Elementary Review: The Seven Deadly Sins of "One Way to Get Off"

By Lily Sparks

Nov 16, 2012

Elementary S01E07: "One Way to Get Off"

First things first: While we did see bees, they were not in Sherlock's house/under Sherlock's care, so no cokes this week. BUT it's looking more promising that cokes may appear on the horizion, in the form of bees under Sherlock's care. So don't give up, thirsty Elementary fans.

As for the show, I'm sorry, but I found this week's episode absolutely abysmal. To wit:

1. Once again, Watson and Sherlock were divided for an episode. Ostensibly because Sherlock was giving Watson the cold shoulder after she dared to confront him about Irene. Holmes reset to his resentment and distrust of Watson, telling her he would never share personal experiences with her because he didn't want to cheapen his memories by "allowing them to become grist for your tedious recovery mill."

Hopefully the writers heard the revelation about their own writing that seeped into that line. The recovery jargon Watson keeps spouting is sounding hollow and repetitive these days, you'd think seven episodes in there would be a personal investment beyond sober-buddy responsibility between these two fated BFFs.

2. Talk about a hatchet job on the NYPD. They've gone from criminally negligent to just plain criminal, with a cop planting evidence at a crime scene to send a murderer to jail, and then that "worked out" because luckily the guy was actually guilty this time. Also it defies even my blunt, broken instrument of deduction that Cap'n Gregson wouldn't recognize one of the station's own mugs when cataloguing evidence at a crime scene back in the '90s. Even if the NYPD has random mugs coming in and going out of the station kitchen so fast that they can't keep track of them all, that was a weirdly distinctive mug and wouldn't Aidan have noticed that the key piece of evidence was also the vessel of coffee he had PERSONALLY HANDED to the serial killer during interrogation? (With like, maybe his OWN fingerprints on it?) He should have retired at the end of this episode, period. He is a bad police guy! He did not seem that interested in solving crime!

3. Part of why Cap'n Gregson is now officially the worst police chief ever is that he refused to listen to Sherlock. The writers tried to sidestep this issue by implying that Gregson's distrust of Sherlock was built on his own ego/fear for his career/denial that his partner could have planted evidence. But still, if we're going to have to go through cops putting their hands on their hips and screaming, "Who is this guy? Get him out of here!" in every episode, I will lose my mind. Sherlock has solved their last six significant crimes more or less on his lonesome. He should have a modicum of credibility no matter how crazy the things he he says are.

4. There was a desperation to keep this week visually interesting that manifested in kind of awful ways. The crime scene was grotesque, and once again how are those extras supposed to put this on their reels? A pillow over the face doesn't play well on a reel.

Then we had the tangential sex dungeon that Holmes found on a hunch, a freaking SEX SLAVE subplot that was used to clear the biggest suspect. Um, this would have actually been a fascinating whole episode, as sex slaves are a very real thing around the world and rarely get the attention/awareness they deserve, but no, it was titillating window dressing.

And of course there was Sherlock popping into a police interrogation room and throwing a ball or an orange or something into a suspect's face while screaming "THINK FAST!" to prove a point. Sometimes this show is like a Simpsons version of a detective show, like some parody of how ridiculous a brilliant detective's methodology can get in the hands of careless writers. Of course Sherlock Holmes needs to bolt into a room and throw an orange in a man's face. Such is the nature of careful observation.

5. So a dreamy teen was seduced/trained by a psychopathic killer to continue his serial murdering? What does that remind me of? What TV plot have I seen recently that Elementary is homaging or ripping off? Oh yes, Elementary did basically this exact plot a couple week ago in "Child Predator." After last week's intricate Fabregé egg of a mystery plot, the show reverted to a story it's already told. Disappointing.

6. Watson creeped up on Sherlock's old recovery home, talked trash on him with his old counselors and psychiatrists (who apparently could give two sh-ts about doctor-patient confidentiality), and came home with a big bundle of letters to righteously turn them over to Sherlock. Um, Thanks?

"Thanks for hunting down a bunch of super personal stuff bout me and then making a show about how you're not going to invade my privacy. You kind of already did by finding this stuff in the first place." Also, girl was eating smoothies in every scene this episode. Is she on an all-liquid diet or are they trying to insinuate she has her own addictions? Wheat grass, probiotic addictions?

7. Finally, and this made me furious, Irene Adler had better have faked her death. Because if the show is going to drop a name bomb like that and then instantly dismiss it into flashbacks, that's a wasted opportunity and just plain rude. I want Rachel Weisz, dressed like a raver, on my screen yesterday. So Sherlock had better either be lying to Watson (cringe) or Irene better have done what a good adventuress does and faked her death so she can reappear quite shortly, or else I will truly let this show have it.


QUESTIONS:

1. Irene Adler: still alive, right?

2. Is Watson technically doing more sophisticated deduction work than Sherlock?

3. Can someone explain to me why the guy with depth perception issues was even a suspect? For the life of me I could not follow that thread.

4. What did you think of this episode?

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  • MarkNash1 Oct 05, 2013

    I get the distinct feeling that the network had a set of generic scripts for a crime drama (or just a pile of rejected Monk episodes) and saw Sherlock's success and decided to do some search & replace... ('Sharona Fleming' replaced with 'Joan Watson') now lets add in a few more names .. (well just 'Irene Adler' actually) and bingo it's now a Holmes update! No one actually bothered beyond that, they certainly forgot to add any of Holmes' traits or even his clever deductions.

