Friday, May 2, 2014

'Elementary' - S2E22 #46 - "Paint it Black" - A Review

The bad guys have Watson. It is Mycrofts fault. Holmes wants her back. And he is pissed. But not up to his game for getting her back.
After Watson last week got herself in trouble with some French terrorists, it is now up to Sherlock to get her back. Something he had a hand in, but in the end could not do.
While there were some very good parts in this episode the resulting conclusion was a little below expectations.

Good points first.

There were some very good moments of Sherlockiana in Holmes' observational skills while surveying various crime scenes. Some of the little details we keep hoping he will come up with were finally played out in this episode; Details in photographs, markings on floors, etc. At one point, when Holmes was examining the ground for poor Norman's body, I kept hoping he would prostrate himself on the ground like the great Sidney Paget drawing. It got close, but did not quite make it.
We had a couple Canonical references to Mycroft's lack of energy.
There were several examples of Holmes' feelings for his Watson.
Examples of his knowledge in chemistry.
Although not Canonical, the acting was strong.
Mysterious Mycroft and the climactic discovery of his involvement with the British Government (which was, if not surprising, fairly well done.)

What spoiled this episode for me was it's falling back on habits we keep hoping it will get beyond.
Overly gross crimes, that lack panache. Or as Watson would say, "grotesque". And it's need to have an innocent victim being murdered in just about every episode.

The sibling rivalry between the brothers is getting a little tiresome, especially the younger Holmes' immaturity in the situation.

And it seems like instead of Sherlock being only slightly less intelligent than his brother, he seems to be coming in at least fourth in the running to other characters in the show. We are told, Canonically, that Sherlock knows Mycroft's position of importance in the British Government. But in 'Elementary' Sherlock is very Alicia Silverstone, 'Clueless', to Mycroft's real involvements. Canonically we expect the difference between the two brothers to be more a level of energy issue and not a blinded by resentment one. I kept hoping the investigation would turn into a tit-for-tat, back and forth bouncing off of ideas between the two. It would almost come to that, then just fade away.

While this episode was very strong in a couple of Canonical Holmes references the immaturity of Sherlock rather spoiled it. We were even lead to believe Sherlock was completely, again, clueless and absent in the cases resolution. Mycroft once again pulled to wool over Sherlocks eyes. Surely Mycroft would know, once Watson was released, that Sherlock would learn of that involvement. Why then exclude him from the finale?

In "Sherlock" the sometime showing of immaturity works because B.C. at least gets away appearing to be a younger Holmes (in reality they are only about three years apart). In "Elementary" we expect Holmes to be old enough to have out grown it.

Although I found this episode well above most of what the show has had to offer, it did not come up to expectations over the last couple of weeks promise. (I can't wait to see what Brad has to say.)
So, for that reason I can only give it; 


  1. I have to say I like this episode a bit better than you. I think the sibling rivalry worked in this episode due to the context of the peril to Watson and Mycroft's role in causing it. The fast pace and Sherlock's observational skills were well done. In fact, while it seems there were clues to Mycroft's MI6 background (such as the NSA agent saying it was a pleasure to meet Mycroft in a way that hinted the agent had heard of Mycroft before and Mycroft showing deductive skills when prodded by Sherlock) it actually seems realistic that Sherlock wouldn't pick up on them because of his preconceived notions of his brother. Just look at Brad. He's used the word "hate" in connection to his feeling about "Elementary" even before the show aired. In his April 25 post "The KRM. Worth a re-watch?" he states "The brothers Elementary have a long whisper-conversation in which the one supposedly dating Joan calls her a 'sow.'" I told him in a comment he didn't bother to post (I've been banned in Peoria once again) "The line from Mycroft is 'You value Joan to precisely the extent that she's a salve for your many neuroses.' It doesn't surprise me, given your antipathy...but it does surprise me that you didn't turn on the close captioning. You see and hear what your biases allow." Sherlock's life long rivalry and biases do not allow him to see him as anything more than lazy. As for Norman's murder and later examination of the body, again I think it worked very well with in the context of this episode. That is the problem when a show has at least one murder a week and glories in the ability to presented it as gory as possible (the cut-in-half ballerina, the headless and handless mafioso corpse in a barrel, the blackmailer's assistant decomposing in a bathtub), when a necessary-to-the-plot corpse does appear, it's seen as more-of-the-same.

    Joan was presented less a damsel in distress because of her doctoring skills. And Sherlock's exclusion at the show's finale made sense--he was Tasered after all, and Mycroft has his own agenda which Sherlock would not go along with. Sorry to see you almost agreed with Brad on this one. He's full of cow chips on this one ("I hope the NSA can straighten this mess out for Mr. Elementary. He seems to need somebody to get him out of this, unlike that Cumberbatch-resembling fellow on the other side of the pond." Really? Cumberbatch would have been facing a murder charge without his brother pulling strings). Definitely four pipes--maybe four and a half. We'll have to see how the next two episodes go

    1. Your points are all well made, and I can understand them. I did not hate the episode, but do think it took a step back from the last two weeks.
      I guess my biggest problem, as stated, with this episode is the re-use of the same themes and no growth.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I agree with Brads measure on the show, not his comments per-say.