New on the Tube: 'Elementary'

ElementaryNew on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.

Show Premise: 

Feeling the need to help solve mysteries that the police can’t on their own, Sherlock Holmes offers his services to the NYPD in order to satiate his need to put an end to certain aspects of crime.  Not happy with his father’s choices in life, this recovering addict takes on the various denizens of New York with his companion, Dr. Watson, in an effort to help keep himself sane while doing what he does best.  The show airs on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern) on CBS.





Previously on Elementary: Covering Episodes #1 - #4

Watson is called to become the sober companion for Sherlock Holmes, whose mannerisms and attitude tend to turn her off from the job right away.  Not long after they first meet, Holmes is called to consult on a murder of a well-to-do woman, finding various clues pointing in the direction of a man who killed her while high on medication.  After much deductive reasoning, Holmes surmises and proves that the man who killed her was the patient of the woman’s husband, who instigated the entire situation in order to inherit all of her fortune instead of divorcing her and getting nothing.

After being called to look at a robbery/homicide, Holmes deduces that it was in fact just a homicide, because the neighbor robbed the victim following his death.  After looking for the woman that the neighbor described, the newest detective in the department finds her . . . in a coma.  Discovering that she’s a twin, Holmes accuses the woman of killing half-siblings to save her money, only to find out that it was really the woman in the coma doing the killing.  

Years after a child is abducted, Holmes overhears the case being resumed when a new victim is kidnapped.  It doesn’t take him long to track down the van that abducted the latest child, but they discover the first abducted child as the driver and accomplice to the original kidnapper.  After finding the original kidnapper, Holmes comes to the conclusion that it was the child who instigated the rest of the kidnappings as the mastermind, making him the real kidnapper/killer.

Holmes is called to find a missing COO of a major investment firm, only to discover that he is dead due to a supposed overdose.  Further investigation shows that several others have been killed over the years, as though someone is rising up the corporate ladder.  After figuring out who did it, Holmes confronts the assailant and is kidnapped, only to be rescued by Watson and Gregson when he doesn’t show up for a conversation later.

Main Characters

Sherlock Holmes (Private Detective): British ex-pat who seems to focus all of his energies on helping the police solve various crimes.  A recovering addict, Holmes tries to work within the confines of his recovery without it impeding his consulting work.

Dr. Joan Watson (Sober Companion): A former surgeon who deigns to help recovering addicts with their life changes.  She doesn’t like Holmes much, only putting up with him because she feels a need to help others.

Capt. Tobias Gregson (Police Officer): Captain of the Robbery/Homicide division and a “friend” from Holmes’ past at Scotland Yard.  Willing to give Holmes some latitude when it comes to private consultations, Gregson comes to his defense more so than others.

Det. Marcus Bells (Police Officer): A detective with a bit of an ego who doesn’t like Holmes’ operations within the department.  Not a big fan of Holmes’ style and lack of regard for procedure, Bells prefers to focus on his own work than take the help of a private consultant.

What Works

To quote my wife when we first saw this, “He’s like a British Monk,” in reference to the show that Tony Shalhoub starred in for several years.  Indeed, Holmes’ deductive reasoning and ability to spot even the smallest clues help to give the show a surreal sensation, but it is the offhand and dry humor that makes it truly interesting to watch.  His ability to put aside his own flaws to help out is what really makes him a better person, even though he loves to point out that he is not a good humanitarian.

The inclusion of Watson is really what drives the show; however, allowing for Holmes to work out his deducing by talking to someone else about his process.  He doesn’t seem to work well alone, and the fact that he has to have a sober companion with him just adds to the complexity of their working relationship.

What Doesn’t

There seems to be an increase with crime dramas lately, and while this show certainly is interesting, it is yet another notch on that particular tabulation.  With all crime shows, there are some certain clichéd mannerisms between the characters—not everyone gets along well, Watson at first doesn’t want to stay but ends up doing so at the end of the first episode, et cetera—as well as crime scene revelations that only the main character can deduce.  It’s not that I don’t believe that someone can be smart enough to see these small, subtle clues, it’s just that I have a hard time believing only one person can while the rest of a highly-trained investigative unit seem to be sucking on their thumbs.

The Future

Given that original timeline for when Watson is to work with Holmes is six weeks, what exactly will happen to keep her there when the time comes?  Will Holmes relapse into addiction, forcing her to stay longer, or will she leave only to come back yet again, this time as a full-time sober companion?  And, will Bells ever come to rely on Holmes' abilities for the greater good, or is he going to continue to fight with the Brit on every case? (Probably the latter, as that is how things seem to go with these shows.)




Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:05

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