Friday, November 8, 2013

Elementary Season Two - Episode #7 - 'The Marchioness'

OK, I really liked about one minute and forty-five seconds of this episode.
The first minute, till Holmes spots Holmes.
And about the last forty-five seconds where Holmes and Holmes seem to be about to get beyond their problems and moving on.

Sadly to say, the rest of the episode really fell apart for me.
Sure, it was loosely based on SILV, but the story wasn't good enough or well written enough to make up for all the other flaws.

Sherlock acted the most immature he has so far, almost bringing tears to my eyes, and not tears of joy.
Any good detective work was over shadowed by the bouts of jealousy and moodiness coming from Sherlock.

Watson was well under her game on this one, lacking any real focus and strength.
And for me, I almost turned it off when we found out she went to bed with Mycroft.
The relationship had not been going on long enough for that to become a sub-plot in the show.
We are not really finding it to our liking the fact that Millers Sherlock will jump into bed with just about anyone, and to make that a trait also for Watson is taking it to far. Watson is suppose to be the moral compass of the pair.
I'm sorry, but that just did not work for me, and lowered her character a bit.

I like Rhys Ifans performance as Mycroft so far, but the story line they have him in is not holding up.

The whole thing with the finger prints in the tree was just the writers needing somewhere to put in some deductive work, because nothin' else was working.

Now we know why the dog didn't bark in the night, . . . he was embarrassed.

The Canonical connections were obvious and weak.

-Of course we had SILV
-We also had the use of Diogenes which I am pretty sure we all hoped would be put to better use than a restaurant.
-We also had Holmes using past clients to help him find out information
-Mycroft finding some one else to be the chef suggests Mycroft's un-energetic side.

I hope Buddy2Blogger comes up with some connections I missed.

I must be in a bad mood or something, because I really want to be hard on this episode, and I am doing my best not to sound like Snarky Tour Guide.

And don't even get me started on the body under the tree!!!

Out of five pipes, I can only fairly give it,


  1. Great review, John. It is amazing how similar our thoughts and reviews have been for this episode.

    "Now we know why the dog didn't bark in the night, . . . he was embarrassed." - Apt way to summarize the episode.


  2. Well, while I wouldn't give it one pipe, Jonny Lee Miller's focus on Lucy Liu and Rhys Ifans sleeping together is childish in a way that I don't think Holmes would act. It was more over the top than Robert Downey's jealousy of Jude Law's courting Kelly Reilly, although it was in the same ballpark. For me last season's "Déjà Vu All Over Again" was a low point that "The Marchioness" did not match. It is the type of episode that dislikers of the show can point to and say "See, they're not Holmes and Watson, just quirky TV detectives with the same name." It will be interesting to see how Benedict Cumberbatch reacts to Martin Freeman's upcoming marriage. I have a feeling it will be closer to "Elementary" than Cumberfans (and Johnlock shippers) will admit to, but we'll see.

    The problem is that, as you and I are Sherlockians, we look at "Elementary" through a different lens than a TV show fan with a casual knowledge of the Canon. The juvenile way that Downey and Miller react to their Watson's emotional involvements with someone outside the partnership is an expansion of the dismissive attitude evinced by Holmes in the Canon: "Miss Morstan has done me the honour to accept me as a husband in prospective." He [Holmes] gave a most dismal groan. "I feared as much," said he. "I really cannot congratulate you." And: "The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association. I was alone." It is on these slender threads that the modern conceit of a Holmes jealous of the emotional infidelity of his only friend leaving him for another is founded. It's like the Holmes/Adler pairing so common among Sherlockians, pasticheurs and screenwriters. The respect Holmes felt for a worthy antagonist has been changed to love. The conventions of melodrama that the hero always gets the girl has been a Holmesian albatross since Gillette in 1899. With our 20th century Adler romance now comes the 21st century Holmes/Watson bromance.

    Simple friendship is not enough these days. Watson's "Three Garridebs" wounding is now seen as something deeper than heterosexual male bonding: "Then my friend's wiry arms were round me and he was leading me to a chair. 'You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!' It was worth a wound - it was worth many wounds - to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation." Now we have Downey and Law sharing clothes like sorority sisters and secondary characters assuming Cumberbatch and Freeman are lovers. While gay undertones are written into the Warner Bros. series and the BBC, the fans are bring to the proceedings their own fevered imaginings, and mixing up the Canonical characters with those pale photons that share a name. You even have the Baker Street Babes talking about Canonical "hand porn" as evidence for something that Arthur Conan Doyle could never have written.

    end of part 1

    1. part 2

      Miller's Holmes is aggressively heterosexual. Sex for him is a stimulant, leaving his brain "awash with neurochemicals". It had no emotional connection, except with Natalie Dormer's Irene Adler/Jamie Moriarty. "Is this all I am now? A piece of exercise equipment for your brain?" Unfortunately for Miller the answer was no. One of the things that "Elementary" did brilliantly was connect Miller's addiction to Irene Adler's death and then make Adler Moriarty. If the BBC could have gotten away with it, they would have done something similar with Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott. There is Scott's pick-up attempt of Cumberbatch in the beginning of "The Great Game" and his psychopathic "flirting" with Cumberbatch throughout both series. The sexual tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It is still a bridge too far to have a male Holmes and Moriarty romantically linked, even for British television.

      Despite the opposite genders, "Elementary" executive producer Rob Doherty has declared that Holmes and Watson will not be romantically involved. Sherlockians who like the show could not be happier. TV show fans, however, are a fickle lot and Miller/Liu shipping is rampant. An episode like "The Marchioness" plays into that with Miller's peevish jealousy and sibling rivalry. It makes Miller less a Canonical Holmes, more an average TV character.

      Miller's sexual escapades exist only for mental stimulation. While Miller has taken the Watson role of have an "experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents", it was Liu who came off as something of a prude. To have the viewer find out she slept with Ifans is jarring. It seems out of character, especially as the show never set up an emotional connection between the two. Sex makes everything complicated. Introducing it in a non-Canonical way will always leave a bad taste in a Sherlockian's mouth

    2. Great points and a new way for me to go back and look at.

    3. I don't think she came off as a prude, maybe she was more careful because it involved more emotion.
      We know Watson of the books know woman on five continents, but we never think of it as casual.
      For me, it was the who, not the what happened. I just don't think it was, yet, good for the story arc.

  3. Thanks James. When I was wounded in the defense of 'Elementary', and dropped the flag, you picked it up and kept pushing forward.
    You are the official Color Sargent of the SHSSC.

    1. Keep calling them as you see them. No one can ask more than an honest appraisal uncolored by bias. I hope to uphold my commission to the best of my abilities.

  4. Loophole question... why were there fingerprints on the tree in the first place, if El Mecanico was in fact the only guy at the crime scene. The killer wouldn't have actually had to climb the tree because it turns out he wasn't running away from anyone in the first place. Therefore why were his fingerprints on the tree? Does that make sense?!

    1. Good question, but I will have to go back and watch the scene again and the ending.
      Good point, thanks!

  5. El Mecanico was being chased by a security guard. He had a lead on the guard in the dark but was coming up onto an open field and would have been easily spotted. He climbed the tree to fool the guard and it worked. the guard thought he disappeared and he went back to the stable and El Mecanico escaped at his leisure.

    1. Thanks James. That's was the way I remembered it, but I was going to need to go back and double check.
      You saved me some leg work.