An Elementary Community
Thursday 10:00 PM on CBS
Attention: The beginning of the following review might seem familiar to you.

-Preface -
Elementary will not become one of those popular TV shows who, having outlived their time, are still tempted to make repeated farewell bows to their indulgent audiences. It is going to cease and will go the way that all series sooner or later will have to go.
Sherlock and his Watson may for a time find a place, while some more astute sleuth (although I doubt that) with some even less astute assistant (I don't doubt that at all) may fill the screen which they have vacated ( which I think will be very difficult because the team of Elementary has raised the bar very high). The series run has been a successful and fulfilling one.
Elementary made its debut on 27th September 2012. The audience seemed appreciative and desirous of more, so that from that date six years and nearly eight months ago, they have produced a series which now contains no fewer than one hundred and forty-one episodes, rerun on several TV stations and streaming services, and there now remain thirteen episodes which are shown on CBS under the title of "The Final Season".

Welcome back. Welcome to London.

I don't know about you but I found the first scene of the episode very stirring and disturbing.
Not so much because of someone breaking into Sherlock's London home but because of what followed.
Sherlock awaits the guy sitting in the darkness in an armchair.
It is revealed that he has lured the thief and as we get to know murderer to his house to bring him to justice without any backup, neither the police nor Watson are present. Sherlock is well aware that he put himself in a very dangerous situation, he even tells the thief about that fact
(I already talked about Sherlock's habit to reveal things that weigh on him to people who he can be sure don't understand what he is talking about).
And then, to cap it all off, he provokes Beppo by saying that he doesn't think that he will land a single blow on him.
Why on earth does he do that?
The answer is as simple as it is alarming: Because he needs it.
The PCS and the expulsion from the US left him with no means to curb his depression. He is not allowed to do any boxing or Martial Arts and there is no Athena either, so he puts himself into danger for the adrenaline rush.
The most disturbing part is that he obviously doesn't care about the consequences the fight could have.

Joan later confronts him with it, calling him an idiot for ignoring the dangers of getting hit on the head. It is right and important that she does.
It is the job of a friend to tell you the ugly truth and to call you out on things. Who else could?

It is a topic that runs through the episode for example when Kitty talks to Joan about her feelings and then to Sherlock about the fact that Watson isn't happy in London. She achieves that the two are discussing the problem, something they probably wouldn't have managed without Kitty's help.
The most impressive example though is the conversation between Marcus Bell and Captain Gregson.
We get to know that Bell knows for quite a while that Hannah has killed Michael and that the Captain protected her. Nobody told him, he figured it out himself.
It is very difficult for Marcus to talk to his boss about it but eventually he takes heart.

"There's something I've been wanting to talk to you about for a while now.
Keep putting it off, and now I only have a few days left here, and I

What? Go ahead.

Everything that went down between you and Sherlock and Joan-- you gotta get past it.
More than that. You gotta fix it.
They never did anything but right by us.
Now, whenever anyone mentions them, it's like nails on a chalkboard to you."
I know who really killed Michael Rowan.
I was with you when we got the news Sherlock confessed to Rowan's murder.
You were angry, but you weren't surprised.

"We're not having this conversation."

"I figured, okay, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, either.
Sherlock was doing right by Joan. I didn't like it, but I got it. I accepted it.
You? You acted like they never existed. Like they weren't part of our family.
Took me a while, but I finally figured it out. It wasn't anger you were feeling.
It was guilt.
You were protecting someone, too.
I don't like anything about what happened with the Rowan case.
Not one damn thing. I hate knowing what I know. But I get it.
And to be clear, I don't think anyone else needs to know about it.
But Sherlock and Joan, they were your friends. They were there for you, for me, always.
It's time you made things right with them."

"How? How the hell am I supposed to do that? Bell:
"I don't know. But I bet "I'm sorry" would be a good start."

Those words are so well written and powerful that any further comment about them would be too much.
They also deliver an excellent transition to a specific scene I want to lay focus on.
Bell not only read Gregson a lecture he also reminded him of another equally important function of a friendship: Giving support

You could say that over the six seasons of Elementary there have been so many examples for it that it is superfluous to discuss the aspect at this point.
That I still feel the urge to do it speaks for the quality of the series.

The scene I want to talk about is the one with the courier on the motorbike which at first glance seems rather unimportant.
Upon closer inspections though it reveals its significance.

It exposes Sherlock's core problems and shows Joan's subtle methods to help him.

When Joan leaves the house she meets Sherlock on the street. She says that she is on her way to the supermarket and asks him if he needs something, too. Knowing that he has got difficulties supplying himself with food and eating regularly she thereby can make sure that he gets everything he needs without embarrassing him. When he answers that he isn't hungry her warning bells start to ring and she asks if he is OK. It may not even be what he says but how he says it that makes her do it. Sherlock seldom speaks out about things that trouble him on his own. He always needs a gentle nudge.
What follows next underlines Joan's importance for Sherlock even further.
A motorbike approaches and Sherlock's entire body stiffens. Joan senses that and takes a step towards him, covering his back.
It is a totally ordinary situation: a courier delivering a letter to an address.
It isn't for Sherlock though.
He gets extremely aggressive towards the driver.
As the man (and nearly everybody Sherlock gets in contact with) knows nothing about the detective's psychological issues he is understandably veritably irritated about Sherlock's behaviour.
Yet Joan doesn't say or do anything. She just holds her position close to Holmes. In fact this shows how great a friend she is.
Reacting in any way would only worsen the situation as it would expose Sherlock even more.
One could argue now that it is his nature to be rude to people but, being as good as they are, the writers show us shortly afterwards that this is not true at all.
I only say one word: bartender
I leave you to your own thoughts about the episode now.

I know I didn't talk about the case of the week at all but that would have lead to another full review as it tackled another topic that I could talk in length about so just that much:

Everybody makes mistakes. Dealing with them in an appropriate way and accepting the consequences for our actions is what helps us grow. Everything else is pathetic.

The plastic surgeon is a perfect model of the latter.
Gregson, with the help of Bell, might in the end become a positive one if he gets the chance for it after being shot.

I am looking forward to how it all plays out.

1 Comment
Comments (1)
May 29, 2019
I had no idea how the show would return but like how they still brought in Gregson and Bell as that was one of the loose ends of last season. And the end of the episode with Gregson shot caught me completely off guard. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out as I have a feeling Sherlock will not get back out of NY unnoticed. But that is for next week.

One comment about the case of the week is the new inspector, she just comes off a bit wrong and I am trying to not rush to judgement, I have my own opinions on many matters, but her dislike of Joan for no other reason than being american is off putting. I am hoping that if things continue I can grow to like her a bit more. I really liked the interactions with Bell and Gregson, this new thing could be part of the reason it feels off putting.  Also, Joan as a blonde, it took me half the episode to get used to that and even took me a minute to realize it was Watson when she first appeared on screen.

Otherwise, great review, as always and insightful. The inner workings of the characters mindsets and problems is part of what makes this show so interesting. It is great when a show focuses so well on the characters and doesn't really slack off on the case story line, some shows cannot find that balance.

PS- got your message but seemed to have a problem replying, so thank you and I have the info if the site glitches again.
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