Television: Elementary, "The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction"

So . . . A woman comes to Watson in hopes of new leads regarding her long-lost sister. It turns out the FBI is involved in the investigation because they believe the disappearance is related to a serial murderer they call "Pumpkin" because of the smell of nutmeg found at each crime scene. Holmes quickly dismisses the FBI's file on Pumpkin, stating this murderer does not exist. After a convoluted bit of maneuvering, it becomes clear they are not dealing with a serial killer so much as someone who cleans up after murderers.

It's not a bad plot, actually. If the police use crime scene killers—one can actually become certified in these things—why wouldn't there be a black market in which criminals call on someone to clean up their messes? I only wish the story here had been made more interesting.

The episode devolves into criminal politics: they find Mr. Woodbine, their criminal janitor. He has a lot of information about a lot of criminals given his line of work. And when Woodbine refuses to cut a deal, Holmes and company attack from the other side, asking known criminals to turn on Woodbine. But one criminal cleans up Woodbine first.

As a story it is pleasingly twisted. For television, it's a little dull.

Per the usual MO of procedural plotting, the solution is one part going back to someone we were meant to forget and one part, "Oh, look, we just happen to have a photograph that gives us a clue we somehow missed!" Sigh. Would have been way more interesting if Holmes had been wrong and the FBI agent had made it all up to cover his own serial murders or something.

Next week is the winter finale in which they apparently turn up the heat by getting Holmes worked up emotionally. Another favorite tactic. A lack of Kitty in the previews makes me wonder if she's the emotional thorn in this go-round. Double sigh.

But I have to say, having Gracepoint and Elementary as back-to-back shows has made for nice, cozy Thursday nights. Thematically, they pair nicely.

No comments: