Thursday, October 4, 2012

Elementary 1.02 “While You Were Sleeping” Review

Elementary returned for it’s second episode and we get the chance to see if it can stay on par to the pilot.  We also get quite a bit of insight into what Holmes and Watson’s relationship is going to be like this season.

Let’s start by having a look at that rather cool credit sequence for the show.  It’s always a fun thing to wait for in the second episode of a new show as a pilot will rarely have it.  We follow a marble, possibly a call back to Sherlock’s use of one in the pilot to demonstrate the angled floor, through a complex Rube Goldberg machine.  If anything it’s a perfect analogy for the show and Sherlock himself where, through a complex mishmash of deductions, he’s able to catch the killer.

Which goes for the Case of the Week this week.  It’s kind of telling that in the first two episodes one of the first suspects ends up being the killer after being absolved then accused again.  There was nothing particularly special about the case itself and unlike the pilot Joan didn’t really have a large part in solving it, unless you count forcing Sherlock to actually listen to his support meeting upon threat of a stab to the thigh.  If you do count that then she definitely had a large part in cracking the case open, but really the more interesting part of the episode involved the evolving trust and friendship between Sherlock and Joan.

As part of being his sober companion, Joan wants to get to know Sherlock and understand how he spun out of control in the first place.  This involves her poking around a bit and finding his violin, which there was another reference to Sherlock’s enjoyment of practicing BDSM here as well when he first assumes she found a zippered mask instead.  He claims the violin has no meaning and even goes so far as to light it on fire--he doesn’t want Joan to be in his business (outside of his cases which he seems perfectly fine with her being involved with).  He claims you don’t need to be friends to cohabitate and  he wants her to stop trying to force things so that after the required five weeks they’ll both skip off on their merry little way.  I’m wondering if Sherlock is going to have a relapse that keeps Joan in his life, or if they get over the squabbling and actually become close friends before the end.

Aside from the whole not wanting Joan to know about his past bit, he’s keeping another secret. This one from Captain Gregson.  He doesn’t know that Sherlock has been in rehab for the past six months and Sherlock has a valid reason for not wanting him to know.  Who in their right mind would let a recovering addict into the police station to help solve crimes?  It’s pretty clear that unless Joan has a massive slip-up, Gregson won’t find out about this for a while.  It’s also evident that he, or perhaps one of the other officers,  will find out eventually and what happens then is anyone’s guess.

Sherlock’s not alone in his secrets since Joan has her own.  She says she’s going to be meeting with a friend, which Sherlock calls her out on the fact that it’s really a male ex of hers.  I can see why he’s her ex as he’s a really douchey lawyer type that doesn’t like her addict-sitting.  He also believes she’s working with a woman, which Joan refuses to tell him anything due to the sober companion confidentiality.  I wouldn’t worry about Joan getting back together with him as she was making eyes at the new detective, Bell, earlier in the episode.  Of course this doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t find out the truth in an instance such as when Sherlock hacks Joan’s email and sends an invitation for him to come over for a dinner party.  Of course she’s able to brush it off that Sherlock’s just a friend, but for a man who doesn’t want the police to know he’s a former addict he really shouldn’t be playing these little games with a lawyer.  Then again Sherlock really does believe everyone’s dumber than he is.

It wasn’t all squabbling between the pair in this episode as he does eventually open up a bit more about the case, and Joan helps him set up the criminal so they can catch her red-handed when she strikes again.  After the case is cracked there’s a small moment between Sherlock and Joan over some take-out.  She wants to know if his self denial of all things pleasurable to him, the violin, sex, etc are penance for whatever happened in London on some subconscious level (much like how her ex views her working as a sober companion as her own form of penance). He all but confirms it is penance for himself as Sherlock claims you can’t take real penance if you don’t know you’re doing it.  Which him taking up the violin, somehow miraculously unharmed from the small fire incident so perhaps the one Joan found wasn’t his true one, in the end of the episode and playing again seems to indicate that in a small  way Joan is chipping through his abrasive exterior.  I just can’t wait for what happened in London and its effects to collide head on with his new life in New York.

Sadly my friends there is no new episode of Elementary next week, instead showing it’s third episode on October 18th.  Of course a week isn’t as long as BBC Sherlock fans have to wait for season three, but I’m sure absence will just make  the heart grow fonder.

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