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

Elementary S02E24: "The Grand Experiment"

Before I sat down to write this review, I did what I normally do for season finales here: I looked back at a list of Elementary's Season 2 episodes and asked, "Which ones were my favorite/the season's best?" Which isn't to imply that just because something's my favorite makes it one of the best, but rather to indicate the arbitrariness of "best" in these sorts of subjective evaluations. As I went through the episode list and past reviews, I flipped through thinking, "Oh, I liked that idea or particular idea surrounding a case, but how much did the whole episode work for me?"

For example, I liked "Dead Clade Walking" because the murder ended up being about dinosaurs and textbook sales—but is that enough to say, "Really top notch stuff there!"? I enjoyed "We Are Everyone" for its timeliness, but beyond the Snowden stuff, I don't really remember it all that clearly. I know I didn't care for Moriarty's return, and while the idea of growing an ear on one's back in "Ears to You" was weird and wonderful, the episode itself wasn't something that stuck with me.

I could chalk all this up to the nature of procedurals and the way they often blend together, but I don't think's entirely fair. After all, I can list the installments from Elementary's first season that would earn spots on a list of best episodes without hesitation ("M.", "A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs", "The Woman"). And so I think it's far more likely that the show's second go-round, while solid and entertaining on the whole, and with stellar work from Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, and Rhys Ifans (when he appeared), just never managed to come together. Which isn't great for an episode like "The Grand Experiment," as it was intent on shaking up the show's status quo.

A lot of the episode's faults stem from narrative shortcutting and Elementary's half-hearted commitment to ideas that were "resolved" in the finale, namely Joan's decision to move out of the brownstone. I'm now going to distance myself from my earlier support of Joan wanting to leave, and my reasons for doing so, but I'm also going to rationalize that distancing because of how the scene in Nadir Khadem's apartment played out. 

Previously, I said that I approved of Joan's potential departure because it ignored the contortions that shows like this typically engage in to keep their characters locked in place. But in the end, Joan's decision felt contorted in and of itself. I get where she was coming from, and while Liu is the reason that a lot of the apartment scene even worked as she discussed feeling both lucky and frustrated over being in Sherlock's orbit, the build-up to that moment just wasn't there in the narrative. For me, Liu's performance filled in the story gaps, which is why I was willing to go with it last week but also why I'm retreating a bit now. It was honest deflection on Joan's part when she ignored Sherlock's query about her change of heart regarding Mycroft, but it was also an unanswered motivation on Elementary's part, like the writers may not be completely sure themselves. As a result, I couldn't fully reconcile the performance and the narrative dissonance. Joan moving out is justifiable, but is it a strongly constructed justification? In the end, not so much.

It's the same general issue we've run into with Mycroft. I'm glad that Mycroft turned out not to be a traitor, and that Sherrington was framing him. I even liked the nod to British classism factoring into Sherrington's motivations ("I'm simple. Like a hammer") to sell out his country and set up Mycroft to take the fall, though I'm not sure how big a deal it actually is (U.K. readers, please feel free to enlighten me on this front). Outside of the case, however, Mycroft as plot device ended up floundering. He was a catalyst for Joan's change in attitude, yes, but like with the other elements of Joan's supposed arc this season, he was never fully fleshed out in a way that allowed Joan's decision to be motivated by a consistent and meaningful chain of events.


However, if there's one thing that was consistently well-executed this season, it was Sherlock's development and his desire to change and to grow. I've been harping on this for months, I know, but it's something that Elementary has returned to time and time again, so it's worth revisiting at least one more time! It's not surprising that Sherlock's ambition to better himself was more developed than any of the show's other character elements—he is the main character—but the writers managed to get some nice mileage out of it. Even if some of this growth was ultimately dropped (his sponsoree, who's name I cannot even remember) or just half-baked (his tensions with Bell, which were all too quickly fixed for my liking), Sherlock's presence at AA meetings and his relationships with Joan and Mycroft kept the arc from falling victim to the same fate as Joan's did this season.

Mycroft represented the test of Sherlock's 18 months with Joan as a sober companion, a partner, and a friend. Could he, in his quest for growth, help his brother? The answer, of course, was "Yes." Not only would Sherlock help Mycroft, he would do it as an apology (of sorts) for his past mistakes in putting Mycroft in such a position. Sure, he stalled on making amends because he wasn't at that step in the AA program, but the intent was clearly there. 

That's likely part of the reason that Sherlock was so furious with Mycroft for going to the NSA instead of just waiting for Sherlock to solve his predicament: It reaffirmed Sherlock's notions of Mycroft while also proving that Sherlock's experiment wasn't a complete success, as the people he was trying to connect with ended up turning away from him. Hence Sherlock's turn to the heroin (did he use it?) and his decision to take that job with MI6.

That the two big moments connected to this—his and Joan's conversation and Mycroft's hug—were the finale's two most successful moments, as the narrative development behind Sherlock's arc gave those scenes meaning and emotional heft. Indeed, they went beyond what the actors involved in the scenes were doing, which was, of course, great work. Even if the conclusion wasn't particularly satisfying, and I don't foresee it being all that permanent, it at least made sense because of the time the show invested in it.



ADDITIONAL CLUES

– "Make yourself at home. Don't touch the first editions. Or Joan." 

– "There are always 'forces at play' with you." Speaking of short thrifts, Gregson and Bell sort of disappeared after the show emerged from its Winter Olympics hiatus. I like the notion that there's some potential for fallout due to Mycroft being mixed up with a murder and now a potentially suspicious kitchen fire, but do you really think it'll matter too much? I don't.

