Thursday, November 6, 2014

REVIEW: 'Elementary' - Sherlock, Joan and Kitty Team Up to Solve a Complex Double Homicide in 'The Five Orange Pipz'

CBS' Elementary - Episode 3.02 "The Five Orange Pipz"

When Holmes and Watson join forces on a double homicide, Sherlock's new apprentice, Kitty, threatens the investigation when she allows her jealousy of Sherlock and Joan's work rapport to override her better judgment.

Sherlock, Joan and the NYPD came to a resolution in the season premiere that both Sherlock and Joan would continue to serve as police consultants but work on separate cases for the precinct. Sherlock and Joan are still friendly towards each other and will lend an open mind and fresh eyes on a project should the other need it. And yet, both need some self discovery. It's interesting then that the first case after they come to this understanding is one that they both want to work and ultimately agree to partner up again to solve it.

The case itself focuses on the murder of a man whose company sold poisonous toys that lead to the death of a handful of child. He skipped town during the trial and the federal government has been looking for him ever since. His attorney helped him escape and he too winds up murdered. Joan and Sherlock are able to justify working the case together due to two bodies being a part of it. The case also is a strong remember of the rapport the two of them have together. They work well as investigative partners. And yet, they each hesitate for a moment if they should let the other in on the newest detail they each uncover.

Complicating things further is the addition of Kitty to the investigative team. She is a peculiar character. Bell and Joan pick up on that rather quickly. She has become Sherlock's new protege and she is focused on learning the craft of deductive investigation. That's her sole purpose in this relationship. She wants to learn what Sherlock does as a way to have a better and bigger purpose in this world. Years prior, she was a victim and needed to escape the world that knew her during and after that incident. Nearly everyone is let in on that big secret. Even though she has come to New York City with Sherlock for a clean slate, she still has to carry that baggage around. It definitely shapes Joan's perception of her. After learning the truth, Joan sees Kitty as a victim and yet also doesn't want to know all the specifics. She wants to see her as what she may become. Yes, Kitty is a little brash and asserts herself into this investigation in ways that are disruptive to the balance. But it's that energy that keeps the show from falling into a pattern as well.

Kitty is desperate to learn but is also very interested in only her own journey. She blatantly disregards Sherlock's rules. She paints and plays loud music. Something Sherlock notes that Joan never did. He's making his relationship with Joan a strong comparison point in his new mentor relationship with Kitty. He wants her to learn by watching the two of them interact and crack this case. Learn by example and not by action. So it seems that Sherlock and Joan are the mentors to Kitty and not just Sherlock. Sherlock is still investing a lot in his partnership with Joan even though he doesn't fully realize it. That is incredibly engaging but also incredibly subtle. Kitty is her own person and she's not going to look out for Sherlock's well being. She points the team into the right direction for the true motive behind the killings - the agent tasked with surveilling the attorney wanted the toys out of storage following the conclusion of a trial in order to sell them on the drug market - but it's Sherlock and Joan who ultimately put all the pieces together. That's rewarding and it's great having the two work together civilly on a case again. And yet, there's still so much further to go to make their relationship even stronger.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Five Orange Pipz" was written by Bob Goodman and directed by Larry Teng.
  • This season has been 2-for-2 on episodic cases. The motive this week was a very clever shift from the obvious. Also, the killer wasn't the most recognizable faces - Zak Orth or Sonya Walger.
  • We're all waiting for Sherlock's reaction to Joan's new boyfriend. However, not even Bell has met him yet.
  • Apparently, there's secret hiding places in the Brownstone that Joan wasn't aware existed. 
  • So, Kitty actually chose the name Kitty Winter? Why?