ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Allyn Gibson, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have a time share in a private jet, which I use to travel back and forth from England to America almost weekly, to keep on top of all the new unfolding TV in the more civilizaed parts of the world and Australia.

    So, yes, yes it was nice to see the two Holmes shows back to back.

    (There used to be a series called NYLon (New York - London) about Vampire Bill from True Blood in a long distance love affair with Rashida Jones. They flew back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean at least twice every episode to keep on top of their love life. Men are supposed kill dragons for girls like Rashida, so using up three life times worth of air mile points in a month doesn't seem like any sort of mismanagement of resources.)
     
  2. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is no one still watching Elementary?

    Last night's episode -- someone's making lots of anthrax -- was a mixed bag.

    The mystery -- who's making lots of anthrax and why -- wasn't very compelling and, to be honest, I didn't care a great deal about it.

    The b-plot -- Holmes dealing with his grief at the death of his friend Alistair (Cheers alum Roger Rees) -- was, honestly, far more compelling. I was honestly moved by Jonny Lee Miller's performance; he conveyed a Holmes in anguish very well indeed.

    I feel, though, that killing Alistair was a waste; I liked that the character existed in general, that Holmes had someone he would call a friend.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    The show has been coasting for the last few episodes. Not much to discuss.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, this felt too much like a standard cop-procedural ratings-grab plot. "Ooh, let's do a terrorism episode!" And once again, the guest casting telegraphed who the baddie was (although I never would've recognized Garrett Dillahunt with that beard if I hadn't seen his name in the credits). And yes, killing off Roger Rees's character was a total waste, although the doubts and feelings it raised in Sherlock were worthwhile.
     
  5. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I still enjoy the show and found this recent episode compelling, but I'm really getting tired of them splitting up Holmes and Watson and giving them each their own story. They work best as a duo and I hate seeing them split up like this.
     
  6. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It doesn't speak well when I, who usually let half of the details fly over my head, figured it was the cows and the brother the moment they went to his farm. And I have no idea who the actor is. Though to be fair, I thought it would be either the brother or the cows, not both, so the insurance plot did fly over my head indeed.

    But the mysteries on the show have been a hit and miss anyway, as they are often based on unrealistic premises that hardly hold themselves together. The scam that got Moriarty in the first season made absolutely no sense, in what was otherwise a very thrilling story, and that was somewhat of a downer.

    But I hate mysteries anyway, so who cares. Especially if they never make sense in any show and you can't resolve them, what's the point of having them? I am watching for the drama, and I thought this episode has its fine moments. The B-plot was fantastic, and even the crime story was worthy – a plot to kill cows with anthrax is ridiculous enough, besides it put Joan's expertise into good use, something that I always love to see.

    My main gripe is that the accent never came into use. :thumbdown:

    Before he actually appeared on screen, I thought the actor had passed away or something, and they were doing a tribute of sorts for a role they had otherwise planned to be recurring. Not seeing him again outside of flashbacks kinda sucks, especially when they expanded the backstory significantly this time. It's a bizarre choice, but it worked really well. It did more than save the episode, it made me love it.

    Besides, Holmes' sloppiness and lack of interest really added a vibe to the story that said "who cares about the damn anthrax, just say it's the cows and be done with it".

    By the way, could it be that Allistair's not really dead? (I hope they don't pull that off, because it would suck after this episode, so, just as a though.)
     
  7. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last night's Elementary was the season finale -- Mycroft Holmes has been framed for the murder of Arthur Cadogan West, and Sherlock has to find out who's framing his brother and clear his name.

    This may have been the most Moffat-y Elementary episode ever. By that I mean, there were a number of scenes that were very good individually, but added together they don't make a heck of a lot of sense. I'm not clear, for instance, why Sherrington had turned traitor on MI-6. Nor was there any explained motive for framing Mycroft, except that he was a convenient scapegoat. The plot, such as it was, existed as a framework on which to hang a number of character scenes as the two regulars (and guest star Mycroft) had conversations about issues and danced around other issues.

    And those issues! This episode really feels like a nuclear bomb on the series' format -- Watson is moving out, Holmes loses his brother, and his carefully constructed world is crumbling. Why the heroin? Why MI-6? Seems that the third season could be Holmes' descent into darkness as he tries to make sense of his shifting life and his brother's sacrifice.

    There was something wrong with my television during the final scene with Mycroft; the screen turned blurry. Must've been the storm passing through the area.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I had a similar thought for a different reason. The episode seemed to have more quotes from the Doyle canon than usual. Like, "Data! Data! Data! I cannot make bricks without clay!" from "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches." Or about Mycroft, from "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter": "...he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right."


    When Mycroft confronted him in the restaurant, Sherrington said he was frustrated by the glass ceiling that blocked him from the senior ranks because of his working-class origins. And he showed contempt for Mycroft's upper-class origins and the way his family's money and power could let them get away with anything. So I think there was some personal resentment there.


    I'm not a big fan of season finales that have everything go wrong at once in order to contrive a big cliffhanger. Did Joan really have to decide to move out now, on top of everything else? Although I suppose it makes some sense here, since it was her thing with Mycroft that catalyzed her decision.

    Still, John Watson didn't always live at 221B Baker Street in the canon. He eventually got married and moved out. So Sherlock and Joan could certainly adapt, if there weren't so much piling on Sherlock right now that he's on the verge of a relapse. I just hope things don't get too bad next season. I'd rather see him come close to a relapse but get saved just in time, rather than fall back into the abyss. And I hope the MI-6 thing is temporary.

