Thursday, May 21, 2015

Making the world a better place . . . . or at least a little cleaner.

"One group with an interest in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes patrols two segments of Interstate 70 in St. Charles County. So far, the signs have helped grab the attention of at least one future member.
“I’ve always been interested in litter control,” said Michael Bragg, 66, a former MoDOT safety officer and leader of the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn — a local group named loosely after elements of a favorite Holmes story. “What gets me are all the beer bottles and beer cans.”
The group has been around since 1989 and meets once a month at the Mother in Law House Restaurant. Participants have picked up trash at various spots along Interstate 70. When a particular stretch opened up, Bragg grabbed it for a reason.
The segment runs in an area designated on MoDOT maps as between miles 220.86 and 221.36. Somewhere in there would fall 221B, if there were such a mile marker.
That’s 221B as in 221B Baker Street — the London street address of the group’s favorite fictional detective."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Elementart S3E24 - 'A Controlled Descent' - but how far will it go.

This episode opens with Holmes and Alfredo watching an old Abbott and Costello movie on the roof top of '221whatever'. It is an attempt to continue the 'now friendship instead of addict/sponsor' relationship.
It is an uncomfortabel time for both.

Shortly after leaving Holmes Alfredo goes missing.

Holmes' once partner in addiction Oscar has taken Alfredo to make Holmes find his sister who supposedly has gone missing also.

I turns out to be a ploy by Oscar to once again drag Holmes down to his level and return him to addiction. Olivia, Oscar's sister, is already dead from an overdose, which Oscar already knows.

Holmes is forced to revisit his old rehab center and a crack house, dragging him closer to his past.

The episode was interesting in a very dark way, and although the ending suggests Holmes gave in to the Siren call of heron, I have my doubts that that is what happened. Cliff hanger for sure.

Canonically there were a few good observations and readings of clues, and the dark nature of addiction made for an interesting story.
We do not know the struggle the Canonical Holmes went through, if any, for his dependence on cocain. The inclusion of his addiction will always be an interesting part of the Canon and we will never know for sure why it became part of Sherlock Holmes back story. Millers Holmes is portraying the addiction as a defining part of Holmes personality, and a much more controling influence than is Canonically suggested (which should make for good Canonical discussion.)

Toward the end of this season 'Elementary' has found a balance it lacked for most of the first two seasons and part of the third. Where fetishise and quirks had become the norm for Millers Holmes, we now see a more balanced individual. Even if he is not as Sherlock Holmes like as we would, well, like. That should be the goal for season four. It makes for good discussion try to come up with how that could happen.

And for once, in this episode, there were no murders.

I am hopeful that the cliff hanger is something other than his return to addiction, that's just in my nature. The cliffhanger is also bringing Holmes father over for a visit.

Canonically we could suggest the heron den was a refernce to TWIS.

I did find the episode interesting, but once again because of the lack of Sherlock Holmes traits (habits,etc.) in Millers Holmes I can only fairly give it;

I do however think the show is on an upward swing.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Elementary S3E23 - 'Absconded' - only with the plot

This episode opened with Holmes and Watson and Gregson laying out the evidence they have on a suspect who is also in the room.
He is accused of killing his boss while in a disguise that he had also created for several other people.
Apparently for participating in a mob flash.

What I was reminded of in this opening segment was of the few occasions when Holmes is in involved with a case or experiment when Watson walks into the digs. On these few occasions the opening dialog has nothing to do with the up coming story and I used more as another introduction to Holmes methods. BLUE started out the way, in a way, as did HOUN. As did several others.

After this opening segment Watson is once again distract into another case, this time at Gregson's request, while Holmes investigates the murder of a USDA agent who is investigating the death of bee's in bee colonies.
The crime is eventually linked to two professors who study bee's and for some reason had some very odd fetishes.
But once again the plot, although once again timely, became to convoluted with the same type of out-of-greed perp who are introduced early and seem unable to commit horrible crimes yet turn out to have done just that.
The plot, although interesting in it's connections to bee's, lacked any sort of finesse.
The atmosphere of the crime, this time bee's, keeps changing but the flow and type of criminal and motive does not. This episode, along with several others, is playing on Holme's knowledge base and not any real detective work.
To many times they have now relied on his sense of smell and other talents of that nature. We never get the impression of any sort of 'foot work'.

The episode was not without some redeeming value.

It was once again good to see Holmes's weirder (to who?) habits down played. And although Watson is not without detective work, her involvement with Holmes case was once again mostly that of sounding board and side kick.

His observation of the photo with the cap and gown was a good touch.

Although Elementary has now, for the time being, found some much needed balance, it is still lacking in any real firm Canonical reference.

It is not always easy to describe how but whether or not you like 'Sherlock', it has found a way to make that connection.
Millers Holmes seems unable to do that. With this episode, once again, 'Playing the Game' has become a matter of trying to convince ourselves that this is a Sherlock Holmes story.
The show does do that on occasion, but not often enough.

For it's lacking a good Sherlockian connection I can only fairly give this episode,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Short hiatus

I am going on a short hiatus on the Sea Unicorn this week so will not be able to post my recent review of Elementary or anything else till next Friday when my ship comes back in.

Have a great week.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hot off of the presses. . . .

Sherlock Season 4: Details Revealed For Series Return!

by  ⋅ Posted on 

Sherlock 2015 Christmas Special

As with many BBC Christmas specials, the episode is shaping up to be something of a stand-alone adventure with the events largely taking place in 1895 Victorian Era England. This move and the year in particular isn't a random choice by any means. As co-creator Mark Gattis recently confirmed the date, the BBC explained that 1895 was the hight of Sherlock Holmes' popularity at the time and it was the year that creator Author Conan Doyle killed the character, only to resurrect him later on - much the same way the showSherlock did during Season 2 and Season 3.
Sherlock Season 4 begins in 1895 England.
Sherlock Season 4 begins in 1895 England.
This significant date in the history of the Sherlock Holmes character has already been hinted at in the show. Acutely observant Sherlockians noticed that this was the number that was shown in Sherlock's second season when we got a look at the page hits John Watson's blog was getting. This Victorian Era adventure appears to be something that the show's creators may have had brewing for some time now.

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.