Matt Smith reviews episode 21 of Elementary season 2…
Family is a tricky thing at times. You can’t choose them, and yet they’re supposed to be the most trustworthy people you’ll ever know. Always there for you, never the ones to lie, cheat or steal. Supposedly there for the long haul, even if personalities clash and people aren’t exactly compatible.
This episode, more than any other, is about trust. Sherlock Holmes, perhaps summing up the season so far in an addicts meeting, must solve the case of a missing person. Her friend, and fellow addict, comes to Holmes and Watson in a bid to discover where she is after the police let her down. She’s worried and thinks her friend has turned back to drugs, so Holmes and Watson break into her apartment to try and find clues. Trust issues all around in the first ten minutes.
Meanwhile, Mycroft makes his return. Like last week, it’s a return of a character that has just disappeared and come back at an opportune time for the story. But with a well thought out discussion, in which Mycroft is shown to possess cunning at least equal to our troubled hero, Mycroft explains he’s back for Watson’s heart.
So while Holmes wants Watson for her brain, it’s love Mycroft is supposedly after. The differences in character between Mycroft and Sherlock are well shown here. While Mycroft is a doer, a character who creates these situations, Sherlock is more of a reactionary. He’s someone that needs stimulus in order to work, both literally as a detective and as a character on the screen. It’s in this classic set up that Sherlock and Mycroft have usually differed, both in Elementary and other tales featuring the two brothers.
And as boring as two brothers bickering can sound, Elementary makes this boring case interesting. Sherlock Holmes as a character has always been selfish, and the show uses these traits to great effect when it comes to creating tension within relationships. This series has shown the inside of the mind of a character who, when he sees someone dying, is more interested in finding the weapon, the evidence, a solution, as opposed to helping the person in need.
With everything before it building up to a mystery tail end of the series, it was perhaps inevitable that something like this week’s finale was going to happen. But like any detective story and any decent show looking for good ratings, questions still need answering before the end.
And so, just like family is perhaps supposed to, the end of this week’s episode promises something more than a weekly visit, something with higher emotional stakes and an arc reaching over many episodes. This series will hopefully reward those viewers who’ve stayed for the long haul with the stakes ever higher and cases ever harder, with the fact Sherlock Holmes now has to deal with family, both his possibly untrustworthy brother Mycroft and his surrogate Watson.
Direction in terms of story is something this series hasn’t concentrated so much on, what with it’s continuation of it’s main character’s growth. What the producers have in store now they’ve made Sherlock Holmes a different character to what he was at the beginning of the season is anyone’s guess. Would even the great detective be able to guess, put into the position he’s in now?
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