Television: Elementary, "The Deductionist"

Violent criminal Howard Ennis is brought to the hospital to donate a kidney to his sister. Now I have some issues with the way the operation prep was handled; clearly there was much conveniently set up for sake of the plot, but whatever.

Hmm. Tall, blonde profiler. Doesn't that make her an obvious target based on the earlier description of Ennis' preferred victim type?

Holmes, meanwhile, has a past—both professional and semi-romantic—with said FBI profiler. It's always fun to have a little more meat to gnaw on when the writers choose to reveal more of his character. The episode title is derived from an article Drummond (the profiler) wrote after working with Holmes. So while Holmes professes a dislike of all profilers, he has reason to dislike this one in particular: like Ennis, about whom Drummond wrote an entire book, Holmes resents the idea he can be "solved" by a simple profile. (And he possibly also feels used by Drummond, with whom he shared a physical affair, if not an emotional one—at least not emotional in any way he's willing to admit; Irene Adler aside, it can be difficult to tell with Holmes how invested he really is.)

The case becomes a fight between Drummond's insistence that Ennis fits her profile and Holmes' equal insistence that Ennis is working to be "profile proof." No one likes to be reduced to something so simple as a checklist, after all.

In a climax reminiscent of Sherlock's pilot episode, Holmes faces Ennis over a kind of game: will Ennis choose the gun or handcuffs? Will he fit Drummond's profile or won't he? By breaking the profile, Ennis proves to Holmes' satisfaction that he is not predestined for self-annihilation the way Drummond predicted in her article about him. (Though unlike in Sherlock, JLM's Holmes is not so helpless as to need Watson to save him.)

Nice touches include Holmes selecting Watson's clothing for her in an attempt to urge her out of bed. In fact, on the whole, Elementary continues to get better, particularly in the past three episodes. They do best when delving into Holmes' past and psyche, and exploring the growing bond between him and Watson. But they've benefitted from slightly better plots of the week recently too. Still not five stars, but getting brighter.

Just as an aside—and this is me thinking like a television writer as much as a Sherlock Holmes fan—I have to wonder whether Irene is really dead. I don't think you go into a story by killing off a key character before you ever see her. And it leaves so many delicious possibilities: if Irene were to return unexpectedly, what would that do to Holmes? And if she were to, say, actually be working with Moriarty (maybe she was all along, maybe she's supposed to distract Holmes from whatever Moriarty is doing), what would that betrayal do to him? Certainly Watson would need to be on high alert; if ever there was cause for a relapse, that would be it. See? We could have lots of fun with this.

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