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Elementary S02E08: "Blood is Thicker"


I was fully prepared to discuss the case and the whole "Sherlock not's going to leave New York, his father be damned" thing. I even had a different picture selected for the top of this review. But after Mycroft's little phone chat, I had to shift gears because I have so many feelings and questions. I mean, just look at that photo! I originally thought he was just sad that Sherlock stood him up again, but in hindsight, the pose is downright supervillain-y.

That Mycroft is playing a long con is certainly something I had considered, but—silly me—I decided to ignore the idea because I was happy with the potential character development for Sherlock as he got to (re)know his brother. Factor in the easy chemistry between Jonny Lee Miller and Rhys Ifans, and we had the makings of a very solid run of episodes that could've explored and expanded Elementary's Sherlock in all sorts of ways, ways that likely would've led to us meeting Papa Holmes himself at some point.

Of course, that possibility isn't eliminated just because Mycroft seems to be and likely is plotting against his brother. Easy chemistry between adversaries is vitally important to selling us on the relationship, perhaps even more so when one of the involved parties doesn't even know they're being played. It's the basic principle behind Alfred Hitchcock's bomb theory of surprise versus suspense: If a bomb explodes while two people are talking, that's surprise. If you see the bomb hidden beneath the table they're sitting at while they talk, and you know it'll explode in a certain amount of time, that's suspense. Mycroft's phone call was the surprise of "Blood Is Thicker"; us waiting for Sherlock to find out about it is the suspense.

I'm excited about the avenues for tension this opens up, because now, every interaction with Mycroft has us yelling at the screen, "Nooooooo! Sherlock! Joan! Don't trust the charming restaurateur! Get out of there!" the same way we yell at the unknowing schmucks with the bomb under their table. 


In theory, I'm also a teeny tiny bit hesitant about this storyline, if only because a betrayal from someone close to Sherlock—so close that he probably won't see it coming—is more or less what Elementary did last season with Irene/Moriarty, and for the show to dip back into that idea seems a touch lazy. It's primed to play on those pillars of recovery, and particularly the aspect of structure that Sherlock so nicely explained toward the end of the episode. Structure is more than just having a routine, having order in one's life; it's dependent on having supports that help provide structure, like Joan, Gregson, and Bell. You can see how thinking you're developing a new relationship with your brother, or that the love of your life is so very dead and not a criminal mastermind, could be detrimental.

Irene/Moriarty played on that issue of structure, since the situation rattled Sherlock's pretty severely. He obviously hasn't completely bounced back from it, as he's still reading letters that Jamie's sending him from prison. At this stage, I'm not sure what variation Mycroft's plotting could possibly offer on this theme, but it's still very early in the season's run, and Elementary has garnered such a massive amount of goodwill so far, both in terms of characters and plots, that I can be patient.


In other news about family, secrets, and betrayal, there was the case of the week! The details concerned a Steve Jobs-esque computer industry titan—complete with a life-threatening illness, no less—named Ian Gale (William Sadler) and his connection to the plummeting-from-a-balcony and stabbing of a young woman. Half the fun of the mystery was stripped away, because the episode fell victim to the Law & Order rule of "If you recognize the guest star, they probably did it." Here, it was the very prolific and terrific Margaret Colin as Gale's wife, who, just like Mycroft is potentially doing, played a long game to get her hands on a sizable chunk of Gale's fortune. The plan involved reconciling Gale with his illegitimate daughter to get the necessary blood to aid in his heart transplant recovery, only to then use that blood as the poison that would kill him. Colin's appearance in the episode was a decent-enough non-diegetic clue—though, given the roles that Sadler is often cast to play on procedurals, there was every chance he was faking the whole dying thing—but her medical background all but sealed the deal that she was the killer.

Thankfully, the other half of the fun of the mystery—watching our consulting detectives piece it all together—remained intact. "Blood Is Thicker" did a particularly nice job of handling Joan handling the case. I do really love how serious Elementary is about showing Joan's improvement in the craft of solving crimes, and here, her medical expertise and her inversion of the case to see it not as the murder of Haley Tyler, but of Ian Gale, offered the necessary perspective from which to reconsider the crime and solve it. Sure, Sherlock can deduce that a tree had a dead body under it because of its height, but Joan was the one to crack this case, and I like that the duo's respective knowledge bases are used consistently and, in Joan's case, to demonstrate an increase in skill.


