Television: Elementary, "A Controlled Descent"

So . . . Holmes' friend Alfredo is kidnapped by his ex-heroin chum Oscar (who still does drugs), ostensibly to force Holmes to help Oscar find his missing sister. Except it's pretty clear from the get-go that Oscar's real intention is to walk Holmes through his history of addiction for whatever reason. Memory lane? Old times' sake?

While Watson, Bell, and Gregson work the angle on finding Alfredo, Holmes accompanies Oscar on this goose chase for Olivia. Honestly, I thought it would turn out there was no Olivia, and I was kind of right. More on that later.

Olivia had been in rehab. In fact, she'd been in the same facility Holmes had been in, so of course they start there. "Brings back memories?" Oscar asks Holmes. Turns out Oscar had used Holmes' standing reservation, made by Holmes' father, for his sister, letting Daddy Holmes pick up the bill. (This will be important later.)

Olivia's rehab roomie gives them a lead, the name of a dealer/druggie, and of course Oscar knows where they're likely to find him: in a particular "shooting gallery." Lead me not into temptation? Actually, Holmes is remarkably resilient, seemingly not even a little bit interested in relapsing, probably because he has priorities. Get the job done, save Alfredo.

While Oscar gets high, Holmes looks for clues and also has the opportunity to swipe a phone and contact Watson. He tells Watson of some debris on Oscar's coat that might indicate the kind of place where Alfredo is being held. He also finds the license of a wealthy man known for his [alleged] ties to picking up junkies and battering them, a couple of which were never seen again. So off Holmes and Oscar go to confront this man.

After some strong-arming, the man admits he had brought Olivia to his apartment and that she'd fought back and robbed him. They're able to contact the car service and find out where she was dropped. And they discover her body; she'd been dead two days of an apparent overdose.

And Oscar knew the whole time.

So, yeah, there kind of was no Olivia after all. It really was all about Oscar trying to drag Holmes down to his level.

But at this point, Watson contacts Holmes to let him know they've found Alfredo and he's okay. So Holmes no longer feels any need to restrain his outrage and gives Oscar a thorough kicking. Apparently Oscar has a lot of medical problems, so it's possible Holmes could have killed him. But we skip ahead three days to learn Holmes isn't speaking; he's just sitting on the roof of the brownstone. I presume there's some paperwork or something, a trial of some kind, but . . . Fuck that, I guess. Holmes would rather mope.

Watson lets Holmes know that his dad has found out about everything. "I don't know how," she says, and I suppose that's because Holmes isn't talking to anyone, so she didn't get the whole story of Pater Holmes' money being used for Olivia's rehab session. I mean, I'm assuming that's how he knows, though he probably has lots of ways of knowing things. In any case, this particular situation has Holmes Sr. coming for a visit "tomorrow," but I'd give it a 50/50 chance we'll actually see him next season. It's just as likely Season 4 will begin some time after said visit, with Holmes and Watson laboring under and/or rebelling against new restrictions from Big Daddy.

It was an okay episode, though it didn't quite hang together psychologically for me. Maybe because I don't see Holmes and Alfredo as particularly close, though I do believe Holmes would still do what was required in order to save Alfredo—or anyone, for that matter. Oscar's fixation on dragging Holmes down . . . I suppose Holmes' holier-than-thou attitude has eaten at Oscar all this time . . . But still, there was something off about the whole thing that I can't quite put my finger on. Logically, I understand, but I wasn't feeling it. And without the closure of seeing Holmes talk to Alfredo after it was over, or seeing Oscar taken into custody or something . . . I don't know. It fell just shy of satisfying.

We'll see what Season 4 brings.

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