Sometimes it helps to go light on the ongoing storylines and heavier on the case of the week.
This time, the case was personal for Joan on Elementary Season 6 Episode 4.
That's because the murder victim was her one-time therapist, who helped Joan with issues she was dealing with back in her sober-companion days.
This was pretty much a Joan spotlight episode. While Joan was sorting out her feelings, Sherlock did much of the heavy lifting, crime solving-wise. I don't even remember seeing Captain Gregson, and Marcus was in a handful of scenes.
It came down to the essence of the series: Sherlock and Joan.
Dr. Candace Reed was a good choice for the victim because she left behind a lot of potential suspects: patients, partner, the landlord.
Other than her husband, almost everyone else, except Joan, was a suspect in her murder.
You have to love Sherlock's linear approach. When a psychiatrist gets killed, the most likely suspects are her patients.
But Reed's partner balked when it came to giving out those records, so Marcus was going to have to pursue a court order, which takes time.
Sherlock found a way around those HIPAA regulations: just steal the doctor's backup hard drive, and print off patients' records. So simple, it's genius. It's also illegal, but details, details.
Joan seemed genuinely conflicted about Reed's death. The woman had helped her at a turning point in her life. But their relationship never really developed beyond a temporary professional one.
Then Sherlock made her even more conflicted by suggesting that she read Reed's notes from their sessions together.
Joan initially resisted, then gave in. Who wouldn't want to know what others truly think about them? As Lin suggested, she would have read her file at the crime scene.
The result was that Joan was upset about Reed's conclusion that she would have made a good mother.
At this point, Lin made a much-needed appearance. It's been good having Lin around more so far this season. She gives Joan someone normal to talk to outside of work, to give her perspective that Sherlock surely won't.
She forces Joan to lighten up, to step away from the oh, so serious work of solving murders. Lin speaks freely to her, without worrying about offending her.
Yes, the same skills Reed listed that would make Joan a good mother also make her a great detective. And does she genuinely need a child when she has Sherlock already?
Still, in the end, Joan was looking into adopting a child. Just imagine the possibilities of a child being exposed to weird Uncle Sherlock and his many quirks. It would be a bold new direction for the series.
Joan seems ready for a change, but I don't think she's even sure what kind yet.
I prefer the idea of Joan getting an apprentice. The brownstone, with gruesome photos up everywhere, isn't the most child-friendly environment.
Now back to the case.
I pegged Demopoulus as the killer fairly early on. He was just so squirrelly and uncooperative.
But, until it was revealed that Alfonse was the golden goose making Demopoulus rich, I just didn't see a motive.
I had little doubt that Sydney Place was guilty ... of all sorts of financial improprieties. But not murder. Alfonse loved Dr. Reed too much to be the killer.
I loved Mr. Clay, Place's fixer. There's got to be some way to have him in a recurring role. After all, Sherlock employs all sorts of irregulars.
There was just a minimal amount about Sherlock's condition this episode. Just enough to say, "Yeah, he's learning to manage it so he can keep working," rather than him having to take extended time off.
Apparently, Sherlock finding different odd gadgets to give him some relief is going to be a thing. Dragging strange items home is nothing new for him, so this is right in character for Sherlock. Actually, it's medicinal, rather than just a punch line, which is a step up.
It seems that Michael is going to be an every other episode kind of recurring character. Just a casual mention of the woman Michael wants Sherlock to locate, and then it's off to the current case.
I'm still not sure what Michael is bringing to the party, but so far, a serial killer in recovery is an intriguing twist. Let's see where it goes.
To follow Sherlock's progress, watch Elementary online.
What do you think of the Joan-as-Mom idea? How soon did you solve the case of the week? Is Sherlock's condition being appropriately handled?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.