Elementary "Possibility Two" Review: If I Had a Billion Dollars...

Elementary S01E17: "Possibility Two"


They’re passing around popsicles in hell today because I absolutely loved last night's Elementary, no complaints. It gets my full seal of approval, full stop, and when is the last time that happened? Wait a minute—are my cloven hooves turning into hands?! Has the curse been broken? Have I learned to love again?

I don’t know about that, but I do know that the way Watson and Sherlock interact now is so cozy and adorable I just want to watch them stream into my house 24 hours a day like Big Brother. Everything from Sherlock letting Watson awkwardly take the lead in crime scenes to their night session putting together molecule dinosaurs was fantastic. I love the larger sense we get that her medical expertise compliments his big bag of esoteric knowledge.

I also loved the smaller mystery within the weekly mystery, the weird dry cleaners with the amazing thug with sunglasses and the angry woman and her crazy soap operas that were caught on-screen.

Like I’ve said in the past, there’s someone on Elementary's writing staff with an off-kilter sense of humor and when it leaks out in little scenes the rest of the show becomes so much more insouciant and daring, like a man in a flawless black suit with neon pink socks.

If you were to put a gun to my head (why, why are you doing this to me?) and demand that I nitpick something... I did sort of figure out who the killer was immediately, when Holmes pointed out the giant painting of him and called out the office as a tower of ego.

However the idea that he suffered from the same CAA he was dosing New York’s wealthiest with was a pleasing surprise. (CAA, I looked up, is an actual thing so thanks for the pathology lesson, TV! You continue to be the spackle in the yawning holes of my liberal arts education.) And, credit where credit is due, for once they really seemed to make an honest attempt to dot the landscape with possibilities. Was the murder the work of the hardened sociopath Natasha was studying, or the hardened sociopath she was engaged to?

It stretches belief that a woman who dedicated her entire life to classifying sociopaths wouldn’t recognize all the traits in the man she loved, but then maybe there’s an element of subconscious attraction there, like the way people who study sharks ultimately end up in love with a shark. It’s really sad when it happens. Ask Sea World lab techs about the number of times they’ve found a torn-off hand clutching a bunch of flowers stuck in the aquarium drain. Embarrassing.

But let me go back to stuff I loved, because there’s a lot to call out: the seven-screen Skype session that Sherlock immediately cut off when an aged chemical biology professor started talking, his meddlesome and simultaneous texts to Gregson and Belle during their interrogation of a suspect, his screamed Benjamin Franklin quote. I also loved the weird little ancillary characters this week. The billionaire with CAA was surprisingly well played for a bit player and his stolid driver in the full getup was sort of a delightful tip of the hat to Sherlock’s Victoriana heritage.

And the present of a single bee!!! Sort of hilarious. What a menacing gift to get if you don’t breed them. I might wrap up a box with a tape player going of a single “bzzzzz” for Christmas.

The one ongoing mental block I have with Elementary is... I still long to see a smaller locked-room mystery on this show presented in a way where we, as viewers, could plausibly arrive at a solution on our own. And I’ve yet to see the show really do that and I wish it would.

The thing is, such things are actually very hard to write, especially for TV versus prose, where you can embed clues in detailed description without necessarily drawing attention to them. It’s sort of like I’m going into a really excellent pizza restaurant and asking for turtle soup. But since they’ve dialed in the character dynamics so perfectly—I love Watson and Sherlock’s relationship so much—I’m dying to see them solve a closed-door mystery in a way where I could deduce in my hollering-over-a-wine-glass fashion alongside them.

QUESTIONS:

1. Did you love Watson and Sherlock this episode?

2. What kind of mystery do you want to see next?

3. What gift would you ask for from a billionaire?

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I agree. This was the first episode that I enjoyed completely and didn't have any complaints about.
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I don't care what people say, I think this series is better than BBC's Sherlock. Elementary is deeper on a character level, and it's written better. Moffat's sexist and subtly anti-American portrayal of Irene Adler was extremely annoying for me, and sort of broke that series for me.

(Adler is supposed to be AMERICAN... don't you think people would get upset if Holmes wasn't portrayed as English? Instead, Moffat made American feds into mafia-style goons, Adler into an Englishwoman, and of course he completely neutered her intellectual prowess by ultimately making her a damsel in distress that just exploits people sexually, and giving all credit for her moments of outwitting Sherlock to Moriarty's advice.