Mycroft's feint about Papa Holmes wanting Sherlock to return to England did stir up some stuff, but Elementary managed to deal with it in a manner that made sense. Instead of dwelling on the idea, or prolonging the decision, Sherlock just explained the situation to Joan, including the fact that he's been paying Joan by dipping into his trust fund, and how he feels about both going back and staying put. Joan's response—"Screw him. We can find a new place to live."—matched Sherlock's own candor. It was an honest and real conversation between two people who trust and respect one another, and it was refreshing to see that sort of conversation play out on TV, where all too often, such conversations are either overwrought events in the final moments of episodes, or things that happen only after one character is forced to spill the beans.

While it's likely too much to hope for, especially if Sherlock notices that his father swung the hammer down him, it also opened up the avenue for yet more different types of cases—paying cases!—for Sherlock and Joan to solve. The nod to their mutual appreciation and desire to solve cases associated with the NYPD does help to explain why the show only trades in murders, but at least between the need for some cash and Sherlock's trunk of cold cases, there are other sorts of mysteries that the show can delve into every now and then.



ADDITIONAL CLUES


– I apologize if I missed the mention of this earlier, but Diogenes, the name of Mycroft's restaurant in New York, is the name of Mycroft's club in the Doyle stories. I honestly cannot remember if it's come up before or not.

– "Swedish moose cheese."

– "I'd sooner die." Oy. I can only imagine how difficult apartment hunting with him would be. Also: I hope they never leave the brownstone.

– "My horse finally, literally, comes in, and you arrest me."

– Since he came up again, I got to thinking about who should play Papa Holmes. My top choice—Richard Briers—actually died earlier this year, and I wasn't aware. So I'll settle for Rowan Atkinson playing against type. Who would you pick?

Elementary reviews will happen on an "If the episode warrants it" basis going forward. The next time something big or exciting happens, we'll be here. In the meantime, you should of course always feel free to discuss the show in the Elementary community.


What'd you think of "Blood Is Thicker"?


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1st of all...Don't care if Mycroft is good or bad...he's still hot (on my bucket list)......2nd... I looked up that actor Charles Dance, and just based on looks alone and not knowing anything else really about the man, I would have to agree, I wouldn't mind seeing him as Papa Holmes....
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I just started watching this show and I am glad that I have. When I first saw previews for it I was worried that they would try to make Holmes and Watson love interests (like so many shows out there do and do poorly) but they are clearly only ever going to be bros and I hope it stays that way, also I love that they make Holmes an actual human instead of a super computer in a skin suit like BBCs Sherlock (still a good show though) and that they give Watson a personality that is not over dramatic or underwhelming.
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Papa Holmes? Why none other than Charles Dance!!! :-)

Loved the ep!
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I have this sinking feeling Mycroft is working with Moriadler and if that's true, it'll be ridiculously lazy. Let's hope for an exciting surprise of "for Sherlock's own good" type thing.
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Surprised no one suggested Sir Anthony Hopkins for Papa Holmes. He could do stuffed shirt formal extremely well (think Remains of the Day), and then the writers would also have the option of making another character bait-and-switch into a nemesis/"big bad."

Fava beans and a nice Chianti, anyone?

:D

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Yes, the second half of that suggestion was a joke! :)
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I might be praised or lynched for saying this, but I personally think it'd be a hilarious boost to the show (without losing a drop of its credibility) to have RDJ play Papa Holmes ... with a really good makeup department, of course.

Just think--he's already associated with the (original) characters anyway, and few can do pompous and uberwealthy combined with a sharp enough wit to trump both sons quite as well, while still wearing the best suits available.

Then again, if Misters Connery, Stewart, and Neeson are out of budget range, I guess we can forget Mr. Downey as well.
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Just wondering - Is William Sadler trying to tell us something? First, he plays a dad who is ill and dies in that episode of Blacklist. Then, he plays a dad who is ill and dies in this episode of Elementary.

