's cots-and-candles brownstone is a good setting for a talk about Gregson . . . the lighting guy for this episode needs kudos. Also really like the way they're rolling through supporting characters -- no obvious villains due to the fact they're the only available choice. And the stakes are rising.
Nobody looks good in a hospital bed, including comatose Gregson, and Sherlock's visit to said hospital bed to settle their last-season issues is nicely done. Meanwhile, their junior partners, Bell and Watson, are out in the world getting things done. Gregson's killer is caught, and it's time for Holmes and Watson to return to London . . . except maybe just not both.
There's an ongoing mystery about Gregson's killer that isn't ending with this episode, and instead of going back to London, Sherlock turns himself into the FBI, so it's looking a lot like we've got a full-season tale on our hands. Do we?
That, and the mystery of why Joan Watson can't just book a hotel room for her New York trip, both linger. But we'll see what next week brings.