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Elementary

Elementary Review: Sherlock's Revenge

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"M" has gone down as my favorite episode of Elementary Season 1.

The installment focused on Sherlock's history in London, as we discovered some of his past when his arch enemy Moriarity returned and the tragic death of Irene Adler was revealed. We also witnessed the depths to which Holmes is willing to do to get his revenge. Someone call Emily Thorne, people, Sherlock Holmes may just give her a run for her money.

Watson's Second Thoughts

Before I begin discussing the Moriarity angle, let me just say that the honesty that was shown between Watson and Holmes was my favorite part of this episode. Through this openness was where we learned the former's backstory, which is the best part about being tangled up in a character and its respective show. 

On one end, we saw Watson having a session with her therapist where Joan was reaffirmed that it's obvious her present work with Sherlock is what makes her happy. The honesty finally came from Watson when she admitted to Holmes that she enjoys what he does. From this realization then came the lie from Joan that will keep her hanging around Holmes just a little bit longer. 

I've been waiting to see how the writers kept her around and this is certainly an original concept. It wasn't a relapse or something predictable, it's a lie from Watson. Something I didn't expect.

On the other side, we had Sherlock, who was at the rawest form we have ever seen. By the final moments, I was in tears with my eyes glued to the TV. The simple scene of Holmes sitting on the couch barring his soul simply got to me. From admitting that he did, indeed, stab Sebastian to confessing he will miss Watson and that he admires what she does... hearing the truth from Holmes was such a reward as a viewer.

I will go down with this ship. I don't mean "ship" as a romantic pairing either. What I do mean is that these two as friends, partners, confidents for one another, are the reason why this show is so good. Not all leads on a show have to be romantically paired. Holmes and Watson on Elementary are doing it right.

All of this was going on while Holmes was tracking down who he thought was the real Moriarity. From this, more backstory was created. I'm still completely heartbroken that Irene Adler was killed and I was utterly shocked when they revealed that this man presumed as "M" was only a hitman. The best part of the reveal was that Sebastian, the hired trigger, was not the one who killed Irene. 

Irene Adler's death was from the hands of Moriarity. It was personal. 

All of this leads me to question what is it that Sherlock did to be the target of such a personal attack. To kill the one you love the most and leave you to live with the regret knowing it was your fault has to be the worst form of punishment. 

I cannot wait to get these answers. 

I MUST add that Johnny Lee Miller's scenes tonight were absolutely gripping. From the torturing scene to the final scene with Watson, I was feeling every emotion he was putting out. Can someone give this guy an Emmy nod please?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (94 Votes)
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I so agree with the reviewer: gripping episode! Powerful acting from Jonny Lee Miller (I've been a fan of his from theater and from PBS's "Emma"); great on-screen chemistry between Miller and Liu. "Elementary" is really growing on me, and I like how the writers are letting the relationship between Sherlock and Watson develop slowly, and with a constant tension/unease (as it did in books and in the BBC version). Plus, the range of Miller's savage desire to torture/kill "M" to his quiet final words to Joan absolutely had me glued to screen (now, if they only could 'fix'/up the sound so we could hear the conversation between these two lead characters, who often (and quite rightly) speak in subtle/quiet tones or very quickly; I often have to play parts of the episode back twice to get all the dialogue). This episode was absolutely one of the best; the show is getting better and better as it goes along. I hope it continues; great lead characters, lots of back-stories yet to tell; one of only intriguing TV shows today (other is "White Collar" on TNT & online): for intelligent viewers! (I love BBC's "Sherlock" but I'm not going to fall into trap of comparing the two; each is different and has its own merits.)

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@BriAN I also thought it was strange but was only totally convinced with the strange text and the symbols, because I would have accepted the actor if he looked ok in formal clothes. :D

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PS: Irene may or may not be dead based on the way Moriarty himself chose the victims would be killed. He also may or may not have intended to "kill" Irene all along. Assuming he thought about everything right from the start (being Moriarty and all). PSS: I don't think Irene is with Moriarty right now (too blahh). So assuming she is free and about he probably threatened her with both their lives if she contacted Sherlock. If that's the case she could appear any moment believing "M." to have been captured.

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This is what I think happened. Moriarty heard of Sherlock and all that he had achieved in the police. He saw it as an intellectual challenge. So, he hired Moran to play the role of serial killer, making sure he was very difficult to find, almost impossible. He gave him his victim so there wouldn't be a pattern. Somewhere along the line (probably victim 20 or something) he started thinking there was not enough motivation so he decides to make it personal. He probably kills her himself on purpose. Then Sherlock starts falling off the wagon and is unable to think properly, ergo he still doesn't catch "M." When he makes his recovery in the US he follows (must be very bored) prepared to give S a second chance. But he changes the game. He gives more targets to Moran but gets him caught, probably aware that Moran would give S his name: Moriarty. So now it's as personal as it gets.

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Am I the only one who knew right away that this actor would not be Moriarty?
I mean the actor is more known for playing a brute than an intellectual. I thought it was an odd choice from the beginning. It would have been off putting to see him portray M to me. Especially since the last 2 incarnations of M were very cerebral actors. They would have really been bold to go the other way and I knew they wouldnt.

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I thoroughly enjoyed M. I was telling my wife during the episode that M could be Moriarty or Moran. Last night's episode was on a par with BBCs exceptional Sherlock. They introduced Holme's obsession with capturing Moriarty in a great way. Moriarty was not the actual killer in the books, Moran was his top hit man. I do believe Sherlock's father will end up being Mycroft.

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The scene with Sherlock telling Joan what happened to him while he was collecting all his torture implements was absolutely chilling. One of the best bits I've seen on network TV in a long time. Jonny Lee Miller is a genius, and he was at the top of his game in this episode. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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They actually seemed to have given themselves a way out of Irene is dead storyline, because Sherlock made the point that more of the bodies M left behind were not found than found when he was presenting to the police. I am guessing if Sherlock gets too dark, they can have her reappear and play whatever role they want her to play to him and he can refocus his interest in Moriarty as a intellectual puzzle.

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I agree heartily with all comments and kudos to the actors and writers. Marvelous. This has been an exciting week in TV, first a magnificent Justified and now Elementary. Please stop calling it a wasteland. Wow.

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Practically perfect in every way. Excellent episode with spot on pacing, mystery, and character development. The conversations between Holmes and Watson were so raw and honest. M. Holmes - Mycroft?