–  We discussed this in the comments of some review a while back, but it's worth mentioning again: Jonny Lee Miller is doing fantastic work (I can't stop watching his hands now), and it's a shame that it's happening in the current television climate because 10 or 15 years ago, he could've snagged an Emmy nomination for this season. Emmy voters just don't go for this sort of thing these days, and it's really too bad. His performance does deserve some recognition.

– If I must pick a favorite/best Season 2 episode, I think I'm going to go with "The Marchioness" and call it a day. Though, again, a murder over textbook sales and dinosaurs tickled me silly.


What did you think of "The Grand Experiment" and Season 2 as a whole? Got any predictions for Season 3?


75 Comments
Comments (75)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Rewatched the first scene in the library because something came to my mind and I wasn't sure if I noticed correctly, but I was right. We were shown for the first time why Sherlock keeps his hands in his pockets.. When he talks to his brother why he told the MI 6 about the prints he gesticulates with his left hand. He forgets to put the hand back and you can see that it is trembling. When he notices that he immediately puts it there again.

Reply
Flag
If you could describe a show with a taste, this was bland.
Reply
Flag
I've lost some interest in the show this season. There were several episodes I started to watch and didn't finish, including this one. So, either the show is slipping, or my attention span is. Or both.
Reply
Flag
It's not you, or it's us both. I enjoyed the review because it pulled together all the doubts I had during the season that I could have never stated with such precision. While some shows are bringing their "A" game for their sophomore season, "Elementary" did not. I like the fact that that Miller and Liu still can do their individual roles justice but the interaction is lacking, at least to the degree it had in season 1. And I'm so glad someone else felt the Holmes/Bell scenario was rushed and I might add Bell has been effectively benched, well the entire NYPD for that matter and though not quite remade into, "Keystone Cops", their lack of up front presence certainly has them headed in that direction. No, there were several times throughout the season where I found myself counting flowers on the wall so it's not just you.
Reply
Flag
It is just the opposite with me. I liked the first season, but I comsidered it an ordinary crime drama like most of the others. But when season two started I got more and more intrigued by the elaborate dialogues and the psychological and philosophical discourses that were made. I didn't focus on the cases though, I was more interested in the background story. I really love that there is nearly no action in this series but that the focus lies on the communication of the people. Elementary is a chamber drama and that is quite uncommon for TV series. I can understand though that if you are used to and like to watch action and case based series that you don't like the new path the writers have chosen for Season two, because it is significantly different from the first one.
Reply
Flag
For a season finale this was as flat as a pancake.
Reply
Flag
phaedraphelan

This season's ending was one that left you wondering. Joan and Mycroft had no chemistry. If, as Mycroft himself said, Joan is the person Sherlock 'loves more than anyone on the world,' why did he systematically go after her sexually the way that he did. He knew from the beginning Sherlock's reaction when he concluded that they had been together. " You had sex with my brother!" Mycroft came into his brother's house and went after her! Is this the way he shows Sherlock that he appreciates the past year of reconciliation? I did not like the ambivalence of Mycroft's character. He goes behind Sherlock's back, cultivating Watson with emails, etc, and then expects us to believe that he wants to be close to his brother? He truly was the "fly in the ointment" here.

As for Joan, her act of capitulation to Mycroft seemed to be so illogical as to be the result of PTSD which Mycroft took full advantage of in a most ungentlemanly way.

Could Joan not have sought out someone of those close to her --Gregson, Marcus, the therapist she had sessions with in the past, even Mrs. Hudson for helpful advice before jumping into bed with Mycroft?

I would like like to think that Joan will see the need to support Sherlock. She thinks that they can work together without living together. She loves being "in his orbit" but wants to live outside it. They are a "couple" and the reason they get the results that they get is to a great degree because of the way they live.

I think they needed a two hour finale to tie up some of these loose ends more efficiently.


More+
1
Reply
Flag
"There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time." (Jane Austen)
Sherlock loves Joan but he isn't in love with her. He loves her for her ability to deal with his many problems and to help him cope. Mycroft loves Joan as a woman and he loves his brother.
As the father doesn't seem to be a very warm person Sherlock and Mycroft probably never learned to show affection.
For me it was clear from the beginning that the brothers had a bond. There was a line that gave that away even before they met in the Series. When Sherlock found out that Bell had a brother, with whom he didn't get along for a while, Sherlock said quite sadly: "But I am me."

