'Elementary': Step Nine (2x01)
September 30th, 2013 12:54am EDT
Yay!!! Elementary! I really love this show. I'll admit to some skepticism coming in to the first season, and it did have its shaky moments starting out, by the end of Season One I was officially a fan. Now, we're starting off the second season. After the chaos of the finale several months back, this premiere took a smart tack and started with a fresh story, moving away from the Moriarty/Adler business and towards some other familiar canon faces.
As we start out, Sherlock and Joan are working on a case involving carrier pigeons. It's silly and quirky and Joan gets to be a martial arts bad ass. Then, as the case is wrapping up, Sherlock gets a call from Hopkins, an ex-colleague in London, who tells him that another mutual colleague, Gareth Lestrade, has gotten into some trouble. Holmes and Watson go to London to help out.
Apparently, Lestrade has gone a bit crazy over a case - he believes that the husband of a murdered woman is in fact guilty, even though they haven't been able to find any proof. Sherlock finds Lestrade and works with him to prove the man's guilt, thus freeing Lestrade from the stigma of his failure and his crazed recent actions.
This was actually a relatively clever setup for a procedural. Rather than starting at the beginning of a case and seeing where it goes, we start at the end of the case. The entire episode revolves around Sherlock attempting to prove the guilt of one specific person. As any investigator will tell you, that's not the way to go about solving a crime. Nevertheless, Sherlock manages to succeed.
Alongside this, we have the interesting fact that Sherlock feels guilty for Lestrade's behavior. Apparently, Sherlock let him have all the credit for cases they used to solve together back in the day. This has made Lestrade an "addict" for attention and prestige. Sherlock, as part of his addict program, attempts to make amends for how he treated Lestrade. Instead, in the end, Lestrade takes credit for Sherlock's discoveries in the case after all.
There was a lovely moment where Sherlock expresses his anger, exasperation and worry for Lestrade, and Joan sympathizes: "welcome to caring about an addict."
The other major plot of the episode centered around another known character - Mycroft Holmes. Rhys Ifans was brilliant in this role, but I'll admit that there were some parts of this plot that were not the strongest. While Elementary usually does a brilliant job of putting twists on otherwise familiar characters, such as with Lestrade in this very episode, or of course the famous Moriarty/Adler thing, with Mycroft, it took a very safe route.
Mycroft has apparently moved in to 221B Baker Street in Sherlock's absence. He and Sherlock do not get along. Apparently, Sherlock at one point slept with Mycroft's fiancée. Also, Sherlock thinks that Mycroft is lazy and does not apply himself. Joan speculates that part of the problem might stem from the fact that Mycroft gets along with their father, while Sherlock does not. All of these theories aside, there is an obvious animosity between them.
Joan gets invited by Mycroft to dinner. Sherlock suspects that it's a ploy to get her into bed, while Joan believes he simply wants to connect with her, since she's a large part of Sherlock's life. Turns out, Joan is right - but there's more to it.
Mycroft had been sick, and it made him reevaluate his life. He realized that his one regret was his bad relationship with Sherlock, and he wants to know how Joan managed to become his friend. In the end, we see Mycroft and Sherlock sit together as Mycroft tells Sherlock that things will be different between them from now on. He initiates this new period of brotherly communication by blowing up Sherlock's stuff from 221B. Ah, brotherhood.
So, yeah. I wasn't all that impressed with the story line they chose to introduce Mycroft with. Acting? Excellent. Chemistry with other characters? Great. Cliched story about an illness making someone open their eyes to their regrets? Not ideal. However, as we move forward, I'm willing to see how this character will adapt and grow with the show. I'm always happy with some brotherly angst.
Photo Credits: Lenny Abbot, PacificCoastNews.com