An Elementary Community
Monday 10:00 PM on CBS
As this week two Episodes were shown on one day I decided to put them together in one review.
Mostly out of time-economic reasons.
For me the fact that Elementary is now broadcast on Sundays is unpractical at least. Usually I would watch the show on Friday and write the review on Saturday when I don't have to work. Luckily the last two episodes fell into my holidays, so there was no problem besides that the Holiday Flat didn't have proper Wi-Fi.

So please excuse when the remaining reviews will all be a bit late as I have to watch and write after work.

First I want to say that I liked both episodes for different reasons. The first had a very interesting and spellbinding story-line.
I have to admit that I will have to watch it again to be properly able to assess it. I am sure a lot of details escaped my attention as there was so much going on.
So I decided to just say a few sentences about the background story and then focus on "Art imitates Art" which will in all likelihood be one of my favourite Episodes of Season 4.
It gave me a lot of food for thought and that's what I like.

Joan has a sister. Well a half-sister as it is.
But until now she didn't know that. Obviously Lin, who found out two years ago, wasn't very keen on meeting her but when she gets shot in her apartment she turns to her, because she doesn't want to have to reveal to the police that she was running illegal poker games in empty flats.
The problem is that she has to find an explanation about how she knew about Sherlock. Her idea isn't bad but it shows the limit of lying. When you don't know the people you are lying to, it is much easier for them to find out that you are actually lying.
Lin makes two capital mistakes that make it clear to the viewer that she doesn't know anything about Mycroft, Sherlock and Joan. The first one is that she asks Watson if she is a doctor when Joan suggests to be careful with her injured wrist. The second one is even more grave and the look on Sherlock's face speaks volumes. She claims that Mycroft told her that Sherlock helped people and wasn't afraid of anything. Saying that to a person suffering from an Anxiety Disorder who is especially afraid of unknown people and who knows that his brother is well aware of his problems shows that you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

But Sherlock wouldn't be Sherlock if he didn't help her nevertheless, because she was the victim of a crime.

In the end it is revealed that Lin is as angry and confused about her father as Joan is.
It is very difficult to suddenly find a piece that somehow belongs to you but that you can't fit in anywhere. I liked that both admit that much and that they need more time to be able to form a connexion.

There is one statement that I find remarkable. When Sherlock talks to Joan about Mycroft faking his death with the help of the NSA he says that he doesn't complain about that fact. He does not say that he does not care. In my opinion that shows that Joan is right about that growing up together forms a strong connexion even if you fight a lot and I am sure that Sherlock misses him as an asset in the current situation with his father.


"Art Imitates Art"

As soon as I saw the enlarged images of Social Media pictures, a drawer of a cupboard in my 'brain attic' opened (sorry for this blatant allusion but I just couldn't help it) and brought up a memory of an article I read in a newspaper about an artist who sold enlarged copies of other people's Instagram pictures for a hell lot of money.

I went on the internet and found what I was looking for.

In 2015 Richard Prince exhibited enlarged Selfies of young women in mostly vulnerable poses that those had posted on Instagram. He didn't change the images, he just posted a comment (often senseless) under the picture, than took a screen shot and printed it on canvas. He neither asked the people for their permission nor did they get a share of the 90.000 $ Prince sold the pictures for.

It is not the first time Prince used this technique that is called Appropriation. In fact he spent most of his "artistic" life with it. He started in the 70s by taking photos of Marlboro adds and magazine pictures.
He was sued several times but won nearly all of the cases because of the law of "fair use".
In my eyes not everything that is legal is legitimate as well.
I think it is disgusting to profit from the work of other people.

It doesn't make somebody an artist just because his name under a picture makes it worth a hundred grand.

But what worries me even more is the fact that you obviously don't own the rights of your pictures anymore once you posted them online.
Maybe Lin Wen's decision to deactivate her social media account wasn't that bad.

The second issue that was addressed was "Dry Labbing" and again it is based on facts.

Actually everything Marcus Bell said happened in real life and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
In several states of the US and I am quite sure in other countries as well, lab technicians didn't do their work properly and wrote false lab reports mostly in favour of the authorities.
A lot of convictions are put into question now.
This has got far-reaching consequences. Innocent people might have been sent to prison or worse executed because of these faulty reports and people who are actually guilty and would probably have been convicted anyway even without the DNA results might now walk free.

