Elementary, Ep. 1.17: “Possibility Two” has clever case, lacks personal touches

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Elementary-Episode-17-Possibility-Two

Elementary Season 1, Episode 17: “Possibility Two”
Written by Mark Hoffman
Directed by Seith Mann
Airs Thursdays at 10pm (ET) on CBS

So, how do you follow last week’s heartwarming ‘confession’ by a seemingly indifferent detective and the official pairing of Holmes and Watson?  As it would appear, you follow it with a somewhat delicious case for the mind. This week, a somewhat impossible genetic poisoning brings together three different cases as Holmes is reluctantly recruited (thanks to an almost-extinct bee) by a troubled millionaire.

Even though the relationship between the two characters is well established ground by now, the interactions between Holmes and Watson remain intriguing.  As he puts her to the test at every turn, she is obviously looking to score brownie points from the master while trying to avoid looking like an idiot.  Putting together a model of a man-made chemical; being sent to a curious-looking dry cleaners; trying to deduce suspects without the slightest clue. It may seem like a slow climb up the ladder, but it is just so…mundane. Watson has yet to really be in her element, probably due to her prior occupation, but fingers crossed that her contributions to all the cases she has worked on with Holmes will not be in vain.

The real creativity, however, comes from the case and the events that follow it.  What with manipulating genetics, sociopath DNA, and corruptive poisoning of millionaires, it is all so delightfully complicated – an ideal case to bring in a deductive genius and his medically-trained associate.  Unfortunately, it is accompanied by certain loose ends, which do not resurface by the end of the episode’s 43 minute running time (the death of Lyndon’s faithful driver and bee-deliverer Crabtree; Lyndon’s sons who do not find out about their father’s predicament; the somewhat simple-minded President of the genetics lab who doesn’t seem to know the scandal behind the company he operates); it just seems too neatly tied up.  Also, how the pair manage to reach a conclusion for such a challenging case in four days (a guesstimate) beggars beyond belief.

The fact that Holmes and Watson now work in an official capacity as partners is a relief; there is finally some familiarity with how they are presented, even to new viewers of the series. Talking about picking up the dry cleaning and cleaning the fridge is very domesticated, even for a pair like them, but this serves to highlight the need to explore what can be done with the two characters as the show nears the end of its first season. At the moment, it all seems formulaic- the development of their partnership in amidst one case, which always seems to lead to another, while the NYPD get a concrete lead only to be proven false.

Aside from the complexities of this week’s case, there is nothing here that brings in that peaked level of tension present during the last few episodes. And we have seven episodes left. Will Gregson’s faith in Holmes be tested again? When will we see Moriarty, if ever? What will we become of Holmes and Watson?

All in all, “Possibility Two” is not a bad episode and certainly demonstrates creativity in using a strong murder mystery as its base. It just lacks supporting elements, in comparison to more recent episodes.

Katie Wong

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