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Thursday 10:00 PM on CBS (Returning November 5, 2015)
Elementary: "The Hound of the Cancer Cells" (S02E19)

Murders are, as we're often told by police in both fiction and non-fictional programming, committed for the dullest of reasons. Even if committed in an act of passion or rage, whatever drove the person to that emotional intensity was built up on something mundane like jealousy or money. It's the lengths people will go to cover it up or make it appear convoluted that end up on docu-dramas on TruTV that make it seem all the more dramatic.

"The Hound of the Cancer Cells" is just such a case. A slightly complicated set of misdirections and lies intended to keep large sums of money away from someone else. That's generally fairly odious, if boring. That Hank Prince was doing this by sabotaging his own revolutionary medical device -- a breathalyzer that detects cancer (Hannibal Lecter would be proud) -- and thus delay/deny people access to life-saving medical treatment makes it just very terrible.

It's why "The Hound of the Cancer Cells" felt a little manipulative. It was as if the writers went, "Hm. Killing people to prevent his estranged wife from getting money is pretty run of the mill...WHAT IF HE HAS SOME NEAT LIFE-SAVING DEVICE THAT WILL MAKE HIM LOOK HORRIBLE?" And so the episode was off and running on that front. It may have been intended to give the episode a little something extra, but it just felt unnecessary to me. I get that without the medical journals and Adam Peer and academic/corporation corruption (a very real issue) were necessary to give the episode some urgency, and maybe that alone would've been enough without the cancer angle?



So what did you all think about the Bell subplot? It, for me, felt sort of muddled. It seemed like there might've been attempt to draw parallels between Rose's sense of sacrifice and an unending battle to save his neighborhood in the sacrifices that Bell has made to continue on in this homicide division, but never quite got anywhere (or I'm just looking for something that wasn't there at all).

In addition, Bell and Sherlock have officially made up! So, hurrah on that! I feel like it happened rather quickly given Bell and Sherlock's limited interactions since Bell returned to homicide, but the speed at which he recovered his ability to fire his sidearm mirrored his ability to be cool with Sherlock. Bell's character development was, instead, short-changed so that we could see more of Sherlock getting over his old ways of being -- "Misanthropy was so easy, Watson. Elegant. I miss it sometimes." -- and being a better person, concluded best with his willingness to talk to Bell at the end of the episode. Sherlock was likely going to get all the character development out of Bell's injury anyway, but it ended up feeling rushed, and without a clear impact on Bell.

Not the show's best work overall. Or maybe I'm just being grumpy?

***

You all sort of disappeared last week! Going to chalk it up to you all just really wanting to watch Scandal instead. Elementary is off for the next two weeks (which is good timing for me, honestly), so maybe we'll get back together on April 3 to discuss "The Many Mouths of Andrew Colville"? Mm-hm?
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