Computers were rising up and killing humans on Elementary Season 3 Episode 4. Sherlock and Kitty, along with Joan, got caught up in a case full of twists and turns with one of the strangest murder suspects ever - a computer program.
Artificial intelligence is something that freaks some people out while others are excited about the possibilities. It was a lot of fun to see Sherlock, with his well renown intelligence, match wits with Bella, an artificial intelligence computer program hooked to a baby doll, which was a little creepy.
Dolls, I mean. Not AI. AI is cool, up until the computers rise up and kill you. That's not so cool.
This was one of the most interesting cases Sherlock has investigated in a long time. I loved his frustration with Bella and her constant answer.
I don't understand the question. Could I have more information?
I must admit that I wasn't sure how to take her response either. Was she trying to get more information so she could become self-aware? Was this computer a murderer? Would she cause the war against humans and machines? Have I watched T1 and T2 too many times?
The answer to that question is yes.
But wait, at this point, the AI program wasn't the chief suspect in a murder, yet. This was just an ordinary robbery that was solved quickly and a bit boring. I would have preferred they skip the whole robbery angle since it had no real consequence besides Sherlock meeting the client.
Yes, I know that is important, obviously, but the client, Edwin Borstein, could have hired Sherlock to investigate Bella and the possibility of her really becoming self-aware on its own merits.
One interesting result of this case was it connected Holmes and Andrew together. I didn't recall Andrew being a software developer, but Holmes reached out to him to work with his other AI experts. Watson was immediately suspicious and accused him of trying to interfere with their relationship, especially after Andrew decided to start a business in Denmark with one of the people he met through Holmes.
I wasn't sure where this was going at first. As I've said before, I've never really shipped Holmes and Watson and love that they have a great, dysfunctional partnership. But I should have had faith because it led to the second best exchange of the night.
Sherlock: Most importantly, he understands you. He understands you and me.
Watson: What do you mean by that?
Sherlock: I mean, Watosn, whether you care to admit it lately or not, I am an important part of your life. Whether I say it out loud or not, you are an important part of mine. My return to New York was driven in large part by my desire to repair our relationship. I think even though we might draw further or nearer from each other, depending on circumstance, you and I are bound, somehow. Andrew accepts that without feeling needlessly threatened. It's a rather enlightened position.
Watson wanted to hug Holmes afterward and so did I. Their friendship/partnership was back and stronger than ever. Or at least until Holmes does something insensitive.
The Skynet references and the idea of machines rising up made me laugh (sometimes uneasily because who knows - right?) but apparently there was a think tank who wasn't laughing with me because they believed AI was the greatest threat to mankind.
Sherlock found the killers, but with the student protecting her mentor, the mastermind was free. This was unacceptable to Sherlock, but his plan to essentially blackmail Isaac Pike into confessing his role backfired.
Sherlock is often times rightly accused of being uncaring or acting like a machine himself. But Pike had done his research on Sherlock too. For all his bluster, Sherlock is more man, than machine. Pike killed Borstein because he truly believed he was saving mankind. No greater good would come from Sherlock's blackmail.
So we ended on the rare note of Sherlock solving the crime but not getting complete justice. He laid on the floor next to Bella, a man versus machine logic, and looked to her for answers.
Holmes: Bella, one member of a murder conspiracy is in jail. The second walks free. The cost of catching him is incarcerating his brother for unrelated crimes. Crimes for which I, of all people, should have some understanding. Is it right to let the second man walk free?
Bella: I don't understand the question. Can I have more information?
This was an overall excellent episode with a great case, some needed resolution to Holmes and Watson's fractured partnership and Kitty stopped being annoying. All in all, a major victory, even with one of the bad guys still walking around free.
What did you think of tonight's episode? Pro AI or would you side with ETRA (without murdering people though, please) or somewhere in between? And if you missed tonight's excellent episode, never fear! You can watch Elementary online via TV Fanatic and decide for yourself whether you are Team Computers or Team Humans.