When Lauren Velez claims to be an asset to law enforcement Sherlock answers angrily:

"You are not supposed to be an asset, are you? You are supposed to be a scientist, you are supposed to be an impartial seeker of truth, but you are not. You are a charlatan and you sent at least one innocent man to prison."

Agreed.

The case of Louis Bowman touched me for yet another reason.
He didn't get any chance to prove that he was innocent.
Everyone believed that he was guilty, even his own lawyer.
Nobody took the possibility into account that he didn't commit the crime even though he told the police that he had seen Melissa argue with a person in a sweater with a distinct pattern.
If all the people who were involved in the investigation had done what was their job namely to investigate without any prejudice, the real killer would probably have been found much earlier.
There's one positive aspect in the imprisonment of Luis Bowman though. The psychological problems that lead to his odd behaviour towards women were finally diagnosed and he got help.


Additional Clues:

I liked that we weren't told for which other country the Turkish spies were working just so much as that it was ambitious. Draw your own conclusions.


Links:

Richard Prince and his "artwork"

http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/30/8691257/richard-prince-instagram-photos-copyright-law-fair-use

http://priceonomics.com/the-richest-photographer-in-the-world/

Dry Labbing

http://chemjobber.blogspot.de/2012/10/chemist-faces-charges-for-dry-labbing.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/fbi-overstated-forensic-hair-matches-in-nearly-all-criminal-trials-for-decades/2015/04/18/39c8d8c6-e515-11e4-b510-962fcfabc310_story.html

https://www.nacdl.org/criminaldefense.aspx?id=28286

http://www.forensicmag.com/articles/2015/05/dry-labbing-and-data-integrity-dr-ashraf-mozayani

Picture in the feed:
By (vincent desjardins) from Paris, France - BNF / Richard Prince, american prayer., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33046537

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Apr 15, 2016
It is interesting that I recently saw a special about police procedure and how evidence works. Things like eye witness testimony, lie detectors (which I already knew were complete BS) and even fingerprints should never be allowed to be used against a person. Often DNA is one of the few things that while not 100% perfect is the closest thing we got and is considered legit, long as everything was done correctly in obtaining and testing, without prejudice obviously. And I also have seen many things that lead me to believe that DAs often want to look good instead of seeking the truth or finding the guilty. In the case of fingerprints and I am sorry I don’t have the link for this but there was a man arrested for a terror attack in another country because of fingerprints and it turned out that he had never even left his home country. Fingerprints are only assumed to be unique and it has never been proven otherwise. Also, unlike some TV shows, fingerprints are often matched purely by eye and not some complete computer program. When it comes to DAs, there was a case of a disabled man who was on heavy pain killers who was arrested for drug distribution purely because the DA wanted to act tough on drug crime. The man spent years in jail just because his doctor gave him a lot of medications to deal with pain. He was eventually freed but of course no punishment was ever done to the DA who wanted to look good instead of doing good.

Any time I see episodes like this, I think of these things and how some people are about appearing to deal with crime and problems and not actually dealing with the problems. Without getting into any arguments or setting myself off but you see it in government all the time, create a new law, often one already exists, in a pretense to be tougher on crime instead of finding a way to deal with the crime itself. This show often deals with stuff many other shows avoid, though sometimes things do come up that give me a bit of annoyance as I can see a bit of Hollywood thrown in merely because they can instead of really being about the story, but overall the show is really good at making you think and ask questions. And as always I have enjoyed your reviews. Take all the time you need, I never see the show live anyways.
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Apr 14, 2016
Another great review! I don't mind you posting a little late. I always record the show and watch it later anyway.

I only watched the show now and then last season, so I'm unclear on Mycroft's situation. I remember him being in a shoot-out by some cars, but that was faked, right? What happened to him after that? Or please point me toward the episode that can answer my question.
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Apr 15, 2016
I am the same way when it comes to any tv shows, I just watched the episodes tonight, so I don't mind delays.
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Apr 14, 2016
It's episodes 23 and 24 of Season 2. But you could start with 22 because it explains a lot about how Mycroft got into the situation.
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