An Elementary Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on CBS (Returning October 2, 2016)

Elementary S02E22: "Paint It Black"


So, I've been lying to many of you. Well, not outright lying; more of a lie by omission. I had studiously avoided making any mentions of the Mycroft from Doyle's stories being in the British government—or, as the Sherlock of the stories refers to him, "occasionally, [Mycroft] is the British government." I didn't mention it in my review of the season premiere when I discussed how Elementary had adapted the character to suit its needs, nor did I bring it up in his subsequent appearances in "The Marchioness" or "Blood Is Thicker." It didn't even cross my mind to say anything last week.

Now, more than a few of you have talked about it in the comments, particularly after "Blood Is Thicker," and that's fine, of course. But even though I think it's a touch ridiculous to hide a defining character trait of a character who's been around for 121 years, plenty of folks don't know the character at all, either because they haven't read the stories or because they haven't been exposed to his various other media incarnations, including the BBC's Sherlock. So if you were surprised by the reveal, as British operatives swooped in, killed a bunch of French mobsters, and saved Joan's life, then perhaps it was worth not mentioning it.


For those aware of Mycroft's government ties, Elementary did a solid enough job of making us wonder whether the show was scuttling that aspect of the character—a fair choice, really, considering its merging of Irene and Moriarty, coupled with that a gender swap. Or was it just stringing us along, waiting for the right moment to say, "Aha! Thought we weren't going to do that, didn't you?" Certainly the show played it up enough that it could've gone either way. It downplayed Mycroft's massive intellect—I loved his cautious reading of Pierce Norman's hallway this week, complete with tentative gestures from Rhys Ifans to mark uncertainty—and emphasized the shiftiness of the character, with his covert phone calls and the different narratives regarding his dealings with the Le Milieu mobsters and the way he seemed to be playing Joan and Sherlock against one another last week.

Some of you were likely tipped off at one point or another, or just felt confident that the show wouldn't pass up the chance to include an interesting element to return to every now and then after this season is complete. Me, I wouldn't say I was surprised, per se; when de Soto decided to kill Mycroft and Joan, I assumed that either Mycroft would take everyone down by himself, revealing himself to be a super-spy, or that British intelligence forces (guessing MI-6) would swarm in. But I genuinely enjoyed the way in which Elementary muddied the waters just enough that I didn't feel completely confident until something actually happened. It was something of the opposite of last season's Irene/Moriarty reveal, which I snuffed out pretty quickly, though Elementary admittedly invested less time in misdirection with that plot point than it did here.


All of this isn't to say that it entirely worked, though. Why the British government wanted Sherlock back in England remains unclear, and why it would go to such circuitous lengths to achieve that goal is also very murky. All they had to do was ask and pose an interesting puzzle, and he likely would've skipped right across the Pond. Unless they just want him to stay in a more permanent fashion, which seems the likeliest of possible scenarios at the moment.

Likewise, a seemingly throwaway line in this episode created something of a sizable plot hole regarding Mycroft and his... superiors' (?) plan for Sherlock. It's not outside the realm of speculation that Mycroft returned to New York to track down Pierce Norman, since that timeline of his arrival and Norman's supposed theft of the bank account data seem to match up, but the idea that it would've been easier to deal with the situation if Sherlock wasn't in New York—as the man on the phone told Mycroft—has me stumped as to what the ultimate plan is. Was there concern about Mycroft blowing his cover? I suppose/hope all will be revealed next week, but I also hope that it whatever the connection is, it makes enough sense that niggling little issues like this don't end up detracting from what has been an otherwise enjoyable ongoing storyline for the season.


Those potentially nitpicky concerns may turn out to be just that—nitpicky concerns—depending on how Elementary steers the character fallout in the wake of this reveal. For Joan, it'll force her to reevaluate her relationship with Mycroft if their apparent burgeoning romance was all a lie. And if it wasn't, she'll have to decide whether she can be involved with a spy who will still have to lie to her on some level, since that's how being a spy works in these sorts of narratives, if not in real life.

Sherlock faces an equally challenging bit of reality as he deals with being wrong about Mycroft for a number of years, not even pausing to think that Mycroft wasn't a lazy buffoon. Worse still for Sherlock is the possibility that Mycroft, calling back to his small speech at the AA meeting last week, is more than just his peer and is instead his superior. And, unlike with Moriarty, there's not much question of Mycroft's sanity. This will be two seasons in a row that Elementary has exploited major characters from the Doyle stories to rattle Sherlock's core set of assumptions about those closest to him. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm guessing petulance, of course, but I'm hoping for more as well, including a self-interrogation of his skill set, and its apparent value. If Sherlock was wrong about Mycroft, is he also wrong about everyone and everything else?



ADDITIONAL CLUES

– I really enjoyed a number of Lucy Liu's directorial choices this week. Lots of handheld camera work in the early going, and a nice emphasis on obstructed views to play up how much of an emotional separation there was between Sherlock and Mycroft in that early scene in the brownstone. It also seemed like there were a lot more crane shots than the show usually goes for, or maybe they were just more noticeable this week. Either way, a really distinctive episode of the series that still felt like an episode of the series.

– The case of the week was pretty solid. I liked that the corpse came into the narrative later, and that it served as the ultimate clue (though corpses are often the ultimate clue, yes?) so that instead we were mostly focused on finding a missing person. I could've done without Joan operating on the suddenly injured French mobster, as it didn't add a great deal to the story, but it was also so inconsequential that it didn't detract from it either.

– "If anything happens to Joan, I'll murder you." Said with such conviction that it feels so very true, and you almost wouldn't blame Sherlock for doing it, either.


What did you think of "Paint It Black"?


