Elementary Season 3 Episode 13 Review: Hemlock

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The good guys did not win tonight on Elementary Season 3 Episode 13 as Sherlock and Joan investigated the disappearance of a debt collector. Most people might not initially consider a debt collector to be a good guy, but Steven Horowitz definitely became one.

It's probably a lot easier to call faceless individuals and demand debt repayment, than it is to visit them face-to-face and see their circumstances firsthand.

Overall, this was an okay episode that was saved by a killer ending (pun intended). It felt like more of a set-up episode as the stand-alone case wasn't particularly thrilling.

Most murder investigations, regardless of what show it is, have a sense of urgency behind them. You care about the victim and/or other lives are at risk, so minimally time is of essence. The investigation into the disappearance of Steven Horowitz lacked that heightened pressure.

Heck, we even started the episode with Sherlock being bored, even after having a threesome! It never really picked up tension (until the very end) and the twists and turns were a bit of a dud.

The biggest surprise was Horowitz had a change of heart and decided to forgive the loans, rather than attempt to collect what he could. Sherlock deduced that his investors would be unhappy, which is true. Normal investors would be more apt to sue, rather than resort to murder, but Horowitz's investors were criminals.

It's always risky to irritate criminals as they take it pretty seriously when you lose them money. Of course, the motley crew that invested in Steven's business weren't the killers because Steven paid back their investment before his change of heart.

Okay, fine. But we had to listen to Sherlock explain who they were and then later why they were no longer suspects. It would have been nice to see a little interaction with at least one of these suspects to liven things up, instead of an exposition dump. The real killer was a bit of a bore and not a real challenge either.  

We did, however, get a very enticing tease at the end. When Joan attempted to break-up with Andrew, he collapsed, but not due to a broken heart. Most likely, a little poison called Hemlock, which was conveniently the name of this episode, was to blame. Tonight's case my not have enthralled me, but I am excited to tune in next week.

What continues to make Elementary shine every week is the relationship and banter between Sherlock and Joan. 

Sherlock: Watson, I've got every confidence that you could brain a man with a metal tube if you put your mind to it.
Watson: That's very nice of you to say.

Due to Sherlock boredom now that Kitty is gone (and the risk that a bored Sherlock could relapse), Joan suggested Sherlock find a roommate, which he quickly disabused her of the need. 

You, Watson, are not people. Neither was Kitty.


It's a sweet and true sentiment. Joan and Kitty weren't not just people to Sherlock. However, it also very much felt like they were setting up for Joan to move back into the brownstone. Add in their constant conversations regarding her lack of passion around Andrew, made me curious and nervous as to where they are headed.

Meeting the parents. That's an important milestone in the romantic passion play.


Making Watson a woman in this version is a brilliant change, but Sherlock and Watson becoming lovers is still a bit iffy for me. It's also possible that I'm completely off base and imagining things.

One thing I don't think I am mistaken about was the set-up for Joan to move back into the brownstone. It was cute (and maybe a little sad too) that Sherlock bought spare clothes for Joan, but it feels like we're just spinning wheels too.

The characters have certainly grown, which I truly appreciate, but it also seems like nothing has really changed either. Many procedurals keeps things fairly status quo; it's what makes them comfortable to the audience. Honestly, I don't have a problem with Joan moving back in, but I'm just puzzled why they felt they had to split them up in the first place. 

Watson started her own PI practice, which she folded to take a Corporate job, although that certainly didn't go as planned. So I assume she is back to full-time consulting with the NYPD. She moved into her own apartment because she needed a separate space from Sherlock, but it appears that could be coming to end as well. 

It's possible that Joan will not move back in with Sherlock, and they will remain partners and BFFs, rather than lovers. It just seems like the writers wasted a lot of energy to put things back to almost exactly where they started. I would have much rather they used that creative energy on creating compelling villains who truly made Sherlock work for his best detective title.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Did it hold your attention or did you find it a bit dull? Who do you think poisoned Andrew? Do you want Sherlock and Watson to be a couple or platonic investigative partners? Sound off in the comments!

Don't forget that you can watch Elementary online via TV Fanatic and see if you can spot the killer before Sherlock and Watson do.

Hemlock Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (31 Votes)
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Elementary Season 3 Episode 13 Quotes

You, Watson, are not people. Neither was Kitty.


Sherlock: Watson, I've got every confidence that you could brain a man with a metal tube if you put your mind to it.
Watson: That's very nice of you to say.