As for Joan, why shouldn't she like a person who was really nice to her and who is intelligent. Just because he isn't exactly good looking, doesn't mean he is not lovable.
2
Reply
Flag
I liked that the writers focused more on the main characters this year, I enjoyed the shows with Mycroft the most. I think Jonny Lee Miller does merit Emmy nomination for his great acting. I still think this show can do more, and have some more interesting crimes/arcs to solve. This show still falls under Person Of Interest to me though. It has great potential, and I hope the writers can have more involving cases next season.
Reply
Flag
Fave ep's, erm, ooh, the kidnapped woman that wasn't, missing but not, Moriarty and her daughter, the cancer cure one. Oh it's all a blur when I try to separate them on the fly with a procedural, such as this has turned out to be. I do like Mycroft turning up as the snip factor goes RED but in this variant Mycroft is a screw up which rubs against the grain.
And the Joan and him arc and sniggering in bed at Sherlock really peeved me to the point of not wanting to see him any time soon.
I'd like for Elementary to go much darker next season with Sherlock in 'functional drug addict' mode for a while - a bit like House did when he went full-on off the rails. We've heard lots about how he was this or that but haven't got had a good old "Blimey!" airing. Whether this would be too daring and/or a death knoll to the show who knows but I want it!
2
Reply
Flag
Yeah kind of disappointed that this Mycroft is not the intellectual equal of Sherlock but someone who gets in over his head, even if it was out of love for his brother. Worlds greatest detective doesn't have to be some supernatural genius, there are people who would surpass him in their specific fields, think the writers get a little too precious to keep him some almost superhuman brain.
Reply
Flag
My theory, probably wrong BTW, is that when Sherlock took the heroin from the book and put it in his pocket is that he will probably relapse as a ploy to get Joan to stay and help stay sober having her think he just relapsed by her leaving.
2
Reply
Flag
That's too child-like/desperate. A bit like someone who sais they're going to commit suicide and leaves umpteen messages, started pill bottles and/or cuts their wrists sideways with the sort of size blood pool we see on network TV!
Some addicts keep alcohol, drugs and favourite track pages etc. relatively on hand, as a kind of comfort that they're there, though never to be used. Dangerous, yes, but all the same un-needed and yet needed. Why he took it out, though, perhaps as an act of disposal now his safety net is leaving. And, maybe, why he took the MI6 job to further fill his time without Joan. His acts smack (!) of attempts at separation to me. But we'll see. And I find comfort in being able to say we'll see, as is all too unusual, a series I adore is coming back!
Reply
Flag
I think he put iit in his breast pocket to remind him that using drugs must never happen again, because of the consequences it had for him as well as for his brother.
Reply
Flag
I'll ;have to look again but I thought he handed it to the person from MI6 in one of the last scenes. I think his role in MI6 won't change much. He was supposed to help them with casework like the agent that was killed, to see if it is what it seemed. Coming up with cases for British Intelligence every week sounds odd. How he's going to clear things up with Gregson might be interesting.
Reply
Flag
These are not the drugs you are looking for, officer!
His role in MI6 is unclear at present; even though Control wanted him, he looked unsure as to how he'll fit in. But at least he won't be a lame duck like in 24 etc. as a Brit to make look stupid in American's excellence.
All that's happened thus far is way above Gregson's pay grade and one may assume that he'd be told to stow any inquisitiveness away. However, whether his personality will override such is open to debate to a limited degree but the series will depend on it ultimately subsiding.
Flag
I doubt he needs a reminder on his person that can land him in jail and prevent him from ever working with American law enforcement.
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
I just remembered that in his review to "The Diabolical Kind" Noel wrote that this season of Elementary doesn't have a plot arc but an emotional arc and here we are again: Love
in all its many forms. You can find the topic in nearly every Episode of this season. It started with the two brothers who obviously cared for each other (just remember Sherlock's statement when he found out that Bell had a brother in the first season) but couldn't get out of the the old habit of fighting, went to the letter Sherlock wrote to Moriarty, Gregson seperating from his wife and ended with Mycroft hugging his brother, maybe for the very first time, and telling him that he loved him. A thing he maybe should have done twenty years ago. I think I will create a seperate post for this, because it is too much to mention everything here. Just one more thing. In the letter Sherlock wrote that he thinks 'love is a game he fails to understand and so he opts not to play'. But during the last episodes he had to realise that this isn't a decision you can make. You love or you don't love and you have to deal with it, if you want it or not.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
This has got to be one of the most romantic, non-romantic couples on tv. They are so much of a couple it's like not being a couple is seriously screwing with their heads.

Sherlock so much reminds me of House (I know it was based on Holmes, but let me finish) and his adolescent fixation on angry sexual references to hide his own jealousy and insecurity. I don't think the original had that adolescent grasp of sexuality that both House and Holmes have, perhaps because the sexual openeness of the 21st century brings it out more. In either case, I'm beginning to believe that Sherlock has deeply repressed feelings for Joan beyond that of a peer. it's why I think he was so adamant about not seeing his brother for who he was. When you hate someone that much for stealing your girl, you really don't want to see them for anything else.

And if there was any clue that brought that point home, it was his tortured discussion towards his brother that Mycroft silenced just by hugging him. That moment immediately connected the previous moment of Sherlock first seeing Joan after her abduction. I don't think he just wanted to hug her, I really think he wanted to kiss her, but with all the kerfluffle that's gone on between Joan and his brother, I can understand how he could be so conflicted. And the fact that Joan may indeed hate him or reject him because of who he is (even beyond destroying any chance she had with his brother) is probably why he wanted to take the MI6 job. He's doing to Joan what Joan did to Mycroft: you hurt me so I'm going to completely cut you out of my life. It's why I say they are the most romantic, non=romantic couple on tv. They act like bf/gf but really aren't.

And there is NO WAY that Mycroft is simply going to vanish anymore than Moriarity is. The writer's just needed a reason to keep him from becoming a regular. it's like they were saying "You want Mycroft back, too bad. He's in Witsec and we don't know where he is." But he's a Holmes brother which means no stinking criminal organization is going to keep him down. He'll keep a low profile but it won't take much for him to stick his head back up.

In addition, I think Sherlock working for MI6 is doing exactly what Mycroft did: trying to use his influence and proximity to bail his brother out of trouble. Not for one moment is Sherlock going to let pass that a criminal organization threated both his brother AND Joan, although it will be interesting if Moriarity is also behind Le Millieu (however you say it.) Granted, Mycroft's team took out the actual perpetrators but that still leaves the head of the organization, and Sherlock has a long, detailed memory of people who offend or threaten him. Would be nice to see him use some of that single stick prowess after he infiltrates the gang (possibly allowing himself to be kidnapped to get to the head.)

Is this permanent, I doubt it. They might do Season 3 like they did Season 2: have a few cases in London, Sherlock misses NY and then hops back. it might also give Joan the space she needs to contemplate missing Sherlock. Sometimes, you don't appreciate what you have til its gone, and I think Joan is in that place right now. Finally getting a glimpse of what the actual keyhole of Holmes detective work can entail is really going to wipe the honeymoon cobwebs off her eyes. She knew his work was dangerous, now she KNOWS what that means. And eventhough she thinks she can have a normal life and play detective on the side, she's going to have to learn you can't do that, if for no other reason than criminals don't take holidays. In some ways, police work is like the mafia or a gang: once you get in, its really hard to get out.

