Let's Play the Game.
For me, the theme of the most recent episode of Elementary was 'Does the end justify the means?'.
Is it OK for Sherlock to work outside the boundaries of the law to get his results?
It is not the first time this issue has been brought up in discussion of Holmes methods in the Canon.
And it won't be the last.
What makes it perhaps a little more unique is that Elementary took it to the degree where someone was injured and nearly died because of Holmes' methods and lack of restraint.
It could be argued that these same methods also nearly caused Sir Henry in HOUN to almost meet his end.
As it could be argued that Holmes' methods got Watson shot in 3GAR.
We also know of several occasions when Holmes used disguise to gain entry, and a few times he burgled his way in.
We accept this behavior in the books. In part, because of our love of Holmes, so we believe he is going to make the right decision.. But probably, for the most part, because we trust Watson. We trust that he has accepted this as part of Holmes character, and since he is the moral compass of the stories, if it is OK with Watson, it is OK with us..
Now for the most part, none of us would argue with the methods. They work well within the frame work of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and make for some interesting endings. But because of Watson we also do not hold in very high regard the London police force, and we then therefore accept the fact the Holmes is making the best decision.
In BLUE we see Holmes not only being the investigator, but also the judge and the jury of Ryder, allowing him to go free at the end. We will never know if it was the right decision, it never came up again. Did Ryder stay on the straight and narrow and leave the country, go to America where he made good and eventually his descendant's started the Ryder truck rental company and are now wealthy?
Or did Ryder stay the low life he seemed in the story.
We see a former criminal who is going straight then accused of a crime, while seeing someone not known as a criminal in the past, turn bad and allowed to go free. And what about his accomplice?
Because Watson finds these results OK, we end up finding them OK. And, once again, because of the usually harmless outcome they make for interesting results.
I think it is brave of Elementary to take the examination of Holmes' methods a step further by examining the methods under the light of someone getting injured that is not the story-teller. We see a police force a little more intelligent than Lestrade and his peers, one that recognizes the need for restraint when you are hired as a consultant. It asks; Would Holmes methods work in a modern police age?
In Sherlock, in A Study in Pink, we see both Watson and Holmes pursuing results that gets a man killed in the end. But because it is Watson that does the shooting Holmes' methods are never put under scrutiny.
We are OK with the results, we like and trust Watson.
Are we to believe the Scotland yard of now is as dim as in 1895? Will Sherlock eventually examine this theme also?
But, as Elementary explores, in this day and age, would that be accepted? Can Holmes work with the law, while working outside of it?
We are OK with our hero's being judge and jury when we don't believe the justice system will make the right decisions. But what if someone innocent gets hurt?
Well, let's just trust Watson.
Does Lucy Liu's 'Watson' question that behavior more than other Watson's'?
It is also interesting to note that Miller's Holmes may have compromised two friendships, Bell's and, having her twist the truth for him, Liu's 'Watson'.
Would that Canonical Watson do that for Holmes?
Did Holmes' methods change after 3GAR?
Just a few things to think about this cold Monday morning.