Friday, May 10, 2013

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 22 - Risk Management


Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Episode # 22 Risk Management

Moriarty wants Holmes to solve a murder case. Against Joan's wishes, he takes up the case with the desperate intention of getting any kind of clue(s) about the man who killed Irene Adler.

Captain Gregson is concerned about Joan's safety and does his best to ensure her safety. Joan is too smart for such tactics and not even Holmes can keep her away from the scene of action.

Canonical References
  1. Moriarty quotes almost verbatim the following lines spoken by Holmes (about Moriarty) from The Adventure of the Final Problem: "He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans. But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized. Is there a crime to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a house to be rifled, a man to be removed... "
  2.  Moriarty compliments Holmes that he would "excel as an assassin" - The Canonical Holmes himself remarked on more than one occasion that he would make a great burglar and that the society is lucky that he is working for the law and not against it.
  3.  Miller's Holmes states that "new eyes on a case could be new information" - The Canonical Holmes often discusses with Watson to see if he can get a new clue or leads to solve an ongoing case.
  4.  Captain Gregson informing Joan about a prospective client (as a sober companion) - The Canonical Holmes got many of his cases from Scotland Yard
  5. Miller's Holmes mentions that Irene Adler was American - In A Scandal in Bohemia, Holmes maintains the following information about Irene Adler in his files: "Born in New Jersey in the year 1858. "
  6.  Miller's Holmes referring to Irene Adler as The Woman - In A Scandal in Bohemia, Watson states about Irene Adler: "To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name."
  7.  Miller's Holmes mentions that Irene Adler "eclipsed and predominated the whole of her gender" - In A Scandal in Bohemia, Watson states about Irene Adler: "In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex."
  8.  Miller's Holmes indicates that Irene Adler is the only woman he ever loved - This is contrary to the Canon. In A Scandal in Bohemia, Watson states about Irene Adler: "It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler."
  9.  When asked about his martial arts skills, Miller's Holmes mentions "Single stick, now and then again". - Watson mentions about Holmes in A Study in Scarlet: “Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.” Holmes himself states in The Adventure of the Illustrious Client:  “I’m a bit of a single-stick expert, as you know.”
  10.  Miller's Holmes waking up Joan from her sleep (for the nth time in the show) - In the Canon, it has happened in many cases – either due to the sudden visit by a client (The Adventure of the Speckled Band) or after Holmes has had a sudden brainwave (The Man with the Twisted Lip)
  11. Miller's Holmes mentions that he has "been stiff, sitting for too long". - The Canonical Holmes is known to occupy the same posture for long periods of time, when he is pondering on a case.

-----------Spoilers ahead. Skip this section if you not have seen this episode yet------

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The final 5 minutes show that Irene Adler is alive. Viewers can safely skip the rest of the episode. In fact, now that you have this information, you can skip the entire episode and check out the season finale due on May 16.

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Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Episode # 22 Risk Management

As for the mystery plot, it was one of the most boring ones. By Elementary's usual standards, that's saying a lot. Joan did most of the deductions.

But the episode did have its share of enjoyable parts. The best scene was definitely Holmes' reaction to Irene's presence in the room. Miller goes so over the top that he stopped being Holmes and became just another lovelorn TV show protagonist. This scene is easily the funniest moment in the show!

Joan had her moments too and thankfully, at least hers were the (intentionally) good ones. She was smart enough to deduce not only Captain Gregson's true intentions but also Holmes' plan to face Moriarty alone. She also made some fine deductions about the victim's wounds.

Holmes was left to read the case details on the web and being too emotionally involved to make his deductions. This episode almost reversed the roles of Holmes and Watson and reminded me of the original story The Sign of the Four (SIGN). In SIGN, Watson meets Mary Morstan and instantly falls in love with her. Holmes, as usual, is emotionally detached and solves the case. Watson does end up with Mary in the end. But he experiences a roller-coaster ride of emotions as the case progresses, something that Miller's Holmes goes through in this episode.

The other notable aspect was the characterization of the show's version of Irene Adler. Elementary's Irene Adler (portrayed by Natalie Dormer) is a painter who restores renaissance paintings for museums. The Canonical Irene Adler is an opera singer and an adventuress.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Episode # 22 Risk Management

Trivia
The overture to Don Giovanni (Don Juan), K. 527 by Mozart is played in the background, as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson approach Irene Adler.

In a nutshell: A certifiably boring episode with some strong dose of unintentional humor, this is a near perfect example of what is wrong with Elementary. Recommended only to die-hard fans of the show.

Click here and here to read the reviews of season finale episodes "The Woman" and "Heroine".

Click here to read all my posts about CBS Elementary.

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12 comments:

  1. You are of course right on with your assessment. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very good points. (I kind of joked to myself that the reason Sherlock was having trouble solving the case right away was that he was eating while he was working...) Yeah, the ending was really the only reason to see it. And now that I think about it, when you taking into consideration WHO Miller's playing, his breakdown is pretty cheesy/narmy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loveable Freak.

      Miller pretty much ceased to play the character of Sherlock Holmes (at least to me) with that emotional outburst.

      B2B.

      Delete
  3. Hopefully the show will explain what exactly happened to Irene and why she is not dead. This episode reminded me of BBC's "The Great Game" in how Moriarty is making Sherlock solve various mysteries. Did the Doyle's stories have something similar and if so how did Moriarty communicate with Sherlock considering the technology of the time? Although I enjoyed the episode more than you did, I agree on most of the points you have made.

    -James

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    Replies
    1. Agree with you James. I too was reminded of "The Great Game", the way Moriarty had Sherlock solve the mystery.

      Professor Moriarty appears in only 2 of the 60 stories and novels that make up the Sherlock Holmes Canon. In neither of the stories, does Moriarty try to have Holmes take up any case.

      I would also like to add that if Elementary's Irene does end up working for Moriarty, that would be quite similar to the RDJ movies!

      B2B.

      Delete
  4. "lovelorn TV show protagonist." ah yeah x) but perhaps because I am female I found that as crying material :/

    Thx for the canonical references :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sheesh is all I can say about that last scene of last weeks episode, I didn't buy it at all. I don't like the show and will probably not watch it next season, not every episode at least, maybe just a once and a while thing. I don't like that Joan Watson is so clever, it doesn't make Sherlock's character pop on screen. And this is not Monk so why do I feel like I'm watching Monk sometimes? Anyway, I will watch the last episode but after that, I may be done with it. It's been very mediocre overall. Shazza

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shazza for stopping by.

      I have not seen Monk and am unable to comment on the similarities between the 2 shows.

      I do agree that this show is quite Elementary in every sense of the word!

      B2B.

      Delete
  6. I was amused by the internal joke of using Don Giovanni as background music in the episode that features F. Murray Abraham as one of the baddies. As already quoted in "Last action hero" , he killed Mozart... Since Amadeus, he will always be Salieri for a generation of viewers.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Josefina.

      F. Murray Abraham is indeed a great actor. I hope we will be seeing more of him in Elementary in the future.

      B2B.

      Delete