Can we get a nod to Sherlock and have Holmes say to Watson "This is the kind of person you are, who you're attracted to. So accept it?" Watson is alot like Watson in BBC's Sherlock in that she doesn't yet understand why she is with Holmes. The whole orbit speech was good but it was also a lie. She likes revolving around Sherlock's sun a little too much and like all real awakenings, the truth is scary when you begin to admit it. So Sherlock being in London and Mycroft being away is really going to make Watson realize just what she is missing. The orbit and the happiness...he is connected, yes?
More+
2
Reply
Flag
I watch Elementary because of the lack of Sherlock, of course, because of Miller and because of the Watson gender-swap.

It is, however, a procedural and, as such, does tend to blend the episodes together. I couldn't tell you of a particular episode if I had a gun to my head. I forget most of the cases while watching an episode, mostly paying attention to the "serialized" dialogue, that is, Sherlock talking about hos growth mostly. I agree that Joan leaving feels forced, especially after Sherlock's speech.

One thing that strikes me though is when they mention the time span of 18 months. I've had "flash" friendships, so I get it, but the idea that in only 18 months somebody can mean so much that you would: die for them, use drugs, get in bed with untrustworthy organizations and turn your back on your brother seems a little much.

Maybe it's because I'm watching The X-Files and Mulder and Scully's relationship takes more time to grow, but still... I guess Sherlock also has a small time span, but because it's only a few episodes long and it uses time jumps, it doesn't feel like an issue.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
There was a point when Moriarty asked Sherlock, "Is that how you became one of them? Seeing things through their eyes?" and he replied, "I'm not sure I am one of them."

This season has been about Sherlock becoming a better person, fleshing out his people skills and humanity. Joan was the catalyst to all of that. With her moving out, he won't have her constant presence to keep him anchored.

Next season will most likely be about Sherlock exploring and trying to maintain his humanity. To continue to try to be "one of them."

I think of the scene where Sherlock sees Joan for the first time after she was kid knapped and just stands there in front of her, because he doesn't know how to emotionally express his feelings of worry, happiness, relief, and whatever else he was feeling. Most people would just hug and hold the person they care about, but he doesn't know how to be "one of them."

It would be interesting if Moriarty gets out of jail and messes with him while he tried to hold on to being a good person. Joan moving out would make it all the more easy for her. Honestly, I just love the character of Jamie Moriarty. I think the show is at it's best when she's there. So I hope to see a lot more of her.
More+
Reply
Flag
I posted this text on last week's discussion but quite late so I think not a lot of people saw it. But because it is so beautiful and fits really perfectly for the character of Sherlock I put it here again.

Last Saturday the Eurovision Song Contest took place and when I listened to the Norwegian song I immediately thought of "Elementary".
Check out for yourselves.

Carl Espen
Silent Storm

Head to toes
Flesh and bones
Should feel whole
But the void
A silent storm
I’m here to use my heart and my hands
Somehow the bruises changed my plans
And there’s a silent storm inside me
Looking for a home
I hope that someone’s gonna find me
And say that I belong
I‘ll wait forever and a lifetime
To find I’m not alone
There’s a silent storm inside me
Someday I’ll be calm
Ask myself
What comes next
Will I fly?
Will I fall?
My silent storm

Chorus


http://youtu.be/BTMli8U17MM

More+
4
Reply
Flag
I really liked the song, thanks for posting it.
1
Reply
Flag
First@Noel:
Yes, classism is quite a big deal in the UK. The children go to different schools (some parents even move houses so that there kids can go to better schools), different sports clubs, are dressed differently and what is most important talk differently. You can tell after one or two sentences which social class somebody belongs to. And you find that in Elementary, too. Sebastian Moran has got a typical British working class accent, whereas Sherlock's represents the educated class. They are totally distinct, although both accents are of London origin (I think at least).
In Elizabeth George's novels Inspector Linley's accent is referred to as "posh talk".

But now for something completely different. ;-)
I liked Season 1 a lot but Season 2 really got me. I was intrigued by its emotional depth and the skill and authenticity of the actors. I have never seen such thing in a Series. I couldn't stop thinking about some of the episodes. They stayed in my head for days, some even for weeks.
My favourite episode by the way was "Poison Pen" because it was the one that explained for me quite a lot of things I had noticed in Season 1 but couldn't make sense of until then.
Other highlights for me were the opening monologues of "The Marchioness" and "The Diabolical Kind". Great language !!!
I also liked the talk of Sherlock about being with out peer because it explained how a lot of gifted people feel.
Elementary even gave me some ideas for books I hadn't thought about reading before like "Lady Chatterly's Lover" and "Waiting For Godot" which are both great writing by the way.
What I like most about the Series is the focus on details. No line is said unnecessarily, no gesture made without purpose, the language is elaborate and the plots are very well written and mostly quite plausible, too.
I hope it stays that way in Season 3.

