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Elementary: "The Many Mouths of Andrew Colville" (S02E19)

So we're back, and with a case you could really sink your teeth into! Sort of. I mostly just wanted more teeth wordplay.

"The Many Mouths of Andrew Colville" had an interesting enough premise in the search for men with identical dentures crafted in a prison dentistry and their connection to a spree of murders that happened five years ago that may have or may not have been committed by Mr. Colville following the apparent emergence of a copycat. Like I said, it's a neat idea, and it kept the issue of Colville's guilt and innocence in question long enough that there was some tension to that aspect of things, which was a nice shift away from being concerned with the other two corpses. If anything, Elementary has gotten better about at least making its homicide cases less about the corpses and more about some other aspect.

In this case, it was Joan's connection to the killer, but five years in the past. She was in the hospital when Colville was brought in, and her colleague, Fleming may have or may not have let Colville die on the assumption that he was a serial killer/biter. Turns out that Joan (plus a horrible horrible seriously horrible wig) had guilt for thinking that Colville did deserve to die if he had done these things, and ended up transferring that guilt over to Fleming and it's been weighing on her all this time.



Except, no. Not really all that interesting. I like Joan getting character development, truly, but this felt just all sorts of forced and I'm not sure we learned anything new about Joan, or was all that convinced that Joan had been bothered by this incident five years ago. Some groundwork in previous episodes would've gone a long away in making this a bigger deal, but as it stood here, it was just a bit of window dressing to give the procedural aspect a character beat, to make the case somehow personal.

Even how we ended up on the case felt kind of ridiculous, if still kind of funny. "Oh, this stoned mortician was bitten by a corpse, here's this possibly connected case we had with a similar MO. And there's a robber in the fridge." Cute, but still feeling oddly shoehorned. I'm not suggesting that the copycat needed to be established earlier in the season at all, but this just seemed like a narratively convoluted way to get to the main case instead of just starting us with the main case.

If there's one other knock to be made, it's that the case was resolved by the TV again. Like with "Ears to You", we received the solution by a news report. It was less subtle than the mention of the plastic surgeon in that episode considering Joan makes it a point of telling us she's watching it. It's a weird, convenient well for the show to go back to so quickly, so hopefully this isn't becoming habit forming.



On the less serious side, there were a couple of mentions of Ms. Hudson this week, and we got to see Clyde dressed as a shark cozy/turtle hybrid! Which is great as I love Clyde, and while I would've loved to have seen Ms. Hudson again, I appreciate the shout-outs to her.

Also on the less serious side, but also a pretty unacceptable move by the episode, we did not get to see Jonny Lee Miller in a giant pink prom dress singing songs from Frozen. While this would have been amazing -- perhaps he could've made "Fixer Upper" tolerable (probably not; that song is wretched) -- I understand why we didn't get to see it (rights issues, money, etc etc etc). It doesn't mean I don't even want to see it at some point, however. So, you know, get on that, show. Somehow.

What'd you think of the episode? Should I find a pink prom dress and record myself singing "For The First Time In Forever"? How much would you all pay me to do that?
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so disappointed that we did not get to see Jonny Lee Miller in a giant pink prom dress singing song from Frozen. - that mos def would have put him on the Grammy mominee list - maybe in the Season's DVD ?
The writer's are obvo having a lot of fun - throwaway lines like this make me SO happy. Sa-Weeeeet when they treat their audience like adults.
I also really like what they have done - so gradually /realistically - with the relationship between Sherlock and Joan; their relationship isn’t defined by those moments in the brownstone anymore, but more by their moments together in the field. Sherlock is giving her the lead, and Joan is becoming more of a detective in her own right.
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In this episode there were two scenes that convinced me, that I was right about suspecting that Sherlock is suffering from an Anxiety Disorder. The one in the beginning with the thief and then the scene at the archive of the prison where the assistant steps behind Sherlock and he immediately puts some distance between himself and the man by taking two steps sideways.
What I don't know is, why they are making it so obvious now. Maybe it will become important in one of the next episodes.
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OK! Finally, I catched up with the show... and joining the boat of this threads.

The problem I have with this show is that I always have a lot of comments to make about things that I see wrong, and they are not very welcome by the audience. The viewers of this show generally speaking they form a club that just want to come and say "hey, this was great" and then there is never any kind of debate, therefore, no comments.

The show has improved a lot since day one, imo, but there are still critics to be done, and I'm glad that Noel is seeing some points that deserve a little dusting at least. Now, I'm still not sure if I dare trully commenting here because I don't want to be just making people upset sooo...

Fine case, not very believable background story for Joan.
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I dont know much about the show , i just watched the pilot and then i saw this episode. i got bored both times . Is it any good ? I personally found watson really boring and expressionless. and Sherlock seem to be too much sherlocky , deductions he make are way past believable threshhold.
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Decent episode, but I just can't get into this show. Lucy Lui is just so bland she might as well be a mannequin for all the life she brings to her character. Someone needs to teach that girl how to display some emotion.
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I very much liked the ep.

Detractions...

I immediately suspected the wife when she was on TV, just like I immediately suspected the involvement of the plastic surgeon previously,so they probably need to stop using that device. It's just a bit too obvious.

One of the things that always bothers me in cop shows that have help from someone with extraordinary abilities (Monk, Sherlock, etc) is that they tend to get very sloppy with actual police work. In THIS case, it was malpractice that no one thought to look into the backgrounds of EVERYONE that had any involvement with the dentures. That they were surprised about the assistant at the end was ridiculous. It would be routine to look into everyone's background.
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I was very disappointed we did not get to see Jonny Lee Miller in the prom dress sining let it go
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I have no doubt doctors, and other medical personel, make morally inclined decisions all the time. No matter how strictly you may believe in your Hippocratic oath, there are so many ways to fuzz the line that you'll eventually cross over.

What's unfortunate is that a strong moral code is often not accompanied by a rigorous scientific or analytical trend necessary to evaluate decisions enough to make an accurate moral judgement. Its why I really enjoy Sherlock Holmes, especially in this iteration. Because he is so analytical, he is able to dig deep enough to find a point where he is as absolute as he can be in making those moral judgements. It's also hilarious the means he will use to get to that point. Letting himself be the joke for the hacker group Everyman in order to gain access to certain materials again reminds me of how dynamic him and Moriarity could be if they ever pooled their resources to start a independent social instrument/collective. Just because you are a criminal by breaking the law doesn't mean you aren't doing it for a good reason, its why every country has a spy agency (or several.)

Did anyone else notice how much pleasure Sherlock took in his performance? Its one thing to be humiliated, its another thing to take that humiliation and turn it into a source of pride. It felt like Sherlock became some sort of mascot to Everyman, a kindred spirit each could recognize, and thus admire, in the other, even while trying to game them. I'm really surprised Everyman didn't make Sherlock wear some kind of ridiculous outfit or accessory while getting punched in public. That kind of anarchistic, anti-social group, simply getting punched wouldn't be enough.

And I've never heard of a cozy before, but the stegosaurus one made me want to get a turtle for a pet just so I could make him wear it. I cannot fathom how someone looks at a turtle and goes "Hmmm, he looks cold. I bet I could knit an outfit for him, in the shape of an extinct dinosaur, that he could wear." Do we get to call him Clyde-o-saurus now?

As for Joan's nascent moral compass, again it took Sherlock to sniff that one out. It's clear why Joan became a doctor in the first place (she would need this body of knowledge later) but its equally clear she makes a better detective than she does a doctor. Not sure why the rings on the side of the fridge indicated dog bowls and not cat bowls, but it was a nice deduction anyway. Joan needs more of those moments where it feels like being around Sherlock is rubbing off on her rather than just her being dragged along for the ride, although I will say her instinct for cases is getting better. Then again, nothing intrigues Sherlock so much as catching the big fish like murderers.

