Television: Elementary, "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs"

It seems wrong somehow to show that a woman being careful about not allowing strange men into her home at night is at fault. I realize they didn't say as much, but women living alone should be careful. Even if and when the man at the door is sincere. (And I do realize it's possible the show only meant to make the point that even being careful sometimes isn't enough. Sad but true.)

Turns out our kidnapped girl from the cold open is Emily, daughter of Rhys, one of Holmes's ex-drug dealers. "I believe in Sherlock Holmes," Rhys tells Watson, and hey! I once saw some Sherlock graffiti to that effect:

Of course, that was all about "The Reichenbach Fall." But whatever.

Meanwhile, this week Elementary has Holmes describing "The Adventure of the Crooked Man" to his addict group and name checks "The Blue Carbuncle."

It was a nice change of pace to have Holmes working a case outside the police department. Of course the traditional Holmes took cases from all quarters, so it's only natural this incarnation should, too, but until now we haven't seen much of that. Not a big call for consulting detectives in New York these days, one supposes. Most people go straight to the police. Except, of course, drug dealers who can't go to the police . . . And who have reason to believe in Sherlock Holmes besides.

In a moment reminiscent of "The Cardboard Box," Emily's finger arrives in a box on the doorstep. Better than losing an ear? In any case, evidence under the fingernail gives Holmes more to work with than a lobe might.

Timing being everything, the fact that the second phone call comes after the confrontation with Emily's step-father is suggestive. Why does no one ever consider these things?

Rhys becomes increasingly disillusioned with Holmes's lack of results and tries to convince Holmes to prime his pump by taking some drugs. Weirdly enough, this sends Holmes off to call his daddy . . . To get money for Emily's ransom. Because it's worth more to Holmes to have Rhys and his druggy temptations out of his life than to solve the case.

By the way, remember that rule I once tossed out about how the perpetrator is often a character introduced briefly and early on in the hopes you might forget s/he exists, and then the writers will "surprise" you with the revelation that this person is really the bad guy? Yeah, that.

But progress is made. Holmes decides to go to a group session and discuss something more than his old cases. It's this kind of thing that is a testament to the writers' skills—the incremental changes in the characters' behaviors and relationships. Because people don't change easily, nor quickly, except when motivated. And seeing what motivates Holmes (and sometimes Watson) is what is fundamentally interesting in this show. Baby steps, Holmes. Baby steps.

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