SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Install Chrome Extension
[ INSTALL ] the SpoilerTV Chrome Extension to always stay updated!
Setup Safari Notifications
[ SETUP ] the SpoilerTV Safari/OSX Notification System to always stay updated!


Cathryn Humphris writes her first episode of Elementary with this solid entry in the series, directed by Christine Moore in her second outing for the show. Apparently, new blood is good, as this is a strong episode, building on the characterization not only of Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller and Watson (Lucy Liu) but also of Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn), here given a relatively rare opportunity on the show to be a bit more than the gruff but tolerant police Captain. The episode also riffs on a classic Arthur Conan Doyle Holmes story, "Silver Blaze," in which the "curious incident of the dog in the nighttime" (i.e. that it did nothing) is a key clue to solving the mystery. Elementary seems to make such references relatively rarely (either that or the fact that I haven't read the original stories in over twenty years means that I'm missing them), so such a nod to the ultimate source material is nice to see. And it's also a nice touch that Watson rather than Holmes is the first to grasp the significance of the dog that didn't bark.

Admittedly, the plot gets off to a bit of a rocky start, relying as it does on the cliché of the big coincidence: a home invasion apparently targeting Gregson goes awry when his wife (guest star Talia Balsam) proves equal to the task of defending the home. However, it turns out that the intruder meant to target the house across the street, so Holmes, Gresgon and company are drawn into the action by mistake, basically. I confess I'd have preferred the cliché of the personal vendetta to the one of the unlikely coincidence, but that's a hiccup in an otherwise well-crafted episode.

Most interesting, as usual, is the character interaction rather than the mystery, though this mystery is satisfactorily twisty and unpredictable. The thematic focus of the episode ends up being partnerships, as is reflected in the title's referencing Holmes's definition of marriage as "an unnatural arrangement" ultimately deleterious to all parties involved. And indeed, Gregson and his wife are currently separated as a result of him putting his job ahead of his wife for twenty-eight years. How their relationship might heal plays out in the secondary plot while the relationship between Holmes and Watson plays out in the primary one. The episode contributes to the gradual growth of Holmes's character by having him begin to recognize the benefits of partnership, which are more rich and intricate, he acknowledges, than he had hitherto realized. He and Watson behave amusingly like a bickering married couple, notably over Holmes's solving a case Watson had taken on on her own, which leads to a confrontation over what it means to be equal partners. When detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) walks in on this tiff, its resemblance of a lovers' spat is cemented.

Gregson and Holmes are paralleled in the episode, as each must try to come to terms with how to reconcile themselves to their partnerships. Amusingly, Holmes tells Gregson that if the latter needs to talk about his domestic troubles, Homes will be glad to make Watson available. However, and as expected, Holmes comes through at the end by using his deductive skills to give Gregson the pointers he needs to work towards saving his marriage. Holmes also works on building his relationship with Watson by answering for his crime of solving her case by giving her his "most loathed" piece of furniture, the trunk of his cold cases, for her to practice on--and perhaps even, as he suggests, "succeed where I have failed." By Holmes's standards this is a remarkably generous and trusting gesture, and both Miller and Liu hit its subtleties effectively.

The murder itself is as usual secondary, but nevertheless a clever enough plot involving architectural skulduggery and the theft of artefacts. Ironically, what has seemed at first to be a crime of passion, a jealous husband trying to hunt down his wife's lover, turns out instead to be the result of a different sort of partnership than the spousal; though the criminals are indeed spouses, their crimes are motivated by greed, not passion. They, too, therefore, have a sort of unnatural relationship. They are, however, fairly forgettable villains of the week (the husband never even appears on screen, in fact), supernumeraries in an episode stronger than usual on developing the core characters. Aidan Quinn especially shines in giving Gregson hitherto unexpected depths (who knew he was a kitten video fan?).

What did you think of this week's episode? Let me know in the comments below.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
Click to Read our Comment Policy
SpoilerTV Comment Policy

We pride ourselves here at SpoilerTV with the quality, friendlyness and respectfullness of our community.

Name-calling, personal attacks, spamming, excessive self-promotion, condescending pomposity, general assiness, racism, sexism, any-other-ism, homophobia, acrophobia, and destructive (versus constructive) criticism will get you BANNED from the party.

If you have a problem with a comment, DO NOT REPLY TO IT.

Instead Click the Dropdown Icon/Arrow to the right of the offending comment and click the Flag link from the dropdown. Our Moderation Team will then deal with any inappropriate comments.

We hope you enjoy your time here at SpoilerTV
Banner / Colour Picker

You can use any banner you like to personalise your SpoilerTV.

All you need to do is to put a link to your banner in the box below and press the Click Button.
(For best results your image should be 1090px wide and 200px high.)

We have more banners in our Banner Gallery here or in our Banner Forum post and here in the competition post.

Enter the URL of your Image or pick from one below




Background Colour Picker
Enter the HEX Code of the colour you would like to use as a background. To get a HEX code goto the colour picker and
pick your color then paste in the # number including the # at the front. eg #000000 is black #ffffff is white

 
blog comments powered by Disqus