Friday, November 1, 2013

'An Unnatural Arrangement' - Season 2 Episode 6 of Elementary - A review

Every one had plenty to do in this episode, even Gregson and Bell.
The episode opens with Holmes and Watson at the police departments holding cell. Instead of a morgue this time, Holmes is using the holding cell to further Watson's observation and deductive skills. (I wanted to know about the Yorkies!)
While there, Watson is asked to help investigate a case an officer is having trouble solving involving robbed falafel sellers. Eventually Holmes solves the case without talking to Watson first, causing a minor rift between the two. (At least, it turns out,  Holmes was not sleeping with the falafel dealers, right Snarky Tour Guide?)
The episode then moves to a scene of a woman coming home to find a killer in her house. She escapes her killer, wounds him in the process and calls the police as he flees. We come to find out she is Detective Gregson's estranged wife. Apparently the killer was out to get her husband, which we soon find out is not the case. The case soon involves antiques, army buddies and murder.

Although this episode lacks deductive investigations to the degree most of us Sherlockians would like, I think it was a very well acted episode, involving all the key players to a degree that had not happened yet.
One of the problems this show is always going to have is that what we have come to expect as Holmes' gift and talents; his observational skills and deductive powers, are now common procedures we see in most police procedural's and it is going to be hard for the writers to come up with believable and amazing things for Holmes to catch.  (Not that they shouldn't keep trying!) Any show like CSI , Bones or The Mentalist are now using coroners and crime scene investigators, and dare I say it, consultants in a way that was sort of developed and invented by Holmes (Doyle).
It will be hard for any writer to give a modern Holmes something that has not been done. Sherlock is getting away with it by;
One, not having as many episodes.
Two, covering up the cases with off-the-wall personalities and quirky over the top performances.
And three, making the cases more psychological  than criminal.
Four, Benedict Cumberbatch
Just my opinion. (But I still love the show).

But now, back to Elementary.

Canonical connections I found were;

- Holmes' comment on the human condition being found in the holding cell is kinda of reflective of Holmes comments in the books about flying over London and lifting off the roofs and peering inside.
- Holmes' comment on Watson helping on cases the cops are stuck on
- Holmes observations about Gregson's wife perhaps no longer loving him by his (Gregson's) habits being different than they once were. This comes from BLUE. (She gets a dog, instead of a goose!)
- Watson coming up with the wrong answers looking at the same clues as Holmes
- wounds and tan marks indicating a deployment to Afghanistan (We were wondering how they would get that one in when not having Watson there.)
- of course, the curious incident of the dog in the night
- reference to unsolved cases
-and when Holmes brings out the trunk at the end and gives it to Watson reminds me of this image in MUSG
And although he doesn't say they are unsolved, he does state they are his older cases before Watson came along.
(What a great image! Look how youthful they look.)

I hope I missed some more that buddy2blogger or someone else will point out.

In this episode we once again see a Holmes that is becoming, thanks to Watson, more 'human'. A softer Holmes who is more aware of his affect on other people, but still not sure how best to handle it.
Watson is still holding her ground, but also notices the change in Holmes. I am liking the more 'human' Holmes.

Another thing I think Elementary is doing well, is filling in the gap in Watson's life from the time she fell from grace as a doctor until the time she either goes back to doctoring or completely becomes his partner.
In the canon, again because of the format of one case, one story, Watson does not need to explain to us what he does, other than going to his club and betting, when not involved with Holmes. Eventually, in the Canon, Watson goes back to work and gets married and we can better imagine what takes place in his life between cases. But for the first few years, we get little detail. (Even in the Brett series, we see little of Watson's life out side of Baker St.)
At the end of two years of Elementary the show will have covered almost as many cases as appeared in written form, and as viewers, we expect more back story and growth from the characters.
With that said, the show may not be filling the gaps in Watson life the way we would like, but they are filling in the gaps. Again, Playing the Game.

Both Gregson and Bell have become a little deeper, especially Gregson in this episode. And I think that makes the show more appealing.

I liked this episode, so, out of a possible five, in am again giving it.


  1. Thanks John for the link. Much appreciated.

    Interestingly, I was not so sure about the Musgrave Ritual reference and left it out.


    1. I think the comparison to the trunk and not the case is the connection.

  2. Good review. I like how this episode introduced Canonical elements without hitting the viewer over the head with them. The Afghanistan deduction, the dog that didn't bark in the night, the trunk of old cases, all very subtle nods to the Canon. The trunk is most definitely a nod to the "large tin box" Holmes dragged behind him in MUSG. "They are not all successes, Watson," said he, "but there are some pretty little problems among them." I like that here they contain Miller's cold cases and, as they hold his failures, the trunk is his most hated piece of furniture.

  3. Another Canonical connection, Holmes quoting Shakespeare.

    1. I liked your comment about not being hit over the head with them.