Elementary "The Deductionist" Review: An MVP Episode

Elementary S01E14: "The Deductionist"

Last night’s Elementary was blessed with a golden opportunity: Airing after the Super Bowl gave the show basically an opportunity at a second premiere, such was the number of new viewers who would be exposed to it. And to give Elementary full credit, its cold open made the absolute most of the opportunity, with a lowest-common-denominator hook, custom-made to snare football fans: namely, two women in bikinis shimmying around Sherlock.

True, it’s not for nothing that Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day of the year in incidences of both sex trafficking and domestic abuse, but doom and gloom aside, introducing the violent mystery the show had in store with a fluffy whipped-cream garnish of pure sex appeal was a brilliant way to go, and the writers justified it with a cute-enough button (Sherlock captured the lap-dancing robbers that had been arousing and bamboozling NYC!). From there the episode went into one of Elementary's cooler and most terrifying mysteries: A convict taken out of jail to donate his kidney to his sister hops off the table in the O.R., absolutely slaughters his team of surgeons, and escapes onto the streets.

I have seen such a deplorable smorgasboard of gratuitous cinematic violence, everything from The Master of the Flying Guillotine to Hobo With a Shotgun, and yet Innes a.k.a. "The Peeler" rising up from the operating table in nothing but a paper gown and killing everyone in the room still stood out as genuinely unnerving. I guess I’ve never seen someone in scrubs get stabbed; I just compartmentalize the genres of "medical drama" and "cops-fighting-villains," so the overlap felt weirdly scary and fresh and the way it was filmed and edited made it exponentially creepier. Violence for the sake of violence on TV isn’t cool bros, but if you’re going to throw in a violent bit to make your audience terrified of your villain, this will do the damn trick.

So then the Peeler was out and about terrorizing New York in every conceivable way, an FBI profiler showed up to figure out where he would go now that he was off his chain. Sherlock seemed tres awkward around her and finally screamed at Watson apropos of nothing, "IF YOU’RE ASKING IF WE HAD SEX, YES, OBVIOUSLY!" which was one of the more charming ways to use a character’s social weirdness to cut to the heart of the matter. (Another line I genuinely loved, when Watson told him that thanks to his addiction, he had made a friend and then had to clarify "Me. I meant me." Awww you guys.) Yes, the profiler had knocked Sherlock's boots and then spilled his secrets to the world, and Sherlock was still a little tender about it, so this was something he and the Peeler had in common. Neither of them liked being "figured out" by an uppity blonde in the FBI whose profiles didn't so much "profile" as "talk a lot of shit." In fact, she had talked so much shit on Innes and his upbringing that his parents basically died of shame. Shame was the real villain here, truth be told.

Of course, the giant gaping hole in the logic is that if Innes gave two shits about his parents' feelings, he never would have gone about killing and peeling people in the first place—and also, umm, 100 percent of serial murderers were abused in some way by their parents. (All killers no, but serial murderers, the ones who make snuggies out of their victims' skin and so forth, they generally can relate to Carrie.)

Whatever, I'll allow it, it was still scary enough and sort of plausible enough, even when they got to the apartment of the sister whose kidney was ruined and they found her whole house stocked with foods that ruin your kidneys (cheeseballs and licorice, my two faves!!!) so they realized she was complicit in the Peeler's scheme, and that was a stretch, but I went with it and I enjoyed the ride. It helped that the actress playing the sister was absolutely convincing at being both sick and crazy.

Beautifully balancing this ultra-violent psychological thriller case was this weird subplot with Watson’s apartment. As soon as I heard she had been subletting her apartment I said aloud to noboody, "Girl tell me you did not all a subletter loose in your house." I don't like to generalize, but subletters are shady. I’ve seen a subletter leave a pot of nipple paint out on the bathroom counter for all the world to see and I've had a subletter tell me to my face that three girls—and one of whom was his girlfriend—had died in his arms. I'm not kidding! And this was after he had ASKED ME OUT. You are really shouting out to the universe "Chaos Theory, show me what you got!" and throwing the door of your house wide open when you sublet, is all I'm saying.

Anyway, the fact that this show owned that and then turned it into this recurring weird visual joke—especially when they showed clips of that porn—was so weirdly funny and tangential and brilliant. I love that Elementary took a little leap there and injected some off-kilter humor that way, bravo. It balanced the grisliness of the Peeler somewhat.

But the final confrontation between Sherlock and the Peeler and the gun and the handcuffs— honestly, I didn't get it. I mean, I understood the words and the logic, but it seemed that by creating that situation Sherlock was proving her profile of himself true, not making any points about Innes. That Sherlock would self-destructively put himself and a gun across from a serial killer said more about him than who Innes was, no matter what he chose (gun or cuffs, and ultimately I'd say it's braver to take the cuffs and face down a confession than kill someone else in a man-to-man confrontation). I’d love a commenter’s take on this exchange and what it meant for both of them.

So yes, a weird and wonderful episode. If this had been first experience with Elementary I’d tune in next week, so, Super Bowl opportunity: well won!


