Thursday, December 6, 2012

'Elementary' Review - 1.09 You Do It To Yourself

        On the newest episode of CBS' Elementary, Sherlock uses his trademark deductive reasoning skills to find the killer of a college professor; and Watson gets a call from a former lover who needs her help.

        One of the things that I loved the most about the pilot for Elementary was the fact that it had these two characters with deep and complicated pasts come together and instead focused on how their current partnership would develop and affect them. This thematic ideal is completely unsustainable over a full season of episodes so I wondered if the series would become too bogged down by what happened in the past instead of what's happening in the present. Over the course of the first seven episodes, the series did a nice and respectable job of slowly building up to the reveals of past events that were able to co-exist alongside the main procedural aspects. Unfortunately, episodes six and seven made so much advances in the Irene Adler part of Sherlock's past and then the show decide to completely ignore any kinds of serialization in the past two episodes.
        This episode solely focused on the case at hand in both of the main stories. The series has done this exact thing in past quite well - with episode three "Child Predator" being the most successful example. But the main case of the death of this man had no visible stakes or dramatic tension which off since this and "Child Predator" were both written by Peter Blake. It was just so slowly moving along as Sherlock "cleverly" figured out all the intricate details of it but. There was no reason for the audience to be excited by anything happening or want to figure out the truth behind the case. Sherlock's illness could have been a great character nuance that would have shaken up how he works this case or how Watson pairs with him but it instead felt like a tiny sub-note that quickly was explained away. It really had no real business in the hour because it didn't add anything exciting.
        Similarly, Watson's past experience as a sober companion is an interesting facet that the show could have a lot of fun with. However, it didn't quite work well to have her be alienated or sidetracked by that story for most of the hour. The strongest element of this show is the partnership and relationship between Holmes and Watson and yet the series keeps thinking that it can pull Watson away and into her own side journey. Sure, I would love to see Detective Bell grow into a more fully realized character but not at the expense of Watson. I do say this with caution since I loved her previous dalliance into learning more about Sherlock's past at his drug rehab. But here it works less so and is more distracting.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Was this the show's less exciting episode so far? Conversely, how great was that character scene at the end between Sherlock and Watson? Share your thoughts in the comments.