Elementary Season 4 Episode 21 Review: Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing

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Two guys turned up dead, and Sherlock figured out that they were both murdered while faking a murder. Clever, right?

My biggest problem with Elementary Season 4 Episode 21 was that almost the whole investigation could've been avoided if the cops had done a pretty basic thing: check the alibi of the victim's spouse.

Instead, it took them positively ages turning this way and that, chasing false leads and hitting dead ends. I understand that this is television we're talking about, and there needs to be some allowance for Rule of Drama and all that, but come on. This is pretty elementary stuff here!

Plus, the excessive amount of detail she gave in her initial interview and the enthusiasm with which she pointed them at the business partner made me immediately suspicious.

Somewhere, Tony DiNozzo from NCIS is rolling his eyes and insisting repeatedly that it's always the spouse!

I also have a problem with Sherlock's connection of Butch's girlfriend Roxanne with the posters. It felt like an awful big leap he made, from her T-shirt to the posters to her possible involvement. Plus, it came across as incredibly contrived, as if the writers were hunting for something else to distract our heroes before the end of the episode.

There was also the matter of Joan's practically sociopathic behavior in regards to Emil Kurtz, the mole in Morland Holmes's company. Sure, Emil can't exactly be considered a good guy (he was a mole well before he met her), but Joan was essentially playing games with the man's life!

Joan: You know, we don't have to do this whole 'secret agent' thing. We could just, ah, talk like normal people.
Emil Kurtz: That's easy for you to say. You're not the one spying on Morland Holmes!

While I doubt Morland actually had Emil killed, Joan's whole escapade into blackmail was well beyond the pale in terms of morality. And even if Morland did not have Emil killed, Joan has had quite a lot of evidence already showing Morland's ruthlessness to suspect it might be an actual possibility.

In short, how in the world did she think this was going to end? And does she really think that she's fooling Sherlock with those hokey stories?

Sherlock: You're typically more expansive after your first hit of caffeine.
Joan: Yeah, well, you brought a bald cat to breakfast. I'm a little distracted.

Be sure to check out our Elementary quotes page for some of the notable lines from this episode!

I do want to say that it was nice to check in on Eugene Hawes, the medical examiner who got (nearly) blown up earlier this season. Apparently, he's doing things normal people do after traumatic events, like therapy and support groups and finding outlets for stress. Instead of doing things that main characters on TV shows do.

Thank you for that. Too many shows on TV show the heroes getting on just fine without any sort of emotional or psychological help after traumas, as if they can just shrug it off, or they're just so strong that they don't need it. So, thank you, Eugene. Hopefully, you'll be back to doing Y-incisions again soon.

A few final assorted thoughts before I wrap things up:

  • New York Governor Cuomo announced the statewide ban on fracking in December 2014.
  • How did Sherlock explain to Captain Gregson how he knew Davis was lying about his whereabouts? "Oh, after you left I broke into his garage and stole his vintage motorcycle!"
  • Every time they brought up Lake Placid, all I could think of was the movie Miracle, with the Americans beating the Soviets at hockey during the 1980 Winter Olympics. Though I'm sure other people thought of the movie with the 30-foot croc.
  • Miss Hudson got name-dropped a couple times! Joan also referenced Lost, if I'm not mistaken, with that "smoke monster" line.

So, what did you think of "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"? Did you find the twists engrossing, or needlessly convoluted? Did Morland Holmes arrange for the death of Emil Kurtz, Joan's mole? Were you surprised at his sudden demise? Let us know in the comments section below!

Remember, you can always watch Elementary online if you missed this episode or want to watch it all over again. Be sure to check back for our review when Elementary Season 4 Episode 22, "Turn It Upside Down," airs on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 10/9c on CBS.

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing Review

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Elementary Season 4 Episode 21 Quotes

Sherlock: You're typically more expansive after your first hit of caffeine.
Joan: Yeah, well, you brought a bald cat to breakfast. I'm a little distracted.

Joan: You know, we don't have to do this whole 'secret agent' thing. We could just, ah, talk like normal people.
Emil Kurtz: That's easy for you to say. You're not the one spying on Morland Holmes!