Sherlock Holmes is a character so ingrained in our cultural imagination that it’s hard to think up any new spin on him. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invented a character who became an archetype, even for procedural television, as the airwaves are still littered with brilliant assholes who owe their very existence to the original detective of 221B Baker Street.
Fact and fiction collide when the world’s greatest magician meets the world’s greatest detective in Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini issue #1. What makes this five issue series particularly interesting is that Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knew each other in real life. While Houdini actively campaigned against spiritualists, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put his faith in those who claimed to possess other worldly powers. Anyways, enough history.
There has been a lot of development since last week’s heartwarming episode. “The Sign of Three” divided fans and critics alike, as most commented on the change of tone, its overindulgent sentimentality, and lack of mystery. But it nonetheless nicely set the stage for the showdown between our eponymous hero and his most challenging adversary to date.
The Woman in Green begins with a mystery that Scotland Yard cannot solve. Several women have turned up murdered around London, all with a finger severed off. Stumped by who the killer could be, Inspector Gregson (Matthew Boulton) calls on Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) to solve the case. Holmes and Watson soon discover that the deaths are far more than the work of a lone serial killer, but part of a diabolical plot involving hypnotism and the ever evil, Professor Moriarty (Henry Daniell).
It has been several months since Elementary viewers were teased with the big storyline of the season: the introduction of Moriarty. In amidst the murders, banter and the logical conclusions, none of the cases have brought Holmes to same focus and drive as the capture of serial killer (and Moriarty stooge) Sebastian Moran.