My opinion of this episode:
Yes, Mycroft is lazy, impatient and stupid, but he has got his heart in the right place. He loves his brother dearly.
Problem is, because of his stupidity, he won't be able anymore to show it to his brother and Sherlock is the victim once more.
He loses the only piece of family he has (you can't really count the father who doesn't care) and who could have been a peer.
Sherlock didn't understand why Mycroft took the responsibility for Sherlock's actions back in London, because,I think, nobody ever told Sherlock before that he was loved (maybe except Moriarty). So the hug was really moving.
I don't think that Sherlock took the drugs to use them. He took them to remind him of his determination not to use drugs anymore and that he can have them very close to him without relapsing. It is another step in his development. I am looking forward to Season 3.
More+
Reply
Flag
I agree, in Elisabeth George's novels, Inspector Lynley is not only Oxford educated, but is also an Earl. This class distinction grants him an automatic Inspector title, just as in the military he would have a high rank. Other, less educated and lower class policemen, have to work much harder to be promoted to this level (if ever). It's as though Lynley is doing the department a favour by being there. We can never try to understand what it would be like to face this type of discrimination in North America, although we are ryfe with it in certain instances such as going to "Harvard Law".
Reply
Flag
this season was great. the season finale . not so much
Reply
Flag
i really like this show it so well written and acting by all is brilliant i feel even tho im not a Lucy liu fan really i started to warm to her as she is actually very good as a female Watson..chemistry between miller - liu is great and yet over the 2 seasons i haven't found a rubbish storyline..they get better as we get to understand Holmes past life more and im really glad that there is not loads of flashbacks to his past like many shows do especially arrow does this and it does get annoying really..i'm also glad mycroft character looks to be out of the next season for awhile..i not sure if it was me or not but Watson & mycroft sleeping together made me feel rather sick it just felt wrong on so many levels..but overall the writers & actors are doing a fine job 9/10 from me and im really looking forward to season 3
Reply
Flag
I prefer last two weeks episodes than this finale. Overall, I liked season one better. One exciting thing is Sherlock joining M16. They would be enough for me to watch season three. I think they should just do shorter season. 24 episodes in one season seems to be too much for the writers.

Reply
Flag
Hi Noel,

One question.

it's a shame that it's happening in the current television climate because 10 or 15 years ago, he could've snagged an Emmy nomination for this season. Emmy voters just don't go for this sort of thing these days

Are you saying Emmy voters these days do not go for procedurals while 10 or 15 years ago they do? This is an interesting observation if that is what you meant.
Reply
Flag
Staff
Procedurals and, more broadly, network shows.
1
Reply
Flag
This finale, compared to the season 1 finale, was both better and worse. Better because it actually kept us guessing on whether Mycroft was actually a killer, instead of turning him into a mustache twirling villain like Moriarty, but worse because the end was EXTREMELY anticlimactic. Holmes and Watson were able to wrap up the murder of the week with the tired "pulled out of our ass" clue (the victim was stoned to death!?! Where were the rock impressions on the wood floor or wall? If you drop a rock on wood, it makes a dent, and we're shown in the flashbacks that the victim wasn't hit by pebbles!) but the true final villain of the last two episodes was killed OFFSCREEN and Mycroft merely TOLD Sherlock and Joan all the events instead of SHOWING us it. A flashback would've done nicely, or even Mycroft walking out the door after his conversation with Sherrington and reaching into his pocket before cutting to Holmes and Watson. The viewer could assume he was pulling out his gun to shoot Sherrington, but then we would reveal that it was actually a phone and Mycroft was calling the NSA. This season finale case was handled very poorly, much like Moriarty from season 1's finale, but whereas Irene went into a Silver Age villain mode and made the classic villain mistake of rubbing her victory in Sherlock's face like a dumbass and falling into his elaborate trap, we are shown NOTHING as to how Sherrington got his comeuppance except for Mycroft's word. In terms of case flow I prefer Moriarty over this.

Now, as for CHARACTER development, that's a whole other beast entirely. Joan's reaction to Mycroft's revelation of his faked death leads me to believe that her newfound urgency of finding her own place has less to do now with having no privacy with Sherlock and more to being a knee jerk reaction to having her heart broken by his brother. After Sherlock's speech in the victim's apartment I was highly willing to bet that Joan would decide to be more lax about looking stay for a while as she shopped from place to place, at least until the season 3 midseason finale (Apartment hunting takes a long time. It took my roommate two months to find the right one in Chicago. Imagine trying to find one in New York.) but her conversation on the phone has led me to believe that she's blindly choosing an apartment in her price range to get as far away from Sherlock as possible because she can't handle the loss of the first real man on the show that she was in love with. She seems to be blaming Sherlock for Mycroft's actions now, since Sherlock was unwittingly responsible for Mycroft going back to MI6 in the first place.

Sherlock's reactions to Mycroft and Joan's actions are a bit more understandable, but the "going back to being a drug addict to kill the feelings" angle doesn't seem right to me in this situation, compared to what he went through with Moriarty. He fell in love with Irene and she not only faked her death but was the mastermind behind all of his misery and he was unable to stop her from killing a foreign national and profit from his death. She hurt him mentally, emotionally, and physically. That could have taken him back to his drug using ways, especially considering how off the rails he went when he confronted Moran. But Sherlock is not IN LOVE with Joan and he still has a shaky relationship with his brother. His view of Mycroft has softened since the season premiere (he flat-out HATED Mycroft) but he still largely considers his brother an idiot (and I think he has a resentment given the fact he didn't hug Mycroft back. I know breaking down in tears after Mycroft said "I love you" to him would be extremely cheesy and uncharacteristic of him, but he could have slowly hugged Mycroft back.) Sherlock's decision to take up the MI6 offer at the end seems like a knee jerk reaction to Watson's knee jerk reaction, but I get it. He realizes that she needs as much space as possible to get over Mycroft, but he cares deeply about her since they're best friends, so he decided to put as much space between them so they both can get over the pain. (Although I believe Sherlock's taking it to an extreme level. I'm betting that Watson will get her own place, cool down for a few days, then go over to Sherlock's brownstone to find it empty, search frantically for him, and find rhat he rebuilt his emotional wall and is cold and overly dismissive of her like he used to be in early season 1.)

Overall, I didn't care for the finale. Fine acting, but the story fell apart in the last act. 6 out of 10.

