Elementary Season 4 Episode 10 Review: Alma Matters

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It's enough to make you hate higher education, isn't it?

It's bad enough feeling gouged for books, fees, tuition, and all the normal things, but downright corrupt recruitment and student loan practices? Yikes.

Elementary Season 4 Episode 10 took a stab at a truly vile human being running a for-profit university that was little more than a criminal enterprise.

There was no mystery invovled with this case; it was pretty much assumed from the start that Wilson Trager was the man responsible.

In instances such as this, the entertainment value of the story lays not in the grand reveal of the identity of the bad guy (we already knew it, after all) but in the journey to proving said bad guy was the perpetrator.

Unfortunately, I don't think they executed it very well in this case.

Tamara Tunie's Lily Cooper was dead the moment she revealed that she had her own evidence. Frankly, I would have been more surprised if she hadn't died! And, without offense to Tate Donovan, Wilson Trager was little more than a one-dimensional mustache-twirling villain.

The case of the week is made even worse by being overshadowed by the other major plotline, with Sherlock confronting his father Morland over the whole assassination attempt Morland had neglected to tell him about.

Really, Jonny Lee Miller and John Noble play so well off each other that it's incredible. They're both great actos, and they put their ability to snark at each other on full display in this episode.

I could have sworn I had that statue removed!

Morland [regarding Sherlock]

Of course, then there's the not-insignificant reveal that Morland actually suspected Sherlock of attempting to murder him! Good heavens, what a messed-up family dynamic. Sherlock was understandably furious that his father had apparently so little comprehension of his character.

Plus, there was this:

Oh, and if you have any lingering doubts, here's how you can be certain I'm not the one who tried to kill you -- you're alive!

Sherlock

I'm definitely inclined to believe Sherlock on that count. There was never any love lost between him and his father, and Sherlock would not leave such a job half-done.

Though perhaps the most surprising revelation here had to do with Agent Muller's predecessor at Interpol. When the man's untimely demise was mentioned previously, it was used by Morland as a threat to keep Agent Muller in line.

Here, we learned that not only was Morland not responsible for DuClerc's death, DuClerc had been spying on Morland for the would-be assassin, who killed DuClerc to clean up loose ends! And Sherlock figured this out this new information in the space of hours. Morland really should have had him on this case earlier!

In any event, though, Sherlock's investigating the attempted assassination, on account of the fact that his own reputation was besmirched in the scheme.

Where does this leave Morland? Well, I think that's a matter of some debate at this point. He didn't coldly murder the Interpol agent as he claimed to Muller, but that feels like faint praise, especially for a guy who thought his own son hated him enough to kill him!

I will say this: this story prompted an absolutely hilarious conversation between Sherlock and Joan after he spoke with one of his contacts and came back looking somewhat the worse for wear.

Joan: Were you two in a fight, or were you having sex?
Sherlock: The two aren't mutually exclusive...

The look of exhasperation on Joan's face was absolutely priceless.

A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you, my fellow fans:

  • Tamara Tunie, who played the ill-fated Lily Cooper, is probably most well-known for her role as Medical Examiner Melinda Warner on Law & Order: SVU.
  • Wilson Trager, in attempting to cover up his criminal enterprise, actually inadvertantly brought it to light with those two less-than-circumspect murders. Sometimes, the cover-up is worse than the original crime.
  • There were some excellent zingers in this episode; check our Elementary quotes page for some of the highlights.
  • Lukas Muller (the Interpol agent) must be really regretting being so corrupt and taking Morland's money. I don't feel too bad for him though; he tried to blackmail the dragon not too long ago.

So, what did you think of "Alma Matters"? Did you find the case interesting? Were you surprised about the revelation of the relevance of the murder of the Interpol agent? Who do you think is trying to kill Morland and why? Let us known in the comments section below!

If you missed this episode, fear not; you can watch Elementary online to catch up! Elementary Season 4 Episode 11 is scheduled to air on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 10/9c on CBS.

Alma Matters Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (50 Votes)
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Elementary Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Well, you're lying, so I'll just have to investigate the matter myself.

Sherlock

I could have sworn I had that statue removed!

Morland [regarding Sherlock]