Elementary, Season 1, Episode 16: “Details”
Directed by Sanaa Hamri
Written by Jeffrey Paul King and Jason Tracey
Airs Thursdays at 10pm (ET) on CBS
After the last few episodes, skeptics have reached the conclusion that this series is actually not that bad. In fact, Elementary is pretty darn good – thanks to the melee of writers and directors, as well as the great on-screen chemistry of Johny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu mixing up every episode, the show continues to improve each week.
Seeing Detective Bell targeted by a would-be killer with a grudge leads both Holmes and Bell to admit that they now have gained a mutual respect; they have finally learned to tolerate each other’s methods and cooperative efforts in handling police matters, cementing the positive development in one of the show’s key relationships. The subplot involving the NYPD doesn’t stray too far into the almost cliché strand of internal corruption; instead, it builds intrigue from the start with the attempted shootout and explores the complicated relationship between Detective Bell and his older ex-con brother André. Unfortunately, these possible plot elements which could have lead to something past the 43 minute episode time seem to be abruptly cut short, bookmarking the character’s backstory to be tucked away and referenced possibly never again.
After last week’s shootout in Holmes’ brownstone, Holmes’ concern over Watson takes an interesting turn when he insists that she starts taking self-defence lessons. Exaggerated as it may seem, in the first five minutes, Holmes shows more concern over his associate than he has done in several episodes combined – “If anything were to happen you, I am not sure if I could forgive myself.”
The biggest thing to mention in this moderately satisfying episode is the reveal, long-awaited since the first mention of Moriarty, and it brings a certain sense of elation. The notion of Holmes admitting that he is better when working with Watson and that he wants her as a partner – not a sober companion – marks a personal achievement for the consultant, showing that there is a heart behind the emotionless facade.
Despite the lacklustre plot (in comparison to earlier episodes), the big reveal and the now-established partnership of Holmes and Watson make the episode and are the real cherry on top of this mountain.