Monday, February 4, 2013

TV Review: Elementary - Super Bowl Episode # 14 - The Deductionist

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes Kari Matchett as Kathryn Drummond CBS Elementary Super Bowl episode The Deductionist
Jonny Lee Miller and Kari Matchett in Elementary

Howard Ennis (Terry Kinney) is a serial killer who has killed several women. He was caught based on the work of Kathryn Drummond (Kari Matchett), professional profiler.

Eight years after he has been imprisoned, Howard is released temporarily to perform a kidney donation for his sick sister, Patricia Ennis (Jessica Hecht). Howard escapes from the scene of operation after killing everyone around him.

NYPD calls in Kathryn again to apprehend Howard. Holmes is also involved in the investigation and he openly resents Kathryn’s efforts.

Watson does some research and finds out that Kathryn had published Holmes’ profile in an article termed “The Deductionist”. Holmes lets Watson know that he was intimately involved with Kathryn and tried to teach her the methods of observation and deduction.

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Kathryn did not explicitly name the subject of her article but Holmes is still ruffled at some of the points made. Kathryn predicted that Holmes is destined to destroy himself.

Holmes does not believe in Kathryn’s abilities. Patricia on the other hand, does have faith in Kathryn and believes she is the one person who can stop Howard.

Like Holmes, Howard Ennis too holds a personal long grudge towards Kathryn. He blames Kathryn for the deaths of his parents.

Going into more details will be spoiling the mystery. The mystery component is pretty good and rivals that of Episode # 3 (Child Predator) for being one of the best the show has offered so far.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson CBS Elementary Super Bowl episode The Deductionist
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson

Canonical References:
1.   Miller’s Holmes is able to escape out of his handcuffs in the opening scene – The Canonical Holmes is an expert in picking locks. In The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, Holmes displays his burgling kit, complete with keys, glass-cutter and a jimmy.
2.   Miller’s Holmes is seen practicing his single stick skills on a dummy – 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.”
3.   Holmes deduces Howard fooled the machines in the operation theater by practiced meditation of lowering his heart rate and pulse rate – Holmes himself did something similar in The Adventure of the Dying Detective. He also mentions: “Malingering is a subject upon which I have sometimes thought of writing a monograph.”
4.   Holmes deduces that the blood stain has been diluted with some chemical agent (Propofol) – Watson mentions that Sherlock Holmes has profound knowledge in Chemistry in A Study in Scarlet

Kari Matchett as Kathryn Drummond CBS Elementary Super Bowl episode The Deductionist
Kari Matchett as Kathryn Drummond 
5.  Miller’s Holmes displays some knowledge of astronomy – Watson mentions that Sherlock Holmes has nil knowledge in Astronomy in A Study in Scarlet. This is an indirect reference to the number of inconsistencies in the Canon. One example is the shifting nature of Watson’s war injury.
6.   Miller’s Holmes openly expresses his disdain for Kathryn Drummond’s abilities – This reminded me of the contempt held by the Canonical Holmes for the abilities of Scotland Yard officers.
7.   Miller’s Holmes detects the presence of frankincense mixed with carrot seed – 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.”
8.   Miller’s Holmes wakes up Watson from her sleep - 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).

The Canonical Holmes’ sense of humor is one of my favorite Sherlockian traits. I enjoyed the comedic touches that Miller brought to his performance in this episode. I especially liked his reference to Kathryn’s profession as “pseudoscience”.

Lucy Liu’s Watson also gets to shine in her storyline. She applies her client’s methods and is able to resolve her problem with her landlord to her advantage. Her medical knowledge comes in handy too in the investigation.

Terry Kinney is effective as the serial killer. Terry successfully portrays an individual who is quite creepy and cunning at the same time.

Terry Kinney as Howard Ennis CBS Elementary Super Bowl episode The Deductionist
Terry Kinney as Howard Ennis

A good episode and hope they continue to become even better in the future.

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Image Source: CBS

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Elementary Episode # 13 - "The Red Team"


  1. I believe this was one of the best episodes so far. I'm glad that Miller is capable of performing believable yet so much different Sherlock than Cumberbatch. Especially the humour that he brings to the part. My favourite quote was the one about reasonability of the killer's demand.

    1. Agree with you Patrik. That was probably the best quote in the episode. Miller did a great job with his deadpan delivery.

      The sense of humor is fast becoming the trademark of Miller's version.


  2. I really liked Miller this episode. He truly shined!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Loveable Freak.


  3. Finally got around to watch this on my DVR yesterday. I agree, it was good episode and the humor was witty as always. Kinny was a great antagonist this episode, and I liked the plot twists. He reminded me of the Joker to a very minor degree.


    1. Yes, Kinny definitely made Howard one of the best antagonists in the show. I enjoyed his scene in the shop, when he has his picture taken.


  4. While it wasn't specifically Canon in terms of what was written, I couldn't help think that "Shedir" written in blood reminded me of "Rache" written in blood in A Study in Scarlet. Any thoughts?

    1. I would say that definitely counts as a nod to "Rache". Good catch, Rick.