Friday, November 9, 2012

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 6 - "Flight Risk"

Sherlock and Joan with Gregson and Bell in Elementary Episode # 6 Flight Risk
Sherlock and Joan with Gregson and Bell in Elementary

Holmes discovers about a plane crash by listening to the police scanner. The detective in charge of the investigation, Miranda Molinari (Reiko Aylesworth) makes it perfectly clear that NYPD and associated “consultants” are not welcome at the crash site.

Holmes cheerfully disregards this and proceeds with his investigation anyway. He deduces that one of the passengers was killed before the plane crashed.

All the passengers were working for a law firm and were involved in a lawsuit against a company for causing cancer. Soon one of the suspects seems to be on the run and as expected Holmes catches the culprit.

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The mystery is good but is overshadowed by the other subplot about Sherlock’s past.

Holmes’s father wants to have dinner with Sherlock and Joan. Sherlock is not appreciative of the idea and confidently predicts that his father will not turn up. In a way, Sherlock Sr. (Roger Rees) ends up having the dinner with Watson and this was the most hilarious scene in the episode.

Joan does some deductions on her own and tracks down “Sherlock Sr.” for some additional information about Sherlock’s past. And what we get is a doozy – Irene Adler aka The Woman.

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in Elementary Episode # 6 Flight Risk
Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes

Jonny Lee Miller finally delivers a solid performance. This is the first episode where Miller’s performance has started to grow on me. It also helps that Miller and Lucy have a great chemistry. Miller's Holmes has the right combination of humor and assertiveness, that makes him a good on-screen version of the Canonical Holmes. 

It is heartening to see Miller establish his credentials as a credible Sherlock Holmes, after Stephen Moffat and some fans of Sherlock had written off this series so prematurely. As Holmes said in A Scandal in Bohemia: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

Lucy Liu continues her amazing run as Joan Watson. If the previous episode focused on her past life, this time it is Sherlock’s past. Since Miller’s Sherlock has never been happy to discuss his past, Joan has to do some investigation herself and she does not disappoint. Full credit to Lucy for giving us one of the best Watsons.

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in Elementary Episode # 6 Flight Risk
Lucy Liu as Joan Watson

Roger Rees made a fine impression and I look forward to his (hopefully) further appearances on the show. The discussion between “Sherlock Sr.” and Joan in the library about the definition of friendship was executed nicely and very Sherlockian in nature.

To the best of my knowledge, this episode had the least number of Canonical References:

1.   The dinner meeting of Sherlock Sr. and Joan Watson reminded me of the following line from The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone – “My old friend here will tell you that I have an impish habit of practical joking”.

2.   Irene Adler – It would be interesting to see how Irene fits in this adaptation and which actress is cast for the role.

I thought this was the best episode so far. Well done, Guys.

Reiko Aylesworth as Miranda Molinari in Elementary Episode # 6 Flight Risk
Reiko Aylesworth as Miranda Molinari

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  1. I just can't get past all the negatives I've heard about this show from Sherlockians. While "Sherlock" isn't perfect I still prefer its issues to the ones raised by "Elementary."

    1. Thanks Carissa for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you about this show getting more than its share of unjustified criticism from naysayers.

      I would love to hear from you about the objectionable issues you find in 'Elementary'.


  2. I agree, I think the Sherlock fandom has overracted a little to the existance of this show. But I am pleased that there's a vocal portion that doesn't just hate this show.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to whenever Adler shows up. I really hope the people on this show do better with her than Moffat did in "A Scandal in Belgravia".

    1. The Guinness World Records has consistently listed Sherlock Holmes as the "most portrayed movie character" with more than 70 actors playing the part in over 200 films. Furthermore, the character of Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain. This means, anyone can make any kind of adaptation of Sherlock Holmes as they wish to. They can make him a man or a woman or have him/her fight Aliens or Pirates or pretty much anything they want the character to do or be.

      I think the BBC Sherlock fandom is totally unaware of these facts. The way they reacted when CBS Elementary was announced was pathetic to say the least. That Steven Moffat himself did so is even more unbelievable and defies logical explanation.

      I for one, love watching as many different takes as possible of Sherlock Holmes. Each actor / production brings something new and I like seeing different facets of the character.

      Regarding Irene Adler, it will be difficult to top (or in this case do worse than) what Moffat and BBC Sherlock did with that character. Things can only go up from there....


    2. Exactly! I think the big thing was it was a modern Sherlock coming out around the time. I love the fandom, but I think they can get a little "Our Sherlock is the best!" sometimes. And I'm starting to think Moffat has a bit of an ego when it comes to this show.

      Plus, seeing different Sherlocks is like watching different Doctors on Doctor Who. Same character deep down, but each is different in their own way.

      And yes, they can only do better than the BBC version's Adler. To be worse would be a spectacular feat...

    3. "..but I think they can get a little "Our Sherlock is the best!" sometimes. And I'm starting to think Moffat has a bit of an ego when it comes to this show." - You are guilty of understating certain facts, don't you think :)

  3. I have missed a couple of shows so I enjoyed catching up. A great review, thank you Buddy!

  4. So far I've caught ten minutes of one episode - it was about a serial killer who wanted a lad back whom he'd kidnapped. Holmes and the lad had a discussion about Holmes at boarding school. It all seemed fine and Miller seemed OK. I didn't realise there was such a backlash in some quarters. I think the premise makes it seem like one of those CSI, Lie to Me, type shows and there was probaby worries that it would be just another American police procedural but all those 'cop shows with a maverick genius' are inspired by Holmes anyway. As for Moffat, I'm surprised. He takes many liberties with his version himself and what is Doctor Who but a version of the great detective? Surely there's room for a few versions - the RD Jr films are very different too.

    1. Great thoughts, GK.

      Agree with you about Miller's performance. Since the first few episodes, he has improved greatly and in the latest one, he gave a pretty good performance.

      "As for Moffat, I'm surprised. He takes many liberties with his version himself and what is Doctor Who but a version of the great detective?" - Well put and I hope the BBC Sherlock fandom will understand these facts!

      I actually prefer the RDJ movies to BBC Sherlock and am looking forward to the third one :)


  5. Strange, this post never appeared on my dashboard. I agree this is one of the best episodes of the series thus far. I have been expecting Irene Adler to have something to do with his addiction since the first episode and as soon as Roger Rees' character said that Sherlock kept saying a name I knew it was Irene. Great review. :)


  6. I am surprised you have taken to this show - I like Miller's performance but I just can't buy this female Watson, nor do I think the show is a patch on the BBC's Sherlock. Still you are much more knowledgeable of the canon than myself and I respect your opinion. I just find it surprising since to my mind this show feels less like real Sherlock Holmes than the BBC series. I do though prefer Miller's Holmes to Benedict's.

    1. Thanks Gary for the compliment. Coming from a Best-Selling Author and a Holmesian, I greatly appreciate it!

      I agree that Elementary takes considerable departures from the Canon - sex change for Watson, Holmes being in NY instead of London and so on...

      I like Miller's version for his right combination of assertiveness and humor. I find this version of Holmes to be much closer to the Canonical version. Cumberbatch's version (in my humble opinion) is way too aggressive and humorless. That is just my opinion though :)


  7. Ok so I don't necessarily agree about this being a better show than Sherlock, but I do like hearing your perspective. I must say Lucy is not a believable actress at all she doesn't seem to have any range but Jonny Lee Miller is an exceptional actor. I will have to give this show more time to grow on me it hasn't yet.

    1. Thanks Shazza89101 for stopping by!

      Miller definitely is worth a look for his performance as Holmes. Hopefully you will start liking the show soon :)