And I am worried about Sherlock's hunt for pirate treasure. There are so many ways that expedition can take a nasty turn (instead of jewels, they find a sunken ship full of lost drugs, for instance) or be motivated by less than noble intentions that its a wonder Sherlock isn't more cautious. However, I am hoping that Sherlock's enthusiasm is really a ruse, a conscious attempt to throw off suspicion that he might know something is fishy with the idea to begin with. I am not surprised the idea of a hefty finder's fee would weigh on his decision making, might even help his ruse be more effective in convincing others he's interested for the right reason. Financial independence, no doubt, is HIGH on Sherlock's list of priorities, which could be why the offer was used to get him interested. Still, ever since Mycroft's cryptic phonecall in his restaurant, I've been waiting to see what the payoff for that moment will be. I just hope it isn't Moriarity trying to get to Sherlock through his brother. They've made their relationship so interesting, I really don't want them to break it (however, you can bend it all you want.) Joan is his protege but Sherlock needs more mystery inside of an enigma wrapped in steaming piles of sexual tension that has his phone number and a cold contempt for Joan (who wants to bet she'll eventually give Joan or Sherlock her painting of Joan?)
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I totally want a turtle after seeing the cozy's!
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If I were Sherlock , I would have to correct you. Clyde is a tortoise, not a turtle. ;-)
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Had to look up the difference, didn't realize there was one. Looks like turtles are water based versions of tortoises, with body parts and shells adapted to living primarily in the water. Learn something new everyday.
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i also assumed it was a turtle since it had a shark fin
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And if I were Sherlock, I'd have to correct you. Wanting a turtle after seeing a tortoise doesn't neccessarily mean she thought it was a turtle. :)
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You are right, but I suppose it would be quite difficult putting a cozy on a turtle. It would get all wet. ;-)
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I've watched Frozen about 20 times since purchasing it for my 3 year old. I was so sad that we didn't get to see JLM perform to it. He said his feedback was that he was better than the original! I hope somehow we see him sing something and definitely in a dress.
Is anyone else loving Joan's wardrobe? I love how now Sherlock is picking out outfits when he wakes her! Oh and Clyde is so cute!
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I LMAO when he walked into her room holding out four clothes hangers
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But she didn't wear a stitch of what he had in hand
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I don't have your eye for fashion, but I'll take your word for it - are you sure? not one of the four things he held out?
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i wanna see Jonny Lee Miller singing songs from 'Frozen' in his purple prom dress
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I liked the episode for the dialogues between Watson and Holmes about justice and the duties of a doctor. Doctors mustn't think about justice. Their job is treating ill people no matter who those are or what they have done. I suppose that can be very difficult at times. It reminded me of an episode of House where Dr.Carter had to treat a brutal dictator and let him die at the operation.
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"So we're back, and with a case you could really sink your teeth into!"


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I'd denture to say that is the worst possible line

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Bananaaaaaa!!!!!!!
You don't need any teeth at all to eat them. :P
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my favorite Barbecue joynt here in Arizona has this motto on their wall: "you don't need no teef to eat our beef"
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Noel, I would kill to see you singing ''Let it go'' in a pink dress. Hell, I would even be willing to give you some of my comics. :P
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Thanks Noel for writing this review as labor of love.

This was a more interesting case for me than most. I do hope we get to see Holmes and Watson in Australia but I doubt it.

Johny Lee Miller in a giant pink prom dress - that is something I definitely want to see !
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This was a pretty standard "filler" episode for me. Interesting twists and turn, but the second I found out that the accused murderer really DID do it I was able to see the end coming from a mile away, similar to the Hound of the Cancer Cells.