131 Comments
Comments (131)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
"It downplayed Mycroft's massive intellect..."
Indeed. In fact, in the original novels, Mycroft considers Sherlock to be untolerably slow at times.
Reply
Flag
The funny part is, the Mycroft reveal in this ep colors the bomb scene from the end of the season two opener quite differently. Mycroft, after all, didn't need to read a book on bomb building (as myself and likely a number of others suspected), which meant quite clearly just how angry he still was over the affair. :D

Which should make Sherlock want to knock him sideways with his single stick once he does the math.
Reply
Flag
I vote for Albert Finney as the Elder Mr. Holmes. A perfect, larger than life, bombastic, Lovecraftian Horror.
1
Reply
Flag
I like how the writers manage ito communicate crucial aspects of Sherlock's psyche in these thrown away lines. When you look up the term "Lovecraftian horror" you find out that the themes of this genre are the helplessness and hopelessness of the protagonists towards a malignant force . Often the characters are unable to cope mentally with the horrors they have to face.

Mycroft said, that Sherlock had temper tantrums already as a child.
When you consider the situation in which Sherlock got enraged in the series , it was always when he was feeling helpless , like the abduction of Joan, Moriarty succeeding with the murder of the Macedonian doctor or the serial killer in Episode 9 of Season 2.

With these informations it is possible to deduce that his father must have frightened him when he was a child and that might have lead to his psychological problems.
Reply
Flag
I'm going to confess that when hitting whatever grade where one is first exposed to Sherlock Holmes, I think I read assignments which might have been short stories and not the whole novel so while I have a general framework of Sherlock and characters, I am more familiar with the deductive method (honestly from this time period, I was more Agatha Christie) so I was surprised. I find the NSA exchange humorous now with the plea on Mycroft's face for him not to say anything, which I must confess I just thought was odd at the time. I wasn't like Sherlock didn't know of the criminal element.

Reply
Flag
I thought it was very plain why Sherlock in New York was a huge threat to Mycroft's mission. Sherlock had the knowledge and was bright enough to deduce certain things about the clientele of the restaurant that could lead to him inadvertently wrecking Mycroft's mission -- and possibly putting himself and Joan in danger, which is exactly what happened. Whether Mycroft has genuine affection for Joan is not clear. He certainly has some explaining to do to her. In the original books Mycroft was Sherlock's "smarter brother" -- the only person brighter than Sherlock (in the books Moriarty and Sherlock were peers). Sherlock must have forgotten about Moriarty for a moment when he said he had no peer.
2
Reply
Flag
He did not forget her, but like he said in Episode 14 he has cut her out of his life entirely. The words he used at the NA meeting made that clear as well.

" I am without peer, without sane peer anyway, which is functionally identical to being without peer."

He doesn't want to have anything to do with her again.
1
Reply
Flag
True, I forgot about the "without sane peer anyway" bit.
Reply
Flag
Saying she's insane doesn't mean he doesn't want anything to do with her. The writers will bring her back at some point.

1
Reply
Flag
Also true. Has he really cut her out of his life? He is dependent on her as much as on Watson. They are two only a handful of people he has ever had a real emotional connection with.
1
Reply
Flag
I had to admit that with all the red herrings the writers placed about Mycroft I was manipulated into a state of complacency that they had totally diverged from the Holmesian mythos of Mycroft being a shadowy spymaster for the British government and turned him into a indolent but successful restauranteur. Bravo! However, to be fair the writers did hint at this in the first episode. How else could Mycroft rig explosives that took out Sherlock's storage unit? Also how else could he have dealt with the aftermath with the authorities given that it could have been seen as a terrorist incident?
1
Reply
Flag
That was explained. Mycroft listed some of Sherlock's belongings and mentioned a series of books on home-made-bomb making. Sherlock mentioned that that must have been where Mycroft got his knowledge from, so it is not that much of a clue.
1
Reply
Flag
Well, what a surprise..., totally did not see Mycroft being a spy or anything like this. I was getting to the point where I did not like his character and just wanted him gone from the show. Now this is a whole new game. Will be interesting now.

I have one gripe about this show, Can they all SPEAK UP!!! This season seems like they are mumbling and whispering. I have to either crank up the volume or rely on closed caption to know what they are saying. I don't recall this happening last season. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Lui need to speak up.
3
Reply
Flag
Am I the only one who wants to see Johnny Lee Miller yell "Hack The Planet" in at least 1 episode of Elementary??
5
Reply
Flag
Sherlock acquired the chance to show emotions by a (female) Watson - his stressed behaviour is consistent with what he has become with his woman partner. Addicted to her is an interesting theory but it seems more of a attempt on his part to continue creating a sincere friendship with another person.

1
Reply
Flag
And can some monitor please remove the maureenwherrmann spam post and this one about it??? These comments are about a tv show!

Reply
Flag
Mycroft in BI? MI6? Maybe MI8 which no one knows about since MI7 went defunct - yeah right. Anyway, maybe the person talking to Mycroft about the 'mess' meant that Watson would not be under threat now if he had got them out of NY. And my guess is that they wanted the packaged deal, both Sherlock and Watson, in London as earlier played by Mycroft. Elementary aught to be moving to a great S2 conclusion but pray for no cliff-hangers . . .
Reply
Flag
"Why the British government wanted Sherlock back in England remains unclear,"

To me, it was entirely clear from the scene that the french mobsters were on the phone, and wanted Holmes out of NY. I'm confused now. Bummer.

My only complaint for the episode : a new haircut, so late in the season ??? So very distracting.

Reply
Flag
The French mobsters wanted Sherlock out of New York? Mycroft and his British colleagues wanted Sherlock out of New York because Sherlock was the one person who was capable of messing up their plans. Mycroft couldn't explain to Sherlock and Watson why he was consorting with the criminals (pretending to anyway) without blowing his cover to them. He has blown it now to Watson anyway. It'll be interesting to see if he swears her to secrecy or they tell Sherlock. Poor old Sherlock is not quite the person he was in the original stories. He's been conned not only by Moriarty but also by his brother -- and for years by both of them.
4
Reply
Flag
Yes, it was worth NOT mentioning it, thank you very much. I am so engrossed by the series' take on SH, that i haven't watched more than 1-2 episodes of the BBC series. I can still binge on that when Elementary is cancelled.
Reply
Flag
I feel quite dumb, actually. I am well aware of Mycroft's working in the British government, but it did not occur to me that that was what was going on here until the very end. When Mycroft was first introduced at the beginning of the season, I just assumed they were largely departing from the original character (which I had no problem with). And I was so under that assumption that I sort of forget that that might even be an option - even all throughout this episode. It literally was not until after the MI6 operatives came swarming out of their vans that I went 'Oh my god! Of course, he's working for the government!' So the reveal was pretty cool for me, even if I felt really stupid afterwards ;)
6
Reply
Flag
My sentiments exactly! I both read the books and watched the BBC series, so there was no reason for me to not realise Mycroft's real intentions.
I'm guessing that inability to connect the extremely obvious dots was probably due to the fact that they had changed characterisation around before (Irene/Moriarty; Joan/John) and most of the time the story had gone so procedural that I'd forgotten about the actual characters in the story.

