Elementary: How the Sausage Is Made
December 4, 2016 11:12 AM - Season 5, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Joan worries Sherlock's sobriety is at risk when she learns he has been lying to her about attending recovery meetings. Also, Sherlock and Joan discover a man's death caused by ingesting poisoned sausage is connected to a lab working on a breakthrough in the artificial meat industry.

AV Club records a A- review

References to a former client Musgrave gives a nod to the Musgrave Rituals. The key ingredient in the sausage, anise, also makes an appearance in another Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock adventure.

Continuing a theme of peaceful mornings (as opposed to past seasons), Joan wakes up to two polite notes from Sherlock. However, the more things change: Joan and Sherlock are back on familiar territory as they discuss Sherlock's recovery.
posted by CMcG (10 comments total)
The coat Joan was wearing when she tailed Sherlock to the park was so beautiful.

The sausage-ification of the corpse didn't make much sense as a disposal method. Unless I missed it, there was no connection between the murderer and the sausage shop, so no reason to think he could expertly butcher and grind a guy up without notice. (I mean, I can tell when my workspace has been tinkered with, wouldn't the morning crew be all "Who the hell closed last night? Nothing is where it should be.)

But I didn't mind the murdery nonsense, because, at last, we got some non-procedural Sherlock/Joan dialogue. It's a shame that the writers only seem to be able to write these scenes centered around Sherlock, but I'll take what I can get.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:33 PM on December 4, 2016

Did I understand correctly that the murderer wanted the meat to be declared "meat substitute" instead of "real meat" so that religious groups with dietary restrictions would go for it? If so, I think this is the stupidest motive I have seen in a while. I know rabbis don't care what the FDA considers meat or meat substitute: they will decide for themselves whether it's fleishig or pareve, irrespective of what aisle it's on in the store. I imagine the keepers of the dietary laws for other religions feel the same. And Sherlock's group of religious leaders seemed to have several who were neither Jewish nor Muslim — my understanding is that followers of Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism won't even eat animal crackers because even the pretence of eating meat gives rise to bad karma. So it seems to me that this clever little idea is actually pretty dumb.

That said, the rest of the episode was pretty good.
posted by ubiquity at 10:19 AM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

NBD, we're just going to wrap up this serial murderer for hire team over here at the Precinct while you go around sampling shmeat Sherlock! Thanks Everyone!
posted by carsonb at 6:32 PM on December 11, 2016

I was confused, very confused about the actual first dead guy (who ate the ground up corpse). Like ok that other dude got killed and put into a meat grinder, I get it (tho agree with oh yeah! it seemed far fetched) but how did the original corpse wind up eating that ground up meat. Are we to assume that the "meat" from that was then just put in with the rest of the sausage?

I do enjoy watching Sherlock grapple with his giant brain and how it may not actually be serving him as much as he thinks it does. Also loved seeing the guy from Dollhouse in the nerdy scientist role.
posted by jessamyn at 7:30 AM on December 12, 2016

Jessamyn often when I watch Elementary I think of a phrase I attribute to you (especially in reference to Sherlock) - Everyone's hardest struggle is their hardest struggle. Being able to share a struggle with an accepting community is so important to any given person's humanity. Even if the members of the community can't comprehend the depths of one's boredom or arrogance.... I mean, who truly can? of anyone? It's the sharing and the acceptance that's important. I think that's a really solid message and it's the sort of character wrangling that drew me to the show to begin with.

As for the inadvertent cannibal, they never did swing back around to turn the whole final gambit into a double homicide--it was just on behalf of the shmeat genius who got et.
posted by carsonb at 11:39 AM on December 12, 2016

Also nobody else turned up poisoned by horse-rotty human sausage? You'd think there'd be a recall, but I guess there's a reputation to uphold if you're Brooklyn's Wurst.
posted by carsonb at 11:40 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

The guy who died from eating the sausage was killed by an allergic reaction to the horse tranquilizer that the murdered guy was dosed with, not poisoned per se. So, yeah, the implication is that the murderer managed to butcher the entire corpse and sausagify it so skillfully that it was mixed in with the existing inventory without any of the staff noticing anything strange about it, and that other unsuspecting customers bought and ate the rest of the sausages without any ill effects.
posted by oh yeah! at 12:24 PM on December 12, 2016

Why wouldn't the shmeat company just produce both types so they can cover both markets?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:45 PM on December 15, 2016

There were two different ways the shmeat could be categorized, not two different types of shmeat, no?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:57 AM on December 16, 2016

Upon review, I think that there was the real data that showed shmeat was genetically identical to beef -- and therefore categorized as True Beef -- and fake data that showed it was different enough to be categorized as meat-substitute.

That sounds like a pretty clear cut case of fraud to me, so maybe the convocation of religious elders was a bit unnecessary.

I still think that once you've created True Beef, tinkering with it to make it different enough to make quality faux-beef can't be that hard.

(True Beef is now my WWE catch-phrase.)
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:51 AM on December 16, 2016

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