Friday, February 15, 2013

TV Review: Elementary - Episode # 16 - Details

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Aidan Quinn as Captain Toby Gregson CBS Elementary Episode # 16 Details
Jonny Lee Miller and Aidan Quinn in Elementary
The least explored character in the show has been without a doubt, Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill). Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) has had his share of fame in some of the previous episodes. Detective Bell, on the other hand, has remained a non-entity. He has remained the token member of the official force who bears the brunt of Sherlock’s sarcasm.

This episode seeks to rectify this situation and Bell gets to hog the limelight.
Bell is attacked by an unknown assailant in a car. Bell’s car flips, leaving him bruised. Bell suspects that Curtis Bradshaw (Anwan Glover), a powerful drug peddler from one of his earlier cases is behind the attacks. The case takes a new direction when Curtis himself is murdered.

The suspicion next falls on Bell’s brother, Andre Bell (Malcolm Goodwin) who is an ex-convict and out on parole.

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In the episode’s customary subplot, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) has grown apprehensive about Joan’s safety since the incidents of the last episode. Holmes in his search for a martial arts trainer for Joan zeroes in on Bell’s colleague Paula Reyes (Paula Garc├ęs). Holmes has deduced that Paula is good at boxing.

Continuing the show's downward trend, this episode is another weak one. Many of the attempts at humor fell flat. It felt like Miller was trying too hard to be funny.

His guerilla style attacks on Joan to test her reflexes reminded me instantly of the same antics employed by Cato (Burt Kwouk) on Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) in A Shot in the Dark, the second in the Pink Panther movie series.

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Episode # 16 Details
Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes

I did like Holmes’ usage of the British term “Water Closet”.

Canonical References
1.   Holmes' attempt to get information from Curtis by placing a bet – Reference to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, in which Holmes places a bet with the salesman to obtain information about the goose.
2.   Holmes conducting a Ballistics exam inside his apartment – Reference to this line from The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual: “ … Holmes, in one of his queer humours, would sit in an armchair with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V. R. done in bullet-pocks,..”
3.   Holmes remark about catching the scent of recently used firearms in Bell’s apartment - Holmes states in The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier: “I have, as my friend Watson may have remarked, an abnormally acute set of senses, and a faint but incisive scent was apparent.”
4.   Holmes commenting that Bell was not stupid enough to conceal the gun (used to commit a crime he is accused of) in his apartment – Reference to The Problem of Thor Bridge, in which Holmes deduces that the discovery of the revolver on the floor of the governess’ wardrobe was meant to frame her.
5.   We see the set of locks on the wall in a couple of scenes - The Canonical Holmes is an expert in lock picking. He even mentions in The Adventure of the Retired Colourman: “Burglary has always been an alternative profession had I cared to adopt it, and I have little doubt that I should have come to the front.”
6.   Holmes treating Bell as just another resource for getting information – I think this is an indirect reference to this statement by Holmes in The Sign of the Four: “A client is to me a mere unit,—a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.”

Jon Michael Hill as Detective Marcus Bell and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Episode # 16 Details
Jon Michael Hill as Marcus Bell and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson

The song “No Man is an Island” (Losers Theme) by Losers is played when Holmes is conducting his ballistics exam.

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Image Source: CBS

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  1. Pink Panther movies were the first I thought about when Sherlock attacked Watson. I actually disagree about this episode. I felt the humor was very well done and I laughed several times, but humor is more subjective than other aspects.

    A quick question if you don't mind, other than Lestrade, are there any characters from the Sherlock cannon that resemble Captain Gregson or Bell? You have previously mentioned it, but I do not remember.


    1. Agree with you James that some of the humor worked well. I liked Holmes' deductions about Bell and Paula's relationship. As you rightly said, humor is very subjective.

      Aidan Quinn's character is a reference to another character in the Canon - Inspector Tobias Gregson. Check out this link for more information.


    2. Detective Bell's character is a reference to Dr Joseph Bell - the man who inspired the character of Sherlock Holmes.

      Read more about Dr Bell here.


    3. Thank you again for the helpful information. I will be sure to cite your blog in my review of Elementary's season and other Sherlock Holmes posts I plan to eventually write.
      Also another note for the episode, I was glad that the issue of Watson staying on as his companion was resolved. However, I sensed some possible romantic tension between Sherlock and Joan, I hope it will not turn into a romantic relationship as I expected from the start.


    4. You are welcome, James.

      I am as apprehensive as you are about the prospective romance between Holmes and Joan. It is one thing to have Holmes and Irene being involved. The Downey Jr. movies took considerable liberties. BBC Sherlock did a much better job in handling that.

      In Elementary, Holmes already indicated in episode "M", that he was dating Irene for some time, before she died. On top of that, he has been having "fun" with random women in nearly every other episode. Holmes and Watson being romantically involved would be simply horrific, to say the least.


  2. Enjoyed your post, you are a much better word-smith than I.
    I did enjoy the humor a bit more than you, and having not seen many of the Pink Panther movies I missed that.

    1. Thanks John for the compliments.

      I am happy to know that fellow fans of the Great Detective are enjoying my posts.


    2. Oh, oh! You used the word 'fan'!

  3. I have never seen Elementary. But I do watch Sherlock, Watson is my favorite

  4. Yeah, the writers are slipping a little in a overall sense. But I'm hoping that it won't last...

    1. I think uninspired/lazy writing will be the cause of this show's downfall. For a mystery show and especially one based on the Great detective, this is quite frustrating.

      As a fan of Holmes adaptations, I do hope this does not happen. I would like to see Elementary retain my interest for many more seasons to come.


    2. Me, too. What this show does good, it does good. But everything else is typically "meh"...

  5. Can anyone tell me what song was being played
    while Sherlock was doing the balistics test
    in ‘Details’?