Guess it was a surprise for us then! :D
1
Reply
Flag
Excellent episode last night! I did not see Mycroft being a spy! The reveal did take me by surprise, so thanks Noel for not spoiling that in the early reviews! :)
I really loved the chemistry between Sherlock and Mycroft, and Sherlock got everything wrong about Mycroft - he's not a lazy buffoon but rather he's an intelligent super-spy! I love that Mycroft played dumb in front of Sherlock, and I guess Mycroft is as intelligent as Sherlock.

Elementary is getting better and it needs more love! Such an underrated series! And I loved Lucy's performance in directing this ep!
5
Reply
Flag
I really liked how Liu direct ed the episodem and gotta say: nice touch with Mycroft. I am a Sherlock Holmes fans, so I knew Mycroft was supposed to have ties with the governement, but I thought in this incarnation he did not...
also; Michael Gaston. he always ends up playing the betrayer...
3
Reply
Flag
What an outstanding episode! JLM and Rhys Ifans were simply brilliant. Lucy Lui's directorial debut seemed to be a success as well. Loved all of it! Mycroft's reveal didn't surprise me but how we got to it did. I was guessing all the way until MI6 saved the day. He was sure the "Cool Guy" and seemed to dumb down his skills to Sherlock's. I got the feeling this was the first time Mycroft saw how Sherlock worked. At times he seemed amused and almost proud. Their chemistry was just perfect and so were their scenes. Thinking back did you think Mycroft was trying to feed Sherlock's ego by syaing he was a "deductive genius"? I loved that line and the delivery of it! As for Joan trying to save the henchman, I liked it. What else was she suppose to do? Maybe if the guy lived it could have worked to her advantage IF Sherlcok had failed. I have a feeling she'll understand Mycroft as she understands Sherlock. She will be angry at first but then come around and possibly salvage the brother's relationship with each other.

So since Mycroft is MI6 how did he pull it over on Sherlock (if Sherlock doesn't already know)? I'm actually not shocked by this, remember Sherlock didn't even know that Mycroft had leukemia. My theory is that they aren't close and I felt that Sherlock thought Mycroft was beneath him. Didn't he say once that he doesn't waste his time such people? He didn't know because he wasn't paying attention. There sure are a lot of questions looming and hoping any plot holes will be field in the next episode.

Oh and finally...has anyone picked up or maybe thought that Sherlock is now addicted to Joan (I may have mentioned this before)? His actions in this episode seemed to remind me of an addict needing his next fix. He was highly emotional, manic at times and crazed. I do believe he absolutely cares for her, so his emotions could have easily been true to that. However I can't remember ever seeing him so angry. Even with Irene/ Moriarty. He seemed so much more calm and calculated with her. Just putting out there.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
In fact it was made plain in this episode that Sherlock had known about the leukemia all along: "I wish it had killed you", he said. When Mycroft looked puzzled Sherlock added: "the leukemia, I wish it had rotted you to bones" (or something like that).
Reply
Flag
Mycroft's character seems quite ambigous to me. At the beginning when Sherlock said he wished that the leukemia killed him, his answer that he wished the same seemed very sincere, like he hated himself for what he was doing to his brother and was worried about him,
And then again he struck him down with no hesitation at all.
I think deep down in his heart he cares for Sherlock. He is his brother for God's sake.
2
Reply
Flag
I don't know about that, I didn't think he seemed sincere at all. I thought that Rhys Ifans was acting badly in this episode in this episode. I was wrong -- he was deliberately acting badly because his character was being insincere.
Reply
Flag
As always, phenomenal performances by Jonny lee Miller, Lucy liu, and of course, brother Mycroft. The scripting is always sharp, the twists original and the pacing flawless. It is, nonetheless, not without holes in its plot structure, but I assume these will be dealt with accordingly from a highly capable writing team. This, IMHO, is the best show of its kind on television, hands down.
6
Reply
Flag
There are a great deal of plot holes in this "arc." So much of the story doesn't make sense. From the preview for next week, I assume these loose ends will be tied up then. However, I'm curious to know how Noel reached the conclusion that it was the British government that wanted Sherlock to return to the London. I don't dispute this possibility. I just don't follow the thinking. Like he stated in his review, how would Sherlock's absence from the U.S. benefit them. Until, I read this review, I was still very much under the impression that Mycroft's French cohorts were the one who wanted Sherlock out of the way. Surely, with him in London instead of underfoot during Mycroft's less than legal transactions, their criminal activity would remain undetected. If this were really a MI-6 operation, wouldn't they possibly have had eyes on de Soto and seen Joan be taken? Wouldn't the NSA have had the slightest inkling that MI-6 had operatives in the area, especially since they were "aware" of Diogenes? At most, Sherlock would have been a mild annoyance had he been aware of Mycroft's dealings. It was Le Milieu that could have suffered from him being involved.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
I think Mycroft didn't want much interference from the "Scotland Yard" even if it is Joan's safety at stake; Sherlock is smart and he'd suspect if such interference happens.
The French cohorts, I assume, is part of an undercover operation so all those legal transaction is a cover

Regarding NSA,
Mycroft: how do u know I have a restaurant?
NSA guy: bla bla... , interesting client tell"
maybe that was a way to say we know about your covert operations!
1
Reply
Flag
K, fresh out of watching it!

Liked it very much! Miller & Ifans have great chemistry together! Excellent performances from both of them (PLUS I remember Ifans fondly from Notting Hill and also from Harry Potter as the quirky Xenophilius Lovegood!)

