Elementary Ep.1.23/24: “The Woman”/”Heroine” – truths revealed as Holmes goes against Moriarty

Elementary, Season 1, Episode 23: “The Woman”
Directed by Seith Mann
Written by Robert Doherty and Craig Sweeny

Elementary, Season 1, Episode 24: “Heroine”
Directed by John Polson
Written by Robert Doherty and Craig Sweeny

For what seems like many months, fans of Elementary have waited with baited breath for this finale.  After being endlessly teased like a lover playing hard to get, loose ends are tied up and truths are revealed as the mysterious Moriarty is finally unveiled.

The Woman

After last week’s quite dramatic reveal, Holmes goes into an emotional – and professional shutdown during “The Woman”, the first part of the two hour finale, as the discovery of former lover Irene Adler alive and well brings an understandable sense of guilt, along with an overwhelming need to protect her as she goes into a post-traumatic state.  It is apparent that this woman is his Achilles Heel, as his motivation to capture Moriarty is reignited, which ultimately is his downfall.  The biggest twist to come from the whole season is undoubtedly when Irene reveals herself to be the criminal mastermind known as Moriarty.  Even though there is a sense of female empowerment going on during this finale, it is like two for the price of one.

Natalie Dormer plays Moriarty like a high-powered CEO, who is more cold and calculating rather than sinister.  Her schemes seem to solely be for financial gain, which doesn’t set higher above most of the other criminals Holmes has caught since the start of the season, yet upon her unveiling, it feels like he has put her on a pedestal as an almost ‘unbeatable’ opponent; a criminal mastermind and the love of his life.  Yet, in whatever angle you look at it, it is a debatable piece of casting and character development.

After the last few months, Miller has played Holmes with enthusiasm and a dry wit, working on case to case with an unflappable determination, but seeing him break down at the beginning of this epic finale leads him into a fine performance.  Considering the impact of Irene back into his life, not to mention his new battle with Moriarty, it is not surprising to see the personal battle within Holmes boil over as he reaches for drugs – a broken man, trying to regain of his sanity.

Thank God for Dr. Joan Watson, who not only acts as Holmes’ guardian angel but is immune to Moriarty’s mind games, leading her to plant the seed resulting in Moriarty’s timely arrest.  Throughout the season, there has been ample opportunities to justify the casting of a woman as Holmes’ faithful companion without the risk of a more-than-professional relationship between the two protagonists, but at the final curtain, it seems that the thing needed to catch a female criminal mastermind is a female detective.  Kudos, Mr Doherty.

With a second season of Elementary recently picked up, it is only a matter of time to see what else there is to learn about Mr. Holmes.

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