...

/rant)
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apparently I missed the only good episode of this series.
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Great review Lily! Love your liberal arts comment, I spit out my coffee when I read that! HAHAHA!
1. Yes, I love them in every episode. :)
2. Not sure, but I would love to see Sherlock having to interact with a group of children, sort of like those Verizon commercials where the little kids explain why more is better.
3. Friendship and respect, but I would ask that of anyone :)
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Oops! Those commercials are for AT&T. My mistake. Also I would love to see Sherlock upstaged by a cute little kid who's smarter than him. :)
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1. I loved their interaction. And I look forward to hearing other crime solving tips. You never know when you'll need one.

2. Like others, I'd like to see more mysteries-without-murder.

3. From a billionaire, I'd like to a sizable donation for the education of the poor in the third world (especially women). If s/he can bring on the messiah, so much the better.
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A co-worker of mine is a big fan of the original British series "Elementary" is based on. When he found out "Sherlock" was being remade for American television he was furious. He asked me how good could it possibly be. If he saw "Possibility Two" he would have his answer. As Lilly pointed out this is a truly great episode. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are just plain terrific. Liu shined in this episode. I loved seeing her solve the mystery of the dry cleaner. "Elementary" just keep getting better every episode. I hope that trend continues for a long time.
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I think the difference is that "Sherlock" is a plot driven remake that focusses on the cases, while "Elementary" is a character-driven remake that focusses on the relationship between a unique Watson and the same old Holmes. Neither show is exactly Arthur Conan Doyle material, but they thrive in their own respective areas.
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i liked that what dry-cleaning lady said wasn't translated, i liked to know how many peaple did understand her :P
what do you think whant language was that??
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Polish
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And better that you didn't understand. Believe me.
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did understand it and it was hilarious, although few mistakes has been made
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1. No, I found their interactions awkward and forced.
2. A kids' mystery, like you'd read in an Encyclopedia Brown book.
3. His daughter's hand in marriage.
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This show is finally living up to it's potential as Sherlock and Watson find their footing in the reassignment of their roles from druggie/sponsor to Jedi/Padawan. I would like to see some focus on psychological mysteries ala Poirot, I would love a gift of a New York brownstone apartment. That thing rocks.
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Their dynamic is changing, assigning Watson duties (crime solving and dry cleaning) kind of puts the shoe on the other foot since we're used to Watson bossing Sherlock to go to support meetings. I didn't miss any addiction speak, so that was good, but when they opened the door together for the chauffeur's bee gift, I couldn't decide in that moment if they were lovers or brother and sister. Hm, either way they're getting more comfortable with each other.
I like the idea of a single room murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, also a good Halloween spoof would be in costume! Maybe a modern twist could be a health risk/exposure to Sars or something so they would be sequestered. Also, I'm hoping for more Moriarty drama before this season is out.
I dunno, what would the billionaire want in return? Wow, that sounds so indecent proposal... erm, kill all the lobbyists in Washington? Make Congress pay for any budget overages out of their paychecks? Plz, thx!
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#3
A condo on the beach
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Question 2:
I would like to see something more on Moriarty or some other villain. So far 17 episodes have gone by (time flies!), and we've only seen one episode mentioning Moriarty.
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The absolute best "locked room mystery" has to be Agatha Cristie's "Cards on the Table". One room. Six suspects (I think it was 6). Each one had motive, skills and opportunity. No fingerprints, no witnesses. Just observation and psychology.
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Totally with you, Lily! It's like with the episode "M" (excepting "Red Team, Blue Team", but maybe that one was shown out of order, you know how production vs. airing order can get messed with) they completely turned a corner and just got AWESOME. I loved the relationship between the two of them this episode. Absolutely perfect. And I would totally watch a dry cleaner spin-off. Good for Watson for figuring that out. And the bee!!! Just a perfect, weird, spot-on gift for Sherlock and the exact way to win him over to your side. I also like that he initially refused it because he "wasn't acting in good faith". But here again, the case didn't (initially) revolve around a murder. It revolved around a future murder. That's the sort of thing they can do on "Elementary" that most other cop shows can't do. Love it.
-Oh, I loved them so much it's maybe a bit embarrassing. And the timidity of Watson was expertly done by Lucy Liu.
-I want to see Sherlock investigating something incredibly pointless, like a neighbourhood kid's bicycle getting stolen or something like that, because it's an interesting case. Of course that would eventually lead to something bigger, but that would allow the quirky writing staff, to which you've alluded a number of times Lily, a chance for some great and awesome jokes/situations.
-I'm a trumpet player, and I would ask for a complete set of musical instruments, from a period precise cornetto and baroque trumpet to everything from a Bb - Eb trumpet, a piccolo trumpet, and of course a harpsichord and a grand piano just to complete the set. But hey, a nice house wouldn't hurt either.
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This show is light years ahead of where they were at the beginning of the season. Yes, I love where Sherlock and Watson are now and Lucy Liu continues to kill it! Good stuff!
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1. Yes.