It was very touching to hear Mycroft say that he believed Watson was the person Sherlock loved the most in the world, but that he "could keep him on track, not as well as her... but well enough."

Mycroft is supposed to be more intelligent than Sherlock and I was a bit intrigued by the decision of making Mycroft a restaurateur. So it seems now that the mystery is solved: is Mycroft MI6? If so, did he blow his cover then? Is that why the NIS agent mentioned Mycroft's restaurant and why he refused to help Sherlock?

Nice directorial debut from Ms Liu! :-)

Let's read now what Noel has to say...
---------------------------------------
Yes, when Sherlock says: "If anything happens to Joan, I'll murder you." He utters it with such confidence that there is no doubt it will happen and it also feels like logical fact LOL.

Worse still for Sherlock is the possibility that Mycroft, calling back to his small speech at the AA meeting last week, is more than just his peer and is instead his superior.
I haven't read any Sherlock Holmes since I was 12, but what I remember is that Sherlock always knew his brother was extremely clever? Maybe I should read the books again! :-)
More+
Reply
Flag
Did you notice: It is for the first time after now nearly two seasons that Sherlock calls her Joan?
2
Reply
Flag
Colour me... deaf! No I hadn't noticed... I will look at the ep again... whenever I can find the time that is LOL!
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
Thanks Noel for not spoiling what Mycroft was. Elementary always leave the best episodes to the end so I am very excited about watching the finale.
3
Reply
Flag
I forgot something. I adore how the show is playing with light in the Brownstone. You can nearly always 'read' Sherlock's state of mind with focussing on the light in the house. When he is in a very dark mood, than the house is also dark. There is no daylight at all coming in. The fire is also an indicator.The fire in the fireplace is burning and he sits in front of it, like he wants to warm himself because he is feeling cold inside.

5
Reply
Flag
Great acting by Jonny Lee Miller and Rhys Ifans in the first scene at the Brownstone.
Did you see the tears running down Sherlock's face? It was absolutely moving. Now we know how much Joan means to him as a friend and support.
When will this series finally be nominated for an Emmy or a Golden Globe? The quality of this show is way above everything I have seen so far, in writing, especially the elaborated dialogues, and in acting.
What I love, too is the focus on details.
9
Reply
Flag
I've mentioned nominating JLM before. He is truly brilliant and is constantly striving to make his own unique Sherlock. He deserve some sort of award or a nod at least. How do we start a campaign?
6
Reply
Flag
I like this series but I found this episode to be too over the top and too melodramatic. And the story was well acted but the plot not very believeable.
2
Reply
Flag
great episode... was already expecting the reveal as i am also a fan of BBC's Sherlock... my only contention maybe is how all these year sherlock was amiss to the fact the mycroft is relatively the british government... hmmm... or maybe that just shows the intellectual wise mycroft is more superior than sherlock just lazy...
Reply
Flag
Or maybe Mycroft is just really, really good at what he does.
2
Reply
Flag
Reminds me of the real fake husband of Peta Wilson in La Femme Nikita. Even his father thought of him as a lazy baffoon.
1
Reply
Flag
And yet "Mr. Jones" fooled them all (I want to pretend the last season never happened).
1
Reply
Flag
Mycroft says he needs to apologize for what happened to Joan. Mycroft says it’s complicated and Sherlock asks why. He says if anything happens to Joan, he couldn’t forgive himself.
Sherlock says he won’t have to because if anything happens to Joan, he will murder him.

"I have to turn my head until my darkness goes"
the coda of 'paint it black' was brilliant
I did not know that Lucy was directing - that is very very cool.
2
Reply
Flag
Maybe this fact answers Noel's question about why the government wanted Sherlock and by the way Joan as well out of New York and back to England. They wanted Mycroft's operation to be safe and having a brother and a friend living in New York would make him vulnerable besides the risk of his cover getting blown. When the gangsters found out, they could always use them as a wager and that's what happened actually.
1
Reply
Flag
He will murder him, just remember the first time Sherlock lost Irene.

If Mycroft is the government, he's aware of it too.
Reply
Flag
I've seen all of BBCs Sherlock but it didn't cross my mind that he could be with the British Government in Elementary. Noels restraint is appreciated :) Another great performance from Rhys Ifans.
7
Reply
Flag
Actually, I was disappointed in the (yeah, I know, traditional) reveal of Mycroft's government link. Elementary has redefined the other major characters, and I thought they'd tweaked Mycroft more than that.

Worse, while Mycroft is not the lazy buffoon, he's been revealed to be more of a dick than ever. To allow Joan to be in danger for such an extended period and not to reveal his government resources to Sherlock? I hope that Sherlock goes ahead and kills him anyway. Yeah, I know he won't, but Joan should at least punch him in the 'nads. I'd also like to see the NSA clean house when they realize MI-6 has been running ops in NYC through Diogenes.

It just comes down to this: I don't like Mycroft, and the reveal hasn't changed that.
11
Reply
Flag
oh grow up -Rhys Ifans character's development this season has been brilliant - if you don't like him, and wish violence upon him, then he is doing a great job as an actor
6
Reply
Flag
Really? I didn't say a word about the actor. Yes, he's doing a fine job - if you reread my post, you won't find a single criticism of Ifans. But I'm not being meta here. I'm talking about the character itself, and I despise him. And if I'm going to believe the work of actors JLM and LL, Sherlock and Joan are going to have to express some visceral rage.
5
Reply
Flag
Hah! neither did phxcowbot. s/he said his CHARACTER'S development and that if you wished violence on the CHARACTER then the ACTOR was doing a great job.
3
Reply
Flag
You might be right, but then phxcowbot's overuse of pronouns leaves it open to multiple interpretations. I assumed the "him", "him", and "he" were the same identity.
1
Flag
Lucy did a great job with this episode. Mycroft and Sherlock were amazing and i can't wait next week episode to see Sherlock's reaction to Mycroft's rescue of Joan.
6
Reply
Flag
I've seen Sherlock the BBC enough times that Mycroft being MI6 shouldn't have come as a surprise. I do admit something was bugging me about Mycroft's stupidity, but until this reveal I couldn't put my finger on it. He was always so calm for someone who seemed to be a failure, too much steady reserve for someone who supposedly was that deep in trouble. Now I know why, it was a front.

