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Old February 7 2015, 08:42 PM   #331
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

I just finished Season 1, and in a television landscape where the Procedural genre (be it Traditional or Serialized) has become a bit staid and cliched, it takes a lot of effort to stand out, and Elementary does just that, not only because of its connections to "the World's Greatest Detective", but also because of the ways in which it makes use of those connections.

Even with people having prejudged it because of the existence of the BBC's Sherlock and the decision to make Watson a woman and an American, Elementary made it obvious very early on that the preconceptions people had about it were wrong by simultaneously tapping into the essence of the Sherlock Holmes Canon and forging its own unique path forward, and by assembling a top-notch cast both regular and recurring.

I touched on this a bit in an earlier post, but it's easy to look at the series' earlier episodes and only see 'yet another Procedural', but what the show did well right from the beginning was weaving seemingly standalone stories into a grander, season-long narrative tapestry that was capped off by a sensationally-written 2-hour finale that was more than worthy of not only the series' titular character, but his most profligate ally. Watson can easily be seen as just being Sherlock's 'sidekick', the character who is there largely to 'ground' Holmes and make him relatable, but what Elementary did differently was to make the character Holmes' equal in narrative importance.

This is not only abundantly clear in the finale, but also manifests itself throughout the season, particularly in the Pilot, The Rat Race, M, The Deductionist, A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs, and Deja vu all over Again.


I mentioned earlier that Elementary transcended the preconceptions and negative comparisons to the BBC'S Sherlock by simultaneously tapping into the essence of the character's Canon and forging its own unique path forward, and the most significant - and brilliant - way it did so was in its approach of taking familiar Holmesian characters and twisting them around.

I don't know how the producers came upon the idea of making their interpretation of Mrs. Hudson a male-to-female Transsexual, but it was, quite frankly, a stroke of brilliance. Ms. Hudson may have only showed up late in the season, but her appearance was the perfect way to further and highlight the changing relationship dynamic between Sherlock and Joan and to give Joan a chance to bond with someone other than Sherlock on a deeply emotional level, even in a very short period of time.

Ms. Hudson's introduction also came at the perfect moment for seeding the culmination of the season's primary narrative arc and what is, IMO, one of the most ingenious character decisions ever made: taking Irene Adler and James Moriarty - the two characters most associated with Holmes aside from Watson - and combining them into one.

By giving us a Sherlock Holmes who was brilliantly human and brilliantly damaged, the writers had set a high bar for themselves to clear when it came to introducing his mirror image/greatest opponent, but by turning that opponent into the woman responsible for him being so brilliantly human and damaged, they not only cleared that bar, but smashed it to pieces, and then found the perfect individual to serve as Sherlock's 'perfect foil' in Natalie Dormer. Making Irene and Moriarty one and the same - and giving the role to Dormer - also perfectly tied in to the series' Serialized Procedural format by allowing/affording the writers opportunities to seed important narrative ideas through largely standalone plot points (such as the story told in Child Predator).

Elementary may have had a lot stacked against it, but if its first season proves anything, it's that you shouldn't bet against Sherlock Holmes or the viability of the Serialized Procedural genre.
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Old February 13 2015, 10:06 AM   #332
Gov Kodos
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

Well, that's some creepy guardian angel to deal with Ilana March. Didn't see that coming.
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Old February 13 2015, 04:02 PM   #333
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

^Yeah, nice little surprise cameo there. Although it's weird that something as important as the murder of Joan's boyfriend and the impact it had on her life was relegated to a B-plot in a story about zebras and quaggas. It would've been better to have Joan's situation (including the investigation into Andrew's murder) be the A-plot with Sherlock and Marcus's Ungulate Adventure being the comic relief -- then maybe we could've avoided having the obligatory murder tacked onto the animal-abduction story.

Of course, Lucy Liu directed this episode, which is no doubt why her time in front of the camera needed to be dialed back. But that doesn't ease the strangeness of the decision to do something so important to Joan's arc in an episode where Joan is in the background.
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Old February 13 2015, 04:02 PM   #334
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

First, Gov Kodos, I love the Lagertha pic. Ragnar chose poorly when he let Aslaug into his life.

I loved last night's episode. Honestly, it made me wish for more scenes of Holmes and Bell working together; Miller and Hall have a fantastic rapport, and the relationship between their characters was far more like the traditional Holmes/Watson pairing than what Elementary has given us. If Lucy Liu left the series and Holmes and Bell started solving crimes together on a regular basis, I'd be really happy with that.

Now, about the ending...

First, I really feel like Watson is lying to herself about what she wants from her life, and she's running away from the wreckage of her life to something that she thinks will make it all better. I heard a lot of self-justification in her speech, and Holmes' reaction seemed to me to indicate that he knew it, too.

And second, after Moriarty's letter, I wonder if she, not Ilana, engineered the attack on Watson and then set up Ilana and her people to take the fall.
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Old February 13 2015, 04:42 PM   #335
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
And second, after Moriarty's letter, I wonder if she, not Ilana, engineered the attack on Watson and then set up Ilana and her people to take the fall.
Do you mean that she intended to kill Watson, then shifted the blame when she failed? It seems unlikely that Moriarty would bungle the job like that -- or use a poison as easily detected as hemlock. And if she merely wanted to make Watson think she'd been targeted, then she had no way of knowing that Andrew would drink Joan's coffee, so that doesn't seem to work.
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Old February 13 2015, 05:15 PM   #336
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

Christopher wrote: View Post
Do you mean that she intended to kill Watson, then shifted the blame when she failed? It seems unlikely that Moriarty would bungle the job like that -- or use a poison as easily detected as hemlock. And if she merely wanted to make Watson think she'd been targeted, then she had no way of knowing that Andrew would drink Joan's coffee, so that doesn't seem to work.
That was exactly what I was thinking. I agree with you about all of those problems with the idea, and I've entertained all of those objections. Ultimately, I think that I was Ilana behind the attack. It was an interesting thought experiment, though.
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Old February 14 2015, 12:42 AM   #337
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Do you mean that she intended to kill Watson, then shifted the blame when she failed? It seems unlikely that Moriarty would bungle the job like that -- or use a poison as easily detected as hemlock. And if she merely wanted to make Watson think she'd been targeted, then she had no way of knowing that Andrew would drink Joan's coffee, so that doesn't seem to work.
That was exactly what I was thinking. I agree with you about all of those problems with the idea, and I've entertained all of those objections. Ultimately, I think that I was Ilana behind the attack. It was an interesting thought experiment, though.
Interesting was Holme's use of the Sigerson alias. It is one mentioned in 'The Empty House' when he is telling Watson about his time in hiding after defeating Moriarty and hunting down his lieutenants. That, and Holme's younger brother in a Gene Wilder film. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adv...marter_Brother
Another thought, for Moriarty references, I wonder if the first note with the drawing of the coffee cup sent from the post code of Ilana's prison was a subtle reference to Moriarty. Watson attributes it to Ilana, but the drawing could be a reference to Moriarty's artwork, and a hint that she is aware of Ilana's machianations confirmed in the final letter to Watson?
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Old February 14 2015, 12:47 AM   #338
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Re: ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

It's unlikely, but my darker angels are wondering if Sherlock faked Moriarty to save Joan.
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