Matt Smith reviews the ninth episode of Elementary season 2…
Complexity is more than just for puzzles. Sherlock Holmes probably knows this. They make for a much more interesting person. Shades of grey in a character, as well as a person, can create interest and hold curiosity in an instant.
As mentioned last week, Sherlock Holmes is nothing if not his flaws as well as his gifts. This week we’re given a focus on one of his flaws, this time being his tendency to lead with brash honesty that makes him great at his job but terrible with people. The man who created him, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, could be seen as a similar sort of man. Indeed, he even solved crimes and acted in ways some found bafflingly annoying.
Tensions ratchet up this week as Holmes and Watson’ presence within the NYPD causes waves, particularly with one Detective Coventry (played more than ably by Chris Bauer). The relationship Holmes/Watson has with the police department is now being seen as the pair taking over and second-guessing other peoples’ work.
More tension arises as a serial killer visits Holmes abode. So this week is all about tension, along with Holmes’ temper. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t seen much of it in abundance before, as it makes this episode seem like Holmes’ brashness and temper have been amped up purely for this episode.
Something that has been seen throughout the series, however, is the lovely twists and turns that can be made. Unfortunately, that does make it a little harder to hide them. Some twists can be figured out by viewers before protagonists, leaving us to sit there and wonder out loud why the smartest detective around is following a lead that is obviously a set up.
The number of good performances this week takes a huge handful from the guest stars. Chris Bauer as Detective Coventry brings along the right amount of world-weariness, sulkiness, righteous annoyance and ego to make us see his side, even if we don’t agree. And Troy Garity, as this week’s criminal, plays the intelligent sociopath fantastically with a dumb face hiding the cogs working behind it all.
Unfortunately, the case itself seemed a little slow and could possibly have been solved by Watson on her own as they were led, with the occasional red herring, along the tracks to the end. A couple of generic moments (the choicest of which would be the killer’s line ‘I hope your life isn’t ruined too’ when speaking to Holmes and Watson) slowed it down further, meaning this is far from the best case Elementary has presented us with.
Overall, this week’s most interesting moments (Holmes being fully aware of himself, his problems with social interaction) could’ve been fit into another episode easily while the case itself seemed boring even with good performances given. Hopefully Mycroft returns and gives the series it’s complexity back with the overarching case that needs to be solved.
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