I heart him from the Roswell days so would someone please do me a solid and cast him somewhere as a regular? Thanks!
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y does it have to be that Mycroft is a bad guy? maybe it's much closer in 'book canon', maybe he has ties with MI5 or MI6 or another agency and they'b in interested to 'employ' Sherlock with some problem they have, only him living in the States leaves them with zero options of utilizing him as anything..
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Just was I was thinking. Mycroft has come to be such a likable man, and his plans for Sherlock aren't necessarily evil ones, even though he's obviously going about them in a rather sinister way. The apparent immediate goal seems to be to get Sherlock to move back to London, but the reasons for this could be any number of things. Knowing Sherlock, if it's anything remotely unpleasant or disagreeable, he's going to need to be tricked in one way or another...
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Lucyhoneychurch I think is on to something. This was my own thought. It's not that Mycroft is a villain, but that he's working for the British government in some way, perhaps to find out a possible criminal underworld/network/cell that Jamie Moriarity/Irene Adler set in motion. I think that storyline will draw back and connect and maybe we'll get to see father Holmes in the process.
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Has anyone tried calling the phone number Mycroft dialed?
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The number is a London based number which is based on a number which is part of a batch held over for future use. So a made up number but clearly London, UK based
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What if Moriarty was not only Irene Adler, but something more of a cult (going a little bit in like Red John's cult thing)? It could make sense for Mycroft's call in this episode.
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Since they're using so much of the books' line on Mycroft, I really really hold out hope that they're going with his line in those -- a shadowy figure who accomplishes stuff for England, in the statecraft/spycraft line. The line that "occasionally he IS the British government" is so famous -- and descriptions at all of Mycroft are so rare in the books -- that I have a hard time seeing how they could just blow it off and make him a regular criminal.

But having him be involved in shadowy, maybe even shady, international, government-related affairs would be different. After all, what we see him doing here is trying to get Sherlock back to England -- which could have something to do with getting him to serve the Crown or yank him out of the way of some dicey or shady Crown dealings that he might stumble upon in New York. Or the like.

I'm hoping that it's time to supplement the Scotland Yard/NYPD-type stuff with more MI5-type action. In the books, after all, Holmes is heavily involved in international affairs. Mycroft would be the way to bring that in in some dramatic way -- since it's what he does there. And it's one of the elements that's way underplayed, even in the books, and certainly in the adaptations. It's a line that has a lot of new stuff to play, and they've already shown Sherlock playing at the edges of such things -- in The Red Team, for example.

Going to be very disappointed if Mycroft turns out to be only Irene, Part II (despite the good family-and-personal-liferelated stuff that they are doing there and obviously can do more of). But, as you say, I have faith. The book provides the seed of his being something rather different from that while leaving all the doors open so they could do that something different in their own way. If JLM is looking for the underplayed elements, as he always says, I would hope the showrunners are doing the same, and not blowing off something as important as "Occasionally he is the British government."
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A bomb explodes while two people are talking, is surprise.
Watching the hidden bomb while those two talk and knowing it'll explode is suspense.
Watching the hidden bomb while those two talk and finding out in the last moment that it isn't a bomb at all is suspense AND surprise.

As you said: doing again the someone-close-to-Sherlock-betrays-him thing would be lazy. I think this is something different and the writers want to mislead us.

As for Sherlock's father: Hugh Laurie would be great!
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Sean Connery would have been my first choice (followed by Patrick Stewart or Liam Neeson), but I seriously doubt CBS has that kind of budget assigned to the show.

Still, he has done the role of aloof father before quite well--about 24 years ago, of course. :)
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Sean Connery would be great (he'd be also my first choice for a Bond-villain :-)), but unfortunately he has resigned from acting.
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I thought that too, but what I would really like to see a House crossover where Laurie is incognito in N.Y. now truly alone (after House finale), Sherlock finds him out for a case and they both collaborate to solve the crime, while at the end (Laurie) is left in the wild.
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The brothers' final hand-shake, Mycroft's remark how much Sherlock has changed and Sherlock's repartee that Mycroft has not changed at all, let's me believe that Sherlock might (vaguely) anticipate something. Also his letter could be a test, something along the lines which would ABSOLUTELY trigger a furious response by the elder Holmes upon actual receipt and this clearly now NOT occurring might tell Sherlock that something is amiss, his (sibling) instincts are honed after all.
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Did anybody catch enough of the phone number dialed at the end to maybe pick up an area code / country code clue?
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44 is the country code for the UK and 204 is, I believe, one of the newish area codes for Greater London.
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The code is actually 020 2041 2047, which is part a batch of numbers set aside for future use in London
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For a second I thought that maybe Mycroft was calling he and Sherlock's father and that it was all a test to see if Sherlock had really changed for the better and had found a place where he belonged with friends he cared for. It's too bad that Mycroft seems to be corrupt in some way. Maybe his restaurant is a front for some nefarious operation and he wanted Sherlock out of New York to keep him from being called in by the police and discovering the plot if something goes wrong.

