Season 1 Episode 18

Deja Vu All Over Again

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 14, 2013 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
142 votes

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    Elementary "Deja Vu All Over Again" Review: Getting Schooled

    Watson learns more tricks of the trade, and was this week’s mystery a fair one?

  • Episode Summary


    Sherlock becomes intrigued by Watson's first solo case when the goodbye video left by the missing woman mentions a murder on a subway platform.

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    • You don't know I played violin?


      Holmes: "You don't know I played violin?" Gregson: "Today I didn't you know you ate Those lines perfectly sum up the way Elementary inserts a previously unmentioned skill into Holmes' resume and expects you to think his character a clever and rounded.

      So this week the rejected script being recycled is one from 'Lie to Me' and starts off with a hammy actress playing a secretary, really over selling the part, while her boss stands around for no good reason. Worse still Holmes' facial tick insights are aimed at the video of the lying sister and not the secretary. Again Holmes suddenly develops a new skill set never previously mentioned or explored and a few weeks ago would have been useful in the case of a hired killer who Holmes couldn't tell was being truthful.

      Whats most baffling is that these insights have nothing to do with the rest of the episode and as far as I recall make no difference to the case. I'm pretty sure that at the end we find the tape to be genuine so making the observation seem just wrong.

      So the the Elementary writers don't have to do rewrites Watson gets sent off like one of Cal's minions to investigate, using her 'new found' powers that she has never displayed.

      Time for a minor guest appearance. (Yay Pryzbylewski!)

      Time for a minor guest appearance. (Yay Bubs!) So this series is the new 'The Wire' then.

      Watson is now known as a detective? Since when? Since the writers wanted an awkward intervention so she might introspect. But then she doesn't, so what was the point of that scene? All she had to say was what Holmes already told her parents, they save lives.. well last week they didn't, so many not then.

      I liked seeing Watson using her carjacking skills this was actually foreshadowed and made sense.

      Talking of sense; only tv pickpockets wear bright distinctive jackets, sit in the same locations day after day and play a loud instrument.. you know.. being known thieves and all it's wise to stand out in the crowd.

      The Watson character is really starting to bother me. She is now a full time apprentice, and not the redundant sobriety companion, but until now she has never shown the slightest interest in learning Holmes' skills. He's thrown stuff at her and she did take up pate slapping for 1 scene but she never asked about how he trains his mind and has never been shown trying a single thing out for herself. Even now Holmes' just pokes her into figuring stuff out, without training. If you were her wouldn't you ask and copy his methods? How about listening to 5 TV's all at once, Holmes has done that twice now and it's never proved useful, so then again maybe not.

      The show ends again with Holmes telling us that he solved a case in seconds, but fails to show any of his working.. that's just terrible lazy writing. Never has the mantra of 'Show, don't tell" been more applicable. What is more it reinforces Holmes forcing Watson to think without offering guidance or training... the two things he has the most to offer her.

    • Great case!

      This was a hugely entertaining case! I thought from the start that I had it all worke d out all and it was all playing out as I thought then it just transformed into something I never expected!

      The shock of a second case being mirrored and the bad guy's scheme was really finely executed!

      And I thought the case overall was spectacular!

      Can't wait until next week!moreless
    • Falls short of a 'real' Sherlock Holmes story

      A good detective story, as with the classic Conan Doyle writings, has all the clues to solve the crime in front of the reader. Only the writing is so good that to solve it the reader has to be as good as the detective in question, as good as the great Sherlock Holmes.

      If it all works, once Holmes reveals the killer at the end of the story, it becomes THE SIXTH SENSE ending-kind-of-moment. The reader is not only awestruck, not only chiding him/herself that they missed it, but feels delight that it all fits. They replay the story in their minds and realize that the clues were always there, they just didn't put it together.

      In this episode, the emails that led to the killer's reveal, we weren't privy to. They were discovered, read, and deductions made thereof behind the scenes almost incidental. It was as if Sherlock and Watson had a theory, then sort and found the evidence to prove it, without our witnessing it.

      They didn't find the damning clues first, then deduced the killer from them. As a result, the feeling that the viewer , as with the reader of the classic Sherlock tales, of competing with the great detective to find the killer, by putting it all together first, is missing.

      When evidence is withheld from the viewer, for Sherlock to use in his big reveal at the end, surprising both the killer and the viewer, is cheating by the writers.

      Moreover, ELEMENTARY, then falls in danger of becoming a clone of THE MENTALIST series. Jane, like Holmes, is an astute man, observant of human nature and able to see things as no other around him can. Yet in his own show, we see very little deductive reasoning from Jane. Often it is as if he guessed who the killer is, then concocted some gimmick to get the killer to reveal him/herself , the gimmick itself aimed to work on no other but the hitherto hidden killer.

