Saturday, May 18, 2013

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 24 - Heroine

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Season 1 Finale Episode # 24 Heroine

This is a spoiler heavy review. I recommend the readers to skip this review, if they have not seen the episode yet.

Click here to read the review of previous episode, "The Woman".

Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer) revealed herself to be Moriarty at the end of previous episode, "The Woman". She warns the injured Holmes to let her win to avoid further pain.

Holmes being Holmes, puts all his efforts to tracking Moriarty down. His investigation leads him to one Christos Theophilus (Arnold Vosloo), a Greek businessman with a shady past. Moriarty has abducted Christos' daughter and forces him to assassinate Andrej Bacera, another prominent personality to ensure his daughter's safety. Holmes is unsuccessful in his attempts and goes on a drug overdose. Holmes lands in hospital and receives a surprise visitor.

Canonical References
  1. "I know how much pride you take in your uniqueness" - Holmes states in A Study in Scarlet: "Well, I have a trade of my own. I suppose I am the only one in the world. I'm a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is."
  2. Miller's Holmes comments that he had stopped one of Moriarty's crime when he was still working at Scotland Yard - In the Canon, Sherlock Holmes was always an unofficial consulting detective.
  3. Moriarty remarks about Miler's Holmes: "Here at last seemed to be a mind that rivaled my own..." - Holmes states about Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "You know my powers, my dear Watson, and yet at the end of three months I was forced to confess that I had at last met an antagonist who was my intellectual equal."

    Click on the link below to buy your copy of Season 1:

  4. Miller's Holmes complimenting Captain Gregson on grasping the fact Irene Adler is a criminal mastermind " Very good captain, You have it all straight" - The Canonical Holmes had a habit of having fun at the expense of Scotland Yarders regularly.
  5. Miller's Holmes mentions that he can break the code sent by Moriarty to his agents - In The Adventure of the Dancing Men, Sherlock Holmes solves the case by decrypting similarly coded messages
  6. Miller's Holmes is seen skipping food while on the lookout for Christos Theophilus - The Canonical Holmes is known for skipping food and sleep when working hard on a case
  7. Holmes is able to listen to the voice on the other end of Joan's phone call and comments that he is not an any pain medication that might dull his senses - Reference to the Canonical Sherlock 's acute sense of hearing
  8. One of the kidnappers have a tattoo on his arms in Cyrillic alphabet - Possible reference to the story The Valley of Fear, in which the members of the secret society, The Scowrers have the design of a triangle inside a circle tattooed on their forearms as part of the initiation ceremony
  9. Natalie's Moriarty conspires to reap profits by changing the value of a nation's currency - Sherlock states about Professor Moriarty in The Valley of Fear: "...a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that's the man!"
  10. Moriarty tells Joan during their meeting in the restaurant: "Surely by now you appreciate the scope of my organization" - Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "You stand in the way not merely of an individual but of a mighty organization, the full extent of which you, with all your cleverness, have been unable to realize."
  11. Moriarty informs Joan: " I have eyes and ears in the most fascinating of places" - Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized."
  12. Moriarty meets Christos Theophilus face-to-face to hand him the weapon to murder Andrej Bacera - This is contrary to the Canon. Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "He has a brain of the first order. 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. 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 -- the word is passed to the professor, the matter is organized and carried out. The agent may be caught. In that case money is found for his bail or his detence. But the central power which uses the agent is never caught -- never so much as suspected."
  13. The closing scene has Sherlock and Joan discussing about bees - In the story His Last Bow, Sherlock mentions he is writing a book on Bee Keeping entitled “Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen”
  14. Moriarty addresses Joan as "My Dear Watson" in the restaurant - The Classical Holmes often addresses Dr Watson in that manner
Jonny Lee Miller and Natalie Dormer as Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler Moriarty in CBS Elementary Episode # 24 Heroine

Natalie Dormer steals the show as Moriarty. She outperforms Miller and pretty much everyone else in the cast. Only Lucy Liu as Joan makes an impression in this episode, thanks to Dormer's charisma.

Moriarty has some of the best lines in this episode - "... as if men had an monopoly over murder" and "You proceeded to prove you were inferior by disappearing into a syringe" being couple of them.

Miller's Holmes remains "inferior" till the end as it is Joan's idea to trap Moriarty. Interestingly, Holmes himself had used a similar strategy in episode # 2 "While You Were Sleeping". Moriarty also taunts Miller's Holmes over his "legendary powers of observation" that have never been displayed on this show so far. Perhaps, Moriarty is privy to the display of those powers!

Arnold Vosloo makes a guest appearance as Christos Theophilus, the ill-fated father who gets manipulated by Moriarty into becoming a pawn in her master plan

The episode is OK till the resolution, which is just a big letdown. A criminal mastermind who can alter the fate of nations, getting caught by visiting Sherlock in the hospital is just ridiculous. But then, Elementary has never impressed with the quality of the scripts. A fitting finale to a mediocre show.

