Television: Elementary, "The Five Orange Pipz"

Here Elementary taps classic Doyle for a story, or at least for a device and a couple names. (It taps defunct Revolution for an actor; he'll always be Aaron now, folks. Always.)

The story itself is not so interesting: A toy manufacturer that was in hiding is murdered along with his lawyer. The device (lifted from Doyle) is that five orange beads are sent before the murder happens. Although, since the murder happens immediately after the guy opens the envelope, one wonders what the point of sending a warning was. Like, it would have made sense if the killer was hoping to antagonize the victim; there's something to be said for psychological terror. This, though . . . Why?

But the plot here isn't the goal of the episode anyway. No, "The Five Orange Pipz" seeks to further establish the new working dynamic of Watson vs. Holmes-Kitty. Watson gets called in on the case, but Holmes turns up because he finds it interesting. So they agree to work together. "Two bodies, two detectives," says Watson, though that leaves Kitty out, I guess.

And Kitty is quite put out, probably not unreasonably, but her petulance makes her almost impossible to like. Also, she can't paint worth a damn. I don't mean portraits, I mean that bookcase or whatever it was. Jesus. And her taste in music is terrible too.

Maybe we're not supposed to like Kitty, but then we get thrown her backstory of [hinted at] kidnapping and abuse of some kind. Does that make her sympathetic now? If it's supposed to, it didn't work, at least not for me. You can't tell me, "This person has had a hard life," and have me go, "Oh, well, that's all right then." All I know is what I see, and I don't like what I see of Kitty.

But I do think it's an interesting character choice that Holmes chose Kitty. In a similar fashion to how Watson saw him through, he's doing the same for Kitty.

Anyway, the episode plot goes on to be that the toy guy and his lawyer were hiding because they were wanted for having put out poisonous beads that, when swallowed, break down into GHB. Now, bad enough that beads are already a choking hazard and kids shouldn't be swallowing them anyway, but this resulted in some child deaths, and there was proof the toy manufacturer knew about the poison but was cutting corners, etc. So the obvious suspect is any parent whose child died. But that's too obvious, so we go up the food chain to an ambitious DA and finally an FBI agent who wanted to end the investigation so he could use the seized beads for street drug money. Not terribly exciting stuff, but pretty enterprising.

I'm still not loving the new dynamic, but we'll see. Elementary has done really well with character arcs and development, so I have hope that this season will see that continue.

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