Monday, April 7, 2014

Something to chew on - "The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville" - Elementary S2, E19 (43) - A Review

"The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville' opens with Holmes bent over a the body of a mortician found dead in the mortuary. He has bite marks on his shoulder.

As they are investigating  another detective comes in wondering if it is another victim of a murderer with the same M.O. as a long dead murderer.
Holmes goes on to prove that it is not another victim of the same murderer, but this reminds Watson of another case she was involved with while still a doctor, the long dead murderer.

This leads her to wonder if the doctor she had been working with let the murderer die without doing all he could to save him, and that the man may have been innocent after all.
Watson learns that the new victims have bite marks matching the teeth of the now dead murderer from ten years earlier.

Did they convict the wrong man?

If the earlier man accused of murder is dead, who is doing the new murders with the same teeth?

The Canonical Watson described at least one case as being grotesque, and this episode would definitely fall into that category.

For once we see an episode that does have a lot of good observation and deduction work going on, especially in the opening scene. The story follows many lines of inquiry before coming to a satisfactory conclusion at the end.

While being one of the better 'Elementary' procedural episodes, the show continues to fall into the same pitfalls it has over the last several weeks.

1 - Most of the episodes now fall into the "murder for money and trying to make it look like someone else is doing it" category. The plots just seem to be shipped into different scenarios. They need to come up with some other plot-lines.

2 - While having better balanced characters, it is still having trouble coming up with a good portrayal of a "Sherlock Holmes" type character. There was actually one point in this episode, although enjoying the episode, that I had to remind myself I was suppose to be watching a Sherlock Holmes like character.
Again, while watching the show and enjoying the episode, I didn't feel I was watching a modern interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.
That may end up being, for Sherlockians who enjoy the show, one of the biggest problems over the next season. "Sherlock" at least has London. And they have made great use of a great coat, and they have at least found a way to introduce the hat. Cumberbatch has been able to capture some mannerisms that one can interpret as Holmesian.
Miller may have problems finding something like that to mark him as a "Sherlock Holmes" without seeming to copy Cumberbatch.
With that said, it is good they are not trying to use the same gimmicks.

(A very good Sherlockian scene, Holmes and Watson by the fireplace.
I love this picture!)

I was interesting to see 'Watson' put in the position of having to do something un-ethical (taking stolen medical records) to try and prove someone else was doing something un-ethical (letting a stabbing victim die).

It was also a good nod at Watson still being the moral compass of the two.

I think it was also an unintentional nod to the Canonical Watson sometimes turning a blind eye to some of Holmes' methods.

It has also become interesting watching Millers Holmes react to uncomfortable social situations.
I am liking season two and a half's Holmes better than the first season and a half.

While still not finding a comfortable representation of 'Holmes', the show has become very fun to watch and much better than it has been.

For that reason, and hopes for the future I give it;


  1. Good review, as always. I think Miller's Holmes characterization is a bit more subtle since he doesn't have the "Sherlock Holmes" trappings--deerstalker, Inverness, pipe, magnifying glass, London--that can disguise an indifferent performance. The cold opening deduction of the mortician's murder during a break-in (actually an accidental death with the burglar coincidentally arriving on the scene later--very similar to the plot of "The Crooked Man") was very well done. Too well done, perhaps, as it makes the viewer wonder why can't the main case be solved as quickly. "Monk" had the same problem.

    1. I agree with your comment about the subtle performance.
      I am also okay with the first mystery being solved so quickly; all the clues were on hand.
      The main story required more foot work.

  2. Liked your balanced take on the episode. Like the RDJ movies, JLM's portrayal of Holmes remains the biggest obstacle for me to enjoy this show. It does not help that the plots are predictable too (as you rightly pointed out).


    1. I think if they can overcome those two points they will be right on.