What kind of overshadowed the episode was hints of what might be happening in the season finale: an adventure to Australia. It appears that Mycroft is slated to be the Big Bad in season 2, since we've only seen Moriarty once this season and we left her on her way to the hospital, and I thnk this is a clever way to build up a decent finale by having it come slowly. Season 1 had a whopping 4 episodes back to back having to do the Moriarty arc, and honestly I was disappointed by how "mustache twirling" she was when they made the final revelation at the end of "the Woman." Mycroft is a different story. Sherlock HATED his brother at the beginning of the season, but now he's got sort of a shaky love for him. It's obvious that certain aspects of Mycroft annoy him (such as sleeping with Joan) but to seriously consider his offer of going to Australia instead of outright dismissing it speaks volumes on how his relationship with his brother has advanced. Then again, Sherlock's mention of a large finders fee might mean that he's in financial trouble... Sherlock doesn't have a day job, and Joan's salary alone ($2000 a week) has already cost Sherlock $104,000 at least, if we assume that she's been officially working for him for a full year. Add food, transportation, the $20,000 he loaned her that one time (I assumed she hasn't paid it back since she put the money in a scholarship) it might appear that ol' Holmes might be going bankrupt.

So I give this episode a solid 8 out of 10. I like the cozies on Clyde, and I REALLY hope the DVD special features have the video of Holmes singing "Let It Go" from Frozen. That bit was hilarious and I REALLY want to see Johnny Lee Miller in a prom dress.
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What'd you think of the episode?
I thought the episode was decent, but certainly not one of its best. Oh the wig...it was hideous. I agree that Joan was a bit out of character in this episode, but maybe it's more that she's picking up certain sleuthing habits from Sherlock. I did appreciate the reality of the two of them having to sift through the dental records and medical charts. It wasn't just "One, two, found it!" and I liked that. The nods to Mrs. Hudson was also appreciated since we haven't actually seen her in a while. Nice to know she's still doing Sherlock's laundry.

Should I find a pink prom dress and record myself singing "For The First Time In Forever"?
I'd like to see both you and Johnny Lee Miller perform "Love Is An Open Door" instead :)

How much would you all pay me to do that?
Do alcohol and coffee count as payment?
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Staff
Coffee is not acceptable (yuck), but I will accept certain varieties of alcohol.
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What about a knitted shark cap? ;-)

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Staff

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Well, it's not singing, but I think it gets close enough!

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Let's get the man a Tiger. That is what we say in Asia. Ha !

Its a beer by the way.
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Let's put it this way, this wasn't one of my favourite episodes. Solving that first crime scene was even for Holmes a bit far off (fell into her teeth).

I'm not a bit fan of Lucy Liu as Watson and this episode did not help me love her more. Her behaviour, especially to her former colleague like getting his files, is way off. The wig indeed didn't help, it made her more unbelievable.

And last but not least, the moment we saw mother on television it was Chekhov's Gun all over again. It was to important to be just a standalone shot, I knew she had to be the murder to exonerate her son. Regrettably I was right. They do it to often in Elementary.
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I know a lot of people are not happy with Lucy Liu, but I think her calm rational demeanor is an excellent counterpoint to Sherlock's barely-constrained manic frenzy. I love watching Jonny Lee standing there just vibrating with passion and intensity. I don't know how he does it but the physicality he brings to the role is superb
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As in all Sherlock's, the Watson has to the counterweight to Sherlock's behaviour. I agree with you that she acts good, that's not the problem. I have thought for some time what bugs me, I'm I'm not sure I can describe it. Maybe it's her behaviour outside of her interaction with Sherlock? Just not sure, just a feeling.
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I don't think he does it at all. I think he just got this expressiveness. If you haven't already done so, you really have to watch Mansfield Park. There is a scene were Edmund Bertram (JLM) finds his married sister in bed with another man. Jonny Lee Miller doesn't say a single word in the whole scene. And he actually doesn't need to. You can see everything in his face: Disgust, anger, dismay and disappointment all at once. "Bloody" brilliant!
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no argument there - He DO GOT it.
would have loved to have seen him on stage in London with Benedict Cumberbatch - they both said they had more fun than should be allowed in porper society
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