QUESTIONS:

1. On a scale of 1-10, how believable is it that a law-abiding woman would ruin her kidneys to revenge her parents?

2. Have you ever had an experience with a shady subletter?

3. What exactly was Sherlock offering with the gun and the handcuffs?

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Well, if I'm honest, I liked this episode. The whole sub letting plot just cracked me up. But to answer Lily's review questions...

1. On a scale of 1-10, how believable is it that a law-abiding woman would ruin her kidneys to revenge her parents?

To be honest, it wasn't believable. I didn't like that part of the plot. I could almost understand if the woman took an opportunity to kill dis biatch when she came to visit her. I COULD believe that, just about. But I don't believe someone would purposefully ruin their kidneys just for that. After all, if she had any brain whatsoever, she'd realise her parents died from shame at one murdering child, who they were then accused of abusing, so why make the shame level doubled? So I'd give that a 0 to be honest. Apart from that, GO TEAM SHERLOCK GO!

2. Have you ever had an experience with a shady subletter?

Hmn... well I live in England. The basic rule of life is subletting. I'd rather sublet to family. But actually this plot was more believable than Innes' sister ruining her kidneys. Landlords often do crap like that to get their rent controlled tenant out of the apartment so they can charge a freaking fortune. In fact, my family has been hassled several times to move out of our home because of the location we live in, and the fact that they can't raise the rent. However we tell them to get bent. We live near bus stops, train and tube stations, why would we leave that? Easy access to everything we could ever want. LOL! So I totally believe that the subletter would be stupid enough to film a porn movie in Watson's apartment, and that the Landlord would take full advantage of this. He might like Watson as a person, but money is money. Very believable.

3. What exactly was Sherlock offering with the gun and the handcuffs?

Sherlock knew Innes would go for the gun as soon as he made it clear the gun represented that Innes had changed. In fact, the gun represents his cowardice, because he doesn't want to go back to jail. It's not a risk if you know what someone is going to do. I would have been more surprised if Sherlock had said the same thing to Innes but offered the handcuffs in the place of change. Innes is inherently violent. The man will always chose a weapon over jail. So Sherlock was prepared for what Innes would do. As he was prepared, it was a calculated risk. You could say it was self destructive in a way, but as Sherlock said to Gregson when they finally arrested Innes, it might take years for Sherlock to figure out if his experiment worked. I don't think Sherlock was talking about Innes in that moment. I think he was talking about himself.
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Can someone explain to me how can Lucy Liu who is obviously Asian Chinese can have a English family name of "WATSON" ?

We have seen her whole family in one of the earlier episode. They were all Chinese so it is unlikely the mom married a Caucasian man. The brother look Chinese and her mum seems quite traditional. My guess is that the writers did not think of it when casting Lucy Liu. They just thought Lucy would be a good cast which I agree but I don't think they thought about the family name issue.
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Her father is white in the show.

Can't find the screen cap, but in the ep where the phone rings and it says "mom & dad," look at the picture. Her mom is a chinese woman, her father is a white man.
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Actually, I've seen it happen quite a lot. Many families emigrate to England and America, my assumption is that in America, they do the same sort of thing as they do here in the UK, which is when they're not very sure of how to spell or pronounce a name they change it. My grandmother emigrated to England from the Greek part of Cyprus, and when she was given English citizenship, she looked at her passport (as well as the passports of her other family members who came to England) and found that rather than giving them the surname Charaloumbos, which was their surname, they'd given them the surname Paraskeva, which was their father's first name. THAT was weird. Also, my friend who is Chinese by origin, had to change her first name to something English when her family emigrated to England, because her first name was too hard to pronounce. It sounds ridiculous, but Joan Watson being of Chinese origins is not the strangest thing I've ever heard.
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I have a friend who's filipino which has a family name "PARKER", and his whole family looks filipino. Just saying. haha
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"the #1 day of the year in incidences of both sex trafficking and domestic abuse"

This is not true and it never was true. This reviewer is parroting a myth.
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I don't know what it is with me and watching Sherlock smack the shite out of people with batons/sticks but it totally works. Maybe it's the delivery but when he first whacked M a few episodes ago and then with his stick thing on the Peeler, I fall a little more in love with JLL every episode. I should have expecting it was coming with the whole practice thing early on in the episode but I never do and I love how he gets himself into sketchy situations and then gets himself out all on his own.
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"The Deductionist" was a pleasant surprise after a very disappointing "The Red Team". This episode had a good, interesting plot (seriously, crazy serial killers are the best!). That's "Elementary" I like to watch.

1. I was very happy to see Kari Matchett (another great guest star after Lisa Edelstein - come on, writers give us Claire Danes next!) I guess, it was Joan's time to pose as FBI agent. I'm starting to think they have some kind of FBI fetish in CIA :) (I really can't wait for season 4 of "Covert Affairs")

2. Character development. I loved Joan's way of saying "FYI, we're friends". Awesome! Also Irene wasn't the only non-prostitute Sherlock slept with. I hope we will meet his other exes.

3. I loved the look of shock on strippers/robbers faces when Sherlock said that he usually solved more homicidal cases. It was like "we're robbing a police officer". Talk about epic fail.