  • Ratisbona Nov 22, 2012

    I think the show would be better, if the main characters were not called Sherlock and Watson. If that guy was just a random rich genius ex-addict and she a random ex-doctor/sober-buddy who solve crimes together. They could make jokes about how they are like Sherlock Holmes and Watson.
    Now - though there is potential - they just do not fill the expectations that come with a "modern Sherlock Holmes"-show.

  • mrhyde Nov 20, 2012

    can anyone tellme the name of the song at tha final scene please... thanks

  • AriSky Nov 20, 2012

    Irene's definitely still alive. It would be too much of a waste to kill her off before the show's even off the ground. Though I can see the bitch fights starting between her and Watson when/if she appears.

  • DutchZombie Nov 20, 2012

    For once I would like to not figure out the entire mystery halfway through the show. This incarnation of Sherlock is still pretty tame. The character is at his best when he's an ass and the only one that can put up with him is Watson. This show lacks all of that...

  • Cassandra_Elise Nov 19, 2012

    Despite the mediocre mystery, we had the introduction of several wonderful "Sherlock" characterizations, and for me, the character of Sherlock is what drives me to watch this show, anyways. First, we had his reliance on microscopes. The modern police wanted to use their ballistics and high tech equipment, and Sherlock's like, "nah, I'm using the microscope and the human eye." Totally in-character. Also, we saw him whip out his lock-picking set. Hooray! And, we get to see Sherlock's (via Johnny Lee Miller) acting abilities as he deftly crossed between an American and English accent in a matter of seconds. So yeah, the mystery was weak, but the character of Sherlock Holmes was strong. :)

  • SokkaAppa Nov 19, 2012

    You are probably right. Irene is still alive. Sherlock lied so that watson would back off.

  • maxinnovate Nov 18, 2012

    I agree IA better be alive and come kicking into the show

  • NeeUyank Nov 18, 2012

    why is it so hard for ms. sparks and rest of the whiners down to understand that this is not the actual Holmes and actual Watson, and so of course the flow of the events, as well as the characters and the story will be very much different than the original versions.. of course, watson will be preaching about being sober, and post rehab stuff, that is exactly what she is there for, and in 7 episodes, who would expect a character like this Holmes to get connected fastly to character like that Watson.. other than that, this episode had nothing in common than teens commiting crimes with the Child Predator episode.. the two cases are so different by so many means, it really is hard to understand how you can accuse writers to repeat themselves.. and almost all of your points you put out to prove how abysmal the episode is -except for the captain's lack of investigative abilities- are abysmal themselves.. so what, if watson likes smooties, or this being a crime show, what is wrong with the crime scene being grotesque? considering watson's job, why would it be a problem for her to hunt down some information? she is NOT there to just observe, she needs to be proactive and thats what she does.. if she did not pursue that line of task, than it would be pretty ridiculous.. there is nothing sinful about any stuff that has been going on this show, than giving it to a critic who hates it.. TV.com should stop doing that asap..

  • angeleys151 Nov 18, 2012

    I only want to comment on the last point. If you look back to just before the show started and the first few episode reviews you may notice that in fact Lilly was very excited for the show. She was defending it against critics who hadn't seen it and were making judgments unfairly, so TV.com didn't "give it to a critic who hates it" they gave it someone who showed interest. The fact that she now dislikes it means that either it wasn't what CBS was promoting (a modern day interpretation of the original characters), or it just isn't very good.
    If you are willing to accept that this isn't Sherlock Holmes, and are happy with another version of The Mentalist then that's great for you. However there were those of us that started watching because we wanted what CBS promised in the previews and promotional material.

  • safibwana Nov 18, 2012

    @NeeUyank I was with you for the first two sentence-phrase-things and then you took a surprising backwards logical leap. Your third sentence-phrase-thing should have read "She's a critic and should be trying harder to be critical"

  • NeeUyank Nov 18, 2012

    I have read not all of the reviews but all the ones I have read involved a lot of complaining about pretty trivial stuff.. Ms Sparks is not just a viewer, she is doing this as a job as far as I understand.. therefore she should be trying harder to remain objective and provide some evaluation with more solid arguments than those.. "she now dislikes it" cannot be an excuse for a professional, and if it is the way things go around here, then TV.com should definitely assign alternative reviewers to shows, when / if they feel this negative about that show, that's why I blame the management more than her.. we have seen other examples of this case before and it is really ruining the whole experience within the website.. I am not expecting a massive bunch of applauds and praises, no show is flawless, let alone Elementary.. but this whole text made me feel like she has found a very intriguing title concept first -the seven deadly sins- and then tried really hard -too hard- to find seven sinful (?!) flaws in the show, including Watson's smoothies? come on..

    and for the broken promises, I have chosen to watch this show from the stuff I have read around here.. and I never for a second thought this would be an accurate exact replica of original Sherlock and Holmes, for which the timeline, the setting and god even the genders are not matching.. I mean, despite what ever CBS hinted about it, we have a female Watson, didn't this give you any clue in terms of what you will be seeing will be something only "inspired" by Doyle's work?

  • miasma Nov 18, 2012

    I'm really on the fence with ELementary, wish they hadn't done it as a Sherlock Holmes thing but Jonny is very good in it. This episode was by far the worst, very tenuous plot and not at all interesting. Will keep watching for now by BBC Sherlock is way better which is why the producers shouldn't have gone down the Holmes route.

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