Friday, September 27, 2013

There Baaaack! Elementary Season 2 - episode 1 - 'Step Nine' - a review

There back and I'm glad. I missed them. Was it fun? Yes. Was it perfect? No.

Jonny Lee Millers 'Holmes' goes back to London, by a request from Insp. Hopkins, for the first time since rehab, to help one time colleague Scotland Yard Inspector Lestrade (played by Sean Pertwee).
Lucy Liu's 'Watson' accompanies him.

Lestrade is obsessed with, what's to him, an unsolved murder. He believes he knows who did it, but his career is in jeopardy because of pressure from the suspects father and he is no longer in position to get support from Scotland Yard.

Holmes feels partially responsible for Lestrade's predicament and tries to make amends.

I thought the story was a good one, and the observations and deductions worked well. There were lots of great Sherlockian references and some good characters.

I liked Rhys Ifans as Mycroft better than I thought I would. He pulled off being suave very well, but was under used. And I found his addition to the story unnecessary to the plot, especially in a Canonical sense. I know this episode was about making amends, but I think he could have been used in a better way and I hope he returns in another episode more the way we expect. And the relationship was just a little to strained.
I did find the sexual references unnecessary and uncalled for. I also didn't like the immature relationship between the Holmes brothers, but they at least tried to clear that up towards the end, . . . a little.

Sean Pertwee played Lestrade well, and if you really think about it, not to far from the canonical Lestrade.
I think the way the relationship was between Holmes and Lestrade in this episode brought up some good points for further discussion about the relationship Canonically. I know I don't tend to think about that relationship canonically other than how Watson states it.

I don't really understand the need for the show to go to London. They didn't seem to really take much advantage of that great city. It was however fun to sit and watch and go, 'Hey! Remember going by there?"

I kept pen and paper next to me as I watched and wrote down the Canonical references I caught. And I look forward to reading some other blogs and seeing if I missed any.

Here are the ones I caught.

1. Well, they use Lestrade.
2. Hopkins
3. Langdale Pike, what better way for a modern gossipmonger to get gossip than by CVC cameras. (Well, maybe hack computers).
4. "Best of a bad bunch" referring to Scotland Yard and Lestrade.
5.Stating the limitations of Lestrade and Scotland yard
6. Making sure Lestrade got the credit in most cases
7. Lestrade often excepting anything as evidence to close a case.
8. Mycroft lacking exercise and ambition
9. Well, 221b of course
10.a reference to seven times being incommoded
11. 5 hidden 'cache's' around the city
12. His bed being undisturbed from staying out on a case all night.
13. Although knowing who did the crime, but not having the evidence to bring them in yet (happened in Hound by the way.)
14. reference to Norwood Builder
15. and of course, Art in the Blood
16. use of single stick, although by Watson this time
17. references to all the things Holmes usually had in 221b, especially chemical experiments.
18. was the plastic gun a reference to unusual weapons like Moran's air gun.
19. Mycroft

Nineteen. I don't think that's too bad.

I hope I missed a few and others will point them out for me.
I liked the episode but did not think it one of the best.

So, because it's back, and I liked it I am giving it

 out of a possible five.

PS. Since first writing this review I have gone and read the review 'point counter point' on Sherlock Peoria.
And since I am no longer allowed to post comments there, I am adding them here.
Bill Mason's points are excellent and are fairly within 'Playing the Game'. You can tell he is taking the show for all it is worth and having fun with it. He doesn't believe the show is perfect, or necessarily the way he would like to see it. He is taking into account how others may feel about it, and not insulting anyone else.
He is presenting his points in a respectful way, encouraging a debate.

On the other hand, Snarky Tour guide Brad K., is his usual offending self, who must try to debase others to make his point.
I find it kind of interesting that for the last couple of weeks he has taken just about everything written in the Canon and dragged it into the gutter giving the Hound an R or X rating. He finds the BSB's podcast about their Sherlockian sexual fantasies informative, interesting, fresh and new, while finding it offensive for 'Elementary's' Sherlock to have oral sex with Mycroft's girlfriend. And since he brought, once again, 'Sherlock' into an 'Elementary' discussion, he doesn't find 'Sherlock's' rude ways or his showing up to see the Queen in a sheet immature or offensive? 
And, to give Brad some credit, he does often have interesting and good points to make, and he is very Canonically knowledgeable, but it is like getting ones hand cut off to get into the cookie jar.
Every time I want to give Brad the benefit of the doubt about him possibly just playing the devils advocate or doing something tongue-in-cheek or to get a rise out of people, he usually goes to far.
But, it is his blog after all, and if I don't like it, I can stop reading it.

