Television: Elementary, "On the Line"

In a take on Doyle's "Thor Bridge," Holmes and Watson show that a woman actually committed suicide though her intention had been to frame the man she believed had killed her sister six years prior.

But when Lucas Bundsch (the would-be killer) submits to a lie detection test, Holmes begins to believe he did murder the sister. And may in fact be a serial killer. Holmes picks a fight with a Detective Coventry, who then gives Bundsch the address of the brownstone so he can "clear the air" with Holmes and Watson. H&W aren't biting.

Bundsch points out that fixating on him as a killer ruined one life, and he "hopes" it won't ruin Holmes's and Watson's.

And Watson takes Holmes to task for being so mean to Coventry, winding him up in such a way he was prompted to send a potential killer to their home. (And now Bundsch is on his guard and impossible to surveille.)

Meanwhile, by reaching out to the survivors of other potential victims, Holmes and Watson get a lead: A murdered woman had dated Bundsch in high school. But when Holmes and Watson follow up, it turns out they've been duped. Bundsch is playing them.

Sign of the times: Holmes uses the term "catfish" in terms of Bundsch using social media to create false identities to mislead people.

Holmes turns up at Bundsch's studio (he's some kind of sound engineer) and Bundsch baits Holmes into hitting him . . . Which allows Bundsch to slap Holmes and Watson with a restraining order. It only continues to get more difficult to continue the investigation.

Then Bundsch texts Holmes an address. A place where a college student has been abducted.

And Holmes decided to do what the sister at the start of the episode tried to do: frame Bundsch. He swipes a hairbrush from the crime scene with the idea of leaving DNA evidence that leads to Bundsch.

An argument with Watson about this plan shows Holmes the light: He realizes where Bundsch is keeping his victims. The studio had work done—plans filed—yet there is unaccounted for space. And sure enough: move some equipment, find a locked cabinet, and there are your [surviving] victims.

Wouldn't be much of a show if Holmes didn't get his man. Though it would be nice to see him lose once in a while. Fuel the fire a bit.

The episode ends with Holmes explaining to Watson he's not a nice person and she shouldn't expect him to be. But she points out he has changed even in the past year. And he says that's because he finds her to be exceptional, and so he goes out of his way to be nice to her.

Aww, she's special.

This episode felt off because Holmes's behavior was keyed up in a way that hadn't been presaged by previous eps. We all know he can be tactless, but for him to be so volatile was unusual; one almost wonders if he'd just received another letter from Moriarty, or whether this is spillage from dealing with his brother. While it's understandable that he would be frustrated and angry (and possibly self-righteous and scathing) in the face of what to him is a clear fuck up by the police (Coventry in particular) . . . It really felt as if he were doing 100 in a 60 zone with the characterization. The writers really should build up to something like that—an increasingly irritated Holmes as case after case gets bungled by the police—and they'll need to build down from it, too; if he suddenly is fine in coming weeks . . . What? Why? I'm surprised Watson wasn't asking what was wrong, outside of police idiocy, since that's something they've dealt with before without Holmes flying off the handle. It's like there's a piece missing here.

But I did like how steady Bundsch was in playing against Holmes. He was truly creepy as a villain. And on the whole points to the plot, which was better done than some others. Starting by knowing who the bad guy is and working backward was refreshing.

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