Matt Smith reviews episode 22 of Elementary…
What made you come here? Yes, you. Don’t answer back, I’m the one doing the writing around here (comments welcome). Why are you reading this review? Would you come here every week, even if you knew the next review was going to be of a YouTube video featuring a cat-themed Holmes playing a violin? While the video itself would be fantastic (he’d have a pipe stuck to his face and his real name would be Winston and he’d do other impressions) my review probably wouldn’t be all that interesting.
I’ve tried nailing down whatever works in these reviews. Whatever the reason, I’m going to find it and stick to it, because it means you’ll hopefully keep coming back. Like, for instance, I promised a giant spoiler for this series in the final paragraph of this review. Imagine if I did that.
A more cynical person would say we all do this to an extent in our lives. We only do something if we get something back. If you realise you’re doing it, it somehow makes you feel worse for some reason. Like you’re deceiving someone through manipulation.
It’s this manipulation that’s played out by Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes this week on Elementary. Once again, it’s an example of Moriarty and Holmes being very close to the same thing. Two sides of the same coin and all that. The only difference is their motives. Moriarty manipulates everyone and everything around him for criminal ends, whilst Holmes deceives and coerces people in order to solve crimes.
This manipulation ties into this series’ Holmes and his interactions with others. Instead of seeing them as people, he sees them as tools or, more aptly, their jobs. Earlier in the series, Holmes refers to a police officer, saying it would be a shame if he lost contact with them because he’d have to find another officer that does their job as well as they do. This week he only calms down during a rather angry moment when Watson promises to clean up a mess he made. He doesn’t make friends often, Holmes. While the show sometimes shies away a little from the consequences of Holmes’ actions and personality, this episode suggests the producers are aware of them.
His self-absorption doesn’t help either. His focus on the puzzle at hand is the same as his focus on himself, and what he can do to get the best out of a situation for himself. Speaking of which, I was very happy to see a ‘previously on…’ segment, mainly because that meant the current story arc is continuing. After the introduction and subsequent dropping of Moriarty earlier in the series, I hope Holmes’ arch villain isn’t an excuse for a bunch of stand-alone episodes masquerading as a master plan. At least finding an enemy that is in some ways Holmes’ better means Holmes will be opened up a little more to viewers.
Because when Holmes explains things, whether they’re about him or the case, it comes across as organic. Thanks to Watson being our surrogate, exposition is normally handled quite well. Unfortunately whenever exposition comes from Watson, normally in the form of her explaining something out loud to herself, it just comes across as strange.
And in an emotional unveiling unlike any seen thus far in the series, Holmes reunites with Irene Adler. I’m sure the impact would’ve been much more emotional and connecting, not to mention shocking, if the programme synopsis hadn’t have revealed Adler’s appearance in a bid to get us to watch. Nothing like a bit of manipulation to change everything.
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