The fall TV season is just kicking off and it’s time to begin crafting a weekly TV-viewing schedule that fits your needs, genre preferences, and tastes, and that hopefully includes something old, something new, and something that’s been around for a while that you’ve been meaning to check out. Following up on Sound on Sight’s coverage of …
If I had to guess how the second season of Elementary was going to end, I wouldn’t have landed anywhere near the tone of “The Grand Experiment,” which reverses last season’s triumphant finale by blowing up the core of the series.
Elementary, after all, has done a fine job of loosely adapting Conan Doyle’s work in a contemporary setting, taking certain liberties that have really paid off in the long run. It doesn’t make the decision to use Mycroft in this way disappointing, but I wonder if the character could have remained compelling without having to get the British secret service involved.
There is a certain poignancy to Jonny Lee Miller’s version of Sherlock Holmes in how he acts tough when he is at his most vulnerable. When we saw his reunion with Moriarty earlier this season, it made sense that the easiest way for Sherlock to have to interact with that person was by using biting sarcasm and almost immature name-calling.
There really doesn’t even need to be a crime plot to frame an episode when the character is around, because these versions of the Holmes brothers and Watson can carry a full episode of material entirely through conversation
After a solid episode last week that gave Joan Watson some of her most interesting material this season, Elementary returns with a more Sherlock-centric episode that, barring his interactions with his brother and nemesis, stands out as one of this year’s highlights for the character.
As long as Elementary has a home, episodes like “The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville” are always welcome. Though not ambitious in any way, it’s another good example of how the series can do an interesting self-contained piece while throwing in just enough character development to make it feel like we’re progressing
After a few fairly by-the-numbers entries of Elementary in the past weeks, “The Hound of the Cancer Cells” grounds the detective series back into the sphere in which it usually excels: character.
After an unusually light episode by Elementary’s standards last week, Lestrade sticks around a little while longer in “Ears to You” – an episode only mildly less light. If the tone is still a little bit jarring, the use of Sean Pertwee’s Lestrade is much more effective this time around, as he gets to bounce off Sherlock and Watson in both entertaining and interesting ways.
On the spectrum of tonal heaviness, Elementary usually leans to the lighter side of things, but it’s rarely as light as “The One Percent Solution” is.
The biggest strength of Elementary as a series is perhaps how well it draws on the relationships of its characters or else how it delves into their individual lives. Even if some episodes have crime plots that are a bit lacking, Sherlock and Joan can almost always elevate the material to make an episode stand out in a way it otherwise wouldn’t have.
One of the many smart decisions the Elementary writers have made has been coming back to Sherlock’s history of addiction again and again.
Cancel the Golden Globes. Cancel next year’s Emmys. Heck, cancel the Oscars just because. And give all the awards to Jonny Lee Miller, Jon Michael Hill and Jason Tracey for acting in and writing “All in the Family” – and this scene, specifically. If it’s ridiculous to clap while watching something by yourself, then call me ridiculous. In an episode of Elementary that couldn’t possibly live up to last week’s epic Moriarty adventure, the CBS Sherlock Holmes procedural returns wearing its two hearts on its two sleeves.
“The Diabolical Kind” begins like any other episode of Elementary might. Watson walks down the stairs, notices Sherlock sitting in his beekeeping outfit, makes a sarcastic comment about his laundry and exits the brownstone. What follows – a sequence narrated by Johnny Lee Miller, which we find out is from a correspondence with Moriarty – is “The Diabolical Kind” announcing itself as anything other than a typical episode of Elementary.
…it’s actually an interesting example of how Elementary has the ability to create the feeling of serialization without relying on characters like Mycroft and Irene Adler. These last three episodes have really sunk their teeth into judging Sherlock for the kind of person he is.
Continuing with the previous Elementary episode’s concerns of challenging Sherlock and Joan’s methods of catching bad guys, “Tremors” raises the philosophical and emotional stakes much higher by having Detective Bell get caught in the crossfire.
Elementary, Season 2: Episode 8 – “Blood is Thicker” Written by Bob Goodman Directed by John Polson Airs Thursday nights at 10 on CBS While cable television generally houses the majority of great drama series at any given time, network offerings like Elementary and Arrow have been quietly stringing together sophomore seasons that have been as much …
Elementary, Season 2: Episode 6 – “The Marchioness” Written by Christopher Hollier and Craig Sweeny Directed by Sanaa Hamri Airs Thursday nights at 10 on CBS “The Marchioness” begins with a fantastic shot, directed by Sanaa Hamri, that creeps up in front of Sherlock as he is discussing what life would have been like at …
Elementary, Season 2: Episode 6 – “An Unnatural Arrangement” Written by Cathryn Humphris Directed by Christine Moore Airs Thursday nights at 10 on CBS Despite the fact that there are four regular cast members included in Elementary‘s title credits, it would be a stretch to say that Gregson and Bell are anything more than supporting characters …
Elementary, Season 2: Episode 5 – “Ancient History” Written by Jason Tracey Directed by Sanaa Hamri Airs Thursday nights at 10 on CBS “Ancient History” is what one might call a “weak” episode of Elementary. It’s sort of an anomaly and it’s something you wouldn’t quite pick up on unless you thought about it, because the …
Part of the virtue of Elementary’s 24-episode season structure is that there is no pressure to dump on character development every week. Like a sitcom that tacks on its short, sweet heartwarming moments late in the third act, Elementary shifts its narrative camera from the weekly crime plot to remind us that Holmes and Watson are real people dealing with personal conflict. Occasionally, that conflict will take center stage, but more often than not – and in the case of “Poison Pen” – it is painted in light strokes on the episode’s much larger canvas.
Elementary, Season 2, Episode 3, “We Are Everyone” Written by Craig Sweeny Directed by Michael Pressman Airs Thursdays at 10pm EST on CBS This week, on Elementary: Joan tries out a dating site, Sherlock puts a shoe on his head, and they both get hacked “We Are Everyone” continues Elementary’s strong start to its second …
After last week’s season two premiere, which was very much Sherlock-heavy, “Solve for X” brings Elementary back to its week-to-week procedural proceedings with an episode that gives Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) all of the character-based material. Over the course of its first season, Elementary did a lot of this type of stuff, where we saw the relationship between Sherlock and Watson advance in small steps with one or both being given emotionally interesting moments. So, in that sense, “Solve for X” isn’t all that interesting as an individual episode in the collection of Elementary episodes that currently exist. That said, it’s still a strong example of what exactly this series is and, if a first-time viewer happened to tune in, it still behooves fans to acknowledge that it’s an episode that would probably get someone to come back next week.