Its obvious Mycroft did need his brother to help him find the list, but I'm sure his superiors were sketchy about him finding it. I think Mycroft might be the socially superior intellect but Holmes has a creative flair that slightly goes beyond simple deductions. His ego, in many ways, is as much a part of his deductive skills as his intellect. The torture scene in the brownstone was priceless, even funnier when I think back to Sherlock's directions of what he was about to do, afraid for Mycroft's squeamish nature. The fact that Mycroft wasn't as squeamish as he should have been should have been another clue something was up. Mycroft is probably naturally reserved but this entire episode, it was like he was sleepwalking. An avalanche of clues that I should have picked up on.

As for Joan reverting to being a doctor: she isn't Janet Bond. I mean, I appreciate the idea of people resisting in such instances but the way that gangster shot his cousin as a third option instead of taking him to the hospital or watching him die, it's clear Joan was out of her depth. Even Sherlock would have had a hard time getting out of that situation, and he's prepared a long time for it. So to get upset that Joan played being doctor as an alternative misses the very valid point. Being a doctor was something she could do in that situation, instead of being tied to a chair. If anything, her skills gave her a modicum of freedom that Sherlock would have been proud of her exploiting. Granted, he would have lectured her on the numerous ways to exploit that freedom but that's Sherlock being Sherlock.

And I doubt the whole 'Sherlock loves her more than anyone else' theory. That he cares about Joan very, very deeply, I don't doubt. That she complements him in numerous ways, absolutely. But that his affection for her surpasses Moriarity...well we know Mycroft isn't ominiscient. I do think Alistair's death simply made Joan's presence all the more comforting, so that Sherlock really abhors the fact of feeling alone again. That he was willing to compromise himself to go begging to the NSA for help really showed how much he did care. Sherlock doesn't ask for help, and he doesn't put himself in that kind of vulnerable position where an entity like the NSA could have its hooks in him. They are going to remember he came to them for a favor. And I bet they knew his brother was MI6 which is why they picked them up together but only questioned Sherlock.

I hope that wasn't the end of Season 2. Who was Mycroft reporting to, what happened when Sherlock and Joan reunited, what does the NSA have to say about MI6 having the list (or soon to have it, I assume?) One of the best episodes of the season.
More+
16
Reply
Flag
Even though she is no longer practicing, isn't Joan still enough of a doctor to be obliged to help a wounded man? Hippocratic oath and all that...
Reply
Flag
I knew at some point Mycroft would be revealed to be more than he appeared, since he was a man who rarely left the Diogenes club he would be very accustomed to luxury and what better cover than a restaurant to do business in comfort and with quality food available. It is harder to believe, however, that he could hide his superior intellect and vocation from Sherlock for the entirety of his life and have him believe that he was solely without peer.
He did at times appear to be prodding Sherlock, ie.
over the body to help deduce the most likely murderer,
the "family/financial in" they had with the bank near the beginning to make a deal and start the investigation at the suspect's office.
I also believe there was a quiet communication between Mycroft and the NSA to not involve themselves over the "How do you know I own a restaurant" talk

I also did not think the Joan's operation was completely without reason or unnecessary as it established the criminal's sheer ruthlessness and the likelihood that she would be dead once the transaction was done regardless. This was not some Home Alone style bad guys that Mycroft was manipulating and playing with.

More +
Reply
Flag
Sherlock unrolls his tools, and tells yoder he will get the answers eventually, and will enjoy getting them out of him. JLM really sold that line - I believed him
Sherlock explains that you can choke any area of the body and tells him to say good-bye to his left hand. He applies the pressure and Yoder cracks and tells them where the hard drive is hidden in his car. - he believed too.
Reply
Flag
Absolutely a wonderful post. I guess I will concede to your point about her turning doctor. I have gotten use to her picking locks and infiltrating offices and stealing files like a boss, but I guess going up against a crime organized gun waving tyrant with personal space issues might have been a bit much.

I agree about loving the torture scene. I saw on some other sites where a few people get uncomfortable when Sherlock gets this dark, but I love it. Maybe I like my heroes a little on the anti side, but I appreciate that he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty when the occasion calls for it. Can you imagine waking up in a chair with plastic not only spread out under you but throughout the entire room, like the blood splatter is going to be spraying that far? I would pee my pants for sure, so as always great psychological warfare that Sherlock is coming up with.

hmmm. I guess my only debate with you would be if Watson is who he loves most in the world. I guess only Sherlock himself would be able to answer that. Some would say that Joan is just his crutch or his muse and Moriarty is the love of his life. Is some ways that is true but I think she was the love of his life when she was pretending to be sane. Now that he knows she is a homicidal criminal mastermind, I think he still loves the idea of her but I don't think he's "in love with her" anymore. Of course there will always be a connection that he can't sever but he is just sane enough to know that there could never be more than that anymore. Now with Watson, of course there is no romantic love at this point, in fact this in one of the only male/female pairings on TV that I would be just as happy if they don't get together, in a way they are to good together to go the contrite romantic angst routine. In a way they are soul mates, they compliment each other perfectly. I guess what it boils down to is if he found out tomorrow that Moriarty had died in prison, he would be distraught but Joan would bring him around in time, If Joan had died last night, I really don't think Sherlock would get through it. He is almost scary dependent on Joan for his sobriety and his own survival.
More +
9
Reply
Flag
Jonny Lee Miller said in an interview that , with him playing Sherlock, it was absolutely out of the question that he and Watson might ever get involved romantically., because that would destroy the show. I hope it will stay that way.
1
Reply
Flag
How quickly people forget Sherlock's questioning of the original 'Moriarity' in Season 1. It should have been obvious back then that Sherlock isn't above enhanced interrogation. For the right person, he will go all Darth Vader on a suspect, which is one of the reasons why he probably can't actually function under the rigors of regular police work. His temprement makes for a better PI and/or consultant than straight-up detective.

