An Elementary Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on CBS
I don't know if the scene with McNally and Sherlock on the bench was added or edited by the writers last minute as the episode was filmed at the end of January. I think it might because it was shortly after Meryl Streep and with her actors and artists in general had been criticised publicly for talking about politics instead of sticking to their "purpose" of entertaining people and only days after Ewan McGregor was insulted by Piers Morgan for refusing to be interviewed by him.
You could virtually see the pleasure with which Jonny Lee Miller and Tim Guinee delivered the dialogue that I find significant.

"No one was saying 'just a little' in Farsi in the background on that tape. It wasn't an Iranian Nuclear scientist referencing how much enriched uranium they were using. It was Gephardts mother beckoning her pet in another part of the house."

"Oh, come on. You don't think that's funny?"

"Well, I might, if the cable news commentariat weren't pimping this bizarre puppet show. How do you feel about Iran?"

"That's irrelevant. You should be asking how I feel about the truth."

"In case you're just telling me what I want to hear, you should know identical dossiers have been sent to the NYPD, the FBI, and MI6 and a couple of media outfits that I hold in relatively limited contempt."

Besides that this criticism could be linked to the current situation in the US that I choose not to comment on here, it is of universal relevance.

The tendency of media outlets to circulate news fast without proper research is a problem. It bares the risk to communicate facts that later prove false, but once they are out they can't be taken back easily because the damage is done.

I will give you an example to illustrate what I mean.
In July 2016 an 18 year old student from Munich with a migrant background killed nine people with a gun in and around a shopping centre. The information spread that a terrorist attack was taking place and panic evolved. Several TV stations started a live broadcast from the city including the ARD who took part in those speculations.

In no time social media channels were full of comments about refugees and Muslim immigrants. As you can imagine they were not in favour of them.
In the end it turned out that the perpetrator was a mentally disturbed young men who had no contact whatsoever to any Islamist group. On the contrary he had sympathized with right-wing ideologies.

I don't think I have to comment any further on that outcome and the consequences of it.
I prefer moving on to the second significant topic of the episode.

The strained relationship between Sherlock and Kitty and how the problem was solved.

In my opinion Elementary is at its best when it deals with the relationships of the main characters, when the plots facilitate the actors to show their abilities.
This episode was a fine example for that.

Sherlock isn't a man who easily talks about his feelings. He always needs a lot of encouragement until he finally opens up.
Kitty and Joan both sense that there is something eating away at Sherlock and so they try to make him talk. Sherlock never had two people doing that at the same time what entices him to the comment:
"Gosh, you are all alike"
referring to his protégés.

Teaching them to read people now some kind of backfires on the detective although I would say for the benefit of him.
When he finally speaks out he reveals that he is deeply hurt because Kitty excluded him from her life after she had fled the country. He believed he had done something wrong to drive her away from him.
It is the story of his life that people he cares about turn their backs on him and so you can't blame Sherlock to be angry and sad that one of the few people he ever considered a friend disappeared from his life without a word.

"The last time that you left, it wasn't made clear to me that our friendship had run its course; it took me two years to work that out.
Two years - Two years without a word from you.
I mean, you couldn't even be troubled to send a simple e-mail to let me know you were okay.
I don't mind whether you're a detective or not.
The only thing I want, the only thing I've ever wanted, was for you to be happy.
Against all the odds, it happened.
You didn't tell me.
Do you really think that would've been hard for me? To lie to protect a friend?
I've been asking myself what I could've done differently, if I could've done anything better.
Friendship has never come that easily to me.
I thought that what we had was-was meaningful.
I mean, you made a person, Kitty, and you didn't tell me."

In the end we get to know that Kitty was far from not caring about Sherlock anymore.
In fact she didn't dare to get in touch because she felt guilty for being able to recover completely from what had happened to her in the knowledge that Sherlock would never be able to do the same.
It was possible for her to find peace because her tormentor was brought to justice something Sherlock can't have.
He would never do anything to his father. He might hate him profoundly but Morland is still his dad. And even if what his classmates did to him wouldn't have fallen under the statute of limitations by now it would still be impossible to prove because everybody involved would keep quiet.

Kitty knows what Sherlock is going through every day because she experienced the same.
On one hand that makes it difficult for her to deal with him now but on the other hand it enables her to understand him better than anyone else.

So in the end she finds a way to make up for the pain she caused by giving Sherlock what he needs the most and something to hold on to when the dark thoughts take over: A family and the knowledge that there are people who value him as a person, that there is someone who appreciates him so much that she wants him to play an important role in the life of her child.

Picture in the feed:
Petri Krohn at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Comments (5)
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Mar 21, 2017
Another great review and insight.
On the first part, I have very little to say except, all politics, political parties, the left, the right and the news, in all its forms, sucks.

Character interaction is a high point of the series and each character is interesting and layered so well. At first I was not sure whose side I was really on because a few points it seemed like Joan did not understand some of the quirks of Sherlock, some of which he really has little or no control over. At other points Sherlock was just not acting quite right or explaining himself at all to even the people he trusted most. I like how it ended up as both Sherlock and Kitty finally communicated without interruption and they showed how much they really understood each other.

Looking forward to the next review.
Mar 18, 2017
Alistair said that being Sherlock's friend means he'll go for years with no contact and then call out of the blue with a seemingly insane request. So I can blame Sherlock for getting angry and sad because someone he worked so hard to make more like himself ended up treating him the same way he treats people.
Mar 18, 2017
prefer: Agreed 100%. I value the insight nullnull2654 provides (her reviews are one of the few reasons why still has some value), but let us not be TOO much of an apologist for the Sherlock character.
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