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Elementary - Unfriended - Review

Episode: "Unfriended"
Directed by: Lucy Liu
Written by: Bob Goodman
Air date: August 1, 2019

This week we witness the return of Sherlock's father, Morland Holmes and throughout the hour we follow the rise and then sudden fall of his power. Of course it makes sense that one of the people that Sherlock would reach out to in time of crisis would be Morland. Despite their rocky relationship he knew that Odin Reichenbach's dangerous actions would be something they could unite against. At the beginning their efforts were unexpectedly successful. All of Sherlock's friends were given additional protection, Holmes and Watson managed to trick Odin with a false threat and apprehend one of his killers and Morland's plan to undermine Odin's position and take away his place in his own company appeared to be working. The success, especially this big, at this point in a story is sadly never a good sign. I expected Odin to turn things around at one point but the speed of his response and the finality of it took me by surprise. The moment when Morland Holmes decided to get involved in this fight his death became a real possibility but the nature of events proved more cruel than I had guessed. Tseng's speech at the end, her reflection about the new world, was such a powerful moment. Information is power, it can disrupt resources and old friendships if you know exactly how to use it. Odin Reichenbach did just that and without hesitation he pretty much sentenced Sherlock's father to death. At least we got to see the wonderful John Noble back on our screens for this hour. His performance is always a joy to watch and I especially enjoyed the interactions between Morland and Tseng. His final moment, when he recognizes the reality of his situation, lets the viewers catch a glimpse of Morland's more vulnerable side, without taking away from his stoic and powerful persona. I loved that Sherlock was the last thing on his mind before the scene ends. His voice almost breaks when he asks "What will happen to my son?" and it makes Sherlock's reaction to the news of his father's death even more painful.

Speaking of the younger Holmes, it turns out there's something we didn't realize in the previous episode. Sherlock doesn't actually believe that Wesley Conrad killed himself and his parents. His attempt to save the man was actually going well and Odin sent his people to kill the entire family just to "prove" his point and convince Holmes and Watson about his point of view. I don't think I truly considered this as an option. I was under the impression that Odin at least believed that all the people he had murdered were guilty of something. It turns out that innocent people, such as Wesley's parents, were not a problem for him at all. He's too far gone now, and much worse than I realized. Things are certainly escalating and with his decision to go after Sherlock's father, they will definitely not get better. But before we get there, during the episode our duo of detectives sets a trap for Odin's people. They use one of Holmes' online identities, a man named Stewart Pringle, to capture one of Odin's killers when she's sent to eliminate the threat. To their surprise the woman who shows up, Annie Spellman, is nothing like a murderer they would expect. She's a third grade teacher who was carefully selected and convinced by Reichenbach's associate to use her terrible experience (a mass shooting at her school) and gained skills to go after the people who are attempting to organize another tragedy. Her interactions with Holmes and later Watson were some of the highlights of the episode for me. They find evidence that she was responsible for a death of Talia Baccaro, someone who doesn't seem to match a pattern used by Odin to identify his targets.

The investigation reveals that Odin had Talia murdered so that her brother would allow Reichenbach to take over his company. A company that would greatly improve Odin's operation. Talia was nothing more than means to an end, a collateral damage on Odin's rise to power so she had to go. The reveal that she killed an innocent woman clearly breaks Annie. She isn't exactly a cold-blooded killer and she was sure that all her actions are supposed to save people, so this news hits her hard. After Watson confronts her with the truth Spellman is willing to testify against Odin and his people, to the best of her knowledge at least. That's when Sherlock finally decides to reach out to Captain Gregson. I'm glad that he finally knows what's been happening, especially since Holmes and Watson's investigation did start with him. Also, it's one more ally that they can use and there's certainly not enough of those. I appreciate that this moment wasn't used for another fight between Sherlock and Gregson when it comes to secrets and keeping him in the dark. Instead he offers help and that's really all that we could hope for at this stage. Holmes also wants to share the truth with Marcus but as it turns out the reason why he wasn't around to join the conversation is because he was called to a new crime scene. The very last scene of the episode takes place back in the Brownstone where Bell shows up to tell Sherlock about his father's death. He never gets to say much, Holmes is able to read him well enough. His reaction is wonderfully done by Jonny Lee Miller and the moment is heartbreaking to watch. So now... all hell breaks loose. Can't wait to see these final two episodes.

1. Sherlock: "I wasn't sure you'd come."
Morland: "Don't I always?"

2. Odin: "Don't suppose you'd mind closing the door?"
Sherlock: "Don't suppose you'd mind confessing to the many murders you've orchestrated?"

3. Morland: "Battling global criminal enterprises is an area in which I have some expertise. Shall we attack him together?"

4. Mrs. Tseng: "You warned me the other day that the world is changing. I fear it has already changed. And we have no choice but to change with it... [Odin] He controls the information people see. He can turn a nation against its leaders, sway an election, incite a revolution; or, if he wishes, he can help those leaders maintain order. That kind of power makes you and me obsolete."
Morland: "What... What will happen to my son?"
Mrs. Tseng: "I'm sorry, old friend."

What did you think about "Unfriended"? Any favorite scenes or quotes? Feel free to let us know in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!

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