10.31.2014

Television: Elementary, "Enough Nemesis to Go Around"

Thanks to clunky exposition in dialogue, we now know that Holmes left New York some eight months ago with only notes to Watson and others rather than actual, you know, goodbyes.

So Watson has been taking cases on her own, including trying to pin down Elana Marsh, head of some cartel. Elana has been careful, but Watson manages to ferret out the cartel's bookkeeper. This bookkeeper agrees to testify against Elana, but in a locked-room sort of mystery, she and her police escort are killed in a hotel elevator on their way to trial. The elevator never stopped, so . . . How? And who?

Meanwhile, it becomes clear that Watson might now also be in danger as Elana seeks revenge.

A tip arrives regarding an assassin, and Watson recognizes the pseudonym used to sign it; upon a visit to the brownstone, she discovers Holmes. He's back from London and done with MI6. "Creative differences," he says.

Hmm. Feels a little like the writers realized they had no way to really do the MI6 thing so backed out of it. Kind of a shame because it might have been a lot of fun. Holmes as a stateside agent, even . . .

Holmes also has a new protegée: Kitty. (Aww, that's my nickname. Seriously, Siri calls me "Miss Kitty." Also, my Siri is a British dude.) Too bad she's hugely unlikable, at least in the little we've seen of her. But of course, we're not supposed to really like her, are we? We're supposed to be on Watson's side here. The entire episode is shown from Watson's POV, pretty much forcing us to be on her side.

So the setup now is: both Watson and Holmes + Kitty are available to aid the NYPD in investigations. And the unspoken question is ostensibly: "Is the city big enough for both?" Well, and the title answers: "Enough Nemesis to Go Around."

But I find the show lacks a lot of its snap when set up this way. Watson and Holmes are best together, and in this episode there's very little of Holmes at all. I wasn't wowed.

Gina Gershon was good, though. I'll give them that. And I have a feeling we may not have seen the last of Elana and/or her crew.

Oh, what, you want to know how the elevator thing worked? Magnet. Big fucking magnet, to be precise. One ton Tesla magnet. Instead of shooting bullets, one embeds them in the elevator wall then pulls the bullets through people with a massive magnet. Pretty clever, eh?

So the story was okay. And I know the situation with Holmes and Watson (and Kitty) is meant to give new tensions and such, but . . . It didn't really achieve that for me. In fact, if anything, the episode lost something rather than gaining anything.

Maybe this is Elementary's answer to the way, in Doyle's stories, Watson eventually marries and goes off to live elsewhere. (Here Watson has a boyfriend and her own apartment.) I found that disappointing in the stories, too; I have a preference for Holmes and Watson together because I find that dynamic just so much more interesting. People living together creates so many opportunities for things to happen and tensions to arise. Sure, separation also causes tension, but by its nature, separation has little friction.

Hmm. Then was London the "Great Hiatus"? I hope not. I hope they do something much better for that (assuming they do it at all).

Television: Gracepoint, 1.5

Suspicious grows around Jack (but be honest, you're all just calling him "Nick Nolte" right?), with hints that he might be a pedophile and news that a similar murder took place years before in an area near which Jack was living at the time. When Jack also "finds" Danny's missing cell phone . . .

Susan Wright (aka "Trailer Lady") also has a hidden past that includes a different name than the one she lives under now. When the editor of Gracepoint's newspaper tries to talk to her, Wright threatens her.

And for the record: Paul Coates is the worst reverend ever. Just not at all inspiring. I miss Rory. (Which is to say, I miss Arthur Darvill, who played the reverend in Broadchurch.) He was way better.

Pete is still a dope.

And the Solanos decide to talk to the press, thus throwing a wrench in the investigation as now more press and paparazzi are coming to town and complicating things.

And Carver (a) has dinner with the Millers, revealing he doesn't totally suck as a person, and (b) ends up in the hospital after some cardiac event. But checks himself out of the hospital with only Gemma Fisher the wiser. Well, and the hospital staff, one supposes. Makes you wonder about the police in Gracepoint, though, if they can't even detect their boss is, like, ill . . .