Elementary delivers another yawn-worthy case of the week, just in time for the holidays.
Let’s bitch it out…
I struggle writing this review because I feel as though I’m penalizing Elementary for being a procedural narrative and not jumping on the serial bandwagon. I can’t say that I enjoy episodic dramas, but I believe my biggest problem with Elementary is that it gives us a glimpse of what a great serial narrative can be, but ends up constantly disappointing rather than acting on its potential.
This week, we get a very small nugget of progression, hinting at how Watson (Lucy Liu) will escape from the “six week sober companion” conundrum and eventually take the reigns as Holmes’ (Jonny Lee Miller) full-time partner in crime (solving). Watson finally acknowledges that she enjoys tagging along with Holmes and flexing her deductive muscles. Newsflash at eleven! Congrats Watson, you’re finally on the same page that everyone else was on after the pilot. (Slow clap, fade to black)
I’m more annoyed that we continually see Watson in her “exasperated” and “clueless” incarnations episode after episode rather than see her jump more quickly on the deduction train. Why not show her growth as a cumulative development rather than just bursts of insight when the case-of-the-week requires it? I’m continually baffled that Watson moseys around in la-la land, only exhibiting useful deductions when it’s narratively convenient. Why doesn’t she get right into the act of investigation as Holmes does? I would love to see the two bouncing more ideas off of each other throughout the case rather than the show constantly defaulting her to “nagging Watson”, prone to bitching to Holmes about one unorthodox method or another. It’s tedious and, frankly, I know the show and its actors are capable of much more.
As for this week’s case-of-the-week, I can pretty much regurgitate the comments I’ve had for almost all of the episodes we’ve seen so far:
- I knew who the killer was based on the credits/introduction of a well-known actor (This week it was The Wire’s Gbenga Akinnagbe)
- I wish Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and/or Det. Bell (Jon Michael Hill) would have done more this episode than simply riding on Holmes’ coat tails
- Is it too much to ask to include some more Sherlock Holmes mythology?
So Elementary leaves us for the fall with another run-of-the-mill formulaic episode. I was hoping we would get some sort of big reveal to hold us over until the winter premiere, but sadly, those hopes were very quickly quashed.
- Apparently Holmes is a little Dexter in training as he and Watson analyze some blood spatter patterns. Here’s hoping that we’ll learn that Holmes used to be the creative director at an ad agency back in London.
- Apparently Elementary has no green screen budget as we clumsily get introduced to Sherlock’s twins separately instead of seeing them, more believably, on screen at the same time. I also loved how one of the twins wears glasses, which means that the same actress is able to play the double role. Huzzah for the budget saving measures at the cost of the audience’s sanity!
- We learn that Watson has a brother. Do any of us care? It’s not like we’re going to see this guy ever again.
- Did anyone else think Lucy Liu looked like a schoolgirl when meeting her mother for brunch? Holmes commented that she looked like she was going on a job interview. (insert inappropriate joke here)
What did you think viewers? Are you enjoying Elementary for what it is? Do you think Watson will join Holmes indefinitely even though he doesn’t appear to get paid for his consulting work? Do you think we’ll ever learn anything substantial about Holmes’ past? Any bets on which guest stars, if any, will return in subsequent episodes? Hit up the comments and let us know.
Elementary has finished its fall run of episodes and will return to CBS on Jan 3