Rich guy Charles Baskerville got smacked by a truck while running for his life, and his brother Henry correctly figured foul play was involved in Elementary Season 4 Episode 16. This episode, called "Hounded," was of course based on the classic Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
If you've never read the story, it's definitely worth reading at least once; set in the isolated Devonshire countryside, it features an escaped murderer, a mysterious stalker, a forbidden relationship... oh, yes, and a glowing hound.
"Hounded" is less gothic horror story and more straight-up murder mystery, but it made for an entertaining hour nonetheless.
In terms of criticism, this episode was a bit hard to follow at points, and it was hard to keep track of all the characters and companies being thrown at the viewers. Despite that, I definitely enjoyed the romp, along with the nods and shout-outs to the original story (including an actual glow-in-the-dark dog!).
Of course, the dog was not the guilty party here; it was a relentless killer robot named Gus! Seriously, someone should pay good money for that thing, because it only ran into problems when it was tricked into falling into the pool. It did totally fine over all sorts of rought terrain and obstacles!
Only slightly less outrageous than the glowing mastiff, wouldn't you think?Sherlock [regarding an attack robot]
Curiously, though, the motive and basic identity of the perpetrator were the same as the original story: the previously unknown offspring of a Baskerville who had gone off to foreign lands. In the novel, it was Stapleton. Here, it was Laura Lyons.
Given the way that the original novel went, it wasn't very likely that Stapleton would have turned out to be the perpetrator here, but it was an interesting twist to make Stapleton openly admit to being a cousin to the Baskervilles and a possible future victim, too.
We created a vacuum, and the air rushed in. Or more specifically, the heiress.Sherlock
Of course, the supposed murder of Stapleton by Henry Baskerville produced a bit of a head-scratcher. Was Henry supposed to have murdered his cousin in apparent retribution for the murder of Charles? Because, otherwise, it just doesn't make sense and screams "TRAP!" to me.
In any event, this episode featured some excellent quotes, which can be found on our Elementary quotes page. Stop by to get a rundown on some of the noteable ones.
Frankly, though, the best part of the episode, by far, was the B-story involving Sherlock and Eugene, the medical examiner. It would have been so easy to just move on and forget that the bomb in the morgue ever happened, but the writers did not.
While I freely admit that Elementary Season 4 Episode 11 was definitely not my favorite story, I appreciate the follow-up for Eugene. Sherlock's speech to him felt both sincere and heart-wrenching, especially since he invoked his own deeply personal struggles with addiction following the loss of the woman he loved.
You're standing on a precipice, and I cannot watch you tumble over it, mate. I refuse to. Alright?Sherlock
Sherlock has evolved greatly from the self-absorbed narcissist of Elementary Season 1, enough to not only recognize the symptoms of a man in emotional turmoil but to find the right words to reach him, as well. Joan would definitely be proud of Sherlock.
Before I sign off, here are some final notes, thoughts, and observations:
- Selden was a red herring, as in the original story, where he was an escaped convict (who was brother-in-law to the Baskervilles' manservant Barrymore).
- In the novel, Laura Lyons played only a small role, albeit an important one. She was tricked by Stapleton into luring Charles Baskerville to his death.
- The original titular hound was a huge mix-breed dog that had been painted with phosphorus to make it glow in the dark in order to play into Charles Baskerville's superstition regarding a family legend revovling around a demonic hound.
- Among the names straight from the novel: Charles and Henry Baskerville, Hugo Baskerville, Stapleton, Dr. Mortimer, Laura Lyons, Selden, Barrymore, and Devonshire.
- BBC's Sherlock did an even looser adaptation of the novel with Sherlock Season 2 Episode 2, "The Hounds of Baskerville." A more faithful version can be found in the Granada Television series starring Jeremy Brett.
So, what did you think of "Hounded"? Have you ever read the original story? Did this episode pay it appropriate homage? Did you find it entertaining or confusing? Do you prefer a different adaptation? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you missed this episode, no worries; you can watch Elementary online to catch up! Elementary is off next week, and returns on a new night on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 10/9c on CBS with Elementary Season 4 Episode 17, "You've Got Me, Who's Got You?".