Television: Elementary, "Corpse de Ballet"

We begin with the writers wanting to put Holmes's sex life in perspective for the viewers: Basically, he has it often and with numerous women. No emotional strings attached, of course. But his revolving door does require Watson to stock to-go cups so she can offer the "guests" morning coffee.

Then we get a ballerina cut in half.

But what killed her was having her throat cut with a box cutter. A personalized box cutter that belongs to Iris, the lead ballerina. The dead dancer (Nell) had been the original inspiration for the lead role but then the part went to Iris, a "more established" ballerina.

Meanwhile, Watson gets pulled away by a schizophrenic man named Morris taken to the hospital after taking a swing at a cop. He's convinced someone has taken his friend Freebo.

When Iris's alibi falls through, she is brought in for questioning and gets snippy, resulting in her being arrested for the murder. She makes bail but cannot leave the country (which she had planned to do, a trip to Montreal to teach a master class). And, not unexpectedly given the writers having made it a point to establish Holmes's sex life, Iris ends up as yet another in his line of lovers.

This is a particular peeve of mine, the way writers and shows often don't bother with some aspect or angle of a character's life until they need it for a plot. I mean, we've been given hints of Holmes being free and loose with his physical entanglements, but one knows immediately when it's being suddenly brought to the fore that it will bear on the episode.

Holmes's conviction that Iris is innocent is somewhat bizarre. Is he star struck? He assumes her torn rotator cuff means she cannot have worked the pulley that lifted Nell's body. But what if the pulley is how she hurt herself? And with the way Iris is allying herself with Holmes, and her lawyer is giving Holmes busy work . . .

And Watson is still looking for Freebo.

Holmes is working his way through people Iris has restraining orders against, stalkers and paparazzi and the like. The idea is that someone would want to frame her to get back at her.

But then an anonymous thumb drive with a voice mail from Iris to Nell . . . About their relationship, and how if Nell tries to walk away "there will be consequences." Turns out there is spyware on Iris's cell phone; one of the paparazzi Holmes had investigated cloned Iris's phone. But he has a solid alibi for the night of Nell's murder.

Big reveal of the night: Watson's birth father is a homeless schizophrenic. (The man we've met is actually Watson's step-father.)

Holmes deduces Iris's lawyer was the one to leak the voice mail and accuses him of murdering Nell in order to create publicity for Iris.

Watson, meanwhile, figures out that Freebo's "sister" isn't really his sister and discovers the woman posing as his sister has been holding Freebo and two other homeless men hostage in order to cash their disability and welfare checks. As B plots go, this one was kind of weak but had the benefits of being (a) short, and (b) emotionally satisfying in its conclusion.

Iris is exonerated (I still feel like the episode lost something in making her innocent); the lawyer is arrested. And Holmes makes advances in empathy when he offers to take some old blankets to the park to see if anyone might need them. Watson's visible gratitude is a testament to the strengthening bond between the characters, and this really is the best thing about the series; the writers have done such a lovely job continuing to build the core relationship. Even tiny moments contribute. Sometimes—often—they contribute more than the big moments.

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