  • "Osmia avosetta" is the name of the rare species of bees, that Holmes receives as a gift from a previous client
  • The song "Dreaming of Some Space" by Beady Eye is played in the final scene, when Miller's Holmes names his new species of bees "Euglassa Watsonia" to honor Joan Watson

Click here to read all my posts about CBS Elementary.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Source: CBS

You might also like:

Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes
Canonical References in BBC Sherlock


  1. I must admit I found the Elementary finale mostly disappointing. Until the end of „Risk Management" I thought JLM was doing quite decent job playing Holmes, but this guy in last three episodes? That's just some guy accidentally named after this famous literary character.

    But thankfully I was at least quite smitten with Natalie Dormer and her performance. I can't get enough of her since I have first seen her in The Tudors. She even made me believe for a moment that combining self sufficient characters like Professor M. and Irene was actually a good idea. Even though I wasn't really that surprised by the turn of events. I'm just hoping that she will appear again, because her capture was inadequate for the great mastermind.

    1. Thanks Patrik for stopping by.

      You nailed it with your line about JLM playing some random guy named "Sherlock Holmes" rather than the iconic character created by Arthur Conan Doyle.

      I also agree with you about Natalie Dormer as Moriarty. She did a great job with the limited amount of screen time. Let's hope she returns soon in the second season.


  2. I forgot that Moriarty had good lines and such. I was really annoyed with the ending as far as Moriarty went. Not so much Joan, though. As usual.

    1. "As usual". Exactly!

      It was just another episode of Elementary. In fact, the last 3 episodes were probably the weakest episodes yet.


  3. Except for the ending I would say that both episodes were good and a fitting ending to the season.
    Overall, from the un-bias perspective of not having read many of the books, Elementary is an entertaining show with and just like any series has occasional bouts of poor writing. My favorite aspect is probably the likeable characters and humorous banter between Liu and Millar It is one of the best scripted shows that I watch on network television.
    Also thank you for answering my various questions about the Sherlock Holmes cannon. Do plan to watch season 2 of Elementary?


    1. You are welcome, James.

      I will definitely be watching Season 2, just to see how far away they go from the original stories.


  4. Have I missed something as when will Holmes brother make an appearance or given then gender switches his sister?

    1. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no indication of when Holmes' brother (or sister) will make his/her appearance. The first episode of the second season has been confirmed to take place in London. So perhaps, we might meet Holmes' sibling there...


    2. They should probably just do completely original stories and completely original characters from here on out. I've often heard the term "dumbed down" for Elementary I use the term "Dulled down" and I mean the actors (JLM and Lucy Liu) who have been awesome in previous roles. It's like the shows producers feel that if the cast is interesting or has any chemistry it will be too much like the BBC show. I love Natalie Dormer in the Tudors. Show was the best Ann Boelyn ever, but even she was kinda dull as Irene/Moriarty. Sherlock and Moriary kept talking about how impressive they are, but it's all talk, no show.

    3. Thanks josabby474.

      "Dulled down" is an apt description of this show.

      As you remarked, it seems that the show producers wanted to distance themselves as much as possible from the BBC show. They have definitely succeeded as the season finale proved that JLM is just playing some random guy who happens to have the name "Sherlock Holmes".

      I too like Lucy Liu in Kill Bill and other movies. I am sure Natalie Dormer also would have given better performances in other roles. I am guessing it is the purely mercenary nature of the show, that causes the actors to lose their enthusiasm. It becomes just another payday for them without any interest in their work.

      Still, the acting by Lucy and Natalie are the best aspects of this show - which itself says a lot about a show that is supposed to feature the most iconic fictional detective ever, Mr Sherlock Holmes.


  5. I must respectfully dissent from the majority opinion. I don't think Elementary has been 'mediocre'. There have been weak episodes (but no series is ever immune from them, and even some bad ones have good elements to them). However, there have been excellent episodes (I refer to M. and Child Predator as examples).

    I see Elementary at times as a character-driven story, focusing more on recovering addict Holmes than cold, logical thinking machine Holmes. It may not be the best decision but I go along w/it. I also don't think Miller has been hideous in the role.

    (Then again, my heart will always belong to Jeremy Brett and no English-speaking actor can ever replace or match him in my eyes...w/all due respect to Rathbone--Choice 2, or either Cumberbatch or Miller).

    However, I do think Liu is above Miller in the acting department, and agree that Dormer steals the show (here's hoping for an Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Emmy nod).

    I say this as someone who A.) has not delved into Sherlock and B.)who has not seen Game of Thrones and only scant looks at The Tudors (though I enjoyed Henry the VIII's first two wives...if that makes sense). I was highly impressed w/Dormer and hope she 'escapes'...

    1. I too enjoyed "M" and "Child Predator". I will also add "The Deductionist" to this list.

      I did approach Elementary with an open mind. I found the above episodes to be enjoyable, but a majority of the episodes were boring. Of course, that is just my opinion and I do not expect others to agree with me.

      Every one of us is entitled to his/her opinion(s) and I respect yours.

      We are definitely on the same page about the acting performances by Liu and Dormer.

      I will continue to watch Elementary, as a fan of ACD's original stories, but not as a fan of the show itself.


  6. what about that classical song they used in london flashback?anybody know that?