Elementary: When Your Number's Up
February 21, 2015 6:05 PM - Season 3, Episode 15 - Subscribe

A killer leaves an envelope of cash on her victims; Watson moves back to the brownstone.
posted by oh yeah! (5 comments total)
Not sure what I think about knowing the killer's identity ahead of the detectives. It does get past the problem of being able to guess the killer by casting alone. You couldn't have Alicia Witt's name pop up in the opening credits and not have most of the audience know she was murderer of the week. And I think they managed to avoid making Sherlock & Watson look slow, which is usually why this kind of mystery structure doesn't work for me.

I love the AV Club recapper's devotion to Clyde - every episode gets a Clyde / No Clyde tag, and his absence this week gets an entire paragraph in the 'Stray Thoughts' section.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:18 PM on February 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Like the AV Club review, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the financials and motive too.

The faked shooting seemed silly too. Maybe I'm too used to murder mystery tropes, but it just seemed to be pointing a big arrow at the killer.
posted by idb at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2015

I really enjoy when Alicia Witt plays a psychopath.

I liked the glib, shallow, plausible at first, but then noticeably off portrayal.
posted by misfish at 7:15 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Smart, but crazy. Her sister was smart (grad school, probably an MBA, but from her clothes she's teaching now), but sane. I think the whole family knew there was something wrong from childhood, and were quite relieved when she got married.

Also, the faked attempt on her own life was a desperate improvisation. The other kills took weeks to set up, but she couldn't wait any longer.
posted by Mogur at 3:21 PM on February 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I guess I can see the point made in the AV Club review that this episode might not have been the best version of a certain kind of crime show plot (where the audience knows the criminal's identity and motives from the beginning), but speaking as someone who doesn't watch Law & Order or even all that much TV in general (and so has not seen this particular plot in action dozens or hundreds of times), I think the structure was a nice change of pace here. It was interesting to watch the process of Sherlock and Joan heading down a variety of dead ends with the information they had at the time, and then start to hone in on the real solution as they picked up more info piece by piece.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:08 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

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