You want to read a review worth commenting on, read Bill Mason's ,whether you agree with him or not.
He will at least treat you respectfully.
On the other hand.
Don't waste your time on two faced Snarky Tour guide.


  1. Good review. I thought Sean Pertwee made a very good Lestrade. I like how they turned the "no very unusual thing for Mr. Lestrade, of Scotland Yard, to look in upon us of an evening...Holmes was always ready to listen with attention to the details of any case upon which the detective was engaged, and was able occasionally, without any active interference, to give some hint or suggestion drawn from his own vast knowledge and experience" into someone who was "addicted" to the uncredited help and the fame of headlines. This Lestrade might be an alcoholic, and thus susceptible to such a fame addiction. If you listen at the end of the show when Lestrade is on television taking credit for solving the case, he says, "When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remain, however improbable, must be true." He's still addicted. he thinks he's as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes.

    One of the things about "Elementary" that always struck me as odd is how generic New York seems in the show--despite recognizable landmarks, it could be filmed anywhere. I thought the same thing of the London setting--despite the landmarks, London seemed generic. It must be the cinematography. I also think the Sherlock/Mycroft sibling rivalry that's de rigueur in our 21st century takes is overdone. Brothers fighting over one stealing the others girlfriend? Snore. Mycroft a restauranteur instead of being in Her Majesty's Government? Also strange, although I'm not sure how government Mycroftt would have worked in the episode as written. I did like Rhys Ifans. It would be nice to see the character back and developed more.

    I also must agree with you on Sherlock Peoria's Brad/Bill debate; at least I was look forward to a debate. Instead of judging the episode Brad starts out by stating his unprovable thesis "CBS’s Elementary has proven what I suspected last year: this show hates Sherlock Holmes and everything about him" then brings up some very real Sherlockian objections to the episode but doesn't develop his argument. I know they constrained themselves to 300 words, but Bill makes his arguments clearly on the Sherlockian aspects he sees: "Watson (Lucy Liu) continues to be a delight and the strongest character, among the best of Watsons on the screen. No bumbling, confused simpleton is she; nor is she suffering from a seemingly chronic case of irritable bowel syndrome. She is a worthy companion, a woman of action and perception, a loyal friend." That is a cogent marshaling of points. Brad: "Is there no depth to which this show will stoop to titillate its audience? The mystery itself seemed to be written by someone who thinks reality and mystery don’t mix. It was about as grounded as believing Mr. Elementary can magically follow a pigeon across New York City." That is an opinionated diatribe, not a convincing argument of why the show doesn't work as Sherlock Holmes. I felt the same was as Jacquelynn when the joint review was announced: "Two brilliant and gracious gentleman, both of whom I hold in high regard, having a little joust of words. Let the games begin!" Brad left me felling short-changed.

    1. Man, I missed Lestrade's quote at the end, "When you eilminate. . ."
      Thanks for catching that.
      I need to get over Brad and move on, I keep giving him a chance and look where it goes. Oh, well.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Brad on I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere Episode 56 on why he watches and blos about "Elementary": "..., I put my opinions of the episodes out there and I got people disagreeing with me and things and at some point it became like a mission where it was like I knew so many people, everybody else I knew who hated the show quit watching the show so I was like, ‘Well, somebody’s gotta keep watching this that doesn’t love it.’ Because I was afraid the people who enjoy the show will go, ‘But it’s gotten much better.’ I thought just in case it didn’t get better I thought somebody should witness it." Well, perhaps someone should witness and politely point out when he's wrong. Not for Brad's sake, because when some on a "mission" they usually feel a sense of righteousness, but for those others with open minds. He's a good guy with a blind spot.

    The Lestrade quote was under a line of Sherlock's dialogue and easy to miss.

  3. By the way, in the abandoned playhouse, Lestrade had a hip flask; from HOUN: "Lestrade thrust his brandy-flask between the baronet's teeth..."