2. I'd like to see a Poirot-like mystery. Just a simple but clever murder mystery with five suspects who all have suspicion placed on them, but this is done in such a way so that the killer ends up surprising you. And Miller's Sherlock would do an excellent job with one of those long speeches at the end, where the detective stands in front of the suspects and walks everyone through how the murder was done and who the murderer is.

3. Probably a clone of myself. I've always wanted to have a twin, and this is the closest I'd be able to get.
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Finally the show is at a place where Watson and Sherlock's relationship is perfect
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The interaction between JLM and LL is just spot on. They play off each other so well. I so agree it's the minor details that make the show.

It doesn't matter if the mystery of the week is kind of meh because the actors make it for it. I pretty much expected what's his name was evil when they showed that big brother propaganda I AM YOUR LEADER video.
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did anyone notice while they were in the car, the outside was sometimes going in the wrong direction? it was clearly a f up, and im shocked they missed it and did not correct it, sometimes when the cam was on Sherlock, the car was going backwards.....
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Good catch, Patrickflick3! My wife and I caught it, too.
First of three total f ups I caught, watching it tonight.
Later, during interrogation, Gregson refers to Cordero as Bobby, once.
Then, as Holmes is telling Watson of his theory that there are multiple cases of CAA, he states that Greta Dunwoody was diagnosed with "Cerebral amyloid angiopathy", not "Congenital".
Don't the (otherwise excellent!) writers proofread their scripts?
Or does nobody notice when an actor bobbles the line?!?
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wow that is pretty bad, no i did not notice that one, one does not expect a show like this to eff up so bad like that, or perhaps they wanted to see if we would catch it, someone should email them and tell them how bad they effed up
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no because Sherlock and Watson were sitting in the oppisite direction so the car was not going backwards
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Yes, it was. The driver was sitting BEHIND Holmes and Watson. In some shots it looks like they are driving backwards because the car was moving in the direction they were facing.
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yay glad it wasnt my wife and i, i just could not believe they effed up that big
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this is to wiseguy,
seriously? would you rather me say something vulgar? and really, i could say to you, could you possibly wright a comment without putting someone down like a 12 year old? did you have nothing better to do? at least the people who have commented here talked about the subject and not putting someone down, that's just lame dude really.
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Can you possibly write a comment without saying "effed" like a 12-year old?
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What I have been missing in this puzzle solving drama was to have some of the hint for us viewers to keep guessing (working) who the real bad guy is or how to link crime and the criminal through given/shown puzzle pieces. I think almost in all episode, they come up with something that wasn't clearly show to us viewers and wrap the case up.

This episode was different because it kept us viewers with them almost the whole time. That's what I like most about this episode.

For the Bee, I thought it was a Queen Bee.
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Only problem I had - the laundry woman terrible, *Terrible*, Polish. It was bad both in terms of grammar and phonetics. In conjunction with the fact that the Polish woman was also a money launderer, as a Pole, I found the whole picture offensive. If she at least spoke good Polish! Aghr! It was difficult to hear my beautiful mother tongue so butchered. --'
Otherwise, loved ever other aspect of the episode.
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I am not agree with You, as a Pole myself, after many years in the US. My Polish has become accented too. Sorry I'm not Brzezinski.
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Poor Crabtree.
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Polish accent of the lady at dry cleaners was rather dreadful, grammar was quite imperfect too. Still it was fun to hear one's native speech out of a sudden and in the first moment I thought I overheard that :D
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I was super-distracted from how awkward Joan was in this episode, but it made me enjoy it that much more. A decent episode - and I totally agree. We need a closed-room episode.
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Well, watching this weeks ep actually cheered me up a little. I loved how Sherlock as making Watson deduce things on the spot. It cracked me up. Now to answer Lily's review questions.