But I partially disagree with you about Moriarity and Joan. This is still somewhat of a canon-based alternate, so the fact that they made Irene and Moriarity mixed really is supposed to infer that she is his primary emotional focal point. I would agree more if Irene and Moriarity were both female but seperate people but because they are assumed to be the same person, we have to also assume a similar transference of emotion regarding those names. Does being Moriarity dampen some of Sherlock's idealism towards Irene, absolutely. And I think her betrayal is another motivating factor for Sherlock to put so much emotional weight on Joan. In fact, the two people he's resorted to torture in order to help are Irene/Moriarity and Joan, which I don't think is a coincidence at all. However, there are parts of him that only Irene understands, if only because she has a similar end-all, be-all means within herself. Its why I think Joan and Mycroft make a better couple: they each have a set of moral standards that complement each other. Sherlock is willing to go to places I don't think Joan can follow. Irene/Moriarity, in this incarnation, can manipulate him but he also has an emotional wedge against her.

Again, her massive Joan portrait spoke volumes about how possessive she is towards Sherlock. Joan admires Sherlock but she fundamentally doesn't love him to that depth. Irene/Moriarity does, in her own twisted way. And I hate when people use the term soulmates to denote friendship. Its original meaning was akin to spiritual-based lovers. Acknowledging a deep friendship is not the same as arguing for a deep spiritual, romantic bond. Let's not do the MySpace thing and 'friend' the word to meaninglessness.
More +
1
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
JLM has had practice playing at torturer as he was that self help guru / killer in Dexter, the scene where he unrolls Dexter's knives from his murder kit and remarks "Now this does show some promise" was particularly delicious.
Reply
Flag
I think Joan absence is enhanced because Sherlock doesn't know what he feels about her yet. It's intense yes, perhaps even more so than what he feels for Moriarty, but he hasn't figure out what it is yet (so he can't tell if its reciprocated).

With Moriarty he knows: Sherlock was in live with her, and he knows he was reciprocated. Irene absence doesn't leave loose ends now that he knows she is Moriarty, thus why he isn't the emotional wreck he was when about to lose Joan.
2
Reply
Flag
'For the right person, he will go all Darth Vader on a suspect, which is one of the reasons why he probably can't actually function under the rigors of regular police work'

Haha! I agree, he may consult with police but his intellect will tell him that following the letter of the law would be too much of an impediment to solving crime or murder. He pretty much said his intellect excuses him from needing to obey the law. In season one he indicated his intellect and usefulness to the NYPD superceded his need to observe their rules after the M incident in that bar where Gregson might have reluctantly agreed but instead punched Sherlock in the stomach simply for his arrogance and the betrayal he felt.
Flag
Moriarty didn't die in Prison - she's about to become Queen of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms,,,,,,, ummmm, never mind.
3
Reply
Flag
I read the books enough times to know that Mycroft wouldn't be just and entrepreneur, but I was expecting a bad guy or a mastermind so the big reveal also fooled me,

It was better than Shelock's that's for sure.
1
Reply
Flag
This was one of the best episodes I've seen. JLM doesn't get enough credit for carrying this series. Scenes between Sherlock & Mycroft were riveting. Kudos to LL the director. But I still think she was miscast as Watson.
12
Reply
Flag
I used to believe, and rather strongly, that Lucy Liu had been miscast in the series but not anymore. They actually have an interesting chemistry.
3
Reply
Flag
Thank you Noel for another great recap. It always puts a smile on my face to see these on Friday mornings, Please keep them coming.

I loved this episode, and I do want to thank you for not spoiling what Mycroft was in earlier adaptions. I have never read or watched any other Sherlock material, so I was blown away by the ending. I really thought Mycroft was just a run of the mill super villain or something along those lines.

I can't say enough about JLM's performance. That man can act and I'm not sure he gets enough credit. I love this show the most when Sherlock is coming unhinged about something so his complete desperation in finding Watson really brought out the old "acting chops".

The only thing I feel cheated on was no Sherlock/Watson reunion. The whole show was watching Sherlock in desperation mode and even at the end actually begging the guy at NSA, which lets face it Sherlock would have to hit rock bottom to be begging, so I'm holding out major hope that we get some emotional reunion at the beginning of next week. Okay so sue me, I'm a emotional woman and I want to see a hugging, sappy reunion.

I also agree about the annoyance of Watson pulling out the doctor card again. I would have like to seen instead her using some detective/deduction skills and trying to save herself, even if it failed miserably, that would have been better then a contrived "let me save your buddy" scene that we got.
More+
5
Reply
Flag
GGRRRRRRRRR - Girls!
we don't need no hugging, happy, sappy reunion.. They're colleagues dammit.
and Sherlock apparently really likes Twins He can be pissed off at the villains and his brother and still treat Joan like a partner, not a girl.
Jeebus, I hope my big sister doesn't read this, she'll kick my ass.
1
Reply
Flag
I think they played it right. They jaw-dropped me for sure, and I usually don't get jaw-dropped. For those wondering would this make Mycroft slicker than Sherlock, apparently, from the original literature itself...
"Possessing deductive powers exceeding even those of his younger brother, Mycroft is nevertheless incapable of performing detective work similar to that of Sherlock as he is unwilling to put in the physical effort necessary to bring cases to their conclusions.
...he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right. Again and again I have taken a problem to him, and have received an explanation which has afterwards proved to be the correct one. And yet he was absolutely incapable of working out the practical points...
—Sherlock Holmes, speaking of his brother in "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter"
7
Reply
Flag
Way too knackered to watch it now, just coming out of my shift... but later today it's a date...
Reply
Flag
I didn't like the torture part, the yoder guy confessed too fast after being trained LOL I was afraid mycroft was a puppet, it seems he's interesting, the ending is so cliffhanger
Reply
Flag
I'm sorry but I think that Sherlock was to me anyway a bit out of character in the scene with Mycroft tasering him. I mean Sherlock is not one to normally turn his back on anyone. He doesn't even trust his brother so why would he leave a stun gun out in the open and then turn his back to Mycroft. I hoped at first that Shelock knew something was up and tasering wasn't real, as I couldn't believe Shelock would turn his back to Mycroft even if he didn't deem him a threat. But it was not to be!
6
Reply
Flag
At that point in the episode, I was CERTAIN Sherlock had purposely exposed his back to expose Mycroft's bad intentions. Because I too thought it out of character to be that vulnerable. So, I was surprised and disappointed when he really was caugh unawares.
5
Reply
Flag
I think it's to prove how desperate he is without watson LOL
11
Reply
Flag
I agree, Sherlock said so himself: Joan makes him sharper, more focussed, better. He still hasn't figured out why.

