Television: Elementary, "An Unnatural Arrangement"

Friday night in the holding cell. Holmes has Watson deduce who they are and what they're in for. But she gets poached by another police detective to help solve a string of falafel cart robberies. (Amusing aside: Holmes refers to most of the detectives as "Not Bell.")

Meanwhile, Gregson's wife Cheryl comes home to a masked man asking for her husband. At first one might think she's stupid for running into the house instead of out, but it turns out she has a gun in the bedroom. Shooting through the door, it appears (from the trail of blood) she manages to wound the intruder . . . But he's gone.

Nice to get some backstory on Gregson. While of course the Watson-Holmes interaction is often the most entertaining part of the show, it's good to see them expand and expound on some of the other characters.

Turns out that Gregson hasn't been living in the house for the past month. "Trial separation." Neighbor James Monroe from across the street offers a rough description at having seen him run off. (And I am immediately suspicious. What reason would the writers have for introducing this neighbor?)

The episode title is derived from Holmes's personal feelings about the institution of marriage. In short, he doesn't think much of it.

Dustin Bishop . . . Has been sending Gregson "fan" e-mails? Holmes and Watson find him bleeding all over the floor of his kitchen—and Gregson's pictures all over Bishop's walls. Despite the .38 bullet, the blood isn't a match, and Holmes is convinced Bishop shot himself.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mask shoots a guy named Sam Clennon. Was in the military. And served under one Lt. James Monroe.

And Watson gets upset when Holmes solves the falafel case behind her back. "A partnership suggests equality," she points out. "I'm good at this, but you've been doing it since you were a kid. I've got some catching up to do." She had hoped to use the falafel case as part of that "catching up."

Turns out Cheryl has had a friend named Steven over a few times (his light blue pick-up truck had drawn the attention of the neighbors). Drama in the Gregson house! I mean, more drama than just having an intruder try to shoot you.

So. The guy who supposedly went after Gregson was actually after Monroe and got the wrong house. (Stupid Google street view. Though you'd think, if the guy knows the address, he'd at least check the house numbers when he got there? I mean, if you're going to kill someone . . . Someone specific . . . Might not want to risk a mistake? But I guess most criminals aren't even that bright.) When Gregson goes to look . . . Monroe is dead.

A Jacob Esparza also served under Monroe and had stabbed Clennon while deployed. So he becomes Suspect Numero Uno. Except Esparza has no bullet wound to correspond with Cheryl's having shot whomever invaded their home.

Esparza tells them Clennon had been having an affair with an archaeologist named Elizabeth. But a visit to her reveals the "affair" took place while she was already in divorce proceedings, so . . . A crime of passion it ain't.

Holmes looks to the archaeology site Elizabeth was working on, which sits atop the second-largest copper deposit in the world. A Buddhist site with numerous temples. And missing artifacts, or so Holmes deduces. Elizabeth, Clennon and Monroe were, in his view, stealing priceless artifacts (copper bowls) from the site. But when a search warrant is issued, they find Elizabeth has already (re)moved items from her display cases.

So . . . This has become one of those news stories about people stealing copper from construction sites only to the ultimate degree, using an archaeological site instead?

Holmes gives up on meditation. And offers Watson his "most loathed article of furniture." A chest filled with his cold cases. (The old tin box . . .) The idea is to give Watson some stuff to work on, some hours to put in toward the 10,000 hours people need to master a skill.

The dog that didn't bark in the nighttime? Yup. That's the clue that solves the case: Elizabeth's man-hating dog didn't bark. So it was someone the dog knew. Like Elizabeth's ex-husband. Who hadn't killed Clennon and Monroe over romantic jealousy; he'd killed them because he was her new partner in crime and wanted to get rid of the old ones. Less slices of pie to share.

Gregson inherits the man-hating dog. And gives her to Cheryl. Along with the promise to be a better, more attentive husband. They remain separated, but with a better understanding, which of course means a more hopeful outlook.

And Watson digs into Holmes's cold cases.

Is theirs an unnatural arrangement? Well, it's certainly an unusual one. And the core reason I keep watching.

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