Elementary "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs" Review: High Times

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Elementary S01E15: "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs"

No joke, I loved last night’s episode. Talk about savvy programming, that the Superbowl Special episode of Elementary and the one last night were among the two best episodes the show has ever done. The cold open, a girl getting stuffed into a suitcase after refusing to let a stranger in to charge his cellphone, was genuinely scary (although I resent them punishing a female character for not letting some strange guy into her house—ladies, there are plenty of times where not trusting your instinct lands you in the headlines described as a torso, and don’t forget it).

I loved the circle of Al-Anon supporters listening to JLM spool out a case of his that involved a mongoose and “Colonel” something. At least one of Elementary's writers has a sort of absurd sense of humor that leaks in here and there and when it does, the show is always stronger for it. And then John Hannah turning up in the buff and doing a Scottish accent? As someone who has seen The Mummy at least 2,802 times, John Hannah, Racel Weiz, Brendan Fraser, Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo will ALWAYS be welcome on my screen. (I can’t be the only person who secretly adores this movie and is down to watch it any old time. Oh I am? Well that’s why I never leave my house.)

I also thought it was wonderful that they were working on a case without the resources of the NYPD/FBI for a change. It was a smaller story (relatively; an international cartel is on average a tiny bit smaller than an international spy ring involving elite covert government agencies), and I thought it was hilarious to put Watson and Sherlock out of their element at the Hurrikane club and all. But most impressive was the central conflict that was raised: That Sherlock’s former drug dealer Reese (Hannah) insisted that when Sherlock was high he was much more creative and brilliant—that the sober version of him was a shadow of his former, London-based self. (Gar he sounded so much like someone from one of my art classes back in college, where I spent critique after critique with fellow art school students and teachers who were proudly high out of their minds.)

I don’t know if this is a meta-comment on the unflattering comparisons to the BBC Sherlock that first dogged this show or if it will turn into Sherlock blowing some rails when he gets super stumped in the season finale, should Irene Adler get involved (and please can she be played by Angelina Jolie?).

We all know that’s not going to happen (Angelina is busy being the closest thing on Earth to Superman/filtering water in third world countries) but the fact that my brain is excitedly trying to predict where the season is going to go instead of sitting back and moaning about how many opportunities have been lost feels quite refreshing. The smaller stories, a mere sprinkling of police, and well-earned emotional punches resting on solidly built story foundations (the sadness of Sherlock borrowing money from his dad, the genuine rage from Sherlock when Reese tempted him with cocaine)...

So to sum: Was it a perfect episode? No, but the relationship between Sherlock and the police (mutually respectful but not partners), the plausibility of the crime (thank goodness no more spy games!), and the emotional connection to the person bringing the story for once were welcome and encourage my hopes more than I’ll say.


But more importantly, what did you think?


QUESTIONS

1. PG tips: best tea ever? (did I imagine this or did Watson specify they had PG tips?)

2. What movie can you watch any day of the week?

3. Do you think Sherlock will ever break sobriety (like, say, in the season finale?)

4. Do you think drugs can honestly make an artist more creative, or do artists who incorporate drugs into their creative mode use them as a crutch because they fear they’re not that good?

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