ELEMENTARY - News, Reviews, and Discussion

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

  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    Found it to be a surprisingly fun episode. Loved Sherlock's first reaction to the doll, and to Watson's accusations regarding her boyfriend. He just had a lot of funny lines throughout that had me cracking up more than usual.

    And I appreciated that the writers didn't actually have the computer killing a guy, and that Sherlock's doubts about it actually seemed plausible and grounded in the real world (which doesn't always happen on this show).

    Although it does seem a bit extreme (even for a paranoid conspiracy theorist) to go through all that trouble to kill a guy based on the very slight possibility that he might have created a real AI. You'd think they would want much stronger proof to go on first, since, as Sherlock says, most efforts so far amount to little more than "really clever programming."
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It's not the province of "paranoid conspiracy theorists"; there are futurists who genuinely do believe that "strong AI" will be an existential threat to humanity. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have made statements to that effect. This isn't some crazy fringe belief, but a hazard that a lot of scientists take seriously. Not saying I agree with them, but you don't have to be crazy or paranoid to conclude that this is a legitimate risk.

    Frankly, Holmes's casual dismissal of the possibility of strong AI is rather ignorant, and it seems out of character. A rationalist like Holmes probably wouldn't believe there's any mystical spark to human intelligence or any reason that AI couldn't duplicate it.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Just around the bend.
    They didn't kill him because of his particular work. They killed him to bring attention to their cause.
     
  4. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    With that Bella only failed the Turing test which was nowhere to be found in the episode to begin with. It didn't however fail the whatever test they were actually doing, weirdly named after Turing. Machine-like repetition on questions you cannot answer doesn't show the true intelligence is not there, which was what Sherlock was trying to test.

    Was the last one supposed to be a non-machinelike? That is, was the last line in the episode supposed to imply Bella had a conscious? Especially after anti-AI guy implied that only a machine would make that choice easily...


    But yeah, everything about AI and computers in this episode was botched. Gnome 3 is a bad influence.
     
  5. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    The show takes place in New York and on CBS. Obviously Samaritan had him killed.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It was both. If there was any chance at all that Bella was a genuine strong AI, or was a major step toward its achievement, then in their view, that made her a threat to humanity and she needed to be strangled in the crib, as it were, before she could evolve into something like Skynet. Yes, they wanted to expose the risk of this research in general, but they also wanted to neutralize the specific threat posed by Bella, in a way that would both lead to her destruction and be public and shocking enough to put pressure on other AI researchers to abandon any similar projects.
     
  7. May 20

    May 20 Consumer of cookies and milk Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Location:
    May's Pretty Nest. :)
    That makes perfect sense. :)
     
  8. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    Last night's episode left me a little indifferent.

    The absence of Watson helped us to see what Holmes and Winter are like as a team. We also got to see how Winter interacts on her own with the cast members such as Gregson without Holmes or Watson hogging the scene's space. That said, I'm not sure she's come into her own as a character yet, and she still feels quite undefined.

    Gregson's personal problem, though not without its points of interest, felt like a random sideplot in the TNG B-plot style. It was almost like the producers said, "Hey, we need to give Aidan Quinn something to do," and what they gave him to do just sat there.

    The pursuit of the case also didn't feel up to Elementary's norms. This episode felt like an early first season episode, when House was more like "House with murders." Every commercial break, the solution that had been building was shown to be wrong, and in the next act Holmes and Winter started from scratch.

    The subplot about Watson's book, however, was interesting, and I'd like to see how that develops. I would like to point out to Kitty that frying the laptop in that way is unlikely to make the data unrecoverable.

    Some good points to the episode, but overall I was indifferent. When you do twenty-two episodes a year, that happens.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I pegged the real killer pretty early on. Having his name on the hit list did seem like a red herring.

    I was wondering when they were going to get back to the thread of Watson starting to write about Holmes. Odd that they picked it up in an episode without Watson, though. I hope this isn't the end of it.
     
  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I can imagine Holmes overreacting "If you are sleeping with my associate captain Griegson, then I have no choice but to start sleeping with your daughter!"

    Whatever they do with the daughter, she had best not disappear, because she is the most exquisite landmine if I ever did see one.
     
  11. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    Some thoughts on last night's episode, with the map from the 1790s.

    The mystery was involving, though I figured out, by process of elimination and Roger Ebert's Law of Economy of Characters, who had to be behind everything at the half-hour mark. The motive took a little longer. Nonetheless, the story reminded me of the Canon (particularly "The Musgrave Ritual") because of how it all turned on very old history.

    There is no King James County or Spotswood River in Virginia. There is a James City County, which is where Williamsburg is.

    I was intrigued with how the episode fleshed out the Holmes/Winter relationship, and Holmes' speech at the end about how he was proud of Winter and how he was wrong to have been over-protective of her was actually touching.
     