1. Did you love Watson and Sherlock this episode?

Yes. Of course I did. It's why I watch this show. LOL! Although I think Sherlock got the easy end of the deal for the chores. Unless he's a cook in his spare time or something, because they never seem to eat in that house. LOL!

2. What kind of mystery do you want to see next?

I'd like to see a modern retake on the story about the hat band (that turned out to be a snake) from the OLD SCHOOL Sherlock Holmes. It was a short story, but it was epic. It's what got me to read Sherlock Holmes when I was a school kid. (nods)

3. What gift would you ask for from a billionaire?

Three houses. One in England (cos most of my family live here), one in New Jersey (cos it's close enough to New York for me to shop like crazy) and one in Cyprus (cos that's where my family originates from) all built to my specifications. So I'd have three of the same house in three separate locations so I could travel when I wanted to. (nods) Might sound weird, but hey, if you have a roof over your head you can find cash for almost anything else. (nods again)
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I'm glad that I'm not geneticist or anyone who knows anything about that subject. I didn't want to nuance the science in the episode. I absolutely found the mystery really interesting.

I still find it weird that Watson is technically training to be a detective under Sherlock Holmes. Its not like a normal apprenticeship. But it is fun to see the dynamic between the two.

I want to see a mystery that does not involve murder. So far, Sherlock Holmes in this show can be mistaken as an exclusively homicide detective. Even though cases when companies hire Sherlock are often murder cases as well.

Even if I asked a gift from a billionaire, that doesn't mean he or she will give it to me. You know them money types, they are selfish and greedy.
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"1. Did you love Watson and Sherlock this episode? "

In a word: Yes. They are happier, better and healthier together.

It's like a honeymoon stage in which the characters are enjoying their annoying habits, toying around each other's chores and, generally, being pleased with the simple joy of being together. Here's to a couple of weeks more of this, they have earned it.
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Anybody else notice that when they were driving in the limo they were actually going in the wrong direction? The driver was sitting behind Holmes and Watson but you can see the city outside moving past them as if they were driving backwards. For some reason it really cracked me up...
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haha yes I was reading through the comments just to see if anyone else picked up on that. It was blowing my mind
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Staff
1. Yes.

2. A non-murder related one. I was excited both by Dennis Boutsikaris presence (totally wasted) and the idea a poisoning case that hadn't claimed a victim yet, but would eventually. Sort of like with the bank vault episode, I was hoping for this to be a murder-free episode that offered a different sort of BIG MYSTERY (Joan gets the smaller, non-murder mysteries, and that's fine...) that needed to be unraveled. Instead we have a fair number of corpses again, including the two unrelated ones from the opening, and it just seemed excessive this week... I've no doubt these sorts of scripts would be harder to break, but I'll hold out hope all the same.

3. Penguin.
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Agreed on the wasting of the talented Boutsikaris. He even got the "and" credit and still had a largely throwaway role.
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I KNOW. Drove me crazy! I love Boutsikaris, and he gets two scenes?! I know the guy probably has a play going, but still! He's a TV show-filmed-in-New York institution! You give that some guy something meaty to do.
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Also: Jonathan Creek for your locked room mystery needs. Sure, touch of stage magic involved, but very solid stuff. More concerned with "how" than "who" and "why"
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I agree that Elementary should do a puzzle mystery like Jonathan Creek does so well. Creek came up with some brilliant but unexpected solutions. And speaking of that show, what if Alan Davies ended up playing Moriarty on Elementary? That would be so incredibly bizarre and amazing.
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...Dude. You just blew my mind.
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Oh my god I love this show so much right now! It's genuinely awesome, Holmes and Watson are awesome. Just all awesomesauce basically...
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