Is your Spidey sense tingling? It should be…because Elementary kinda/sorta broke out the character development.
Let’s bitch it out…Case of the week first: I’ll admit that I didn’t mark House‘s Lisa Edelstein as the killer until late in the hour, mostly because she’s such a high profile guest star that it seemed inconceivable that Elementary would tap her for a role. Plus for once the case of the week is complicated enough that it isn’t completely obvious who or what is going on. Of all the cases we’ve seen on the show so far, this is the most convoluted, which is enjoyable because it forces us to pay attention and follow the mystery, not just sit back bored out of our tree. If the show continues to follow the CBS procedural playbook, this is a step in the right direction.
On the flip side, the Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) / Watson (Lucy Liu) continue to redefine their relationship. With T-minus 23 days and counting until her time as his sober companion ends, the two kick Sponsor Search 2012 into high gear. Well…Watson does; Holmes couldn’t care less. Obviously the same issue that has plagued the show since its inception lurks in the background of these scenes since we all know that Watson isn’t going anywhere. As a result the storyline initially seems pointless (the Adrian interlude in the coffee shop in particular is abrupt, silly and a waste of time).
When Holmes arbitrarily selects what CBS casting clearly wants us to consider an “unconventional choice” (black?! tattoo’d?! *shriek*) that’s when things get interesting. See Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) is an unconventional choice, but only because it seems like the show may actually keep him around. We’ll have to wait to see if Alfredo recurs next week, but he’s an interesting character with a personality and lots of opportunity to bring out new elements in Holmes. So I say, if the show is going to continue to pretend that Watson is leaving, then let’s have more Alfredo since he’s a character we can live with…and possibly even grow to appreciate.
- How sad is it that Ato Essandoh creates more of a character in a single episode than Jon Michael Hill has in five? So much so that I’m grasping at straws to make Marcus Bell interesting (Who’s Carlos, his other CI? Is that important? Will we hear more about this?)
- Good attention to detail by having Alfredo and Holmes bond over a shared interest in lock picking (remember that Holmes has a wall of locks? Plus we saw him get out of handcuffs in the climax to 1×04 ‘The Rat Race’)
- Cheech and Chong VHS as an opportune place to hide your high-end escort porn? Sure, why not?!
- Finally, if there is one thing Elementary does well, it’s providing Sherlock with a cacophony of quirks. While I can do without his aping of lines of dialogue he sees on one of his seven television screens (a trick we saw in the pilot), I did chuckle when he admonished Bell for questioning who would have a VCR in 2012. The fact that he would watch old police interrogations from the 70s & 80s? That just seems apropos
- Holmes (when Watson suggests most people activate their brain by reading): “I am reading a book” Points.
- Watson (after Sherlock suggests the suspect doesn’t look detail oriented enough): “Ted Kazinski looked like a hobo puked on a hobo. He managed to hurt a lot of people.”
- Holmes (introducing Watson): “She’s my consultant – slash – housekeep.”
- Heather (to Sherlock): “You’re a fellow addict, aren’t you?”
- Holmes (looking for an excuse “Actually I think I’ll just use your facilities. I think I had a dodgy egg. I’ll join you presently.” So British!
- Watson (after Holmes’ suggests Heather “turned the screw” to an co-worker with whom she once slept with): “So to speak”
What are your thoughts on Elementary? Did you enjoy the introduction of Alfredo? Do you think he’ll stick around (past the 23 days)? Did the case of the week keep your interest? Did you identify Edelstein as the killer as soon as you saw her guest starring (admittedly they’ve had a similar high profile actor who wasn’t revealed as the killer in 1×06 ‘Flight Risk’). Hit the comments below
Elementary airs Thursdays at 9pm EST on CBS