4. I kind of expected the sister to be a complicit. After all, in one of episodes we had a killer who pretended to be a coma patient. Hospitals in "Elementary" are full of criminals. Need a suspect? Go to hospital.

5. Joan can add "contacts in the porn business" to her resume. I'm sure her flat will be famous now.

6. Where is Clyde?! Did Sherlock eat him? We should get at least one scene with Clyde every episode.

Question:

1. Crazy people are just crazy. There is no scale for them.

2. Nope, never.

3. Sherlock just wanted an excuse to beat the crap out of the serial killer.

Great review Lily, as always :)
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I doubt this will win over new viewers. I so hoped it would BUT the episode was weak weak weak! Which is shocking cause so far each episode before this was awesome. The case was....weak and not up to the usual high writing standard of this show. I pray they dont get to rue this missed opportunity come renewal time.
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I really liked how this episode was comparing deduction vs. profiling. I was totally rooting for Sherlock all the way. I can just imagine Sherlock butting heads with the guys from Criminal Minds.

Personally I didn't like the episode. The first ten minutes of it showed stripper dancing and a massacre. And this was the episode shown after the Superbowl? I'd be turned off if it was the first episode I've watched.

I actually like how Watson had her own little 'case' and had to deduct something even though it was very little. As much as I like Elementary, I don't think it will get any boost because the case wasn't really big or interesting enough.
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I thought it was one of elementary's weakest episodes. and even with kari matchett one of my least favorite. up there with the child abduction episode that I had a problem with for the same reason you did.
That opening scene was obviously thrown in there so that CBS could use it during super bowl commercial breaks to advertise the show. and I hate fake chests and there were three women with fake chests in the episode. really lame. also man I wish lucy would smile more, it's the difference between among the most attractive women in the world, and pretty attractive asian chick with anger issues.
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Here's my take on the 'Gun' or 'Cuff' question:

Admittedly, it would be much more cowardly to take cuff in that situation since it would mean that he definitely would be avoiding confrontation (which incidentally is told to him at that very time). But telling him to choose after clearly pointing out that choosing would predict whether you are a coward or not was not that stupid or self-destructing because this made the choice clear before he had even made it. As we had seen previous to that scene that everything that innes did was to discredit someone else's views of him (clear coward move btw). He did not care for his family (again proven by him asking his sister to destroy her life for his agenda) but in fact all he cared about was himself.

And why sherlock put himself in that situation is may be because he felt defeated by him when he predicted that innes would lay low and kill any available 'blonde' but it didn't happen. So, his superego kicked in and then he need to prove to himself that he is the superior being (a trait clearly defining his personality).

So, to me, all that talk about the profiler being right or wrong was just 'poppycock' and it didn't mean anything and certainly not what Sherlock was saying.

And thank you lily for this great review. I finally read one of your reviews in which you haven't disliked the episode (I don't read all you reviews, so may be its my fault).
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Great review!! Choked a few time...which is only a good thing when I'm reading or watching something funny...other times, not so much.
-It was a weird and wonderful episode and they did take full advantage of the post Bowl crowd. When it opened with half naked ladies dancing around a half naked Sherlock, I think I said something along the lines of "This guy is freakin awesome". I think I'm developing a crush on JLM. I know it's criticized a great deal but I'm loving the hell out of how he plays this role.
- It's been long established that I'm ship-challenged. I use the term ship to describe any dynamic between two characters that I love, whether it's platonic or romantic. So...what do we call Sherlock and Watson? Like, can I say bromance? Whatevs. Their humance is the bestest. I love how it's slowly but surely escalated over the episodes,a now they just genuinely care about each other and are friends. I loved how Joan told him that he had a friend, and clarified that it was her. That line made me laugh. Love their chemistry.
- Believability I'd say a -10. unless she's seriously, psychologically off her rocker, no person in their right mind would damage themselves to such a degree as to revenge her 'rents. C'mon now. There are other ways! See Emily Thorne's black book of Revenge.
-No. I have enough shady. I don't need more shady.
- Proving her wrong.
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Is anyone else disappointed that Sherlock didn't offer Innes the fuzzy handcuffs?
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Also, where was Clyde?
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WHOA I think it was @smithinjapan? but you were made a statement about how its smorgasbord, not smorgasboard,completely correct, and I was going to hit reply and the comment deleted so, my apologies!!!! For the record totally my bad on this and thanks for pointing it out.
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1. I'll give that an even "5." It's not believable for us regular people, but this is a woman whose brother is a serial killer, so it's plausible that insanity of some form or another runs in her family.

2. I've BEEN a subletter and I resent the implications that we're creepy. I was awesome, took great care of the place and took over the lease once it was up for the people I sublet from.

3. Here's what I read into the final scene. Sherlock was not proving the FBI lady's point, because I don't think he was being self-destructive. Clearly, he knew that if the Innes went for the gun he was more than capable of beating him down. And most iterations of Sherlock Holmes--Johnny Lee Miller's included--have been able brawlers not afraid to physically defend themselves. So I don't think that was a stretch. It's self-destruction due to drugs that he's afraid the FBI woman is right about. So he wanted to see if the woman could be wrong about Innes, because if so, she might also be wrong about him self-destructing with drugs again. What I need explained to me is: Where did Sherlock's beat-down stick come from? He held out both bare hands right before Innes made his choice, then all the sudden he whips out his stick from.......where? I don't even want to think about where he was hiding that in order for that part of the scene to be plausible.....
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To be fair I have also been a subletter although I am shady fulltime so...
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Actually, you got it - Paul_of_Dune. These types of errors are a huge problem for the series because it shows that the Sherlock Character isn't 'any more' observant than just a average individual. It would have better served HIS character-- the Watson & Sherlock 'relationship' AND the overall series for Sherlock to launch into a rant about 'cooking utensil' choices to Watson (since earlier in show he had suggested that she move in). The Writers/Producers/Directors need to use (ie: insert) 'seeming - continuity errors' to challenge the audience (ala: Ellery Queen) AND advance the individuals/partnerships of all the characters in Elementary. Your (Paul_of_Dune) seemingly dismissive attitude to different types of spatula, rather than how those choices reflected the personality of the 'owners', makes you a 'candy popping' viewer-- that just want to chew on junk -- rather than really enjoy a 'meal' and contemplate the taste of each 'bite' (and the thoughtfulness of it's assembly by a chef). Everyone has to be energized by 'upping their intellectual game' and be challenged, rather than be satisfied with being fed 'stupid' by 95% of 'ALL MEDIA products'.
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will this episode be rebroadcast? I set my DVR to record itat the assigned time slot but the superbowl ran long and it did not record.
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Sorry if I'm out of the loop, but since when did Elementary show on Sundays? Is this a new time slot, or was it just an after Super Bowl special? I remember now that I saw on Sunday that it would be on and the 'new' beside the title under "What to watch tonight", but forgot about it and missed it. Oh well.
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Super Bowl special
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Oops! Hit 'flag' instead of reply. My bad. Anyway, I thought so, but thanks for confirming.
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Nice catch. I was going to say the same thing. Easy enough mistake for those who don't know the etymology, but there you go.
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The gun and the handcuffs: If I remember the main profiler prediction about Sherlock was that he'd meet a gruesome end, and her big prediction about the Peeler was that he'd cave to direct confrontation by a peer. Which, to me, made the gun and the handcuffs a paradox. If the bad guy took the gun he'd disprove the prediction about himself, but potentially prove her prediction about Sherlock (if he had shot Sherlock). If the killer took the cuffs he'd be proving her prediction about him, but the ultimate risk Sherlock was taking (by giving a known killer a gun) wouldn't lead him to the gruesome end she predicted, so that'd be disproven.

Did Sherlock ever show any grief that the profiler woman he slept with was murdered? Did I miss that or did he just genuinely not give a damn?

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She survived the stabbing. They say so at the end. Though I could honestly believe that he would be that cold.
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Sherlock never said the gun was loaded.
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I'd say it's not too hard to believe what his sister did. She had no one else besides her brother, and I bet being he sister of The Peeler might make it a little difficult to start a family of her own.
Also while the whole thing about his parents not actually abusing him does seem a bit off especially because he was a more gruesome serial killer I could still believe it. I mean I don't think they went into detail on why he had a thing for blonde women. Maybe he was abused by someone else in the family or friend of the family, or result from some kind heartbreak crap as an adolescent.
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Lily, what happened to your Scandal reviews? It has been so good lately, we Scandal fans needs your input.
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she never responds to that question.
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How prophetic that in The Deductionist would reference 'continuity problems' in 'porn movie' and the episode itself had a continuity error. This is the problem I have with this series! Even Sherlock said that "The continuity problems, in the porn movie, made it almost painful to watch." I feel exactly the same way about Elementary. So many continuity errors throughout the series, makes me wonder if the Writers/Producers/Directors are testing the audience to see if we catch them. Anyway, the error in Deductionist has to do with the spatula. Anyone else know why this is a problem?!!?? Reply if you think you know and when you can't figure it out, I can provide the answer.
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I personally didn't notice anything, but please don't tell me that it is because the one in the video was a silicone spatula for teflon pans while Sherlock's gift was a steel BBQ spatula...
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Actually, you got it - Paul_of_Dune. These types of errors are a huge problem for the series because it shows that the Sherlock Character isn't 'any more' observant than just a average individual. It would have better served HIS character-- the Watson & Sherlock 'relationship' AND the overall series for Sherlock to launch into a rant about 'cooking utensil' choices to Watson (since earlier in show he had suggested that she move in). The Writers/Producers/Directors need to use (ie: insert) 'seeming - continuity errors' to challenge the audience (ala: Ellery Queen) AND advance the individuals/partnerships of all the characters in Elementary. Your (Paul_of_Dune) seemingly dismissive attitude to different types of spatula, rather than how those choices reflected the personality of the 'owners', makes you a 'candy popping' viewer-- that just want to chew on junk -- rather than really enjoy a 'meal' and contemplate the taste of each 'bite' (and the thoughtfulness of it's assembly by a chef). Everyone has to be energized by 'upping their intellectual game' and be challenged, rather than be satisfied with being fed 'stupid' by 95% of 'ALL MEDIA products'.
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Congratulations, in a 300 word response you found one word spelled incorrectly and jumped on it like a shark. I can assure you that my ego is fully intact and at no risk of bruising. Perhaps I am wrong about Sherlock's use of deductive reasoning, but unless you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle reincarnate, I highly doubt you have any more insight into the intentions of Sherlock Holmes than I do.

Then you went ahead and completely destroyed your own argument. You called my reasoning that the spatula could be a real world mistake "lazy", but a continuity error IS a real world mistake. That is the whole point of your argument you dimwitted addle-pate. You took so much time trying to lump the rest of society below yourself that you forget about your own continuity error. As for me, I will continue to "pop candy" and enjoy this show thoroughly. Enjoy your sad life of examining every minutiae of television.

P.S. Perhaps if I was a Christian I'd be more familiar with "thou". No excuse really. Simply human error. Just like every mistake, in every show we watch. Get over yourself.
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Actually, my "dismissive" attitude was present because I have thought into the reasoning for why the spatula was a different one, and didn't just pass it off nonchalantly. Your deduction that my answer makes me a "candy popping" viewer is quite premature and insulting, and I will take issue with it.

The reason I chose to submit my answer dismissively was to ascertain whether my assessment matched yours before over extending myself; Something I plan to do now.

Yes, you could take this small issue and turn it into a reason not to watch and enjoy the show. That is your personal choice, and I cannot stop you from doing this. However, I choose to accept this "mistake" (if it is one) as a small sacrifice for an otherwise wholly enjoyable hour of entertainment.

I will first examine this spatula controversy in the real world. In order to have the difference in spatula, there would have either been a lack of attention given to the props, or, more likely, a specific choice made by someone on set to use a different type of spatula for a reason. Otherwise it would have been easier to take the same prop spatula, stick a ribbon on it, and avoid pretentious assholes from blowing up over a small continuity error.

Now, if you accept that this was a conscious decision (something I know you won't even attempt to consider), then why would they do this? In every representation of Sherlock Holmes that I am familiar with, 100% of his brain power is dedicated to deduction that would help him solve crimes. He as little, or no, interest in cooking, cleaning or another other domestic issue unless it is pertinent to his deduction, in which case he would research the issue. Or could it be that, for as much of a nice gesture as it was to give her a spatula, that it just didn't matter? Give us all a break and get off your high horse with your holier than though attitude and just stop watching the show if you don't like it.
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Paul, so wrong about Sherlock using 100% of his deductive power to solve crimes. That isn't what Sherlock is about. He is an observer of people/items/character which leads him to deductive reasoning about their lives, activities and what they are thinking (He likes to solve mysteries or puzzles, whether or not they are crimes isn't of concern to him). It is only a bonus to the 'activity of his mind', that his observation/deductive reasoning can be used to solve crimes. Your assertion that the spatula was 'just a real world mistake' is lazy thinking (or not thinking at all) and confirms that you are indeed a 'candy popper'. You jab at me because I tell the truth. Elementary could be better than 'just OK' and could rise to a level of 'fantastic viewing', but for the lack of care regarding simple production errors!? This series could have been 'great', but is headed for the 'clearance bin' because Production/Writing doesn't care about rising above the lowest, simple-minded viewer. Enjoy this 'bubble gum' series until your jaw hurts. (By the way, I think you wanted to use the word "thou" rather than "though", but you stumbled over your lack of English knowledge. Your attempt to be 'high brow' finds you tripping over your brain. Hope your bruised ego heals quickly.)
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This what I posted on review 'comments' for Elementary yesterday.-- Really like the well thought out story lines, but all the 'smarts' are ruined by simple (elementary) 'continuity' errors. This series could really be appreciated, if it would take the time to eliminate obvious errors in editing. Two quick examples (but loads in entire series) -- Leviathan -- Sherlock (hands) are shown playing piano -- NO GLOVES (and at a crime scene), but when he gets up from piano -- SUDDENLY Wearing Gloves ???!!!! Latest -- Red Team -- opening scene and the 'abracadabra' with milk bottle between Sherlock 'omelet' and Watson coffee cup. Stop the mistakes and let viewers 'really' enjoy the show !!!!
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It's a good point that in trying to attract the kind of audience who loves detail and deduction and noticing a scene, its kind of on them to make sure they aren't making glaring continuity flaws.
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Thank you. Most others are attacking me about being 'anal' with regards to details, but THIS IS WHAT THE WHOLE SERIES IS ABOUT ! Attention to details. I can't believe the writers/producers are so careful about plot details/threads, but allow continuity errors in just about every episode. These 'errors' destroy everything they are trying to build up with regards to the characters and relationships between all of them. So much potential that is going to be lost. Anyway, thanks again for understanding my 'error' concerns.
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I loved that they used the song "Hand of Doom" by Black Sabbath during the scene where Innes was getting out of the van and entering the hospital.
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I think that it is entirely plausible that the sister ruined her kidney's to avenge her parents. From what I gather, the parents were good and had no part in their son turning into a killer. Then here comes a book of lies which they cannot disprove and it ruins what little they had left. Vengence can make one do crazy things, even to themselves. At that point she did not care that she was likely going to die as long as she got her revenge.

As for the confrontation with Shelock and Innes, both had been profiled by that woman, Sherlock feared that she was right and that he was headed for self destruction. He had also read Innes's profile and so he gave the killer the choice. If he chose the gun, it meant that he was not a coward like the profiler said. And if the profiler was wrong about Innes, maybe she was wrong about Sherlock. Sherlock needed to know for his own peace of mind.
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Lily Sparks, do you not review Scandal anymore? :(
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I ended up watching this episode because I came in on it during the killer's line about seeing fear in someone's eyes for the first time in 10 years, so I backtracked to the beginning (thanks DVR for catching 30 minutes of HD programming).

Lily, as a woman, shouldn't you recognize the difference between ladies' underwear and swimwear? Those weren't bikinis, bikinis these days are smaller.

The cold open was cute, stupid perhaps and well beneath Holmes' purview, but at least it was going for something. The stuff with the killer delivered to the hospital was somewhat compelling, then the cop uncuffed him and didn't just chain his murderer wrists to the SIDE of the gurney, and the eyerolls started to hurt my face. Holy crap was that DUMB DUMB DUMB writing, and this is why I stopped watching the show regularly, the majority of the writing is so dumb it makes everybody around it dumber just to support the stupidity of its internal logic. It was hard enough to buy that they'd not have looked into the possibility that this was a setup on the sister's part.

Then comes Kari Matchett, fresh off of Covert Affairs where she's smart and strong-willed, here she's sorta average in both areas and bumbles through being right, as it turns out, but that's forgivable here because EVERY character does - including Watson with that stupid "continuity error" answer, like the producer guy wouldn't have just TOLD her the super was there during filming?!? And don't get me started on Holmes - who now has knowledge of astronomy (something the original wouldn't have cared a lick about) and uses essentially no information to somehow profile, incorrectly, a killer.

The ending though is where you and I differ most. Holmes was not putting himself in danger as much as it seemed, he was testing his views of human nature and especially the profiler's premonitions of him in a semi-controlled state, this felt fairly authentic to me. Killers like this seem to kill because they strive for total control over their victims, in Holmes' final confrontation there's no control of the situation. His argument to the killer argued the guy would not put himself in risk - perhaps because he would prefer to continue making his voice heard from prison - rather than risk getting killed in a fight. And Holmes did take precautions, he wasn't being self-destructive (more than usual) by bringing a concealed cudgel he was an expert with - that seemed fairly traditional Holmesian to me, who his cane for similar use in the stories. Plus, we don't really know if Holmes hadn't removed the bullets or firing pin from the gun, and perhaps he was counting on close-quarters to give him an edge over a handgun-wielding enemy (which, in fact, is what happened I suppose).

Still, this was another CSI meets House knockoff episode, and there was nowhere near enough Holmes & Watson interaction either, so thanks for the visit, have a nice life, Elementary.

As to your questions:
- My opinion was that a normal person would have that be a 0 out of 10 possibility, but maybe crazy runs in their family, and that'd bring it to a 2/10.

- I've intentionally avoided subletting for just such reasons as you describe, although I did once end up with a free couch that was used in porn.
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Did anyone notice that chris evans was the actor in the porn film clips?
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I did enjoy this episode quite a bit, though like you, Lily, I did notice it was a bit weird and different from other Elementary episodes. A major reason for this is that the identity of the killer was known from the beginning of the episode; which, as far as I can remember, has only happened once before in "M." Usually each episode begins with either some masked, or otherwise hidden, killer killing someone, or with the aftermath of a murder or crime. Then Sherlock and company spend the rest of the episode figuring out whodunit, as well as whattheydun, and whytheydun. But for the most part, this episode was a manhunt, plain and simple.

For me, though, one of the most notable departures from the normal episode mold was that there was no final twist or reveal for the main case. Sure, there was the bit where it turned out that the killer's sister was actually in on it, and had ruined her own kidneys so that she could kill the FBI profiler, but that happened halfway through the episode. Normally there is a final twist (usually having to do with the identity of the killer, or they were were able to do what they did) that happens in the last fourth of the episode. This allows Sherlock to have one final face to face with his adversary for the week and show how clever he is. For instance, in last week's case the final twist was not only the identity of the killer, but that he wasn't going to sell the secret plan to a foreign government, but instead was killing everyone off (including himself) so that the secret would never get out. Even in "M," in which I've stated we knew the identity of the killer from the beginning, there was the twist that he wasn't behind everything, and that he didn't kill Irene.

However, in this episode the final reveal, of sorts, had to do with Watson and her apartment. It turned out that her landlord knew about the porn, had apparently been present during some of the filming, and had used this as an excuse to kick Watson and the subletter out (though why the subletter went along with being kicked out I don't know, since he knew that the landlord was present during the filming) so that he could rent out the apartment at market value. While this was a rather fun little reveal, that lead to a great interaction between Watson and the landlord, it had nothing to do with Sherlock. He, on the other hand, spent a twistless showdown with the killer, during which he put on a little experiment. And while this experiment allowed for a nice moment between the two of them, it didn't really allow Sherlock to show off his deductive abilities. I though there was going to be something about the killer's mother abusing him, which Sherlock would use to get inside his head. But instead he just used a large stick, which I suppose was just as effective, if not more so.

Regardless of the lack of a final twist, I still enjoyed this episode immensely. It's good to see that a show can venture outside of its usual mold from time to time, and it was interesting to see Sherlock predict what a known killer would do next, which he rarely ever does. Usually he analyzes physical crime scenes and clues to discover the identity of a killer, rather than analyzing the mind of a known killer. And while I would prefer to see Sherlock use his intellect to defeat his opponents, rather than his ability to hit them with hard objects, his little experiment in this episode was still pretty interesting. Anyway, onto the questions.

1. I'd say a 6. While it's still highly unlikely that that would ever happen, there are two factors that make it kind-of possible. The first is that both law-abiding sister and serial-killer brother had a common enemy in the FBI profiler, who they both blamed for their parent's death. I could see someone sacrificing their own life to avenge both their parents, regardless of what twisted logic they use. The second is that she was apparently weak-minded, and easily manipulated. While this type of thing is an excuse that shows often throw out to quickly explain why characters do really stupid, weird, crazy, and self-destructive things, I can sort of see it working in this case. Growing up together, the "Peeler" would know what buttons to push in order to manipulate his sister, especially is she was easier to manipulate than most people. And since it at least seemed like they were kind of the only family they had left, she would still feel a very strong connection and loyalty to her brother, enough though he is a serial killer. Still though, damaging your kidneys on the off chance of killing someone from a hospital bed is a bit of s stretch, which is why I think this is still only slightly on the believable side.

2. No. I have never sublet in my life, and after watching this episode I never will.

3. Now, if I were the killer, I would find this situation a bit weird. On the face of it, I can see what Sherlock is saying about the gun and the handcuffs. However, I would have put a knife there instead of a gun, because using a gun against an unarmed opponent is arguably cowardly in the first place. Also on the subject of the gun, if I were the killer I would have no way of knowing it was loaded, and that it was in fact loaded with real bullets and not blanks. And while Sherlock did his whole bit where he presented the two options for him to choose from, there still is the option of running out the door. They weren't interrupted by the police until after they had their little scuffle, well, more of a one-sided beating than anything, and it wasn't like at the beginning of the episode where the police were hiding in the closet. So if he had just turned around and run, he just might have gotten away. So if I were the killer I probably would have done that.

But just looking at the choice between the handcuffs and the gun, I agree with Lily that the cuffs are actually the braver choice, and that the gun is the cowards way out. I will disagree about this being a self-destructive move on Sherlock's part, though, since he did have his large stick handy, ensuring that no harm would come to him. But going back to the choice between the handcuffs and the gun, I think either way you look at it its a bad choice to give someone if you're trying to assess if they're brave or cowardly. The handcuffs could be seen as being brave, since you're owning up to your actions and willing to face down what people throw at you. But on the other hand, it can be seen as cowardly because you're giving up. You're letting yourself be caught so that you'll go back to jail and not have to deal with running from the authorities anymore. Taking the gun could also be cowardly or brave for similar reasons. It can be seen as cowardly because you're planning on shooting an unarmed person, which is what you usually do, which, according to your profile, is an indication that you're a coward in the first place. It can also be brave, though, because you're showing that you won't give up, and that you'll go down fighting before turning yourself in. I guess that if running were not an option, the bravest thing to do would be to pick neither the gun nor he handcuffs, and instead challenge Sherlock to a fair fight of some sort. And knowing him, he might have actually put down his stick and gone along with it. And while Sherlock would probably have won, the killer would have had a better chance of it.
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The cold open was a bad gimmick, but the plot of the episode meant that you had to have a reasonable amount of intelligence to keep up with it. I think the Moriarty episode would have been a better pick for a night with that many potential viewers. Unfortunately, I'll bet the power outage delay prevented many viewers from staying with CBS after the game.
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Not my favourite episode and certainly not as great as the previous two but as a 2.0 Pilot, I think it worked well and hopefully some viewers will stick around.

