Friday, May 1, 2015

Elementary S3 E22 - 'The Best Way out is Always Through' - Elementary, damned if it does, damed if it doesn't.

Poor 'Elementary', it just doesn't seem able to cut a break.
I am not going to talk about the 'A' plot here. Although timely, it doesn't really change much from most of the other plots this season.
Matter of fact, it has almost gotten to the point of; "Which is really the 'A' plot, the 'A' plot or the 'B' plot. Or maybe even the 'C' plot."

I don't watch any other police procedurals so I am not sure if the reuse of plot formulas is an on going issue in other shows or not.

One again the main issue, the 'B' plot (or was it the 'A' plot) dealt with in this episode is individual relationships.
This time Detective Bells. And to be honest, I think it was well done.
I liked the discussion between Bell and Holmes about which of them is the loneliest. With Holmes mostly suggesting the his, Holmes', reason for being alone is a personal choice. While Bells is a situation caused by his career and not his choosing. This does allow use to examine, Canonically, our thoughts on Sherlock Holmes' life alone.

The 'A' plot (or was it the 'B' plot?) about the 'escaped' female prisoner, the dead judge and the dead prison offical did offer a few twists that made the investigation a little more complex than usual.

Joan is once again relicated to a more Watson like role, less the detective and more the side-kick.While still involved and contributing to the investigation, most of her involvement comes with her being absent from Holmes. This tactic makes her seem less an equal partner and more a helper.
This technique is helping the show seperate their roles in the show.

Once again Holmes' quirks, although still present are played down and are used less to identify his personality.

There were also a few good scenes of good detective work.

I also liked the opening scene with Watson discovering the Stanley Cup and the dialog that followed.

My favorite part about this episode was the humor. With most of it provided by the NHL and the Stanley Cup. Once again timely, it provided for some lighter moments.

Clyde us mentioned but unseen.

So with these things in mind I can fairly give the show a strong;

So. . . if I give the show a strong three pipes out of five way do I say it's 'damned if it does, and damned if it doesn't"?

For me that comes from a Sherlockian prespective.

As Sherlockains we have since the beginning of Elementary hoped for certain things to happen.
We hoped Millers Holmes would be come, well, more Holmes like.
We hoped the plot would involve more Holmes like deductions.
And we also hoped the partnership between Liu's Watson and Millers Holmes would become, well, more Holmes and Watson like.
And some of us even hoped for more Canonical references to the original stories and characters.

The show has definitly gone through a transformation. In the beginning and for a very long time Millers Holmes was so far out there that his portrayal was almost a lampoon of Sherlock Holmes.
In the last half of this season Millers Holmes has been reined in at least some what to make if not a more Sherlock Holmes character at least a less offensive one.

Liu's Watson as gone from being a companion to a student to a partner and now back almost again to side kick. 

And there have even been a few times, more early on than now, when we were given some fun Sherlockian references. But that has died down this last part of season three.

So, in my opinion, the show is "damned if it does" because it has taken an offensive Holmes named character and mellowed him down enought to be watchable. Making a character we can at least examine and discuss with traits that resemble Sherlock Holmes'.  And this is one of the things we asked for. 
But the show is also "damned if it doesn't" because it has not been able to weave in Canonical type references into a show about a Sherlock Holmes named character.
'Elementary' is being out Holmesed by shows like "Forever", "Endeavour"and "Foyles War". (And probably some I don't watch.)

But for the most part, the transformations going on in the show should be viewed as a positive thing. And if it can continue on the same path and include more Canonical tidbits, well. . . then we will really have something to talk about.


  1. Your so right---"damned if it does, damned if it doesn't". In Brad's review of the same show he writes, "Really? Another boyfriend or girlfriend we'll never see again, even if they make it to a second episode? This show. Tsk." This is a favorite ploy of Brad's, criticizing "Elementary" for future actions they have not taken and may never take. So, having introduced Det. Shauna Scott as Bell's girlfriend on the third to last episode of the season, does he now expect her to be on every show from now on, this season and the next? Perhaps if Bell had his own spinoff that would be expected. Last week he criticized the show for hardly using Bell. Now that Bell has a focus this week, the criticism is for giving him an interest outside of work that now won't be the central Bell-focus for episodes from now on.

    1. I am just not sure what would make him happy.

    2. As Brad wrote on September 3, 2012: "In truth, if I could find the big switch at CBS to shut the thing down unseen, I would give it a hard yank into the off position. Like one of those Bond villains who takes it upon himself to kill off half the world’s population for some noble cause, I have become just that against this Sherlock about to be born." To prevent "Elementary" from existing, Brad would have happily killed 3.5 billion people. However, I'm sure that's a slight exaggeration on his part. In truth, I think he'll be vary sad when it finally goes of the air, because he needs a windmill to tilt at.

    3. He will always have 'shipping' to write about.

  2. Regarding 'Elementary' being out Holmesed by other shows - Have you seen House M.D. - A far superior show with better acting, production values and enjoyable nods to the Canon.


    1. I have never watched House MD myself so did not want to comment on something I did not know.
      I have heard that about the show, just never watched it.

    2. Yes, and 'House' did have many more enjoyable nods to the Canon then 'Elementary'. My alternative choices to watching 'Elementary' recently have been 'The Murdoch Mysteries', 'NCIS', and especially the 2013 Petrenko/Panin Russian 'Sherlock Holmes' series (on YouTube), all of which are far superior to 'Elementary' for me for those same reasons. Also, thanks to the trailers available, I find myself very much looking for to the Ian McKellen 'Mr. Holmes' movie coming out this summer.

    3. If you haven't already check out the Endeavour series.