An Elementary Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on CBS
Elementary is currently in the bubble for renewal.

If CBS still needs an argument to give the show a Season 6, in spite of all the comments on various platforms saying that Elementary is one of the most intelligent and best written shows on TV ,"High Heat" is a striking one.

The episode contained everything that makes the series extraordinary: A credible and interesting plot, excellent writing, emotion, strong characters, realism and something that I had been missing for some time: humour (I only say "Mr.Coconut").

The main and the background plot were closely linked in this episode because if Kirby had had the necessary skills for the job he was doing and if he had worked properly, I strongly suspect that the story would have taken a different turn.

Kirby obviously didn't inform the relatives of the murder victims about his intentions. They thought he was just another "murderabilia" collector and filed restraining orders against him.
In the end his actions got him and his client killed.

I think if he had told the families about the theory why their loved ones had been shot and explained to them that it might be in their interest to get to know if their family was affected by CMT (link to more information about the disease at the bottom) they might have given him DNA samples voluntarily because they would finally have had closure. It would then have been in the hands of the Spivey family to decide what to do with the information that Houston could be affected by a degenerative disease.

But because Kirby had neither tact nor competence (Watson had to admit that Sherlock had been right about that) the whole affair ended in a complete disaster.

This sparked my interest to find out how the profession of Private Investigator is regulated in real life.

There is no general law about the conditions under which somebody can call him- / herself a PI. There are some regulations though. In nearly all US states you need to be licensed to open up a Private Investigation office. As Elementary is set in New York I decided to research their policy.

Private Investigators in New York

If you want to open your own business as Private Investigator you need to be licensed by the state of New York. To get that licence the following conditions apply:

- You must be at least 25 years old

- You must have worked as an employee of a licensed PI or a law enforcement agency for three years or provide equivalent experience for example as a police officer or member of the military.

- You have to pass a PI exam within two years before the application.
The exam is a Walk-In multiple choice test that you have to finish in 2 1/2 hours.
Everybody who can provide a valid ID document is allowed to take the test.

- licence law
- penal and criminal procedure law
- investigative techniques
- supervision
- restrictions
- interpreting written material
- report writing

After that you can apply for a licence that costs 500 $ initially and has to be renewed every two years with a fee of 400$.
You are then allowed to call yourself Private Investigator and offer your services to the public.
In my opinion the problem is that nobody controls the work of the PIs and how can a client tell if an investigator does his work correctly or hold him / her accountable if he or she doesn't.
Joan says to Sherlock: "You are being a snob" and he responds: "Someone has to be."
Even if this answer sounds a bit arrogant, it is in some way correct.
In most of the professions you are constrained to take part in further trainings and often there is some kind of supervision. I think it is necessary to guarantee a certain standard and quality of the work. This is especially important in professions where you work with other people and deal with confidential information.

But why was it so important for Sherlock to dismantle the organisation?

Well it is a bit complicated and has to do with Sherlock's psychology.
I think most of you follow the show from the beginning and know about his childhood history and one issue that runs like a thread through all the Seasons.
During his childhood and adolescence the message he received from the people around him was that he was a useless and unwanted human being.
This feeling is burnt deeply into his soul.
In the Episode "Poison Pen" (Ep.4/S.2) he stated:

"I was adrift back then. I had no purpose and my so called peers made me feel that this might forever be the case."

Then he found out that he could use his unique observation skills to solve murders what gave him the strength to carry on.
His abilities as a detective are the only source he can derive self-esteem from. NYOPI is literally a threat to his lifeline as incompetent investigators destroy the reputation of the profession.
I liked how Sherlock was able to find a solution that was good for everybody. It shows how much progress he has made over the last years.

I want to conclude this review with some observations that I think can help to explain the consequences Shinwell's actions had for Sherlock.

Shinwell beating him renewed the feeling of being unwanted and just an object you could kick around when you felt like it.
It also intensified Sherlock's PTSD symptoms (aggression, hyperarousal, anxiety).
Did you notice that apart from the visit to the laboratory Sherlock only went to places where he exclusively had contact with people he knew well? He didn't take part in a single interview or interrogation, not even when the murderer was confronted.
I think this was the first time this ever happened.
It was also very difficult for him to shake Garmendia's hand.
Sherlock tries to fight off the symptoms with having sex but obviously with not much success.

By the way Sherlock is lucky to be a man. If a woman did the same thing she would probably be called a whore.

Sources and links:

If you should ever consider to become a PI in the state of New York here is everything you need to know:

More information about CMT

Picture in the Feed:
By CBS (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Comments (5)
Sort: Latest | Popular
May 31, 2017
Totally missed the fact that he was in a state of depression before becoming a detective. Thanks for the review!
Apr 23, 2017
Maybe if it aired at the same time every week, it wouldn't be such a ratings disaster. Preempt Madame Secretary instead!
Follow this Show