    Oh, well. At least it's not as extreme and cartoonily melodramatic a cliffhanger as Moffat handed us.
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    To be honest, this may be one of the few shows where I prefer they get back to "mystery of the week" rather than the 4? 5? part drama we just got subjected to.
     
  10. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm so glad that we can (hopefully) finally be rid of Mycroft. I haven't liked his character since he was introduced and I certainly didn't like him with Watson. I think it's mostly because of the actor that plays Mycroft. I don't feel like he's a good fit for the part and he seems to have only one facial expression. Also I felt that chemistry with Liu was really lacking.

    So good riddance. I do think it will be interesting to watch Sherlock's downward spiral, if indeed that's where they go with it. In fact either way they go with the story should be pretty interesting. I'm looking forward to next season.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Could his "downward spiral" merely be a ploy to keep Watson from moving out?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't see how. She doesn't know about the bag of heroin he hid in the book, and she didn't see him retrieve it.

    Besides, he's an addict. For an addict, the temptation to relapse is never a ploy. It's an everyday reality, a constant urge that must be resisted continuously. An addict pretending to have a drug relapse would be like someone dangling from a cliff and pretending to lose their grip.


    Come to think of it, his desire to work for MI-6 may be an attempt to escape the downward spiral, not succumb to it. After all, what motivates Sherlock Holmes to turn to drugs? Boredom. Lack of challenging puzzles to stimulate his mind. Maybe he recognizes that he's close to a relapse due to the stresses involving Joan and Mycroft, so he's attempting to save himself by giving himself a greater challenge to apply his mind to, a more effective distraction from his cravings.
     
  13. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unless you're counting Mycroft's earlier appearances, it was three linked episodes -- a single episode, then a two-parter.

    Perhaps. That would certainly be true to the Canonical Holmes who used his 7 percent solution of cocaine because his mind was unstimulated.

    My gut feeling is that Holmes has other reasons for working with MI-6, though. Perhaps he didn't believe that Sherrington was working alone. Perhaps he thinks he can still, somehow, "fix this" with Mycroft. Take down MI-6 from the inside, as it were.
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    You're making the assumption that retrieving the heroin is the only thing he does.
     
  15. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True. For all we know at this point, he could have disposed of it when he recognized that as long as it was there it posed a danger to his sobriety.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, I'm doing the exact opposite of assuming: I'm limiting myself to the available evidence. The only actions we saw him take in the episode suggesting the "downward spiral" we're talking about were actions that he took in Watson's absence, viz, retrieving the heroin packet and going to MI-6 (although, as I've said, the latter may in fact have had just the opposite intent). Therefore, there is no evidence currently available to us which would suggest it's in any way a performance -- and we will be given no more evidence until the season premiere in several months. And as a fellow named S. Holmes once said, it is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Now you're just moving the goal posts. Since my post was that there is a downward spiral and how the heroin played into it and not whether there is a downward spiral at all. If you didn't think a downward spiral was supported you should have just said as much instead of engaging in my point on whether it was a ploy or not.

    Even Holmes would theorize on the fact that the heroin was taken and the potential uses of it.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^What? No, the question on the table was not whether the "spiral" exists, but whether it was, in your own words, "a ploy to keep Watson from moving out." I addressed that specific hypothesis and nothing else, relying exclusively on the evidence presented in the episode, and pointed out that none of the depicted actions involved in the "spiral" were done with Watson as a spectator. Therefore, there is currently no evidentiary basis for the particular hypothesis that his actions were a performance for Watson's benefit. That is the only point I intended to make. You seem to have misread my comments and I'm not sure how that happened.

    And, again, I'm not making assumptions, I'm advising against making assumptions. Just because I question one hypothesis does not mean I am convinced of its antithesis. It just means that I don't think we have sufficient evidence on which to base a conclusion.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    So then we are back to my original question, "could it be a ploy". The assumption you are making is that the only thing he will do/has done is retrieve the heroin. An action that does nothing by itself unless we theorize on why he retrieved it. It may be the start of a downward spiral as he starts using again. OR, it may be used as a prop in order to convince Watson that he is using again, prompting her to decide not to move out. A result he has shown to very much prefer and would fit in with his exhibited use of manipulation. It would fit the character.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Please listen to me. I am not saying that is the only thing he has done. I am saying that is the only thing we have seen him do. If he did anything more, we do not know about it yet, because we only know what we were shown in the episode. And the only conclusions we can make at present are based on what we have actually seen up to this point.

    There is an enormous and fundamental difference between saying "We have no evidence that it happened" and saying "It did not happen." And if you can't recognize that difference, then we are at an irresolvable impasse.


    But we have no evidence yet to suggest he plans any such performance. Again -- I am not saying "I know he will not do this." I'm only saying we do not yet have evidence that he will do this. If he does, we won't know until we see another episode and are given more evidence, and that won't be for several months. Until then, we have no reason to favor that hypothesis.

    But again, I think we have a very solid reason to doubt it -- not based on anything to do with Watson, but based on a simple understanding of what drug addiction is. At every moment of Sherlock's life, he is tempted to use drugs, tempted in a way that non-addicts cannot fully comprehend. If you see an addict hoarding a drug, or taking it out of his hoard and putting it in his pocket, the most probable explanation by an overwhelming margin is that he's on the verge of a relapse. Even if he decided to indulge that temptation as a ploy to make Watson stay with him, that would just be an excuse for acting on the very real craving he can't help but feel. It would still be a genuine relapse regardless of how he justified it. Heck, I imagine many relapses are based on some kind of rationalization or excuse.
     

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