Sherlock and Mycroft's father needs to be someone who comes off brilliant to the point of being pompous and can also be imposing enough that both Sherlock and Mycroft would be a bit afraid of him. I think John Rhys-Davies would be great in the role.
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I didn't know the "if you recognize the guest star they did it" was an actual THING. I mean, I've noticed that, but I didn't think it was like a rule hahaha. Also, Mycroft better be working with/for someone interesting. I would even be happy with Moriarty again. That character has too much of a legacy for only a couple episodes. Also, Natalie Dormer...
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Well. I was totally not expecting Mycroft to be a villain. Maybe Moriarty is still pulling strings somehow? On a side note, it still icks me out that he and Joan hooked up. I need for them to never, ever mention that again so I can try to forget it happened.


It seems that just like in Arrow, the focus is on partnerships this season. Sherlock has really displayed character growth, and I love the friendship that has developed between him and Joan. That scene where they discussed their options if Sherlock's father cuts him off was very nicely done. It would be great if they branched out a bit on the cases, but I'm enjoying season 2 regardless.
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Bill Nighy is seriously the only person for this version of holmes to be the father. Imagine Nighy, Ifans, and Miller all in one room together it would be heaven! I also want to see more Irene Adler. I would like her to end up not being Moriarity , but a feint to cripple Sherlock in his recovery.
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For Papa Holmes, I'd want Bill Nighy...
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Oh and he's actually a bit too old for the role and not into TV anyway, but playing the father of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes would be the perfect role for Sir Sean Connery to come out of retirement, even for the slightest bit.
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Sean, yes god shout. Bil Nighy, bit too daft, need depth and stoicism
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LOL--I just tyoed these two in my response up higher before even reading either of your posts. Glad to know others think alike. :)
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How about Patrick Stewart? He would OWN the screen and it would definitely be hard for them to keep up. I vote for Captain Bloody Picard!
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I really enjoyed the episode. Joan was marvelous as always, Jonny Lee Miller's face is basically the most precious face ever and I was completely taken by surprise and might be a bit heartbroken by Mycroft.
One thing did upset me, though. Sherlock not mentioning Alfredo in his support system.
And I noticed Bell calling Joan by her first time. Did that ever happen before? I love the intimacy that comes with using given names.
Also, I LOVE Mycroft's sense of fashion, but I HATE his hair...
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I enjoy watching Miller as Holmes because of his physicality. Most people play Holmes as a intellectual character. Miller plays him as a hip character, not a head character. So fascinating. Egoism over intellect. It's an interesting take. Check it out. Watch how Miller's Holmes moves, versus, say any one of the PBS Holmeses.

Also, if you all like Miller as an actor, I highly recommend checking out his performance in Frankenstein at the National Theatre. It's being rebroadcast in American theatres this winter so go! NTlive.com. Enjoy!
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Yes! I absolutely love all the tics JLM gave his interpretation of Holmes. He is my favorite because he's given Holmes a deeper shade of humanity, as in, he can see and understand people's feelings to a degree (that is necessary in order to manipulate them, after all. Not an evil manipulation by any means, but one that makes him get what he wants without having the necessary credentials), but while he certainly has trouble with socialization, he is never purposely rude to others.
I also love Cumberbatch's Holmes, but he is one of many modern characters that perpetuates the idea that if you are smart (strong, pretty, or anything really) enough; if you have something to offer, you can be a complete jerk and people just have to deal with it. But that is a problem I have with the writers, not the actor.

Oh! I've been meaning to check that out! It looks amazing!
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I agree about Cumberbatch's Holmes. He gives a great performance, but the Holmes as a complete jerk thing is really wearing on me and I believe we have Dr. House to thank for that. That Holmes-like character started the trend of Sherlock being completely anti-social. Thank goodness that we finally have a Holmes who is more balanced. He's not always very nice, but he has some real humanity to him as well.
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So many actors go for an easy arrogant = brilliant approach when it comes to Sherlock that Holmes had become a repetitive character until Elementary, yet Jonny Lee Miller plays brilliant as an awareness that both hurt and fascinate his character in equal measure.

