Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Elementary - Season 5, E2 (#98) - 'Worth Several Cities'

With the centenary episode fast approaching I almost chose not to review this episode.
'Worth Several Cities' fell into what seems to becoming a habit for this show; overcomplicated plot with little Sherlockian substance.

We open with Joan showing Shinwell an apartment and Holmes being kidnapped by a gang.
Holmes has been kidnapped by the gang to help the gang leader find who killed one of his smugglers.
For me, this element of the story took Holmes way to far out of his comfort zone to make for a good plot. While we must always realize Holmes is just human and is as susceptible to the pit falls of all men, we should never, fictionally, see Holmes in a situation where we don't feel he could be in control, at least by the end. The gang kidnapping scene left me feeling that people like the gang leader only leave Holmes free because he can't harm them and he is no threat to them and that he is just a minor irritation. "Let Holmes play in his sandbox, we have the whole playground."
While Canonically we find that a little in the realationship with Moriarty, we learn that in the end Holmes proved to be more than a minor irritation.
I don't however think that will be the case with this gang.
The exchange also left me feeling like Holmes was making a deal with the devil. While Canonically we accept the fact the Holmes will allow fate to handle some situations, this aspect of this episode was a little over the line, for me.
Nor did we get the sense that Holmes ended up having anything on the gang leader that would keep Holmes and Joan safe in the future.
And he just "convinced" the leader that the outcome should be acceptable to the gang.
While it is acceptable to see Holmes fail, he should not been seen as out of control in the end.

We also once again see Millers Holmes unable to find a Holmesian way to bring down the real murder and he resorts to standing outside with a bull-horn. Too much of Millers Holmes from season one.

Once again the story got too big for the conclusion and was too much of the same.

Millers Holmes is not a strong enough character to carry the show if you do away with any connection to the Canonical Holmes and have a too repeated storyline.

Now we can argue that that is one of the strong points of 'Elementary', that Holmes is only human, it allows to much for the character to stray to far from Canon. (Which many argue it already has.)

Canonically we do hear about monographs, and his observation of some of the clues is good.

The Joan/Shinwell story was a little too co-dependent this week.

Hoping to really like this season, I can only fairly give this episode;


  1. Actually, I had a different feeling. Sherlock had managed to get control of the situation right away, by commenting first thing from being released from the car trunk, "I know you're not going to kill me because I was able to deduce our route and we passed three sites more suitable for an assassination that this." (not a direct quote) Like Holmes in SIGN, Sherlock was able to tell where they were going in a moving vehicle without visual clues. Most people would be disoriented and scared being kidnapped gang members, but Sherlock knows they what something from him and he is in a position to bargain. I thought the complicated plot worked in this episode, but like you the Joan/Shinwell subplot didn't seem to go anywhere, but I will see how the story arc pans out before passing judgement.

    1. while the 'counting' was very Sherlockian, his deduction seemed rather desperate. Just a few seconds later we were introduced to four dead bodies. And we also learned that the gang didn't mind having thier name associated with murder, and they ended up burning the crime scene anyway.
      The episode, for me, left Holmes to vulnerable and out of his element and not in control. Again, as you stated, scared and disoriented. Very real world, but not Sherlockian.
      I think it begs the question again; Could Holmes work in the modern world?
      Thanks for stopping by.