Matt Smith reviews episode 19 of Elementary season 2…
There’s a great joy to Sherlock Holmes when he’s on a case. Both within the character and to the watching audience, there’s a tone of humour that emerges no matter how dark it gets. With not many contemporary, real life worries and fortunate circumstances, all things considered, Sherlock Holmes can busily concentrate on the task at hand in the way he sees best. With a housemate and partner who may question him but won’t do much to stop his methods, Holmes is a man who, for the most part, gets to do what he likes. Even if that’s solving the case of a murder or two, this would lend great joy to any person.
As such, Elementary is shot richly. Warm colours are the first apparent visual element, what with all the other darker, more sombre shows available to watch. Elementary is there to show you that, even if these bad things happen you can still have a smile on your face.
This week, to complete the smile on your face motif, there’s the case of the serial killer who likes to bite people. Teeth marks left on bodies follow the usual strange tone of cases taken on by Sherlock Holmes. Despite the fact the man convicted for previous attacks fitting this MO died, the bodies still appear. So the question of his innocence pops up, which along with the focus on Watson provide the show with plenty of material to fill the time. There’s a surgeon from Watson’s past, a past that shows she was perhaps suitable as a detective even then, as well as the different suspects and the set of teeth that tie them all together.
Hanging information in front of us to leave Holmes more clueless than us was, however, a strange turn for the episode to take. With all the material, did they have to have our heroes ignore the obvious lead and follow up on more by-the-numbers ideas? From the original books showing Holmes in the eyes of Watson, the unusual detective is never one to fall behind on a case often, even while everything else falls by the wayside. It’s because of his devotion to cases that things can and do fall by the wayside, so this episode shows a different Sherlock Holmes as he sits back and helps Watson with her personal problems. While, hilariously, singing songs from the movie Frozen in between scenes.
Again, there’s a great joy to be taken from the character and the show. There’s even a joy when it comes to pointing a finger at the person who was behind it all. It’s been a while since the person responsible was so reprehensible, and this episode shows that while the crimes themselves are horrible, Holmes and the show have no time for lingering on them. It’s the solving of the case that brings the joy, and why wouldn’t we want to focus more on that than anything else?
While the characters and show can seem a bit unfocused (the doctor Watson is suspicious of appears and disappears to fit the scenes), the show mostly gets it right. To fit the mood, it’s a joy every week seeing this show pop up with another weird case, and it’s a joy to see these two main characters working through everything they have in front of them, whether it’s good or bad on their plate.
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