I think it makes Holmes vulnerable in a way the character has never been before and it makes Watson necessary in a way the character has never been before.
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I was a little upset by the lack of Alfredo mention, too. But then I remembered the writing/shooting schedule for a U.S. network show. By now we know that Alfredo is coming back this season, but when they wrote this one they may well not have known for sure that that was going to work out, given his schedule and so on.
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Yeah, I thought of that too. Thankfully he'll be showing up again! I absolutely love Alfredo and the way Sherlock first said hi Alfredoooo at the meeting always makes me laugh!
But even if he weren't coming back, I still think they should've at least mentioned him. Sherlock isn't the type of person to forget important things (if at all), much less important people. And Alfredo has become more than his sponsor, he's a friend and almost an associate with the way he's always going on stakeouts for them, haha! I just love him being a part of the gang! And I kinda really want he and Ms. Hudson to meet!
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With a little makeup Hugh Laurie would be an excellent choice for their father.
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I don't know what to think about the whole Mycroft situation. My first thought was he was working on getting him back to London so that Lestrade could continue to use him to look good in the eyes of Scotland Yard. Holmes left and his career went to pot. Holmes goes back and he's on top again. Good reason to want him back on a permanent basis. But the phone call seemed more nefarious that that. I hope that's the reason. I was starting to like Mycroft and don't want him to turn out to be a villain. Not to his own brother.

As for their father Donald Sutherland looks like an older Mycroft and would make a great choice.
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I was just thinking Donald Sutherland myself. I just watched him on Craig Ferguson's show and I love him. He's enigmatic himself, and would make a cool part of the Holmes family.
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Another solid episode of Elementary. I can't recall a single episode that wasn't at least OK. Like that Joan is carrying the mail by herself more, be curious to see where the Mycroft thread leads, but agree I hope it doesn't play out like Moriarity did. I do think given the scope of how devious Moriarity was to Sherlock Holmes, that her character should be given a second life outside prison at some point.
Boo. to no regular reviews.
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If we use the Mycroft in the books as a template, he could be working for the British government and his plotting is tied into a international with international ramifications.

Disappointed that there wont be regular reviews of Elementary
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or Mycroft didnt have cancer -Moriarty paid for gastric band surgery
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You took the words right off of my screen about the scene between Holmes and Watson and the choice of staying in New York. I actually thought I was watching two friends talking rather than two actors performing. I remember watching TV in the 70's when everything had to measured on the melodramameter (I made that up).

I also like the scene where the delivery driver questioned why Holmes needed some information and Bell told him to just get it. That is pure Holmes to me.

For Daddy Holmes I would suggest Brian Cox, Malcolm McDowell, or (could it be true) Michael Caine!

And speaking of suspense, who is on the other end of that phone?
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I absolutely loved Michael Caine in the Dark Knight films (Best. Alfred. Ever.) and in just about everything else he's ever done over the decades, but he was looking realllllly frail in TDKR--maybe it was part of his protrayal, but I would have a hard time seeing him as imposing. Still, an absolutely awesome actor.
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Just the voice alone would do it for me. Same reason I suggested McDowell.
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"Mycroft has sent you a friend request!"
(*dead silence* )

Could work. :)
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@Noel; what do you mean Rowan Atkinson playing against type? hes has numerous roles where hes not the bumbling idiot character (some of his best roles are when hes very british; dry, dark and sarcastic.

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Rowan Atkinson has a big Mr. Bean image here in the States even if he's done a ton of fantastic work in the UK. I think he'd be good for the role. Wonder what's John Hillerman up to, reprise his role as Higgins (so to speak) to play Sherlock's dad. This would be assuming he (Dad) wasn't up to some kind of shenanigans with Mycroft but just a stiff upper lip traditional Englishman.
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He does indeed, but that's not his acting persona to the general public, hence the against type comment.

Think of Nathan Lane. His talents are thought to largely go towards that of a large comedic ham, but he's doing very fine, muted work as Clarke Hayden on The Good Wife.
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I was surprised that it never came up that the intention was to kill the girl and steal her heart for the transplant... The surgical strike would be perfect to keep the heart viable, until she fell out the window.
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I know Joan has never been into the family money, but it was pretty awesome to hear her state it like this in front of Sherlock.

