Television: Elementary, "Paint It Black"

You'll recall that at the end of last week's episode, Watson had been kidnapped by evil Frenchmen. They are part of a large crime syndicate known as The Meilleure and they've been using Mycroft's restaurant The Diogenes as a hangout. (In other shows, this would be a group of troublesome teens at a local diner, but whatever.)

Mycroft, it seems, had tapped The Meilleure for some money to bolster his restaurant and fund the expansion into New York (The Meilleure's idea, according to Mycroft; they are also the ones who wanted Mycroft to get Sherlock out of New York). They're willing to trade Watson for a very valuable list of people who have socked money away in Swiss bank accounts, thus evading taxes, etc. The list had been stolen by a banker, Pierce Nelson, who had access to all that information. Find Nelson and the list, swap for Watson. Sherlock and Mycroft have 48 hours. Piece of cake, right?

Well, first we must deal with Sherlock's temper tantrums. He is understandably distressed at the loss of Watson and irate with Mycroft for having put her/them in this position. Mycroft hits things a little too squarely when he states that Watson is the person Sherlock loves more than anyone in this world. Thing is, it isn't a romantic love. Watson is Sherlock's conduit to humanity, and that's something he's come to rely on; he has difficulty functioning without her. (I won't say that Sherlock has Asperger's, but as someone who does, I know all too well that I am not equipped to deal with day-to-day life without an intermediary. I fake it, I brave it, and I go out only when I can't get away with staying in and hiding from it . . . Or when something has enough of my interest that it's worth it to me to venture out. Always so much easier if I have someone with me to focus on, take cues from; kind of like an emotional guide. I feel like Sherlock might be in a similar situation.)

We then get a new take on the standard formula: Sherlock and Mycroft investigating rather than Sherlock and Watson. It's actually rather fun, a nice change. There is maybe a Hardy Boys element here that appeals to me. Did Sherlock and Mycroft ever do these kinds of things as kids, or have they always been too belligerent? Since their falling out happened later in life, there's a chance they were once close, yes?

I'm not sure why it took Sherlock so long to zero in on the photos in Nelson's office; I saw right away they were taken from the same place in three separate seasons and had the spot pegged as important. We can chalk it up to his overwrought state of mind, I suppose, but he wasted precious time there. Once he and Mycroft figure out the spot, they also find Nelson's body and determine he's been dead longer than the list has been missing. Therefore, he did not steal the list. Someone killed him, stole the list, then framed Nelson.

It's not a long leap to loop back to the head of security at the bank. When the Holmes brothers kidnap and threaten him, he handily gives up the list. Rather anticlimactic, though I suppose the writers wanted to get in a scene in which Sherlock shows how far he's willing to go to get Watson back. It's a bit strange, since he had a far more violent reaction back when the whole Moran thing went down last season. Does Watson mean less to Sherlock than Irene did or has he simply tempered a bit? Maybe that's some of Watson's good influence.

Speaking of Watson, just to make sure she's in the show, we see her try and aid one of the French guys who has been shot in the abdomen. She does her best, but when she repeatedly insists he needs a hospital, the lead French guy (Marchef is his name, apparently, if IMDb is to be believed) shoots him.

List in hand (well, on a flash drive), Sherlock is prepared to call in the authorities to rescue Watson. He does not trust The Meilleure to keep their word and release her. But in a classic "don't taze me, bro" moment, Mycroft does taze Sherlock and takes the list. Upon waking, Sherlock goes to the NSA to beg for their help in finding Watson before she is killed. This was quite a humbling scene, to see Sherlock thus reduced. It, more so than the threats against the security guy, showed how low Sherlock is willing to go for Watson's sake.

Mycroft, meanwhile, has gone to trade the list for Watson. And as Sherlock predicted, The Meilleure plan to kill them both. This bit was rather silly; de Soto gives the order to kill Mycroft and Watson, but the guys just stand there pointing their guns. Sure, okay, maybe they want to wait until de Soto is clear of the scene. But then Mycroft asks if he can say a final few words. Um . . . Why not just say them? (Oh, wait, he's a bit of a showoff like his brother. Perhaps that explains it.)

For those who were saddened that Elementary's Mycroft was a mere restauranteur (in opposition to Doyle's original), cheer up: He's really not. Something that will surely be explored further next week.

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