Friday, May 3, 2013

'A Landmark Story" - episode #21 - review

We are finally drawing near the end. Well at least of this years run of a show that, at least among Sherlockians, is quite controversial.

Which I think for the most part is a good thing for no matter how you feel about the show, it has people talking about Sherlock Holmes, and it has Sherlockains hunting for Sherlockianisms.
Which, several times, has turned out to be rather fruitful.

Most of the criticism has become kind of mundane with the biggest criticism being that the show has fallen into the category of just another police procedural. That was a great comment until just about everybody took it up as a tag line and then it  became rather redundant. After all, was Sherlock Holmes not the founder of the police procedure's that we now find common in most police shows.?
So far, the episode tonight has fallen pretty far away from being a common police procedural.

The show is not without it's Sherlockian faults, and for me the biggest criticism is that the writing fails to WOW! us with Sherlock's observation and deductions, making it seem like Sherlock is often more led to clues rather than coming upon them by observational skills and discoveries. It would have been better if Sherlock had found the link between the heart attack victim and 'M' and Moriarty, than 'M' giving him that lead.

With all that said, I really enjoyed the acting in this episode, especially with F Murray Abraham as Gottlieb. His acting skill and presence lead me to suspect him to be Moriarty at the beginning and his manner and look could well have pulled that off. It seems a shame at this point to have someone of his caliber play such a minor hit-man and serial killer. That may be the point, that that  may not turn out to be all he is.

I found it a little disheartening that Holmes feels the need to keep him hostage while he does his investigation, especially after the last episode, and a few others, where Gregson has been willing to go along with Holmes' methods. It even seemed more odd that Watson went along with it.
It will interesting to see where that story line goes.

I won't miss Moran or 'M', never did like that take on him. But we can't even be sure he is gone, he hasn't died yet. And in the second series, who is going to be in the empty house with the air gun.
Which brings up the question; Who was the marksman who shoot John Douglas? And did we really need John Douglas. Probably just part of explaining the reach and control Moriarty has.

We have some wonderful references to the Canon.

Most obvious is the quote; “It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.”  

We have the reference to bee's once again. And used in a very clever manner. 

We have a reference to physics. 

We have a reference to Black Peter. In Black Peter he uses a Harpoon on a pig to replicate a murder. In this one he uses an Air Conditioner.

Not a lot of humor in this one, but the scene during the autopsy where Watson declares they are not having a moment was pretty good.

I am giving this episode a rating of 

because I liked the acting, the Sherlockisms that were present and hoping it will lead to a good last few episodes.


  1. I happened to like this one a bit more than you. Personally, I like the thuggish take on Moran, because the impression I've always had from "The Empty House" was that the Colonel was not bright enough to be Moriarty's second-in-command. Despite being a crack shot and author of a couple of hunting memoirs, to get by after Moriarty's death by being a card cheat seems to me not to show a lot of criminal ambition.

    I also think it's asking a lot for Sherlock to find the link between Van Der Hoff's heart attack and Moriarty. The dialog between Moran and Sherlock in prison makes clear that since the events of "M." Sherlock has not found corroborating evidence of Moriarty's existence. That said, you do have a point about the "wow" deduction factor--like in "Snow Angels" when Sherlock and Joan make the deductions about the guard's death. The police already knew that stuff. The problem is that the deductions Holmes made in the 1890's when the scientific method had yet to be applied to crime, the police do now as a matter of course. (Exactly your point about "was Sherlock Holmes not the founder of the police procedure's that we now find common in most police shows?") (Also, to have Gottlieb explain to Van Der Hoff how he's giving him the heart attack first, undercuts Sherlock's deduction of it moments later.)

    I don't have a problem with Joan and Sherlock holding Gottlieb for a while at the brownstone as they might need information and quick access that a Marandized suspect at the 11th Precinct might not provide. I am bothered that they left him alone on the living room floor. Even in a straight jacket, he could cause a lot of mischief.

    I also agree about John Douglas. It seems like a longer episode (90 minutes?) would have explained and utilized him better. Maybe he'll turn out to be Birdy Edwards, undercover man for Interpol.

    Canon reference: when Sherlock and Joan were breaking into the funeral home Joan says Why do I feel you done this before? and Sherlock replies Well there was the problem of Thor Bridge. (not direct quotes but close.)

    I really like the stake out in the park moment where Sherlock says the difference between man out to kill Moran and the man he is now is Joan. A very "Some friend of yours, perhaps?" "Except yourself I have none." moment.

    1. Very good points, and I think we are basically on the same page. Your points on Moran are very good. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Agree with your review. The episode had the usual strengths and weaknesses that have become the trademark characteristics of Elementary.