I could almost picture the two of them moving out with Clyde - and the bees - if they have to.
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I enjoyed the episode but a little too much direct rip off of Jobs biographical details.
The straight forward conversation between Holmes & Watson about the father situation was a refreshing change from most shows and it's nice to see people behaving like adults in a show.
Peter O'Toole, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellan, Albert Finney, or Christopher Plummer- I would be happy to see any of them as Holmes father.
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I considered Jacobi, actually, but something about him just didn't click into this world for me. Not sure what it is, though.
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I don't think i wanna know what game is Mycroft playing? Anyway, as usual the episode was great this week.
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both suggestion of Rowan Atkinson and Charles Dance sound really wonderful!
At the time of the conversation in the restaurant between Mycroft and Sherlock i thought it was parallel to the case and Mycroft was still sick and wanted Sherlock to move to London to be a donor of some kind and i felt really bad for him.
by the end when we found out the that Mycroft motives are somewhat nefarious i was very disappointed because i like Mycroft so much and i so wanted them to fix their relationship and be real brothers!
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OMG! OMG! OMG! I just thought that Charles Dance could play Papa Holmes!
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Ooo. I hadn't considered Dance.
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No, they can't be Lannisters!
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Poor William Sadler is playing the slowly dying character a lot these days. Maybe he's hoping for a movie with a slowly dying guy so he can get an oscar.... On another note, why is this show no longer getting weekly reviews?? Its better than a tonne of shows that get reviewed on here :/
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Hey Noel, been enjoying your reviews, but haven’t commented much. Except in this case I have a different take. I think Sherlock knows Mycroft is trying to play him. Somewhere along the line he observed something sketchy about Mycroft, even if he doesn’t know Mycroft’s end game yet. I took note of the parting line when Mycroft says Sherlock is so different now, and Sherlock responds, “You are essentially the same.” Sherlock’s demeanor and facial expressions during that whole conversation makes me think he gave Mycroft an envelope with a blank sheet of paper in it. Let the suspense begin.
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I can follow that; not entirely sure it works though? If Sherlock just thinks of his brother as lazy, surely he'd be too lazy to engage in these little manipulations?
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BRIAN BLESSED for Holmes senior! His outrageous gregariousness would contrast with JLM in very amusing ways...i
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I was just about to post this exact same suggestion! Let the internet campaign begin!
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well, my wife's idea that mycroft is trying to bring sherlock and his dad together, but im going for something more sinister.... and i just can NOT picture Mr. Bean as his dad, i just cant, also it kind of sucked that casey biggs had such a small part in the show, i mean, he was at one time the head of the cardassian union for peets sake! lol ds9 reference if anyone missed what i meant
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since reviews going forward will on be on an as warranted basis I am tempted to limit my comments to the same, but I will check back here as I have since the show started, on a weekly basis. When tv.com stops reviewing the tv show, I will go to another website that does. That being said...
I enjoyed the moose cheese "drop". It explained a lot about how Sherlock maintains his sources. And the joke about never having milked a moose was down right funny.
I have noticed an almost Castle like approach to the timing of meeting the actual perpetrator, so I had the wife pinged from the get go. At first I thought she meant to take the daughter heart when her husbands was failing, but that she was the killer wasn't really in doubt. NCIS had the same problem for a couple of seasons, and still do from time to time, but Castle is still the worst offender. I am hoping this show doesn't fall into the same rut.
I think this was the third or fourth time Sherlock has gestured over his shoulder when referring to Det. Bell by name, and it is funny every time, it is like a little defeat for him to admit he has learned his name.
I don't think Mycroft is going to turn out to be a villain or working with a villain (let alone Moriarty). I know the phone call made it obvious he wasn't trying to get him back to London because his father wanted him there. But it didn't mean he was trying to harm him, stop him from doing something, or anything malicious. He may have been working with someone else, Scotland Yard perhaps, to get him back to London. Or Interpol. Or any other party that wants him in England to further their agenda without it being an evil plot. Mycroft wasn't a villain in the books, so I can't imagine him being one on the show.
And yes, I felt the episode warranted my comments.
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I always predict the killer in Castle too, it's a little annoying!
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Personally, this may be a bit too obvious, but I feel strongly that it's Moriarty again pulling the strings. She wants Sherlock out of New York because she's doing time here, and he'll keep getting in the way of whatever she engineers. Also, what better revenge than to use Mycroft to upset the structure of Sherlock's world, which Moriarty knows will threaten his stability. By having him sleep with Joan, she is paying back Sherlock for his choosing of Joan over her, and hoping to create a real relapse as punishment for the one he faked that led to her capture. The "mascot" will get payback from Moriarty as well by being the unwitting instrument of Sherlock's relapse--Mycroft will be able to manipulate issues between them, as Moriarty knows that Sherlock will not be real about his feelings for Joan, leaving the door open for Mycroft to fill her void (ahem). She'll destroy Joan, who will be left with the knowledge that she failed as a surgeon, and now will have failed as a sober companion and as a budding detective. Moriarty will prove to Sherlock as he self-destructs that Joan was the inferior choice. Whether she drives Joan to suicide or has her taken out, Sherlock will again have his beloved's blood on his hands--this time for real.