      In each case, Jane then had some fore-knowledge of the killer for him to come up with the gimmick, but how he came to his conclusions, to this knowledge, the viewer is not shown.

      We don't really see how Jane's brain works. THE MENTALIST writers go to pains to make Jane appear smart, but they do it by not revealing anything to the audience until the last minute.

      With Holmes, he is supposed to appear smart because nothing is hidden to the audience, but he is able to interpret it all beyond the capabilities of the audience.

      And even then, once he reveals his conclusions, reveals the killer, every audience member should have the same response as the other characters/other observers around Holmes, the response of realization, of "of course!", followed by a figurative smack to the forehead.

      This is what a real Sherlock Holmes story should be.

      On another note, given Watson's new status, I've waited 18 episode before making up my mind, now have to comment: I don't like that Watson is female. In the Sherlock Holmes stories, Watson is not only Holmes biographer (which Joan doesn't even consider here), he is Holmes' confidant, his springboard for ideas, his friend, his doctor, the only one (except to some degree Mrs. Hudson, Holmes' housekeeper whom is sorely missed in this show) who really sees the real Sherlock Holmes. Watson is the only person in front of whom Holmes will let his hair down, whom he will allow to see his vulnerabilities. Watson is the only person Holmes trusts without question, and as such, the only person who is able to keep Holmes grounded.

      Holmes is Sheldon from THE BIG BANG THOERY, without the comedy, who is so clinical he is unable to relate to other humans or their emotions. Watson keeps Holmes human, and stops him from falling into an impersonal world of cold facts and emotionless relationships.

      Joan and Sherlock won't be able to reach this level of intimacy without the show wandering into the territory of all other TV dramas that have a male and female lead, the old fallback of sexual tensions the-will-they-won't-they? senerio, if you will- to keep another level of audience interest.

      Please, god-like writers, Sherlock and Watson should never become lovers, nor should there ever ever be any hint of it. But how then, can you portray the closeness as outlined above, which would be easier to do if the characters were both male, and seemingly impossible when one is female, without implying sexual tension or sexual interest?moreless
    • Flying Solo

      A simple case, made more stand-out by its multiple facets. It was a great starter case for Joan, allowed the proper amount of doubt without crippling the case and made for a decent episode. The reveal at the end was a bit of a stretch, but my profession isn't consulting detective, so I'll trust them to make the leaps in hypothesis and realization. Decent story, convenient use of Sherlock's violin skills, severe lack of Clyde and/or the bees. Let's get a little more complicated next episode, shall we?moreless
    • Holmes and Watson decide to work on their own in separate cases. That is until it's revealed the two cases are related.

      Just when I thought it could not get better, it does. Up to this point in time every episode of "Elementary" I have seen is better than the other. "Deja Vu All Over Again" is nothing short of fantastic. This episode has a masterfully written script which keeps the viewer guessing right up until the end. Just when you thought you had it all figured out.... I have said it before and it deserves to be said again. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are excellent. Seeing how it all came together at the end was a big highlight. Another great episode on the inagural season of a great show.moreless
    Jonny Lee Miller

    Jonny Lee Miller

    Sherlock Holmes

    Lucy Liu

    Lucy Liu

    Dr. Joan Watson

    Aidan Quinn

    Aidan Quinn

    Captain Tobias Gregson

    Jon Michael Hill

    Jon Michael Hill

    Detective Marcus Bell

    Josh Hamilton

    Josh Hamilton

    Drew Gardner

    Guest Star

    Geneva Carr

    Geneva Carr

    Rebecca Burrell

    Guest Star

    Andre Royo

    Andre Royo


    Guest Star

    Susan Pourfar

    Susan Pourfar

    Emily Hankins

    Recurring Role

    Ato Essandoh

    Ato Essandoh

    Alfredo Llamosa

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Holmes: Have I-have I told you how distracting I find self-doubt? If you must wallow, I ask that you do it in the privacy of your room.
        Watson: Do I need to remind you that I made a mistake last night that got me arrested?
        Holmes: Do I need to remind you that you made a discovery today that may ultimately solve both cases? Do you wish to mourn the former or celebrate the latter? 'Cause I, for one, am fully engaged.
        Watson: I want to solve this.

      • Watson: My friends found out what I've been doing.
        Holmes: I didn't realize you'd been keeping it a secret.
        Watson: They don't get it.
        Holmes: Opinions are like ani, Watson. Everyone has one.
        Watson: You know what, maybe what you do is not something that you can teach. Maybe it's something that just has to come naturally. I-I just... I have a lot to think about.

    • NOTES (3)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)