Television: Elementary, "The Marchioness"

Mycroft (yay!) crashes his brother's addicts meeting, just as Sherlock is beginning to open up about how overstimulation is what drove him to dull his keen senses with drugs. Mycroft has come to New York for a couple reasons: (a) to open a branch of his Diogenes restaurant, and (b) to help his ex-fianceƩ Nigella (the one Sherlock slept with, now a divorced marchioness) solve the mystery of Silverblaze.

For those who don't remember, or perhaps ever knew, "Silverblaze" is one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories in which someone attempts to take out a racehorse. In this version, Silverblaze no longer races, but Nigella uses the horse for studding mares. But the horse's keeper was shot and killed by someone attempting to break into Silverblaze's barn, carrying a syringe of potassium, ostensibly to kill the horse.

Sherlock is livid at the sight of Nigella, to whom he refers as "toxic." He is also stunned to be the last to learn of Mycroft's bout with leukemia, which Nigella had helped him fight by organizing bone marrow donor drives. But Mycroft tells Sherlock that, by agreeing to help find out who might want to kill Silverblaze, it will prove they've put the incident with Nigella behind them for good.

Sherlock finds prints at the scene that lead to a drug dealer; a map found with the would-be horse assassin's discarded items has the number 2501 impressed upon it—the number of Nigella's hotel suite. Sherlock calls her just in time to get her to move away from the windows and avoid a bullet.

The drug dealer is an avid horse racing patron. In fact, he may be the shadow owner of a farm that has paid for Silverblaze to impregnate some of its horses.

And Sherlock is worked up about how tense Watson gets around Mycroft, leading to the revelation that she and and Mycroft slept together in London [season premiere].

Meanwhile, Sherlock discovers one of the foals supposedly sired by Silverblaze cannot have been thanks to genetics. He summons the marchioness to demand what happened to Silverblaze, and she tells him he saw the horse himself . . . (In Doyle's story, Silverblaze is disguised. In this take, Nigella admits Silverblaze has died and she's been using the horse's brother. She has a thing about brothers I guess. One is as good as another?)

Taking a leaf from The Usual Suspects, it turns out a witness to the crime is actually the hermit-like killer El Mecanico that no one else can say they've seen or describe. But his prints don't match the ones Sherlock found earlier (the ones that match a number of other murders as well).

Sherlock decides El Mecanico must have been wearing fake fingerprints. "Donated" by a bum whom El Mecanico must have murdered, he then began using the bum's fingerprints when out committing crimes. After finding the bum's body, and some hair from the murderer, El Mecanico confesses to all.

And then Mycroft asks Watson to be his guest for the restaurant's grand opening.

And Sherlock and Mycroft team up to set a zero tolerance policy against Nigella and her evil ways. After setting her straight, they bond over coffee.

The End.

I've enjoyed the addition of Rhys Ifans as Mycroft, though I feel like the Mycroft-Watson thing is forced. (It's strained and awkward, too, but that's at least in part by design.) I realize it would go against character, but I do wonder what would happen if Watson just started bringing home random guys now and then.

The episode itself was kind of a meander. Certainly the interpersonal stuff was far more interesting than the case itself, though Sherlock hammering away at the fact that Watson and Mycroft slept together got old fast. For someone who doesn't take sex all that seriously, he sure does when it's someone other than himself having it. I suppose the argument here is that he takes it seriously because he knows Watson likely does/would, and so he's trying to see things from her point of view to put it into context . . . But it seems far more likely he'd just shrug it off and at least pretend not to care. Even though deep down it would gnaw at him. However, the way it was written here, Sherlock was like a kid who just learned his parents "do it." Though he's been juvenile at times, this went further than usual.

Still, nice to end with Sherlock and Mycroft in an uneasy truce. Will Watson be their next falling out? Hmm . . .

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