Friday, March 7, 2014

CBS Elementary Season 2 Episode # 17 "Ears To You" – Review

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Season 2 Episode 17 Ears To You

The opening scenes show Sherlock Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) practicing his bomb defusion skills. Gareth Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) is not enamored with the fighting cocks, Romulus and Remus.

Sarah Cushing, wife of Gordon Cushing was abducted four years back. Gordon is widely believed to have been the perpetrator, despite receiving ransom demands for her return.

The latest ransom demand is serious enough to involve the NYPD and of course, the two consulting detectives.

Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) oversees a meeting between Gordon and the person who sent the ransom note. But things go south, when the man tries to take off with the money. Captain Gregson arrives on the scene only to find the unknown man dead and Gordon holding a bloodied weapon.

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Sherlock and Joan (Lucy Liu) track down the dead man to an alcoholics anonymous meeting. Sherlock observes a woman joining the meeting and sees through her disguise. She turns out to be the missing woman, Sarah Cushing.

The customary subplot involves Gareth figuring out the man who mugged him.

I recommend the viewers to check out the episode to find out the resolution to the mystery.

Canonical References

1. Gordon Cushing receives a package containing a pair of severed human ears. The attached message claims that the ears belong to his abducted wife, Sarah Cushing. - In The Adventure of The Cardboard Box, a Sarah Cushing receives a cardboard box, containing the severed ears of her sister, Mary Cushing and her boyfriend, Alec Fairbairn.

Sean Pertwee guest stars as Gareth Lestrade with Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Season 2 Episode 17 Ears To You

2. Sherlock mentions the case of a man who tried to sexually molest two ostriches at a zoo. He also mentions earlier that he keeps himself informed of county crimes. - Dr John Watson mentions about Sherlock Holmes' knowledge in A Study in Scarlet: “Sensational Literature - Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.”

3. Sherlock makes deductions about Jim Browner's occupation based on his calluses and fingernails - Sherlock Holmes explains to Dr John Watson in A Study in Scarlet: “By a man's finger nails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boot, by his trouser knees, by the callosities of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt cuffs—by each of these things a man's calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent enquirer in any case is almost inconceivable.”

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Season 2 Episode 17 Ears To You

4. The character of Jim Browner, the man who was blackmailing Sarah Cushing and unsuccessfully tried to extract ransom money from Gordon - In The Adventure of The Cardboard Box, Jim Browner cuts off the ears of his wife Mary Cushing and her lover, Alec Fairbairn.

It seems everyone in the world of Elementary is addicted to one thing or the other. Sherlock is a drug addict. Lestrade is an alcoholic. Even Sarah Cushing is a recovering alcoholic.

I did enjoy the discussion about Alphonse Bertillon and his observation about the uniqueness of human ears, much like fingerprints.

Recommended only to die-hard fans of the show.


The song “Confidence” by The Dodos is played in the closing scene of the episode.

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Image Source: CBS 

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  1. Dude, the destroyed marriage-by-alcoholism and the various Anonymous societies are clearly references to Jim Browner's destroyed marriage because of his drinking and his wife's sister's jealousy, and to mention Browner's "blue ribbon," an early form of anti-addiction groups.

  2. Thanks again for your comments and references.

  3. I couldn't remember which story was the one w/the severed ears. Thanks for the reminder.