The episode served for us to figure out to what degree this is true...he was lost without her.
2
Reply
Flag
I brought up the theory that Sherlock might be suicidal two weeks ago after the incident with the van. So obviously I am not the only one to see it that way.
Reply
Flag
It's one thing to die before her, another entirely diferent to live on after she dies.

Sherlock can do the former, he most certainly can't handle the latter.
Flag
He was not just lost, he was all raw nerve endings. I like it how JLM expresses that with the tics in the hands for example. But still it's strange that he turned his back on Mycroft because it is true that he usually never ever leaves his back uncovered, not even observing a suspiscious truck and suspiscious men with suspiscious boxes ;-)
Reply
Flag
Its like he doesn't care anymore, without Watson there's no reason to keep himself safe anymore.

...not even poor Clyde who would be orphaned all over again.
2
Flag
I don't like the portrayal in Elementary of Sherlock being nearly dysfunctional without Watson.
2
Reply
Flag
After last weeks episode and the scene in the beginning where Sherlock was nearly hyperventilating and only moving very close to Watson calmed him a little, I think in this episode he got aware , that he is not able to manage his life without the help of other people. For someone who is an independent thinker and has a strong will that realisation must be very hard, hence the tears.
Flag
It is not in a sexual way, but Sherlock does "love" Watson dearly. He was so crazed with grief and anger that his emotions overcame his intellect, which is why he didn't see through Mycroft's deceit and turned his back on him.
Flag
Every Sherlock since the books has been dysfuctional without his Watson (just remember Robert Downey Jr's).

This is just the first Sherlock man enough to admit that much.
12
Flag
It's also quite dumb to suggest Sherlock doesn't know his own brother. Sure, they've been estranged a while, but he's the great Sherlock Holmes, and Mycroft Tasers him, to get his dolt of a brother out of the way, nonsense. Although I thought this was a great episode and Lucy did a great job directing, and it was pretty perfect up until Mycroft Tasered him. She should have just asked herself what would Joan do. and told them to rewrite the dumb ending with both of them the hero.

Reply
Flag
2 options for the Tasering.

1) To keep Mycroft's secret (as he probably had to get a fake copy of the list ready);

2) To keep Sherlock safe.
3
Reply
Flag
Well, those are reasonable explanations I suppose. But we all know that Sherlock didn't want to be safe, he only wanted Joan back safe and sound. And as for the other one, Sherlock had proved himself to be reasonable to his dipshit brother, many times beneath his anger, and just wanted some back up, which he didn't know at the time Mycroft could provide. All Mycroft had to do was make a phone call and Sherlock would be on board--He's freaking Sherlock Holmes, and Mycroft should have trusted his brother enough to go along with his plan. At least that's how I saw it. You can't be a clueless dipshit AND "The British government" at the same time, it just doesn't wash.
2
Reply
Flag
Sherlock was too emotional to be trusted, and would Sherlock have believed Mycroft if Mycroft had attempted to tell him the truth? Mycroft is hardly being cold -- Sherlock was too involved and emotional to function sensibly. Mycroft does have some affection for his little brother and tasering him prevented Sherlock from putting himself in danger.
Reply
Flag
Can't answer anymore to your comment, so I have to do it this way. There's a great difference so far (maybe it will change in Elementary, too) to the Mycroft in all other versions. Mycroft normally cares for his brother, even if they mostly don't agree. But what Mycroft does here, is absolutely cold-blooded. He risks that Sherlock breaks down completely and doesn't even seem to care.
Reply
Flag
He doesn't. I think it was more than clear both Holmes brothers cared more about Watson's safety than they cared about each other's sanity.

I guess Mycroft was indeed pretty serious when he proposed Watson to continue their entanglement.
1
Flag
Sherlock is suffering from an Anxiety Disorder. The writers and directors made this quite clear over the last episodes. I was wondering why they did so, because until then there where only subtle clues to that fact.
Now I understand.
Sherlock is nearly unable to leave the house alone,
he would never have gone to save Joan without backup. That's why Mycroft "tasered" him (does that word even exist).
What I think is quite cruel by the way.
Mycroft knows about Sherlock's problems, he stated it more than once in this and in the last episode. So it is even more despicable that he treats him like that and even uses his knowledge to play Sherlock off against himself.
3
Reply
Flag
He's not without her, even when Joan goes away Sherlock always knows that she'll come back. This was not the case.

For the first time since she moved in, there's the very real possibility Joan won't come back home, ever.
Flag
I'm sorry, I'm not getting THAT from the show AT ALL. Sure, he may have a bit of anxiety disorder, but to say he nearly won't leave without her is just not supported by the facts. He is quite often without her and does just fine.

But, he's controlling and loves having her around and can't grasp that she might have a life away from him.

I'd say he's more narcistic than with with anxiety.
Flag
Jonnie Miller's Sherlock states he has no peers, but it's kind of obvious that he's wrong about that. But he's still the great Sherlock Holmes, and his main skill is sorting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. We'll just have to wait and see how all this plays out. Benedict Cumberbatch's Mycroft is a dick too, but the way he's portrayed is much more straightforward and brilliant. Mycroft is a major character in the Holmes legend, and the Elementary folks need to get it right. It can be different, but it has to work is the bottom line.
Flag
I don't think Sherlock was the hero, he was the victim here. Someone he cared about was taken from him and he couldn't function without her.