For season 3 I want more Inspector Lastrade (a confident and genuinely skilled version of him, not the arrogant and insecure a-hole we saw this season) a Moriarty episode that ISN'T filler, and, most of all, I want to see a male version of Mary Morston, the true love and wife of Watson in the books. Watson's love life is a big subplot in this series, but her and Mycroft just seemed like a bad fit due to Holmes negative feelings for his brother. But a new character who is clever, GENUINELY a nice guy and not a fakeout like Irene or an ambiguous character like Mycroft, and someone Holmes respects, that could be someone that could be worthy of Joan in my opinion. (I already named him "Mark.")
More+
1
Reply
Flag
Just reminded me how much I liked the Lestrade episode with his façade of special water, doting assistant and approach to deduction. I also loved his confession of failings to Holmes and his involvement and part in the seedy affairs of his employer, bring back Sean Pewtree in any scenario. I think Joan moving out may be to provide that "Mark Morston" character :-)
Reply
Flag
I enjoy this show more than many other procedurals. Six or seven years back, I was quite into the genre (in my defense, I was fifteen), but I've largely lost any interest in them by now, aside from a few, and Elementary is currently on my list of weekly TV events. At least part of the reason for it is the way that they've developed the main characters, and, of course, the acting. JLM plays him masterfully, and LL is also a joy to watch.
My personal feelings on Joan's arc is that they perhaps knew the general direction they wanted to take, decided they wanted it to be subtle (so as to keep the air of mystery around Joan???) and then lost sight of just how subtle they were, that her motivations got completely lost in translation.
Certainly I can see the idea of why Mycroft could appeal to her - she went out throughout the season with a few guys who were too boring because they weren't equal to Sherlock's mental brilliance, and arguably, Mycroft is smarter than Sherlock (also something I feel was quite undershown in order to keep the mystery of the character so as to get a big reveal in the last three eps; there are some indications a keen viewer might pick up on, Mycroft's stated - shown? not sure, but they did want him back, so he was considered a valuable asset - praiseworthy work for the MI6, his obvious pretending to be bad at deduction, his sharper response to Sherlock once his involvement with MI6 became known), so theoretically, Joan might find what she's looking for in him. The problem, as others have stated, is that there was simply no chemistry. Until he came back in 'The Marchioness' and Joan stated that she'd slept with him, I thought it completely unlikely!
I can also see how an adult woman who feels like Sherlock and the Work are overtaking every other aspect of her life would want to move out and refocus on herself. The problem, again, is that whatever signs they put in the show throughout the season of it were just too small and didn't gradually create a crescendo that would logically result in her decision to move out. I certainly thought that, after this episode, she would have seen the sense in maybe slowing down with the plan, but then it seemed to me like they played up her hurt with what Mycroft had done, which, again, didn't feel organic because neither Mycroft nor their 'relationship' were well-developed.
I do have to commend Lucy Liu in nailing the scenes and perhaps trying to bridge the lack of exposition/information/motivation by showing us Joan's emotional state so clearly. Whatever else, I definitely think that they devoted too little time to the character of Joan, which, I think, we are all in agreement of.
Sherlock's taking the drugs seemed to me like a classical attempt at manipulation, maybe forcing her back into the role of a sober companion, which will backfire if anything does, but then I might be wrong in that whole thought. I can't right now comment on Sherlock's insistence that she stay with him, I've not made up my mind on it just yet, but joining MI6 seemed like it was to help Mycroft be able to come back from the dead.
In any case, it was a very enjoyable episode, and I'm looking forward to Season 3.
More+
3
Reply
Flag
Despite the fact that he loves his brother (a redeeming quality), Sherlock was right about Mycroft. He has a way of mucking things up... of toxifying a situation. This, I fear, is Mycroft's fatal flaw and well demonstrated in how the show ended. All he had to do was sit back, stay in his hidey hole, not touch the first editions, not touch Joan and let Sherlock fix it. But apparently that was beyond him.
1
Reply
Flag
I loved when Mycroft quoted Doyle's Sherlock describing Mycroft -- though they changed it to something Mycroft overheard when Sherlock was 15. Interesting.

Reply
Flag
I was assuming Sherlock would blatantly take the drugs (and not need them) solely to manipulate Joan into staying. She'd feel she needed to stay there to keep him sober.

So, I was rather surprised that he ended up taking the job (and looking rather sober doing it) with MI6.

What do you think? Is he running away? Punishing Joan? Or, is this part of a larger plan to still fix the problem of Mycroft? Maybe he's looking for a way that Mycroft can come back from the "dead".

I'm favoring the latter. But, I've long given up on being able to second guess the writers. They seem to get great joy out of throwing canon and logic to the wind just to give the audience a twist they never suspected.

Reply
Flag
I don't think he has any long term plan in joining MI6.

He's hurt and is making rash decisions that he knows will put him in harms way and will also keep him separated from Joan. He's acting out like a child in a way.

I'm pretty sure this is just his emotionally stunted and overly intelligent way of throwing a temper tantrum.
Reply
Flag
I wonder if we're going to have Sherlock spending some time in London. That would be an ;;extreme kind of separation to force him to work on his own again. I think part of Joan's decison was the unique ways that Sherlock would wake her up.
Reply
Flag
I think Sherlock's motive for joining MI6 was so that he could work towards clearing Mycroft and maybe understand Mycroft better by immersing himself in Mycroft's world.
Reply
Flag
I don't know. It almost seemed as if she enjoyed some of them. Plus breakfast in bed? I think they're going to continue her story of seeking a personal life, ie. boyfriends.
Reply
Flag
The man is a genius maybe he knows how to die the fact that he's high or maybe instead of getting high he chose to take the job. Dunno
Reply
Flag
*hide*
Reply
Flag
I think the latter. When you look at the original Doyle books, Sherlock doesn't take drugs as long as he has got something to work on.
Reply
Flag
– "Make yourself at home. Don't touch the first editions. Or Joan."