  12. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Location:
    Who is John Galt?
    Haven't seen a couple of the more recent eps yet, but is it possible that Winter may be Mycroft's daughter? She's likely a little too old to be Sherlock's daughter, and if Mycroft is still alive (but fake dead), and considering the background and motivations of some of his associates in the recent past, would it be possible that Sherlock is keeping her close to protect her from Mycroft's enemies while, at the same time, assisting him in flushing them out?
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I think I suspected the killer in her very first scene just because she seemed a little too disingenuous and helpful.

    Kitty's definitely added an interesting dynamic to the Holmes/Watson relationship. It's pretty novel to turn the classic duo into a trio, but it's working. I hope Kitty sticks around for quite a while.

    I had a dream last night (or this morning, since I only ever remember the dreams I have just before waking) that paired Lucy Liu's Watson with Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes, IIRC, or maybe some sort of average of Cumberbatch and Miller that my brain constructed. Although the situation in the dream was that Holmes had been believed dead or missing for a while and was coming back, but Watson was being deluged with a number of impostor Holmeses and easily seeing through their impostures, even though they all looked pretty much alike, allowing for the occasional beard and whatnot. ("The Adventure of the Crowded House?") She did briefly end up with the real Holmes before the dream ended, but I don't remember what happened between them.
     
  14. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks That boy is our last hope, NO! there is another. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Tom Hendricks
    Emotionally, this season has been fantastic. The scene a few weeks ago where Watson accused Holmes of trying to get rid of her boyfriend and his confession about how he really like him. That was the single, most resounding moment in the show. Holmes emotional growth this season is really making this season wonderful.
     
  15. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    So am I the only one who had trouble following the long convoluted explanation at the end as to who was trying to replace which forged map (that apparently wasn't forged, or maybe it was, I don't remember anymore), and what all the different parties were trying to do with their various maps? I felt like I needed to create a diagram for myself at the end to follow the entire thing! Lol

    Obviously I got the basic gist at the end, and that the lady wanted the casino to end up being on her land, and wanted to create doubt about the original map somehow. But how exactly everything linked together I'm not exactly sure.

    And also, as a Title Examiner myself I have to wonder why any new casino (or developer of any kind) would rely completely on such an old, ancient survey map like that. Especially when any piece of land would have had new newer and more precise maps created for it since then, that can be relied on for your legal description. Unless they just do things very differently on the east coast.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^I think the idea was that the territorial border was based on where the river was at the time the properties were first defined. The river had moved since then, so a present-day survey wouldn't reveal what its course had been in the past. The intent was to fudge the evidence of what that course had been at the time.
     
  17. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    "End of Watch" last night was something of a mixed bag.

    Like a late TNG episode, there was a definite A-plot/B-plot structure, and the two plots (gun running and the murder of two NYPD cops, Holmes and the brainattic tumblr) had nothing to do with one another. While they were interesting in their own ways, they were a tonal mismatch and they crowded out each other. And, oddly, it was the B-plot (the brainattic tumblr) that I found the more interesting of the two plots. The A-plot, sadly, felt like it could have been a plot from pretty much any other cop show; there wasn't any about dirty cops and gun smuggling that was intrinsically Elementary.

    The interesting thing last night for me was the interpersonals. We got to see more of the way the Holmes/Watson/Winter grouping works and how they interrelate. Winter's interest in locating the person behind brainattic was a nice development, and though I wished that Holmes had let Winter finish off that case on her own, it did lead to some interesting character notes for Holmes. (His confrontation with Darren, though, may have been one of the harshest and coldest moments from the character. And I hoped, in the end, that Holmes would have relented and let the tumblr continue.)

    The Canonical quotes were fun, and it was nice to hear them.

    Not a terrible episode, but not an important one, either.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I thought it was a terrific episode, written by DS9's Robert Hewitt Wolfe. The crime was quite imaginative, very worthy of Holmes. And seeing the police rituals surrounding the death of one of their own, the last call and the like, was very striking and affecting.

    And Holmes was absolutely right not to let Kitty finish the investigation. That would've broken the confidentiality of the meetings, and that's exactly what was wrong with what the Tumblr guy was doing. It doesn't matter that he was trying to help people; he was doing it by publicizing someone's private words without their permission and in violation of the trust on which the meetings depend. It was a horrifically insensitive and shameful thing that he did, even though he meant well. And what Holmes said to him at the end was actually a lot less harsh -- because he made it clear that, although he could expose Darren's affair, he never would, because that would betray the trust they share. He only said what he said to get Darren to understand why we all need our secrets, and how Sherlock feels about having his own confidences publicized.
     
  19. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    I was hoping one of the bodybuilders was the killer after all. A brute but brilliant, surprising Holmes.
     
  20. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Kai "the spy"
    I think we may have watched a prequel to "Dredd" this week.