Mycroft was the hero, if fonly because someone he cared about was distraught because someone he also cared about was taken from them. And yet he kept thinking...
Reply
Flag
I don't think you could call Mycroft the hero. Nothing he did was noble. Clever, yes. Sly, certainly. Intelligent I'll give you. But worth of admiration and someone you'd want your children to emulate? Hell no.
5
Reply
Flag
The Winchester boys are real and true heroes. Jim Rockford rarely got paid, and Sherlock is proud to work for free--although Watson get's paid. But the Winchesters do it gratis because they know someone has to do it. But Mycroft turned out to be just a clueless dipshit in the end. Look at Sherlock's Mycroft, he's the real deal, and Sherlock knows it. His brother is a peer, and Sherlock knows that too.
2
Reply
Flag
Then again, that would make him a role model. Mycroft is a hero, but a role model he's not.

Neither is Sherlock for that matter. The role model here is Watson.
3
Reply
Flag
Yes, the original Watson was an exemplar of British virtue, and Liu's Watson is also the sanest of the bunch and the one with the most active conscience. But is even she a genuine role-model? She picks too many locks and bends the rules a little too much for that. And didn't she happily lie under oath about how she and Sherlock found so many doors already open? The two cops may be the closest things to real role models in the series.
Flag
@ionee24, you still haven't given any clear definition of what the hell you think a hero is. You've given a few examples, but what do you think the word "hero" actually means?
Flag
To me, the antihero lacks the fundamental quality to embrace the journey ahead: neither Rick Grimes, Tyrion Lannister or Dr. Jack wanted to embrace the role they are in, yet they were role models independent of it.

Jack Bauer, Dr. House and the Glee kids embrace role, they face the journey, but they are hardly role models. Mycroft himself is a hero, but he's hardly a role model.

Sherlock, on the other hand, is the clear victim in this episode: his role model was taken away from him. Without her, he's still protagonist, the main lead, but he's neither heroic nor a role model. He's just the victim who wants Watson back.
Flag
Yeah, I don't think protagonists were ever expected to be either heroes or role models. In Elementary, Sherlock and Joan are protagonists, and Mycroft may be an antagonist - he certainly has been. But hell, Dexter's eponymous serial killer was the protagonist. Being the main character or the POV character doesn't make one a hero, antihero, or role model. Hero and role model both involve the concept of being someone looked up to, admired, and who others want to be like.
Flag
@stanking stays "The way I learned the word growing up, every hero is a role model." Maybe we are confusing protagonist with hero?

Before most protagonists were considered "heros" but then we got the "anti-heros" so maybe not every protagonist is a "good role model."

Does that make sense?
Flag
@ionee24, the more we discuss this, the more I realize I have no idea what you mean when you use the word hero.
Flag
You got that right...
1
Flag
Antiheroes would be The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes, Game of Thrones's Tyrion Lannister or Lost's Jack Shepard.

I consider them better role models than antiheroines like Scandal's Olivia Pope, Homeland's Carrie or The Americans's Elizabeth Jennings though.
Flag
I think the term you may be looking for is antihero. I wouldn't consider any of the characters in The Simpsons, House M.D., or Breaking Bad to be heroes. Some might consider the characters in TVD, PLL or Glee to be heroes, but those that see them that way probably do consider them role models as well.
Flag
@stanking: Not since The Simpsons. 24, House M.D., Breaking Bad probably the best examples as to why a hero isn't a role model nowadays.

CW's Elena Gilbert, ABC's Pretty Little Liars, Fox's Glee students are probably seen as heroic but that doesn't make them role models either.
Flag
they couldn't be both heroes cos mycroft has his own secret? cos in the end shows he has a bigger organization LOL
2
Reply
Flag
I admit, I did not see that coming. The Irene-is-Moriarty reveal was seen a mile away, but the fact that Mycroft is NOT the Big Bad of season 2 and is actually a genuine good guy made my jaw drop. It's going to be interesting to see how Sherlock handles the news. In Moriarty's case he was in love with her and that blinded him to her sinister nature, but with Mycroft Sherlock never really liked his brother nor trusted him (though their relationship did soften a little during his mid-season mini arc.) I don't know what the bigger mistake Sherlock made is: loving a woman so much and becoming blind to the finer clues of her true nefarious nature or being so hypercritical of your brother and failing to notice the big picture.
5
Reply
Flag
I have to admit that I didn't see the Irene-is-Moriarty reveal until her henchman referred to her as her (and it was slipped in in a scene long before Sherlock heard it when lying on the floor). Personally, I saw the Mycroft not being what he seemed coming much sooner than I guessed who Moriarty was.
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
Well, I've always wanted to see Sherlock fooled and he was fooled by his own brother. Not outsmarted, like Irene-Moriarty did, but actualy fooled as in for a lifetime.

It renders a whole new meaning to the brothers relatioship with Joan, if played as an intellectual triangle this could be better than a love triangle.
8
Reply
Flag
He has no peers you know...
2
Reply
Flag
Not intellectually perhaps, but the "boy-man" has many emotional superiors. I know you were being jocular, but Sherlock has an emotional IQ of about 85. And in the books Mycroft was his intellectual superior. But Sherlock may not have everything wrong about Mycroft: Mycroft may be a bit lazy.
Reply
Flag
Mycroft surely is lazy. He didn't react at all when Sherlock revealed to him that he noticed something fishy was going on in his restaurant. So he is responsible for what happened to Joan and also Sherlock's state of mind. He also let Sherlock dig out the corpse of Pierce Norman all alone.
I don't think by the way, that Sherlock has a low emotional IQ. He said to his sponsor Alfredo, that he always had compassion for the victims and that he excels in the ability of putting himself into other people's shoes. He is just too much afraid of being rejected to use his abilities.
Reply
Flag
That would make Mycroft his superior I'm afraid...
3
Reply
Flag
Nice.

I was was hoping it would be revealed that Mycroft IS the government in this version. And it appears he is :-)
9
Reply
Flag
Just in case: @LucyLiu is live tweeting her directorial debut! :-)
5
Reply
Flag
Great job, Lucy...
1
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
12,286