11.02.2012

Television: Elementary, "Lesser Evils"

Ah, we're back to abusing corpses, which Holmes fans have seen in Sherlock as well. Although the beekeeping morgue attendant falls short of Molly Hooper. Thus far. He may turn out to be awesome; who knows?

And no one quite scores a show like Sean Callery.

The thing about procedurals in general is their need for misdirection to prolong the story. The pattern is more or less like this: Here are your main characters, and here is a situation. They must find who committed the crime. Here now are a number of tangential characters (in this episode, hospital workers). The writers will now lead you toward a conclusion. It will not be the correct conclusion. After viewing a few episodes you will know the first/primary suspect is never the actual perpetrator. In fact, it will usually be someone who is introduced and then quickly shunted aside, dropped from the viewers' temporary memories. An incidental person. This is because the writers seem to associate springing these people on the audience as the killers with "twist" or "surprise." Most of us have caught on, though, and are no longer surprised. In fact, it's become rote and boring.

Meanwhile, Holmes's little speech to Watson about trusting her instincts? Interesting. He's not wrong, of course, except Holmes is traditionally known for logic not gut feeling. Here the tables were turned: Watson was being rational and Holmes was the one prompting an emotional connection.

It's cute that Holmes gets invested in Watson's situation. "Victory?" he asks when Watson tells him she went to talk to her friend about a patient. And then redirects the conversation when she demurs. Could he be trying to make her feel better by turning her mind toward other things? Or is it simply that his interest has fallen off already in that manic way he has?

It really is the subtleties in this show that make it work. The stories themselves are not stellar, but the interplay between Holmes and Watson, their ever-so-slowly strengthening bond, is done extremely well. Every week I think I may give the show up, but then every week something about the minute progress in the characters' relationship keeps me coming back.

1 comment:

B2B said...

You perfectly captured the best part about this show in the last paragraph.

Cheers!