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Elementary S02E07: "The Marchioness"


"Where does that leave us then? What would you like to talk about?"

In the past, we've discussed the nature of Elementary's Sherlock, and how his empathy helps to set him apart from other incarnations of the character, which tend to have a very limited sense of respect for other people, let alone a personal connection or a sense of intimacy. Elementary's Sherlock didn't exhibit empathy right away; it's been a part of his recovery, which figures into his growth as a character. The relationships and the willingness to share have to be earned—both in Sherlock's eyes, as a man who's concerned about being hurt and falling into drugs again, and as an aspect of his identity.

It's why his speech during his addiction meeting at the top of the episode, about whether or not he should have been born in a different time, was so important. He was sharing feelings, and he was doing it in a space that he considers safe, a space that even Joan isn't part of. (However, I don't doubt that he's relayed some version of that speech to Joan at one point or another; he was admitting to a weakness, and that's something that Sherlock knows Joan can understand and accept, such are the levels of their friendship.)

It's why Mycroft's sudden appearance at the meeting was so rattling for Sherlock. He loathes Mycroft on any number of levels, and he certainly doesn't want his estranged brother to know his weaknesses, even though Mycroft would very much like to earn that place in Sherlock's life. So it was fitting, then, that the episode began with a speech and ended with a query of what, exactly, they could discuss.


What was lovely about "The Marchioness" was how it earned that bookend through the case of the week. Having Mycroft show up with a challenge would've been fine enough, I suppose, but adding Mycroft's ex-fiancée, Nigella (Olivia d'Abo, being all d'Abo-y), to the mix gave the situation an extra bit of urgency. I say urgency because Sherlock was all too eager to expose Nigella as a fraud, and thus to prove that Mycroft's renewed faith in her was undeserved. The situation had a personal element to it that isn't always present your run-of-the-mill murder case.

So as Sherlock, Joan, and Mycroft worked the mystery, we got to see Sherlock try to work out his own feelings. Certainly his opinion of Nigella didn't change—he was just downright abusive toward her, and no one really called him on it—but Mycroft and Sherlock spending time with each other offered an opportunity for the pair to get reacquainted. Whether it was through their verbal sparring about clichéd life awakenings through trials and tribulations—"A lot of people may go through the same thing, but it doesn't make it less real. It's like addiction in that sense, I imagine."—or Mycroft's attempt to connect with Sherlock through his profession instead of on and emotional level, we saw Mycroft try just about everything he could think of to bond with his brother, and Sherlock finally had to relent, as even he knew Mycroft's actions were not ill-intended.


Of course, this didn't stop Sherlock from behaving like a complete git for much of the episode; he's still a raging egomaniac, after all. In addition to his contemptible attitude toward Nigella, he was downright childish about Joan and Mycroft having slept together, from his inquiries as to how each of them was in bed to his question of whether their tryst would continue so he could schedule his day around it. It was petty, thinly veiled passive-aggression on his part, but it was also in keeping with Sherlock's need to compartmentalize things. It's why he struggled to put it in a context that made sense. He hates Mycroft, but he likes Joan and sees her as a protégé, ergo Joan should also hate Mycroft. Sherlock is still learning empathy, so little fits like this one—or his solving of Joan's falafel cart case last week—are to be expected.

I'm not crazy about them being coddled, though. I'm all sorts of happy that Joan and Mycroft had sex, because I want her to have the life outside the world of deduction she's striving for. I think I even let out a little cheer as they finally confirmed it—but, sigh, I definitely wasn't thrilled that Joan's response to whether or not they should explore a relationship was to ask if it would complicate things with Sherlock. It was an incredibly selfless thing they both did, and it came from a place of caring about Sherlock and wanting him to rebuild his relationship with Mycroft, but I still shook an angry fist at my screen after seeing them... cave to Sherlock's antics, as it were. Still, I take solace in the fact that the relationship door likely isn't completely shut, and that one day Sherlock's Single Stick (TM) will one day poke Mycroft in Joan's bed.

But it was all in service to get to that last scene, where Sherlock found himself thawing out a bit. Certainly Mycroft lowering the boom on Nigella helped matters, but I also like to think that Sherlock realized that if Joan can like Mycroft, then maybe his brother isn't so horrible after all.



ADDITIONAL CLUES


– Oh. Right. The case itself. It was good. I liked the horse-breeding aspect, which gave it a nice spin, but it did sort of cause the episode to sag just a smidgen as Sherlock and Joan sorted out El Mecanico's fingerprints. The episode needed its twist in the case, I guess.