They ruined this excellent line by having Sherlock quip on the way out that they should feel free to return to their rutting.
2
Reply
Flag
As I stated below, I felt this to be a fantastic episode. Some moments were portrayed beautifully. Sherlock's "fix this", Joan's orbit speech and Mycroft's hug got me a little choked up. Which doesn't happen often. Maybe I was in a emotional place before this episode but those scenes just hit me. Noel stated that 10-15 years ago that JLM would be recognized for such work, which I agree with. However, if James Spader (who is also brilliant) can get a Golden Globe nomination for Blacklist where is JLM's? Please? :)
Joan has totally fast tracked her moving out. It's clear she craves a life outside of the brownstone but her motives (as others have stated) haven't been fully fleshed out. Neither was her relationship with Mycroft. We actually know so little of Joan. As we have seen Sherlock change and evolve we haven't really seen this with Joan. The writers may be waiting to dive more into Joan's character next season. It might be easier to develop her outside of the brownstone. Outside of her life with Sherlock. Maybe we don't know what her motives are because she has to keep them secret from Sherlock, so in turn we are also kept in the dark.
If I remember correctly, Watson in Sir ACD had a life outside of his activities with Holmes (I think he married 3 times). What I can't recall is if this was ok with Holmes or if we were ever giving details about what Watson did outside of Holmes (It's been a very long time). Was Watson's life outside of Holmes a source of contention as well? I may just have to go a bring out the old paperbacks. Just trying to find a connection between the portrayals of Joan vs. Watson.
I have to admit I was absolutely LIVID when Mycroft went to the NSA to get out of his predicament. He totally dismissed Sherlock and Joan's work. I can't believe he couldn't trust them to get the job done. However that hug was a very powerful statement. Mycroft is everything of Sherlock's assessment but something Sherlock has yet to comprehend from others is love. Yes, he loved Irene/ Moriarty but does he really know what it means to love and act in the name of it? Sometimes loves blinds people from doing the hard thing and I think Mycroft's action were from that place. Sherlock does care for Joan but it comes from his own selfish need to keep her in his "orbit" to not disrupt his status quo. When he went and retrieved his heroin from the book it wasn't because he is so emotionally unstable. It is to make sure Joan doesn't leave him. This may backfire and drive her further away but no matter how it plays out it's a very selfish attempt. His MI6 decision could be from that place as well. Who knows?! It's the puzzle of Sherlock that intrigues me and I love trying to put the pieces together. I enjoyed Season 2 very much and can't wait for Season 3!

More+
Reply
Flag
Though there weren't as many stand out episodes this season, on the whole I think I prefer it to last season. Thats probably because I really like Rhys Ifans as Mycroft and Sherlock was way less of a tool towards everyone. I agree that they need to step things up a bit though. As a contrast, Person of Interest keeps getting notedly better and better.
Reply
Flag
Noel's observations are also where the finale, and I suppose the second half of the season, fell flat for me. Simply put, the turn(s) of events lacked justification or sufficient motivation for me. Sure, it makes sense that a grown woman should have he own living space aside from her business, but why is Joan practically running away from Sherlock? Her leaving seems to me motivated by some offense on Sherlock's part, but said offense has not been properly presented to the audience.

Also, I never understood coupling Joan with Mycroft. Putting aside that the character never developed one ounce of chemistry onscreen, I find it hard to imagine that the Joan character would ever be attracted to Mycroft, much less have a one night stand with him. That never made sense to me. Therefore, when she she seemed to seriously consider his proposal of a relationship, I was completely befuddled at such a move by the show. Upon learning of Mycroft's secret she seemed to regain her senses and dismissed him, but quickly flip-flopped after learning of his so-called selfless act for Sherlock. WTH!! But no justification or insight into Joan's motivations is ever offered by the writers. None, whatsoever. So her being upset at Mycroft leaving felt totally out of place. We can't even call what they had a relationship. At most, they had a couple of sleepovers and intimate conversations. She knew as much about him as the audience did. But like Noel says, the Mycroft character was never properly fleshed out. I never liked him, and actually grew to despise him. I'm curious to know how the writers intended him to be perceived.


More+
3
Reply
Flag
I think Joan and Mycroft wasn't just a one night stand. It seems it was a real romantic relationship and we only saw a part of it. There were hints of something more than a one night stand while they were in London. Mycroft looks as if he was really interested Joan not just to drive Joan and Sherlock apart.
Reply
Flag
But that's the problem. If we assume there was an actual relationship between the two, it all occurred off-screen. So the audience couldn't witness it. Therefore, how could we root for it. Instead we were left with Joan's avoidance of ever talking about it. It's the equivalent of a good friend or relative calling you up to tell you that their getting married but you didn't even know they were dating anyone.
Reply
Flag
I think we're in the same boat with this show, Noel. It's got some great acting, some decent single episode writing, and some weak arc planning.

That's enough to keep me tuned in each week (on DVR, anyway), but not enough to put this anywhere near my top 5, even top 10 shows for the year. I'm glad it's coming back, but I hope next season isn't just more of the same.
2
Reply
Flag
Will Papa Holmes be clued in? Might he pop up at the funeral?
3
Reply
Flag
This was one of the best episodes of the series (notice I didn't say the best)!! I loved how everything came together including Sherlock and Mycroft making amends with Mycroft's surprise hug. I totally thought he was going to slap Sherlock across the face and still wish he had along with the hug!

