Elementary: The Past Is Parent
November 6, 2015 4:39 AM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Joan and Sherlock investigate the case of a missing woman who was thought to have been killed by her husband; Morland Holmes is determined to do whatever it takes to straighten out his estranged son's life.
posted by oh yeah! (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I was so pleased that the show stuck to its guns and had Sherlock's relapse be an anticlimax. I think it's actually very important, both in-universe to Sherlock and for us as viewers, to have a relapse treated as just an unfortunate thing that can happen. That it doesn't mean recovery is ruined forever, or that Sherlock is an irredeemable addict who's headed towards rock bottom. Because after all, what good does censure or catastrophizing do? Sherlock knows what happened, and he knows what he did. He accepts responsibility and apologizes, and goes right the fuck back to doing the work of recovery. And the people closest to him support him in that, with great non-judgmental support! That's just such a nice thing to see in a show where addiction has such a central role. Also, yet another great example of adults acting like goddamn adults, because I feel like a lesser show would have had all of Sherlock's friends be all "I trusted you! I believed in you! You've let me down by relapsing!" which is a super shitty, selfish way to approach someone's relapse/recovery.

Admittedly, I was at first confused by Sherlock's seeming on such an even keel. But looking back on the third season, and even the second, I could see that Sherlock has been afraid of this for so long (in some ways it's been coming since Alistair's death), and that a relapse happening and it not ending the world must have seemed like a relief to Sherlock.

Also, there was probably a not insignificant element of Sherlock wanting to keep his shit together for Joan's sake. I was pretty moved by his dedication to making sure Joan wouldn't be dragged down with him. It seems like it's his connections to people he cares about that keep Sherlock from fully relapsing or hitting rock bottom: it was taking on Kitty that kept Sherlock clean in London, and now it's being a good partner to Joan that's keeping Sherlock from continuing to use or sinking into total self-loathing. I'm sure we'll see the relapse come up again and again, and I really hope we get to see Joan and Sherlock's conversation immediately after it, but for now I'm satisfied with what the season opener showed us. Especially that very brief, but very meaningful exchange of “A week ago you’d have said I’d never relapse,” followed by Joan's “No, I wouldn’t.” I feel like that is some seriously beautiful economy of writing that says so much about Joan and Sherlock's relationship. The AV Club recap called it "forgiveness in three words," and it's definitely that, but it's also just a beautiful example of how clear-eyed Joan and Sherlock are about each other, and how much that means to both of them.
posted by yasaman at 10:53 AM on November 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


Can I just say how happy I am about the episode-ending stinger? JOHN MOTHERFUCKING NOBLE!
posted by axiom at 12:16 PM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


John Noble is an excellent choice to play Sherlock's father. I was wondering who they would get to play that role.
posted by Telpethoron at 3:06 PM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't watch Fringe, so the first thing I really saw John Noble in was Sleepy Hollow last year. Despite it being a train wreck of a season, I did like him enough to be very excited when I heard he'd been cast as the pater familias -- there's a risk of falling short of the audience's expectations when introducing a character after 3 seasons of build-up, but he seems like the perfect choice. Can't wait to get a scene of Holmes+Holmes+Watson.

Not sure where they're going with the 'no more NYPD consulting work' storyline. I'd love it if they actually did branch out and get away from the police angle of the show, but unless they're dropping Aiden Quinn & Jon Michael Hill as series regulars, I imagine it's just going to be a matter of episodes before they get reinstated.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:02 PM on November 6, 2015


"adults acting like goddamn adults" - nicely put and one of the things I really like about this show.
posted by idb at 9:42 PM on November 6, 2015


Now he's appeared, John Noble is the only possible choice for Sherlock's father. And the accent! It's all sort of weirdly Rhodesian to my ear, not quite British and suggesting something Empire-related, Murdochish. (John Noble has to play Rupert Murdoch when the bastard finally dies and a biopic gets scrambled together, he'd be just perfect).

I loved the kitchen sink moment when Sherlock squared up and told Watson about being fired, and then her taking the time to absorb that and feel it, and then responding to him with as much kindness as she could without downplaying her own disappointment and unhappiness. They feel things. They don't just choke down feelings and suffer silently, but they feel and see the consequences of those emotions.

And "What's the hardest you've ever been hit?" Ahhhh.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:10 PM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rebecca Hofherr, the costume designer on Elementary, did an extraordinary job with Lucy Liu's wardrobe this episode.
posted by rdr at 8:22 AM on November 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the people closest to him support him in that, with great non-judgmental support! That's just such a nice thing to see in a show where addiction has such a central role. Also, yet another great example of adults acting like goddamn adults, because I feel like a lesser show would have had all of Sherlock's friends be all "I trusted you! I believed in you! You've let me down by relapsing!" which is a super shitty, selfish way to approach someone's relapse/recovery.

I loved this. In particular, when the plotline is basically that Sherlock's relapse and violence have ended his relationship with the Police, it would be the most obvious thing to have Captain Gregson scream at Sherlock about how he'd embarrassed and betrayed the department. Instead, we get Gregson stopping by with food and kind words and later giving Holmes the news as if it hurts him to do so.

I liked how Sherlock handled it too - he tried to distract himself with a case, but at the same time tried to help Watson continue without him, and even made plans like checking whether a 12-step program was available at the prison.

I knew they'd do a relapse story eventually, and I dreaded it as I thought they'd have Sherlock turn into a drug-crazy Mr. Hyde for a few episodes or something. But it was done extremely well and shows how the character has grown since Season 1.

I was disappointed that we barely saw Holmes' father, but John Noble is so good he established the character and made me afraid of him in 60 seconds...
posted by mmoncur at 10:10 PM on November 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


i was so waiting for joan to sock that dude in the jaw and when she said "how hard have you been hit" i swear i nearly cheered.

i was at first disappointed with how they answered the questions of last season, but by the end of this episode i'm on board again. at its roots it is a network show and so there will always be tiny disappointments, but elementary so consistently redeems itself that i try not to judge it too harshly.
posted by nadawi at 7:56 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


« Older Movie: Star Wars: Episode IV -...   |  Movie: Lincoln... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster