Elementary "You Do It to Yourself" Review: You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

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Elementary S01E09: "You Do It to Yourself"


A murder story in which the victim meticulously plans to kill himself to frame a mortal enemy is a concept I myself considered writing out as a story when I was eight or nine years old. While on second thought child-me dismissed the idea as being too gimmicky, Elementary had no such compunctions last night, treating us to the tale of a man who arranged to have himself offed by a hired gun via getting shot in both eyes. Well, it was nice window-dressing for the extended Microsoft commercial in the final act. I trust you all noticed the many uses of a Surface in this scene?

Microsoft, please contact TV.com for my address and send me a check immediately for promoting your gadget. Four figures would be fine. Also nothing makes my skin crawl quite like someone fully dressed sitting on a toilet, closed or open. The germs circling up their torso and down their legs like invisible vines, yeesh.

Watson was slightly more involved this week, providing Holmes with a healing witches’ brew like a good woman does for her man when he’s got a cold and exonerating an ex in Rikers with the zest for detail she’s picked up after a few weeks at Holmes' elbow.

This guy! In what world would sleek, smart Joan deign to acknowledge a man who talks like a '50s mobster and refers to her as Joanie? Also I have to say I did NOT like that Watson slept with an addict. Is Watson addicted to addicts? Can that be a romantic type? Also how annoying was it that once again, yes, Watson was pulled out of the action to attend to urgent girlie business. Actual dialogue:

Holmes: "Watson! We were afraid we’d lost you."

Watson: "Is it okay if I peel off to Rikers for a while?"

Me: "NO, NO IT'S NOT OKAY. YOU’RE A SOBER BUDDY WHOSE JOB IS TO BE BY THIS MAN’S SIDE. ALSO THE PREMISE OF THIS SHOW IS Y’ALL SOLVING CRIMES TOGETHER. DO NOT PEEL OFF ANYWHERE!

Neighbors: BONK BONK BONK! [Bonk sound of broom handle on wall]

Like come ON, Elementary.

For once at least the first person we met wasn’t guilty, she was only framed, and the TA and savagely beaten wife had a sweet little arc, going from "couple about to be charged with homicide" to newlyweds, thanks to a contrivance as bizarre as the NYPD’s intimation that there are LINES of people waiting to get into mah jong parlors.

You’ll excuse me if I associate mah jong almost exclusively with sweet little grandmothers and hipsters, but even in a recent case where an illegal Chinatown gambling house with pai gow, mah jong, and computer-based slots was raided by the NYPD (a situation which officers said was “not something that we see a lot of”), there were still only 11 people on the premises. That’s not even busy for Trader Joe’s, let alone the kind of scene where the business is forced to produce custom mah jong tiles so regulars can “skip the line.” But whatever.

What did I LIKE this episode? The bees shirt and Captain Gregson’s expression when Holmes was laying out the crime. Aidan Quinn looked like he was literally falling in love. “Oh, you beautiful deductive bastard,” Quinn’s baby blues said. And those were the two moments I liked this week.

I’m sorry! Revenge-suiciding is just so preposterously awful as a murder-mystery concept and for someone to exact that heinous of an end for themselves—to have their EYES shot out—like, even if they were angry at their super-rare eye cancer, NO ONE would do that. If he’d arranged to be smothered by a pile of tits, I might have given this murder concept more of a pass. But from start to finish this was a stretch, guys.

What did YOU think of it?


QUESTIONS:

1. What’s your favorite game of chance?

2. Dating addicts: exciting or soul-killing?

3. Has anyone ever killed themselves in a way that frames someone else?

4. Does Watson seriously need to get herself together and do her actual job of spending time with Holmes?

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