Elementary "The Long Fuse" Review: Good Mystery! Now Quit Second-guessing Holmes and Pretending Watson's Gonna Leave

By Lily Sparks

Nov 30, 2012

Elementary S01E08: "The Long Fuse"

A round of thunderous applause before we begin! Last night's Elementary gave us one of the better puzzles the show has put together so far, if not the best. Intricate without overwhelming detail, gruesome enough to give me a genuine chill, and plausible enough that I wasn't cackling by the conclusion. The only real problem was knowing who the bomber was as soon as the camera landed on her: Lisa Edelstein, you sexy minx, you looked like you'd run over from the old House soundstage on the Fox lot without bothering to change costumes. If only they'd thrown in a second possibility (it only takes two horses to make a race), but they had to shoehorn in the sponsor plot this week so we merely had to watch the clock wind down on the inevitable reveal that Whatserface Van Owen was not only a ho-turned-CEO but adept at making pipe bombs. And hanging dry wall!

Don't make this renaissance woman languish in jail, she's too useful! She should get a double-0 spy number and put these skills to work. I seriously do love Edelstein and it must have been fun to get to play a sexy villainess who even got to flirt with Jonny Lee Miller. (Although it was very rude of him to point out the answers to her crossword puzzle. Other people besides you can enjoy a challenge, Holmes! C'mon now.)

JLM was acting the spazz this week like no other, from conducting an elaborate hand dance in a room full of flat screens to shouting down a sponsor in a shiny coat and blue jeans. Some weeks he takes "addict" and translates it as "caffeinated" and this was one of those episodes. I particularly take issue with his tennis-bomb recreation on the roof of a building in NYC. I mean, he made a fertilizer-filled explosive knowing full well he hadn't smelled fertilizer at the crime scene, so I don't know what that was meant to achieve. Secondly, if we're assuming he still has a tower of bees up on that roof (and judging by where the bridge appeared on the horizon, in roughly the same area on that roof), this was nothing less than animal (insect?) cruelty. Not a bee buzzing, it seemed, up there on the roof where he was cheerfully chucking combustibles.

I did love that Holmes popped out the elevator button a suspected "eco-terrorist" had just pushed to get a fingerprint.That's the kind of no-nonsense, pragmatic police work I'd like to see in real life or at least from the NYPD as portrayed on this show, as they once again fell asleep at the wheel and steered the case toward disaster. Elmentary's NYPD only brought the bomb squad in for the day apparently and then they were like, "Ooph, better things to do, like sit around waiting for another bomb to happen!" and it was up to Holmes to analyze the pipe bomb materials. Curiously, Cap'n Gregson seemed dismissive and borderline annoyed at Holmes' thorough approach to dissecting the detritus.

Writers: You cannot have anyone second-guess Holmes anymore, at this point in the series. He hasn't failed once. He is a deductive Babe Ruth who single-handedly saved Gregson's career last episode. At no point should Gregson be winging because Holmes wants to come in early and do some extra credit because his men can't even recognizes a security deposit box key.

I'm afraid the biggest problem this week was again Watson. Not only is it annoying for the character to keep insisting she's going to leave Holmes in a matter of weeks (thereby dissolving the premise of the show), but she had several smug "Oh, you!" moments where she acted more like a slightly condescending girlfriend than a colleague. When they brought on a lady Watson, it didn't occur to me they were going to jettison the Holmes-Watson dynamic.

I know I make this complaint every week, but I'd like to believe that Watson is not in a hurry to leave Holmes, and isn't constantly trying to manipulate him to suit some behavioral script in her head (via security systems in flashy cars). I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd tune in every week to watch Lucy Liu watch paint dry, I love her so, but the writers keep twisting Watson out of the main action and problem-solving with regard to the mystery and pushing her into a dry little B-story rut, and it's hurting both arcs of each episode.

The mysteries suffer because not enough time can be dedicated to unraveling them (or to investigating multiple suspects), and the addiction story suffers becausezzzzzzz. Hopefully an introduction of Moriarty, maybe a not-so-dead Irene Adler will give us a larger season arc that can enliven one or both of the in-the-episode plots from week to week. Fingers crossed!

What did you think of the episode?


1. So no bees on that roof, huh?

2. Why will Watson end up staying?

3. How many guys do you know who go by the name of Alfredo and are they chefs?

4. Should Gregson just give Holmes a badge and let him run the station?

5. Do you have any ho-turned-CEO success stories to share with the group?

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  • Madelynn1984 Dec 18, 2014

    "When they brought on a lady Watson, it didn't occur to me they were going to jettison the Holmes-Watson dynamic."