Support for this? Try the timing and content of that letter Moriarty wrote. She's already trying to get inside his head and make him doubt the wisdom of being real about his feelings for Joan. And presto--Mycroft comes to the Big Apple. And what's the case he brings? Why his ex-fiancée (whom Sherlock proves again is shady), to dangle her in front of Sherlock while he makes it easy for him to deduce that he'd been with Joan.

However, the wrinkle--Sherlock pegged Mycroft as not having really changed. He knows his brother is self-indulgent, a poor judge of female character, and operates mostly out of self-interest first.

Mycroft's motivation? Beyond the fiancée affair, he could be in way over his head with the wrong people (Moriarty or someone she's agreed to help him pay off). A high possibility is that father Holmes has cut him off, or at least failed to bail him out the way he did Sherlock. Ever notice how Mycroft's restaurants seem oddly empty, despite "exquisite" food? Granted, he often claims he's arranged it, but still. No coincidence in my opinion that his fiancée was the same--pretense of success and high living, while hiding the trouble she's in. Besides, he and Moriarty have something in common--they both have been burned by Sherlock, both in the past and now in favor of Joan and New York.

True, it could be another player altogether--a nemesis we have yet to meet, while the Moriarty letter was merely a red herring. Either way, as Sherlock knows, Mycroft doesn't have the capacity to be a mastermind/leader, so it can be presumed that he is the pawn, not the player. And maybe, just maybe, he'll see Sherlock differently before it all goes down in May.

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Moriarty being behind it would be eye-roll inducing.
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Oh, I agree, Noel--I just feel that this seems to be the direction they're heading, or at least they are dropping enough red herrings to try to yank our collective chains. A lot of people felt that the show finally hit its stride with the arrival of a nemesis/"big bad" last season; I just hope the writers don't start the recycling process this soon--you know, like some villain's return on a certain archery show on the CW this week.

Besides, no offense at all to the lovely and talented Natalie Dormer, but if they're going to convince me that, in this Holmes universe, Irene Adler is Moriarty, at least pay Rachel McAdams to do it. Her quirkiness might have fooled me for a moment or two longer. :)

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Having just seen the "Return of Moriarty" episode, it appears that Mycroft is acting independently from her. She's had no outsde commication save from her letters to Sherlock, making contact with his brother impossible. So Mycroft being a villain could go either way now.
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But remember her final scene where she said that corruption runs deeper than even Sherlock knows, which would result in her being a free woman soon, and which could easily imply that she's had other outside communication. (Remember Sherlock's prison visit with Moran last season?).

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@noelrk, eyerolling in a good way?, I hope. I would like it to be moriarty plotted, but I would like Irene , to end up not being Moriarty. she and then Mycroft could both be feint-Moriartys
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This is easily the weakest elementary episode in two seasons.
Its sins are too many to exhaustively list, but lets start with Elementary transgressing rule number one for a whodunnit, relying on information the viewer isn't party to, to solve the crime. I don't care whether it was done to heighten the gasps of surprise at denouement, or because thescene of the lab tech's interogation was left on the cutting room floor, sacrificed to allow more time for the trite and predictable Mycroft reveal.

The entire show was woefully predictable after the hospital in a hotel scene. I had pegged Mrs Jobs as the perp and I'm afraid I had also predicted Mycroft's duplicity right from the moment he tried to play the issue of Holmes' return to london as being the wish of Holmes senior, the bloke who had insisted Sherlock depart england in the first place.

There is nothing wrong with being able to guess the perp in a whodunnit, but trying to create a false sense of climax by keeping information from the audience is just bad writing.

The same goes for putting soapie shock horror sub-plots ahead of the main, 'find the perp' storyline. Conan Doyle never considered such a tawdry way of holding audience interest and those seeking to emulate him need to hold themselves to a similar standard.

By all means include some human interest stuff for those who must know who's up who & who is paying the rent, whenever they observe someone, fictional or otherwise, but prioritizing that sub plot ahead of the main story destroys the foundations of the Holmes genre.

This show is jumping the shark even sooner than the dire for the last 4 seasons, Bones did. It wasn't until the 3rd season of Bones that stunts like those outlined above were combined with a continual sub-text deriding wasshername (can't remember Bones' actual moniker) for the crime of being rational & applying scientific method ahead of superstition & old wives' tales about imaginary friends. That appeal to easy viewing made that show unwatchable for crime aficionados.

By all means give Holmes some human interest if needs must, although I do hafta say the notion that someone as smart as Holmes would fall for a transparent deception such as the disease model of addiction to confront his compulsive behaviors, is pretty unlikely, since not only does the disease model lack evidential support, in at least 95% of cases it is ineffective as a method of treating compulsive behavior long term.

The writers pad out the storyline with that sort of guff if necessary, but if the show is gonna portray the protagonist sacrificing logic & rationality in favour of ill-considered & impulsive logic free leaps of faith, why even bother to call him Sherlock Holmes since that is the act of a person who is the antithesis of the original Sherlock Holmes.




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Disagree. You expect a lot from Free Television. This is a TV show, not a short story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I do agree it is unfair to have cases solved with info the audience isn't privy to but to suggest this was a horrible episode and the series has jumped the Shark is off base.
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I disagree. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Granted, the "Steve Jobs Expy" case was pretty standard "case of the week," but I enjoyed Watson more or less solving the case herself. (She figured out where the first victim died, figured out the killer had a medical background, figured out who the killer was and eventually the motive behind the killer's actions.) I love Female Watson. I am eagerly waiting for an episode where she opens Sherlock's trunk of cold cases and tries to solve one herself.

As for Mycroft... I don't want him being the Big Bad of season 2, or being manipulated by the Big Bad. Having someone Sherlock loves being the chief villain of the season was already done with Irene, and, honestly, anyone who watched the entire first season could've predicted that Irene was Moriarty. TV tropes even had a list of subtle clues that were scattered throughout the season that Irene was alive and the Big Bad. With Mycroft, however, it's a different story. Sherlock was in love with Irene and it clouded his judgment. Sherlock loves his brother deep down, but doesn't particularly LIKE or trust him, despite some moments where the two of them bond (such as the single stick duel this episode) so having Mycroft be evil would just justify why Sherlock didn't fully trust him. I believe Mycroft's "gambit" for Sherlock was to have him and his father reconcile. Perhaps Mycroft's cancer is back and he's making putting back together his family as a number one priority on his bucket list. It make sense, and is a hell of a lot better than "my evil brother" which is a much bigger cliche than last season's "my evil ex-girlfriend."

As for who should be Sherlock's father, I have an option: Conlith Hill. I don't watch Game of Thrones, but I saw him on Suits and he was amazing. I believe Sherlock's father is externally charming but deep down a bit of a scumbag, and Conlith's character of Edward Darby is a perfect prototype of what he COULD be. Mr. Holmes probably genuinely cares for his two sons, since he put Sherlock in rehab, hired Joan to look out for him, and even gave Sherlock two million dollars to help Sherlock catch a kidnapper, but he seems very... standoffish, and probably never showed any affection to Sherlock or Mycroft. Conlith Hill could do it. He's a master at being passive/aggressive, and you could easily like him while hating him at the same time (like his Darby character from Suits. Even though he was pretty much the Big Bad of season 3 so far, he's the most likable character because Harvey and the others pretty much acted like spoiled children all season, ESPECIALLY the first 2 episodes of season 3.)
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I've loved Mycroft ever since he blew up Sherlock's stuff, so, while it'd be interesting to see him possibly up to villainous things, I kind of hope it's some sort of misdirect and he's not up to what we think. If he does turn out to be a bad guy, I hope it'll come off differently than the Moriarty story ... though, I get the feeling if he is up to something, it might be Watson who gets hurt more than Sherlock... That is, if their relationship has continued at all.
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