Television: Elementary, "Dead Clade Walking"

While Holmes is at Randy's beck and call (you'll recall Randy is the recovering addict Holmes has agreed to sponsor), Watson digs into one of Holmes's old cold cases and finds new leads.

The murder of Doug Newburg has gone unsolved for three years. But Watson notices an odd rock in an old photograph of Newburg's yard and brings in a geologist for a better look. Turns out the rock is from the Cretaceous period, and when Watson brings it for a scan, a rare dinosaur skeleton is discovered within.

Here yet again we are faced with the whole that-guy-you-met-briefly-is-the-one-who-did-it scenario. Watson and Holmes talk to Dr. Thomas at a local museum to get the scoop on the nanotyrannus (like a small tyrannosaurus). Remember him because he'll be important later, by which I mean in the last four minutes of the show.

We take off on predictable lines from there: black market collectors, etc. But then the black market guy is found murdered and the fossil smashed to bits. If not wanted for its value, why kill for it and destroy it?

Turns out the skeleton advances a controversial paleontological theory. I won't go into specifics because they aren't really relevant to the core of the plot, namely that those against the theory would want the skeleton gone to prevent themselves from looking like fools. OR . . . to prevent their textbooks from becoming obsolete. Which maybe amounts to the same thing: wounded pride. Though the second also involves a wounded wallet.

And so we come back around to Dr. Thomas from the museum. Nothing very exciting in this story, and it's a wonder Holmes didn't solve it, though it seems he may have been high during those years. (Oh, if you're wondering about Doug Newburg—his smuggler friend asked him to hold on to the rock for him, but then Doug was killed by those who didn't want the fossil on the market, and so the fossil remained hidden in the rock in Doug's yard . . . It was only when the fossil re-emerged on the market that the people trying to keep it secret were motivated to kill again, this time the black market dude. Perhaps it was the lack of clear motivation on the part of the killer that stymied Holmes at the time.)

Meanwhile, back at the B Plot, we have Holmes meeting repeatedly with Randy, whose [ex?] girlfriend Eve has turned up after a year or more away. She was the one who got him started on drugs, and now that she's back . . . Asking to crash at Randy's place . . . He's afraid he'll start using again. The answer here seems pretty clear: No more Eve. Holmes tries at first to be gentle, but then frustration gets the better of him and he snaps at Randy. So Randy goes and gets high with Eve. Then comes back around to tell Holmes he's dropped Eve.

This story was not terribly well done. The emotions here were stilted, and maybe that was the point, but on the whole it failed to hit whatever mark it was aiming for—it failed to hit much of anything. Seemed more like a way to fill the rest of the hour. Holmes-as-sponsor has potential, but it needs to be played very carefully. Here it was flat. So far he's a better patient than he is doctor. Maybe, since he's taught Watson so much, she can return the favor? Teach him a bit about being a sponsor?

The one interesting insertion in the episode is the item that was mostly a throw away: Holmes has an erotic penpal. They send each other naughty letters. We meet "C." ever so briefly, since it turns out she works for an auction service. How interesting it might have been if she'd been the murderer . . . But she was too nice, too elegant for that. I would actually have been sad if it had been her. Would have made a great plot twist though. And this show could do with a few more twists.

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