Elementary Review: The Past is Parent

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Welcome back, fellow Sherlockians! It is my pleasure to cover Elementary this season, and what a way to kick things off than with Elementary Season 4 Episode 1!

The wit came fast and furious in "The Past is Parent," particularly from Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock. He was on fire in this episode! Fortunately not literally, especially given all the trouble he's been enduring over his rather large mistakes of the end of last season.

Sherlock spent much of the episode preparing against life after the NYPD. Indeed, Captain Gregson delivered the somber news that whether or not Sherlock was charged with assault, his and Joan's consultancy days were done.

All that seems likely to change, however, with the much-heralded arrival of the utterly fantastic John Noble as Morland Holmes, Sherlock's MIA father.

From the very beginning of the series, Sherlock's father has always been a sore point for the younger Holmes. He never seems to be there for his son, even blowing off Joan (only for his position to be taken by an actor friend of Sherlock, played memorably by Roger Rees).

This time, however, Morland showed up in the flesh after Joan delivered quite an ultimatum to his assistant. The look on the man's face was utterly priceless when Joan asked what was the hardest he'd ever been hit. I really didn't envy him, that's for sure.

But it was the brief meeting between Morland and Sherlock at the end of the episode that made the whole wait seem worth it, especially for this priceless gem:

Morland: You don't look well.
Sherlock: You look as spry as ever. My compliments to the virgins whose blood you bathe in.

Wow, Sherlock. That's harsh!

I've been a fan of John Noble ever since he played Denethor in The Lord of the Rings. Later, I absolutely loved him as Walter Bishop in Fringe, and thought his immense talents weren't put to good use as Henry/Jeremy on Sleepy Hollow. I can't wait to see him and Jonny Lee Miller really play off each other!

The case of the week, intended by Sherlock as a last-ditch effort to get Joan back in the graces of the NYPD (awww!), was undercut somewhat when I totally recognized that restaurant owner. (I'm pretty sure it was David Zayas, probably most well known as Angel Batista on Dexter, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

While it wasn't surprising that he turned out to be the killer of the two women, it was a little surprising that he was the really foolish coyote who tried to cheat the cartel of their tribute money. Dude, not smart. It was really rather odd that they let him get away with it, though.

While the case itself was pretty average, the episode is definitely elevated by some of the great banter and character moments, like when Sherlock finally confesses to Joan that they've been sacked by the NYPD, and Joan has to explain her priorities to him:

Joan: You really don't get it.
Sherlock: Don't get what?
Joan: When it comes to what we do, the only thing that matters to me is our partnership.

No matter how ostracized Sherlock is from the professional community, he'd have to do a lot worse before Joan ever gives up from him.

Speaking of being ostracized from the professional community, Agent McNally informed Sherlock that he was pretty much persona non grata due to his potential legal troubles and the fact that he was a drug addict. This didn't ring true to me at all.

If Sherlock is as good as we all know he is (and Agent McNally knows he is), I find it unlikely that a shady agency like the CIA would give a flying fig about his potential criminal record. And he's been a drug addict this whole time, he just wasn't actively using. He's recovering (again), but this time he's in an even better position than before.

A few assorted thoughts and observations before I conclude:

  • Be sure to check out the Elementary Quotes page for some of the best lines of the episode. There were some real winners!
  • Sherlock once again put prostitutes to unorthodox uses, this time recreating a decades-old crime scene.
  • Alfredo, Sherlock's sponsor, got name-dropped briefly. Apparently, he's coming back from a family visit next week!

So, how did you enjoy "The Past is Parent"? What were your favorite moments and quotes? Did you find the Case of the Week engrossing? How long before Joan and Sherlock are back in the trenches with the NYPD? Let us know in the comments below!

Elementary Season 4 Episode 2, "Evidence of Things Not Seen," is scheduled to air on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 10/9c on CBS.

The Past is Parent Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (63 Votes)
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Elementary Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

Justice is like an orgasm. It can never come too late.

Sherlock

What's the hardest you've ever been hit?

Joan