Elementary, Season 1, Episode 10: “The Leviathan”
Directed by Peter Werner
Written by Corinne Brinkerhoff and Craig Sweeny
Airs Thursdays at 10pm (ET) on CBS.
Starring Jonny Lee Miller (Sherlock Holmes), Lucy Liu (Joan Watson), Aidan Quinn (Captain Gregson), Jon Michael Hill (Detective Bell). Guest starring Freda Foh Sheh (Mary Watson), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Jeremy Lopez) and Steve Park (Oren Watson).
Since Elementary premiered back in September, it has been going from strength to strength in terms of its character development as well as the complexity of its cases – it is needless to say that humble pie has been well and truly eaten. Now, as we approach the end of the year, we see the consultant detective and his sober companion tackle a brilliant case.
“The Leviathan” is the name of a super-safe that has been hacked, resulting in a multi-million dollar robbery. In the unusually long cold opening, we see Holmes unable to achieve what bank robbers could do, putting him firmly in his place. This is just a prelude to an intriguing mystery.
Now, from this cold opening and the first ten minutes, it is like Elementary team is teasing us. A criminal mastermind and Holmes stumped at code-cracking, with him resorting to primitive violence…kudos to them reeling the viewer in with a red herring. Featuring the dual talents of Elementary writers Brinkerhoff and Sweeny, there is a lot going on in this episode. A number of classically-inspired plot elements, from Van Gogh artwork, Game of Thrones to Greek coins, are interwoven with the initial bank robbery featuring a showcase of Holmes’ skills (both criminal and legit).
The introduction of Watson’s family (note the nod to the name of her mother, Mary Watson aka the name of Conan Doyle’s Dr. Watson’s wife) serves as an opportunity to learn even more about Watson, further highlighting her life as an open book and Holmes’ as…well, a closed book under lock and key.
Unable to show the significance of her career change to her disapproving mother, Holmes decides to save the day by joining a Watson family dinner and openly talk about how great her daughter is. Along with the kind words, breakfast in bed and how instrumental she is as a more-than-sober-companion, it is good to see Holmes appreciate Watson – even though he says he doesn’t mean it, we know better and it is heart-warming to just hear those words from Holmes’ fast mouth.
The chemistry between Liu and Miller is great as we finally see the relationship reach a co-dependent level that we, as fans, have been striving for. As her mother comments on the way how Holmes makes her happy, Watson is given food for thought as to whether another career change is on the cards.
This is probably my favourite episode of Elementary so far – well thought-out case elements, great wit and twists in its writing and a breakthrough in the Holmes/Watson partnership is a perfect place to finish the series before the seasonal break.