Elementary "A Landmark Story" Review: Come on, Irene!

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Elementary S01E21: "A Landmark Story"

I barely endured another 100 percent Natalie Dormer-free episode of Elementary. The episode was great, don't get me wrong! Just every minute I expected to FINALLY see her and JLM talking sexily in British accents to each other about brainy stuff. Still, despite her absence, Irene infused this week's episode, which lent a ton of credence to the theory already espoused by several of you apt commenters that Irene Adler IS Moriarity. I know the producers assured us Irene Adler was dead, but remember when the Revenge showrunner swore up and down that Daniel was really killed in that show's Season 1 premiere? Sometimes Paleyfest is a NEST OF LIES. And pardon my conjecture, but perhaps the writers will justify their fibs by saying the "persona" of Irene Adler died when she took the reins of Crime Impresario Moriarty.

It would give some emotional heft to last night's reveal tonight that Moriarty has twice spared Sherlock’s life, particularly in that a heroin overdose intended for him was “canceled”  (something the assassin had never seen before.) If he was already heroin-overdosed, Irene Adler would've already been ‘dead’ (a.k.a. faked her death) by then. Also, as soon as the guy whose photo Sherlock pieced together started talking about Irene, he got popped. Just saying. What do I know? Precious little, actually.

The episode was not without heart, both figuratively and literally. I cannot believe we’re not allowed to show breasts on TV, but a shot of someone peeling away the flesh of a man’s chest to reveal his innards, like so much jam-smeared lunchmeat, is totes bien.

I winced like crazy. I know it’s all translucent red plastic formed by organ-shaped molds using a process not unlike Creepy Crawlers:

But it’s a bit much for me. 

And while Joan said “This is not a MOMENT between us!” as she gracefully carved a man open, there were a weird number of *moments* between the two this week. (I thought it was adorable that Watson was so annoyed by his incompetence during the illicit autopsy that she had to wrest the scalpel out of his hands and do it herself… let us never forget only one person in the room is a certified surgeon.)

While staking out killer bees in the park, Sherlock gave perhaps the most stirring admission of friendship in the series so far, using that intense whisper tone while Lucy Liu reacted like a deer caught in headlights, with Sherlock saying that Watson had been the thing that changed him and her being all, “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me!” and then they silently chewed pierogies. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I do not want to see these two morph into a romantic pairing… but the criteria I use for whether or not they’ve crossed that line is, could I see Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law doing that same exchange? Absolutely. So perhaps they’re dripping a soupcon of romance onto our deducing duo to give things an edge, but certainly no more than male Sherlock-and-Watson pairings have exhibited, and they haven’t yet exceeded the platonic warmth of say, early Mulder and Scully.

I’m certainly hoping that if there is a contemporaneous Irene, she does not affect or complicate this relationship. It gets on my last nerve when a leading female character hates another major female character on sight, on principle, but I’ll save that rant for if it actually happens.

Who am I kidding, though, any interpersonal drama will be welcome if it breaks up the rather dry logistical run. While I did love Sherlock piecing together the photo of the man behind the train with his rapid-shutter SLR (that was so DOPE!)...

...and I appreciated the irony of Sherlock being the device that ultimately sent the killswitch/extortion message to Moran (who is AMAZING both as a character and an actor, I could listen to his soccer hooligan songs all day)...

...ultimately the plot got so technical that it started making me sort of stress. Maybe I was just in a mood for a little more theater and spectacle, and thus the precise tone of  the episode was lost on me, it is May and the trampy Wiccans across the street keep telling me it’s a restless time of year (STILL DOESN’T EXCUSE THE TECATE BOTTLES ON MY LAWN, RAVEN!). And credit where credit is due, the episode tried to liven things up by giving Sherlock his usual quota of wack experiments.

I’m starting to wonder if they write these quirky, colorful, TV-friendly “experiments” mad lib style: Sherlock puts [household item] on [surface in room] and [action word] it with [esoteric weapon]. 

As much as I tease, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these, if only because they don’t involve exposing breastbones.

So! Do you feel cheated of Natalie Dormer today? Or is the suspense going to pay off in a big way?


QUESTIONS:

… Is Irene still alive?

… Who is Moriarty? (Irene mmmmmaybe?)

… Watson and Sherlock: better as a romance or a bromance?

… Moran: the best ever?

… WHERE IS MY DORMER?!?!

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