– "I'm in the peerage." Okay so, yeah, maybe Nigella's worth a couple of insults.

– "And I imagine they’re awash in severed hands."

– D'Abo's appearance reminded me of her wonderful turn on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, where her character, Nicole Wallace, has interestingly turned out to be a prototype of Elementary's own blending of Irene Adler and Moriarty.


What'd you think of "The Marchioness"?


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What is the ending song that was played in the background - when Mycroft asked Nigella to leave the restaurant to have a 1-to-1 coffee talk with Sherlock.

Thanks, it has been bugging me since then.
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Heal by Tom Odell, available on the extended version of his first, debut, album. Available on I tunes, I had to find it too, an amazing track.
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They have a little problem, those two. For a while, the only sexual relationship that we have known from Sherlock was that friend of Joan. And for Joan, is Sherlock's brother. I wonder what is the show trying to tell us with this?
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I loved the whole episode but especially the opening sequence. I'm grateful that in Elementary the problems of highly gifted and highly sensitive people are put into focus. The monologue in the opening sequence explains the life and feelings of HSP's very accurately. Usually highly gifted people portraied in TV Shows are nerds or completely arrogant. Jonny Lee Millers Sherlock is really authentic.
Thank you so much!!!

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I find it interesting that so many find the Joan/Mycroft relationship unlikely when it is a pretty well worn trail humans walk.
It doesn't mean Joan felt to be Mycroft a proxy Sherlock or that Mycroft wanted to get at Sherlock by slipping it to his best friend, quite the reverse, although belatedly they now know that is exactly the assumption Sherlock made, because like many addicts Sherlock carries a large dollop of self loathing albeit buried beneath his obnoxiously glib intelligence.
Joan & Mycroft got it on as way of getting to know someone, Sherlock, who features large in both their lives, better. Sherlock of course, doesn't see the coupling for what it was; an attempt to understand him a little more by getting sexually intimate with another who is emotionally intimate with Sherlock.

Out in the real world people do this stuff all the time and it has exactly the same consequences. Many of us go to great lengths to avoid sexual entanglements with our closest friends, who usually feel exactly the same way unfortunately that tempts an 'end run' - try to get a better grip on our friendship by 'going the bonk' with a friend of your friend.
Disaster almost always ensues, and it is kinda suprising that Joan didn't have sufficient maturity to understand this. According to her back story she has moved in a circle of what some would describe as NY sophisticates or semi-hipsters for some time.
Mycroft not getting the consequences is more credible, not because he's a bloke, but because he's an Englander, and in my experience, of englanders, bourgeois english culture's emotional repression puts them a couple of steps behind in the 'great game' right from the get go.
Of course Joan is also an emotional being and for her to have been able to accurately foresee the outcome of the tryst as far as Sherlock was concerned, would have required her to bring analytical/rational thinking into a section of her life she probably prefers to remain more feelings driven.
She probably doesn't want to end up like Sherlock who likely goes down at least in part, to ensure the curtains match the rug. Everything Sherlock does seems to be done with full observation and analytical awareness. The one time he didn't allow the antennae to be switched on was the time he let Moriarty into his pit, an ommission he is unlikely to ever repeat.

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I must say that I loved Sherlock's attitude in this episode.

Now unto the writing. I think the writers have made their intentions clear. They've totally screwed up my shipping of Sherlock+Watson. I mean she could have casual sex like Homes, but not with Sherlock's brother. What are they planning on keeping it in the family? LOL
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I wouldn't worry about Holmes/Watson "shippy-ness". The writers simply won't be able to stop themselves, eventually. Trust me, it WILL happen.
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Casual sex is only causal until someone gets hurt, and the episode was clear that someone did get hurt. So much so, he can't even talk about it.