I am completely OK with Joan moving out as she was already on her own for about the 1st half of Season 1. She made her case splendidly last night: our partnership is rewarding and (sorta) stable, however, I need "me" time where I don't wake up with Clyde on my chest dressed as a mermaid. Seems fair.

I'm guessing that Sherlock will slip back into drugs albeit quietly. The world that he's built around him is finally crumbling in bigger chunks and I see him struggling with how to cope. I hope his "saviour" this time around is either Bell or Gregson, just to see more dynamic between those relationships and him.

I loved the writers throwing in a Sir ACD line, made a little more famous thanks to RDJ's portrayal in the 1st movie: "Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks with clay." The old MI6 guys also really felt like The Order from the movie as well.

Can't wait to for next season and to see/hear Sherlock perform "Fixer Upper" (also from Frozen) because he'll definitely need one of those "healing hugs"!
More+
1
Reply
Flag
It's not just crumbling, it has fallen to pieces in one big implosion. I can't imagine how alone he must feel now. I don't think he used the drugs. I think he just put them into his pocket to assure himself of his strength to cope. And if he really took the job with MI 6 to clear his brother then it reminds him of the steps of his programme as well.
1
Reply
Flag
This season has been a bit dull and i wish they wouldnt whisper all the time!
Reply
Flag
"The game of cat and mouse is afoot." - Sherlock Holmes
4
Reply
Flag
The confession of SH to Joan played like an S&M scene without the whip in Joan's hand. Buh-bye to Mycroft; it was a good arc. But Joan...get your apartment and build a new life elsewhere. Sherlock as Brit-spy opens up all sorts of possibilities for a good series with a more compatible partner.
1
Reply
Flag
I don't think this is the end for Watson. True, Lucy Liu is better suited for movies but this series is a steady paycheck for her and partnering Sherlock with ANYONE new seems like a bad idea, since he only respects 4 people on the show: Watson, Bell, Gregson, and his sponsor.
Reply
Flag
Hello all

Well that was an excellent season finale, we have a few thoughts on the episode that we would like to share so here goes.

Firstly Rhys Ifans as always was very good as Mycroft, it can be difficult to know what exactly what he is going to do as he seems to play the opposite end of the spectrum to Sherlock.

While Sherlock is loud and over the top for the most part as he has a habit of approaching a problem by going at it head on and damn the consequences, where as Mycroft is more subtle and cunning prefaring to work in secret without any support or input, in this episode that approach was almost certainly a mistake as he now must dissappear and we are not very happy with that result.

Joans quest for more independance when it come to her home life was again given more explanation when she spoke with Sherlock about getting "pulled in", and her desire to see things put right between the Holmes boys also reared it's head again when Joan told Sherlock the truth about Mycrofts spying.

This lead to one of the better scenes between the brothers as Sherlock in a quite emotional state swore to Mycorft to that he would "fix this" those moments really show off the growth of the Sherlock character in this incarnation, in our honest opinion the best moment in the episode was when Mycroft hugged his brother and told him he loved him it felt to us personally to be a very touching and honest moment.

So in closing a fantastic episode we loved the interaction between the boy's and wish there to be more in the future also Moriarty should be brought back for next season as we all saw Sherlock with those drugs and Moriarty could play a role in that storyline next season.

Bye all

M
More+
1
Reply
Flag
Who is this "we"? You got voices in your head? Or are you speaking as the Queen of England?
5
Reply
Flag
We suffer from Disassociatve Identity Disorder or multiple personality disorder if you prefare it is just the way we are and it it not our fault.
2
Reply
Flag
So it seems we won't see Mycroft again - which makes me sad
1
Reply
Flag
I don't know about that.

I'm willing to bet good money that Sherlock actually took MI-6's offer to bring down that French organized crime syndicate. Basically, I see it as his attempt to make amends with Mycroft, by using MI-6 and their resources to make it so he doesn't have to live on the run anymore.
1
Reply
Flag
Great theory!
Reply
Flag
Staff
Or at least not until a sweeps month sometime in the future.
2
Reply
Flag
I hope they have more Moriarty next season.
4
Reply
Flag
Unfortunately for Game of Thrones fans, that might mean that Margaery doesn't appear much in the next season. I'm not sure which role I like Natalie Dormer in more, but she does a fantastic job in both!!
2
Reply
Flag
What a fantastic season finale! Bloody fantastic!
5
Reply
Flag
Sherlock is taking a lot of hits in this finale. Finding out how much Mycroft loved him only to have to say goodbye and Joan determined to move out of the brownstone. Those would be definite triggers for an addict. I don't understand why Sherlock agreed to become an MI6 operative, if anything it would only isolate him more from the people who are important to him. I actually am hoping for an arc where Sherlock does succumb to his addiction just so he can realize who his friends really are and that he is not alone.
6
Reply
Flag
Sherlock as an agent is clearly setting up for him to take the French mob down so Mycroft doesn't need to be gone forever.
4
Reply
Flag
I never thought of that. But, it would make sense since Sherlock promised Mycroft he would fix things.
2
Reply
Flag
I just watched this after being awake all night, so perhaps watching it after sleep will make me see it differently. I enjoyed Mycroft, though i agree that he and Joan have no chemistry. I think that Joan has become stupid. I am not sure that we all care about her love life, we want to see them together at all times of the day! How else can he poke the bed with his single stick to check for his brother? Of course a real woman would not be happy to live like that, but she is a TV character and for purposes of this show, I feel that she and Sherlock need to be together at all hours. I would hate to see their quest for reality ruin a good thing.
I enjoyed Mycroft stopping Sherlock mid rant to say he loved him. I hope that we have not seen the last of Mycroft. The two of them together are really very good. Sherlock the spy... next year could have them traveling all over the world!
11
Reply
Flag
Awesome!

1
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
12,295