    This!! I don't like how they think they're being progressive or something, by choosing to have a female Watson, but then not allowing her to be Watson. She's snooping and mothering. I wanted a full-on male/female "bromance" (meaning loving and trusting each other without it ever turning sexual). You know, the whole point of Holmes and Watson! They've pretty much cast a female Watson, but then said, "oh, but now we have to change their relationship, 'cause men and women can't just non-sexually enjoy each other's company". Annoying!

    I DO have a ho-turned-attorney success story to share with the group. Once upon a time, on the first episode of West Wing, Sam slept with her. Her name was Lisa Edelstein. I couldn't believe it when she was playing the exact same character on this. . . as you said, in her Dr. Cuddy costume!

    When I saw her, of course I also knew she was the killer, though I had a (brief) moment of hope that she'd just be some sort of romantic (well, sexual) interest of Sherlock's, and maybe stay around for a few episodes. I thought, "Of course she can't be the killer, right? Because every single week the killer has been the ONE (or two, Angel of Death) extremely recognizable actor, and they're bound to break the streak sometime to try to trick us, right?" Well, not yet.

    I'm still enjoying watching this, but only because I'm trying very hard to pretend that it is in no way related to Sherlock Holmes. When someone calls him Sherlock, it jars me from my pretense, and then I pretend that he's just named after the detective from the books. (Ok, it's not actually this elaborate in my head, just saying the show is more enjoyable if I don't try to compare it to all of the more faithful renditions of Sherlock Holmes.)

  • TrueTvWatcher Dec 04, 2012

    I loved this episode! Sure some details may have been over looked but the story was fun and engaging! I hope the whole Watson leaving soon thing works it self out sooner than later!

  • mapletv Dec 02, 2012

    I'm not sure if I like the show yet. I like the use of deductive reasoning, but not the leaps it takes. In this episode, Holmes deduces the pager bomb was placed there at least 4 years ago because the logo on the battery changed 4 years ago. But these must have been some high tech prototype batteries to last 4 years instead of the normal 4 months (conservative guess).
    Our villain kills a man and hides him behind the wall in the living room. Moves wall to up to account for body, must add studs, drywall, match the paint, clean up the mess, put everything back so wife does not notice. Too obvious to move the body, the neighbors won't notice a sexy brunette hauling drywall around. Truck parked out front of house, normal construction chaos. And the only evidence is crossword puzzle with her handwriting on it. I think I'll stick with the Mentalist.

  • SarahG2 Dec 02, 2012

    The Edelstein guest appearance (while obvious) was certainly a treat, especially considering how "House" was based on Holmes in the first place...
    In regards to Moritary, I still believe that kid from the Balloon Man episode is going to weasel his way out of jail time and make a reappearance at some point having adopted a new name...

  • ElisaDiaz Dec 02, 2012

    I wish there were more funny conversations between the two main characters, instead of so much tries at serious talk. I actually donĀ“t believe in Sherlock's character when he gets serious. Not so optimistic about this show as most people commenting here, I think.

  • stanking Dec 02, 2012

    Lily, if you will email me your address, I found the bees, and I will send them to you in the mail.

  • TypeB Dec 02, 2012

    1. The bees have already served their purpose - give Holmes an interesting hobby in the pilot, which subsequently led Watson to discover Holmes' friendship with the groundskeeper at the rehab center.
    2. Obvious reasons.
    3. I know a couple of men who are named Alfredo. They are not chefs.
    4. No. Aside from actual police training that he lacks, he doesn't have decent interpersonal skills to maintain good relationships with his underlings, other agencies, the media, etc. Plus Holmes would NOT want to run a station anyway.
    5. I don't personally know a ho who has turned into a CEO, but anything is possible.

  • mattgus Dec 02, 2012

    iv'e posted this b/4...the police 2nd guessing would be irritating but for the fact every show does it from monk to mentalisr....we do love our genius slueths...and this is a show i hopw will be here for yrs to come. watching johnny lee miller act is alot of fun.

  • BenjaminAnder1 Dec 02, 2012

    Does anyone know what kind of car Alfredo pulled up in at the end of the episode? Deduction would tell us, since the show is sponsored by Ford, it was a concept or GT. Can anyone verify?

  • lucdejonge Dec 02, 2012

    Dude....did you not see the badge on the side of the car? It's a Ferrari, a F430 to be exact

  • BenjaminAnder1 Dec 03, 2012

    I did not see the badge. Thanks.

  • CharleneRhode Dec 02, 2012

    Does anyone know the name of the song playing at the end of the episode 8?????

  • vicbjones Dec 02, 2012

    "Calm the Storm" by Grafitti. I bought the album Colours right after the show.

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