On the bright side, Elementary's brought up a completely original approach to subject, so I can't be mad at the writers.
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I think many women would find this version of Mycroft attractive, given that he's far from ugly, successful and charming to boot. And what's the old sexist cliché of the way to a man's heart, well apparently, it works for women too! The problem I have with Joan and Mycroft is that she's a little devoid of personality. She's very attractive but that's about it as far as "the spark factor" goes.
This version of Mycroft resembles the British show; in that he does at least try to get on with Sherlock and worries for him being too isolated. Though the excellent Mark Gatiss' Mycroft is rather more of a shadowy user, revels in picking Sherlock up for "school boy errors" and he's gay in it - will we ever see him hitting on Martin Freeman?! That would be hilarious.
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In the books Mycroft was described as Sherlock's smarter brother. He could easily find the connections and deduce (actually Sherlock used induction not deduction to solve cases) and solve the crimes, even faster than Sherlock, he was just too fat and lazy to go to the trouble. Sherlock seemed to resent Mycroft's natural talent, was jealous, sniped about his brother's laziness, and seemed to be on the defensive trying to prove who was better.
In the series Mycroft does seem to be reaching out for a relationship with Sherlock. Neither of the brothers seem to have had a close relationship with their mostly absent father but Sherlock thought that daddy liked Mycroft better, and then there was the revelation of the relationship between Mycroft and Joan that made Sherlock so indignant, an extreme case of sibling rivalry.
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I watched this episode with a friend and the second we seen Olivia d'Abo we both started laughing. She played Jack Carter's ex-wife on Eureka. We both watched the show like it was a religion. The scene where she got into a verbal altercation with Jack's smart house was priceless. We laughed our asses off when we watched it and her appearance on Elementary brought the funny right back.
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I want more Mycroft in this show! Loved how uncomfortable it made Sherlock through the whole episode.
And yes Joan deserves some none-deduction time. Though I would love seeing her dating random guys and Sherlock pointing out their flaws.
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I loved this episode and thought it was hilarious. The scene in the car was the best.
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Jonny Lee Miller continues to impress me with his superbness! (Is that a word?)
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I don't mean to be rude (to many comedies on TV) but I really find this episode very funny. I meant that in a good way. I think JLM acting had a lot to do with it. The childish way he acted in the car was one of the highlights.

I was surprised Joan slept with Mycroft as she does seems incapable of such wild things and as Sherlock put it, he is not the only one entitled to doing that.

The show is always at its best when it ties a case to something personal to Sherlock or Watson. The writers have to find ways to do that more often.
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My only problem with the whole horse mystery was this: Race horses are tattooed on the inside of their lip to insure authenticity in drug testing and breeding, and no one made mention of the fact that they would have had to doctor a tattoo to fool a professional breeder, instead they found a horse that looked like him and dyed his hair a bit. I expect a bit more details from the show.
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"D'Abo's appearance reminded me of her wonderful turn on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, where her character, Nicole Wallace, has interestingly turned out to be a prototype of Elementary's own blending of Irene Adler and Moriarty." <----My immediate thought!! I also wondered if she auditioned for Moriarty.
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My little crime procedural heart would've exploded from the intertextuality had she auditioned, let alone if she had been cast.
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Even Vincent D' Onofrio's character was as close to Sherlock Holmes as a TV detective could get - before JLM, of course. And had D' Abo been cast, it would have been a dead give away that Irene Adler was Moriarty - for Criminal Intent fans, at least.
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No.
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The one thing that I will take away from this episode is even though Mycroft understands that Sherlock is deeply flawed, he got to witness firsthand how brilliant Holmes really is. Mycroft's body language and statements throughout the episode were saying, "How does he do that?" Let's face it, Watson, Gregson and Bell have all thought at one time or another that Holmes was a complete flake. But by watching him and getting to know him they come to accept his genius in deduction and crime solving. I think that Holmes' bull in a china shop personality makes him entertaining and fun to watch.

Holmes body language during his discussion with his brother in the parlour of the brownstone was awesome. It said should i stay or should I run away?

The fabulous Ms. D'Abo. Ahhhh! Just got to throw out one Nicole Wallace quote. "Hello, Bobby." Hmmmm!
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JLM's physicality in this episode was great. His Sherlock tends toward the contained, but here, he's a spring wound too tightly (if you follow, and I'm not sure I'm following myself right now). All sharp, jerky movements.
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An excellent observation. While i watched the episode I found myself paying rapt attention to his body language. The expression on his face at the table in the restaurant was hilarious. I'm afraid I missed some valuable dialogue and will have to watch the episode again. I guess we know how moving outside his comfort zone affects Holmes. It should make for some interesting character development down the road.
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Juxtapose his body language when he is speaking in the meeting. His hand movements are very fluid and soft. When he is confronting Mycroft in the house his stance is so confrontational he might as well be saying 'en guarde' and waving a rapier.
I thought this episode simply bristled with energy. Just loved it.
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Could you visualize him with his single stick just waiting to bolt across the room to confront his foe? I look forward to JLM's performance every week and he seldom disappoints.
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Forgot to mention this because I was exhausted as I was finishing up, but this is actually the second time Elementary's lifted from the same Doyle story this season as "Silver Blaze" is, indeed, a story about horses.
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i liked Sherlock's speech at the beginning of the episode, it shows how conflicted he was with the idea of taking drugs. Then Mycroft arrived and everything became complicated: Mycroft's ex fiancee asked for their help, Joan and Mycroft slept together in London and Sherlock acted like a whiny baby. Anyway, a great entertaining episode.
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Let's not overlook the fact too that Sherlock slept with Watson's best friend. Twice. Yet, when Watson sleeps with Mycroft, suddenly Sherlock's hurt. Hmm.
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i enjoy this show immensely, it always makes me happy.
Seeing Sherlock and Mycroft interact and trying to heal some deep gashes in their relationship is heartwarming.
My only gripe is that i thought that the revelation that Mycroft was sick and didn't tell his brother would have a greater impact but i guess the subject matter doesn't offer itself to snarky remarks, which is Sherlock favorite way of dealing with conflict!
I desperately want more Mycroft, he is wonderful.