P.s. Could we start every episode with a shirtless Sherlock?
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1. On a scale of 1 to 10, I say 4. I mean, a law abiding regular woman definitely not, but parents hold a weird powerful sway on us and if both her parents killed themselves over this all... (one was stated, the other was implied), something weird could possibly happen. That said, it's pretty unlikely, given that all this is out of the mouth of a verified serial killer brother. But hey, as I said, family holds a weird sway, so who knows?
2. Nope, all in all, I've been pretty lucky in that department.
3. My take on this: Sherlock was creating an all-win (win-win-win-win) situation for himself in his own mind, possibly even unconsciously. It's all dependent upon the psych evaluations he was given and this experiment he set up. The experiment can either be completed or in can be nullified. If it's nullified, then Sherlock still proves himself better than hot lady FBI profiler (and everyone else), and is still then a win for him, and really, you could then argue that his actions this time in the mini-mart further support the evidence that the man can change, giving credence to the assertions that the profile is incorrect. Your choices as Innes (not the 2 listed by Sherlock, but really, 4, remember, inaction is a choice): 1. Cuff yourself, 2. Go for the gun, 3. Turn around and walk/run away, or 4. Stand there like a buffoon doing nothing.
Taking these in reverse order we have 4. Stand there. Well, Sherlock's already called the cops, so you gets arrested and that's that, Win for Sherlock because his experiment was null and void and thus he still wins at proving he's super smart and lords it over everyone else. Next, 3. Run away. Well, you run into the cops that Sherlock's already called, the experiment was still nullified and thus Sherlock still wins. Alternately, you're running skills are such that you avoid the cops, but Sherlock chases after you and shoots you in the leg with his own gun and the same result comes about. Next, 2. You go for the gun. It's an experiment, not a real situation. You have to assume that the gun is unloaded/loaded with blanks. Sherlock's studied martial arts, etc... and the police are probably on the way. Neither is helpful. In addition, you've proved the psych evaluation wrong and Sherlock's happy that he can change and won't drug and revenge yourself into self-annihilation. If it sounds like the loading/unloading of the same "gun" is contradictory, if you're Innes in this situation, you have to assume the worst for whatever this obviously clever "deductionist" who found you has come up with. So yes, you make those assumptions. Last, 1. You go for the cuffs. The theoretical worst possible outcome for you, but it's still not that bad, in any of these situations, you lose. You said, Lily, this is the bravest one, and I think that I agree. It means you've given it all an honest evaluation and decided that this one at least guarantees no hurt will come to you while all of the others at least bear some chance of you getting shot/beaten up in some fashion. Now, for Sherlock, this theoretically means that the experiment was carried out successfully, and the results came in that a man won't/can't change. On the other hand you have this: Drummond's profile of Innes. It says he's a coward and that he would shrink away from equal terms combat. This means 2 things for you, as Innes: a) You have a lust for the kill, and the blondes and whatnot, and b) You have determined this situation to not be in your favour. Not being in your favour means it's either equal or in your opponent's favour. But there's also self-preservation. No sane man who's been in Innes's situation with his lust for blood for 9 years would voluntarily submit and go calmly back to jail if there were even a chance that he could get out of it another way, even if he got a little beaten up. Especially since he's unarmed and cops are instructed to preserve life if possible in he is to get taken into custody. Thus, Sherlock deduces this: this man was either not of sound mind, or he's very much not as smart as I am, therefore this decision does not meet Drummond's criteria for the situation of an equal challenge, thus nullifying again the experiment, and Sherlock still comes out on top of everyone else.
My take. And it could well be completely wrong. But I enjoyed thinking of it just the same.
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Immediately when the first scene started I ejaculated: "Well played, producers of Elementary, well played." Judging by the dialogue and events, the episode was obviously written as a post-Super Bowl crowd pleaser.
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Every time Conan-Doyle would write "ejactulated" the way you used it, I still giggle.
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See, I still use it that way, too. I was recently told by friends not to do so and that no one understands it in that way anymore.
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Your friends are most kind, have fun explaining it to the coppers. ;-)
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"That Sherlock would self-destructively put himself and a gun across from a serial killer said more about him than who Innes was, no matter what he chose (gun or cuffs, and ultimately I'd say it's braver to take the cuffs and face down a confession than kill someone else in a man-to-man confrontation). I'd love a commenter's take on this exchange and what it meant for both of them."

While, I agree with you on the cuffs being the braver choice, I'll challenge your assessment of what you say was a self-destructive choice.

Sherlock didn't find himself faced with a serial killer and a gun for the purpose of self destruction (even self-destructive acts have thought and focus behind them). Rather, he had a purpose of self preservation, in a sense, as he made a play involving The Peeler and was fully committed to learning the results, instead of carelessly placing himself in harm's way. So it was that purpose which makes me believe the situation wasn't a self-destructive one. The danger of the situation was secondary to that purpose.
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Good perspective on Holmes attempting to find out if it's possible to preserve himself.
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I agree, i don't really think that he considered it a self destructive act since he was probably confident he could take him down should he go for the gun. It mustn't have seemed as risky to him as it did to us.
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The profiler said that the serial was ultimately a coward; therefore, he would choose the handcuffs. Sherlock was hoping he would go for the gun, firstly, because it would prove her wrong meaning there was hope that he, Sherlock, could also avoid the bitter fate she predicted for him and secondly, I think he really wanted to hit that guy with a stick.
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this was a really creepy episode and i don't know why but i was really scared when Innes killed all these people even though i watch alot of scary TV shows (American Horror Story)
Answers:
1- It dependes on how much she loved her parents but if she loved them alot i would say yes she would do it
2- No
3- Sherlock did explain what was he doing and he was not self detrcuting himself because he had something up his sleeve if Innes chose the gun so he was just proving that she did not get him right
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