Elementary, Season 1, Episode 22: “Risk Management”
Directed by Liz Friedman
Written by Liz Friedman and Robert Doherty
Airs Thursdays at 10pm (ET) on CBS
The penultimate episode of any television series always has a certain promise of anticipation as to what will happen. Elementary is no exception, and with this episode directly following on from last week’s cliffhanger – a much-anticipated meeting between Holmes and Moriarty – with a week before the two-episode season finale, it is hard not to get excited.
In ‘Risk Management’, Moriarty ‘hires’ Holmes to investigate a murder case, in exchange for information behind his involvement in Irene’s death, who the latter affectionately refers to as ‘The Woman’. The events that take place set up the stage for next week and there is a barely concealed hope that viewers will get the answers that have been teased for so long, not to mention possible story elements that are more closely related to the Arthur Conan Doyle novels.
It may have taken a while to get there, but the partnership dynamic between Holmes and Watson has now reached the point of unconditional loyalty. Sure, Holmes may joke about her being a woman; shown through his remarks about meeting a suspect (“for the record, he is not bringing his wife either”) and Gregson is trying to lure her back into being a sober companion for fear of her safety (her comment about him ‘carrying a penis’ is classic). However, even when Holmes promises that he would not put her in harm’s way – when it comes down to the final showdown, she wants to be around for the show.
The idea of closure runs constantly throughout this episode, as the personal vendettas of both Holmes and the suspect, securities CEO Derek Sutter, are running parallel to each other. Whilst the latter uses his need for revenge as a weakness, it is more of a motivation for Holmes; the answers he has been searching for are within his grasp, but as the murder case becomes complicated, an emotional outburst shows his obvious frustration in wanting closure. This need is evident since the introduction of Sebastian Moran and as Holmes goes to find the truth, it leads to a final scene that is perfectly set up, as a tense wander round a huge house sees our dynamic duo come face-to-face with none other than…Irene Adler.
“Risk Management” may have needed a typical murder mystery but to have it pave the way for next week’s season finale, it is pretty damn good.