Friday, November 7, 2014

Elementary Season 3 Episode 2 "The Five Orange Pipz" – Recap and Review

 Jonny Lee Miller Lucy Liu and Ophelia Lovibond as Sherlock Holmes Joan Watson and Kitty Winter in CBS Elementary Season 3 Episode 2 The Five Orange Pipz

In the previous episode, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) returned to New York with a new apprentice Kitty Winter (Ophelia Lovibond). Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is initially angry with him, but reluctantly agrees to let him consult again for the NYPD.

As this episode opens, a unidentified man arrives at his house. Checking his mail, he opens an envelope containing five Pipz orange plastic beads. He calls Theodore Fordham, who is already dead. 

Captain Thomas Gregson (Aidan Quinn) is already at the scene and answers the call. The man assumes he is speaking to Theo and informs him that someone has found about him.

The man is shot dead, even as Gregson tries to help him. The dead man turns out to be one Elias Openshaw (John Rothman), former owner of a toy company. Theodore was the company attorney.

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Sherlock deduces that there have been earlier attempts on Elias' life. Some children were killed by the poisonous substances found in the toys sold by Elias' company. Elias has been on the run for some time now.

Sherlock sends Kitty to the Theodore's crime scene and observe Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill). Sherlock sends her the list of the addresses of the families whose children were victims of Elias company's products.

She discovers that the orange pipz that Theodore received were sent from the same zip code where Gabe Coleman (Zak Orth) lives. He lost his son Dylan, after which his wife Amy left him holding him responsible for not bringing justice for their departed son.

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Season 3 Episode 2 The Five Orange Pipz

Special Agent Boden (Chris McGarry) was shadowing Fordham and meets up with Sherlock and Joan.

In the meantime, Gabe confesses to Joan that he murdered Elias and his lawyer. Sherlock is convinced that someone is framing Gabe.

Sherlock, Joan and Kitty visit Angela White (Sonya Walger), Assistant U.S. Attorney to get more details. The jealous Kitty insults Angela and unintentionally causes a roadblock for the investigation. 

A witness, Azeem (Shayan Shojaee) has seen Angela and Fordham running into each other. 

 Lucy Liu and Ophelia Lovibond as Joan Watson and Kitty Winter Sherlock Holmes new apprentice in CBS Elementary Season 3 Episode 2 The Five Orange Pipz

Armed with this information, Angela is questioned by the NYPD. Angela confesses that she was being blackmailed by Fordham, but asserts that she was not involved in the murders.

Sherlock deduces that Boden is the killer. 

Canonical References

1. The episode title refers to Arthur Conan Doyle's original story: The Five Orange Pips. A young client, John Openshaw has lost his uncle and father. Both of them received a letter with the initials “K.K.K” and contained five orange pips. Soon after, they passed away in what seemed to be natural causes, but Sherlock deduces the real cause. 

2. The character Elias Openshaw - In the original story, The Five Orange Pips, Elias Openshaw is the uncle of Sherlock Holmes client, John Openshaw. He is the first member of the Openshaw family to fall victim, followed by John's father Joseph Openshaw.

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Season 3 Episode 2 The Five Orange Pipz

3. Elementary Holmes remarks to Kitty: I never guess. It is a shocking habit, destructive to the logical faculty.” - In The Sign of the Four, Sherlock Holmes remarks to Dr John Watson: No, no. I never guess. It is a shocking habit, - destructive to the logical faculty.

4. Elementary Sherlock's remark to Kitty: Genius is an infinite capacity to take pains. That is a bad definition, but applies to detective work.” - In A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes makes the observation: They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains,....It's a very bad definition, but it does apply to detective work.

This was an OK episode.

Jonny Lee Miller Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Season 3 Episode 2 The Five Orange Pipz

The focus this time is on Ophelia Lovibond's Kitty Winter. We learn that Kitty has been the victim of a terrible crime five years ago. Kitty does not want to be identified as a victim and this is the reason for her aggressive behavior.

In the end, she does reconcile her differences with Joan and encourages her to read her personal file.

The attempts at humor were uneven with the one about Openshaw/Osamashaw being the least successful.

The show's attempt to give a modern update to a Canonical story is much better than the previous one, Dead Man's Switch.

1. Kitty Winter is listening to the song “Weatherman” by Dead Sara, when Sherlock Holmes walks in.

2. The song Every Time the Sun Comes Up” by Sharon Van Etten is heard in the closing scenes, when Kitty Winter asks Joan Watson to read her file. 

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Image Source: CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

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Elementary Season 1 Review
Elementary - Cast Review


  1. The Yellow Face and Five Orange Pips in Doyle's versions dealt with racial prejudice and the American Klan. So I give Doyle much credit for social commentary in his stories.

    1. Yes, ACD was also a feminist as proven by A Scandal in Bohemia, which had Holmes outwitted by Irene Adler.

      Unfortunately, ACD comes across as anti-Mormon in A Study in Scarlet.