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I think "I'm sincerely sorry for your troubles" and his annoyance about the bone marrow issue were about as much as Sherlock could reasonably muster, which, really, feel like more than something he might've been able to express (and mean) even in Season 1.
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"A spot of leukemia," - that was priceless.
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I hope to see more Mycroft in the future. I like his relationship with Sherlock
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I really enjoyed last nights show. The case of the week was interesting and I enjoyed Mycroft more in this episode then in his previous appearance.

I was also surprised as some commenter's here that they just threw in that Watson and Mycroft had slept together. I have to say it brought some fun tension to the three of them last night. I'm not disappointed that Sherlock didn't take it well and acted jealous because he does want to monopolize all of Watson's time and emotions. I'm just surprised he told her his disappointment was a way to send a message that she wouldn't conform with the rules in their partnership and not his original assessment in the first episode of season 2 that if she slept with his brother it would be a way of sleeping with him without actually sleeping with him. I kind of think at least unconsciously this maybe a reason that she did sleep with Mycroft, as it fills a intimacy void that she doesn't get in her partnership/relationship she has with Sherlock. Or like Watson said, I could just be over thinking it.
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I was kind of baffled when it came out that Holmes and Mycroft had slept together. Huh?? I didn't remember that?? Someone said it below and I agree, I think she made it up, for whatever reason. Honestly I hope she made it up because as much as I like both of their characters, I don't like them together. I felt as equally disgusted as Sherlock acted.
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More Sherlock & Mycroft!
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What a wonderful show this is,... it is a series about sherlock and it is fresh and modern,... i would like sherlock to solve less murder and more theft or conspiracy or other cases,... watson and mycroft was really out of the blue,... i would rather she would get involved with someone outside of all of this,... a sweet artist maybe?
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I loved this episode and found myself laughing at almost every scene with Sherlock and Mycroft together. It was played perfectly by Jonny and Rhys. This show deserves way more credit than it gets.
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As a great fan of the show overall, I was really disappointed to see the writer(s?) of this episode rather pathetically shoehorn in the subplot of Watson and Mycroft sharing a hook-up. Not only was it unnecessary to the plot of the episode, it didn't make any sense in the context of the interaction we'd seen between them up to this point. MAYBE if there'd been inference of interaction since the London episode it'd seem less forced. But only slightly so. Overall ridiculously sloppy and stupid. That's just my opinion, however,
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Sherlock didn't seem happy that Mycroft didn't tell him about being sick. I think Joan made up the part about having sex with Mycroft to hide the fact that he did tell her. This will lead to Sherlock eventually finding out and being upset that they were able to fool him. (Probably because they lied about something he already suspected was true before they said it)

Also did anyone else think Sherlock's speech about being born in the wrong time was a way for the writers to vent their frustration about the difficulties of transplanting the greatest detective in Victorian era London into a world of 21st century forensics?
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well, at the end of the episode when Mycroft was talking to Joan, he did say that he would like to be friends with her "aside from" what happened in London, so I think she was telling the truth. Just a one off though, girls got to get her swerve on too.
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Ah, so Joan did make it up, and Mycroft played along with it! I was trying to recall the events of London and I was pretty sure that did't happen!
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Re Sherlock's speech: I thought it was a fantastic way for the writers to give a nod to ACD's original creation without actually saying it out loud. I mean, we were all thinking Victorian era, right? And when that other guy said ancient Greece I actually laughed out loud.

But I loved that speech. That's JLM's Emmy reel, right there.
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Yep, there's one dead body's worth of tree growth there! LOL
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