Elementary Season 2 – Episode 11 Review

Matt Smith reviews the eleventh episode of Elementary season 2…

Just as I start talking about Sherlock Holmes bringing logic back to the world with the return of Elementary last week, he has a week full of self-reflection and cluelessness this week. I’m a step behind the producers of Elementary, and that puts paid to the idea that critics know nothing and the people making this show actually do know what they’re doing. Which make

I mentioned the plot of last week’s episode wrapped itself up in a rather sitcom-like bow in concerns to Holmes’ return to police work, but I rather neglected the strand concerning Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hall) losing the full use of his arm due to a revenge-driven man who’d lost everything, which came about in no small part because of the involvement of our hero Holmes.

This week they’re both back at work, but at limited capacities. Bell behind a desk (there’s a joke there about a hotel and prisoners with early release), Holmes plagued by a buzzing in his head distracting him from the case at hand. He doesn’t know who a certain woman is in relation to her past with Watson, and he can’t even figure out he’s guilty for the past events with the shooter. Terribly, Holmes is clueless.

Like previous instalments of the show, it’s almost like the case in point doesn’t matter. But this week it’s all about the possibility of guilt and the grey areas between good and evil. Was Holmes right in how he treated people last week? Does it matter? Was the first murder victim a complete criminal if he was helping families get restoration payments? Holmes is constantly searching for the truth in every case, but it seems like this week he’s constantly behind. Despite all his skills, he’s unused to being more socially adept with the use of empathy.

Fortunately, the episode isn’t too serious and down in the dumps, with some humorous, cutting observations concerning children’s use of cameras and the name ‘Randy’. Once again, the series manages to keep a bit of a balance between character development, serious soul searching, light heartedness and the all-important case. There’s sometimes room for more than one at a time, with the ironic situation of Holmes stating he doesn’t want to help people while working for the police force, on a case concerning restoration payments for a high number of people who were wronged.

The series has shown immense growth in the character of Sherlock Holmes, and the first episode season one Holmes would probably be unrecognisable in ways. But it also shows it’s near impossible to make huge changes to yourself instantly. Like becoming a sponsor, or being in a situation where it’s not about him, Holmes is still taking baby steps into the shallow end. It’s not just about logic for him now, which should bring new territory and new possibilities in the coming episodes.

Like a critic of human nature, Holmes doesn’t quite know what he’s doing. But like many critics before and after him, he’ll stick his hand up and do his best to make sense. With the illogical growth of his personality and all the advantages and disadvantages it brings to Sherlock Holmes, he becomes a more realistic character. He isn’t merely the wearer of a particular hat, a holder of magnifying glasses and explainer of mysteries. He’s a human being. Which sounds like a plea on behalf of critics everywhere, which isn’t what I intended at all. But then, what do I know, I’m clueless.

s guessing what’s coming in later episodes really very difficult.

Matt Smith – follow me on Twitter.

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