Friday, November 21, 2014

'Elementary' S3E4 - 'Bella' - a review unresolved

While 'bleeding' himself, Sherlock and Kitty get a late evening visitor in the form of computer software expert Edwin Burstein.
Burstein as had a very important new piece of AI (Artificial Intelligence) software stolen and his business will be ruined if the thief is not caught and the program returned.
Although reluctant at first, Holmes takes the case. Seemly more to prove AI is impossible, rather than to solve the case. Intending to leave most of the leg work to Watson and Winter. (He can not completely keep his hands out of it however.)

The actual original case in this story turns out to be very unimportant, for Holmes quickly resolves it (allowing, once again, the criminal to remain free) and makes sure the stolen copy is destroyed. (Apparently industrial espionage is not very high on Holmes crime list.)

When bringing the good news to Edwin, Holmes and associates find Edwin dead from a seizure, seemly brought on by Bella the AI program on the computer. Is Bella the murderer? Holmes does not think so.

Holmes and Irregular Mason deduce, during a very annoying session of very loud music review, that the a virus as been placed on Bella by it being introduced hidden between tracks on a heavy metal CD.

Holmes suggests that the virus has been placed there by an anti-AI Professor named Pike, who believes Artificial Intelligence will eventually destroy mankind.

Unfortunately one of the professors proteges takes the fall, not very convincingly, (would Kitty do this for Holmes?)(and surely the NYPD could disprove her story!) for the crime and Holmes has to result to a bluff to try to prove that Pike was the one actually responsible.
Pike seems very formidable in his confrontation with Holmes.
We are left believing Holmes was unable to go through with the bluff.

The plot was unconvincing in how the protege, such a seemly weak individual, was able to find and follow, then steal and replace the Heavy Metal Cd. We are left to assume that she may have gone about it the same way as Raffles (which really seems highly unlikely). But, where along the way was the way-laying taking place?
Is this plot line going to suggest that Pike has a network of followers (much like Moriarty) who are able to do his bidding and who will willingly go to jail for him?

Although the episode still allowed itself some room to include moments of unnecessary quirkiness, it was not over done. The leach bit in the beginning served no purpose, and the time could have been better used.

Most of the plot actually still dealt with relationships and personalities as they reflect on Holmes.
And, nicely, the story was allowed to focus on that and much of it used the relationship between the computer and Holmes to show that.

Although I don't usually like an unresolved story, especially since next weeks preview did not suggest the story would be continued, I think it worked well with the exploration of this part of Holmes personality. Is Prof. Pike going to end up being one of the few who have beaten Holmes (beaten four times, three by men). The closing scene did suggest Holmes had however come up with a clue, from Bella, or that he had had a personal revelation about how to solve the crime.

The episode also took a step closer to explaining the path of the relationship between Holmes and Watson. Canonically it would be suggested that at times Watson must have wondered about his roll in the relationship with Holmes. It is a Canonically good discussion point to wonder how the relationship with Watson may or may not have changed Holmes. We see suggestions of this change every week in the show. How would that be reflected in the Canon?

Kitty, to my mind, is proving to be unnecessary to the stories, and I hope her character develops a little more soon. At the moment she is serving as little more than a go-fer and someone who is just taking lines away from the Watson character

Joan, now not living with Holmes, gives the show a chance to explore Holmes' life without Watson living at the faux 221b. We will have to just wait and see if we agree with how Holmes handles it.
Will something happen in Denmark to her new love? And will Holmes be involved with the investigation? Holmes likes the guy, Watson likes the guy. Something is going to happen, right?

Another reviewer suggests that it is unfortunate that 'Elementary' is unable to come up with a plot line that does not include murder. As we Canonically know, many of Holmes' cases did not include a death. Are the writers capable of coming up with a plot that does no require someone to die?

Several good Canonical references were present;

A client coming to Holmes after a recommendation from a previous client.
Holmes taking a case for no fee because it interests him.
Holmes being a thinking, logic machine, not allowing emotions to make his decisions.
Not being hired by the police force, so therefore, not required to turn in a criminal.
Holmes and Watson not sharing 'Baker St. (We can't use Watson moving out because of a relationship because she moved out before then to get her own 'space')
Spending many hours on a case without stopping to take a break.
Irregulars, (who's numbers have vastly increased these last few weeks).
Holmes' knowledge of important world wide criminals.
(And there is one big one that I just can not remember this morning!)

Although I am still not a big fan of Miller's portrayal of Holmes, last nights episode was a good story and had some strong Canonical references, and shows signs of growth and also suggested discussion-able points. I think that is going to be may gauge for this show now; Does this episode offer some good Canonical references and possible Canonical discussion points?

How does that work for you?

So, for that reason, I give this episode, . . . .


  1. Good idea on that gauge, John. You're doing a much better job there than I!

    1. I think it is desperation more than anything else.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Yes, this was probably the best episode so far in this season. Let's see if the show can maintain or improve on this.


    1. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.