Matt Smith reviews episode 19 of Elementary…
How would God act if he were here on Earth? I know that’s a big concept to open with in a review for a TV show, but just stick with me for a moment. We’re his creation, for arguments sake, but even if he was human and came down here, he wouldn’t act like us. He’d probably have insecurities, bought on from no one understanding him. But also have a full ego deserving of someone with his skills and talents, even with his past teeming with things that could be considered as mistakes.
Right, now that sacrilegious and scientifically inaccurate paragraph has finished and can be used to alienate literally anyone, I’d like to introduce a slightly less controversial idea. And that is that Sherlock Holmes is God.
Not the God as most religions know him, of course. Perhaps more as a slumming it with us mortals, Scorsese Last Temptation sort of figure. New York comes under a giant storm, snow piling the streets, people stuck without warmth and power. An event worthy of God himself. And in the middle of it all is Sherlock Holmes, concentrating not on the storm but a crime that is afoot.
The reasons I draw the parallel between Holmes and the Lord are the multitude of character similarities. In his world, Holmes’ word is final. If anyone questions him, they’re obviously wrong, because Holmes is always right. This fact is recognised by both the characters in the show and it’s viewers, I’d expect. He rushes through facts, mainly to get past exposition without anyone watching getting bored, as if he knew them all along and is perhaps a bit bored in having to translate for mere mortals.
I’ve mentioned it before and it’s his control of people that seems to be the entertaining thing to see. His control through knowledge, what a person has done and perhaps what they are going to do, a knowledge he gets from focusing on the little details and using pure logic is what separates him from the rest.
His lack of reliance on technology, and his overall nature, also separates him from the modern world. He examines the works of philosophers and idiots equally, judging them on his merits alone. At one point Watson asks Holmes if he has an app for examining something up close in the dark, at which point Holmes pulls out a magnifying glass and a torch. During a speech given by his superiors about saving power, Holmes plugs in his phone to check Instagram. In this TV world, even without power, Holmes is all-powerful.
How did this Holmes come to be? He has so much money he never has to worry about actually working, but his father is never actually ever seen (let alone his mother, who I don’t recall a mention of). His strange behaviour could be seen as a learning difficulty, what with his lack of social skills and his manner with people. But at the same time, he doesn’t seem to care about learning social niceties, more in favour of observing and judging. He casually suggests he’d consider letting the criminals go free because of their ingenuity, if they hadn’t murdered someone.
This might just seem like an extended metaphor that should have been cast out with a rewrite (could be right there), but this series of late has been less about Holmes and more about Watson, with her teacher there as an ethereal presence. Emerging whenever he wants to give a lesson in whatever he so chooses. He’ll appear, give orders that must be blindly followed or chastise them for not. But even if he appears strange, keep in mind he’s always got a plan. Because he’s Sherlock Holmes.
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