Television: Elementary, "The Cost of Doing Business"

All right, let's look at this mid-season finale (since that's a thing now).

I've written before about how Elementary consistently views wealth and capitalism (big business) as bad. Holmes himself attempts to cut his personal strings to his father's money, often not wanting to be beholden to it or associated with his father, who he views as evil. And it really was only a matter of time before the show itself revealed this to be true. Because Elementary cannot allow a wealthy businessperson to not be evil and underhanded.

Ah, wait, so let's reverse this bus for a moment. The episode itself started with a sniper opening fire on a busy street or plaza or whatever. And then Morland Holmes turns up to help his son solve the mystery.

Um, what?

Yes, Morland offers to play along as an Irregular, using his considerable power to get Sherlock into the offices of high-flying CEOs and the like. We meet these other wealthy businessmen, get sidetracked into a story about a plumber, but of course come back to the wealthy businessmen being the bad guys. One of them hired a sniper to assassinate . . . Someone for something cuz money. ::shrug:: That's pretty much how every episode of Elementary goes.

Then we get that kicker. The one where Morland meets with someone who wants money or else he'll tell Sherlock what Morland is really up to. And Morland threatens the guy, suitably frightening him into submission so that the man all but walks backward while bowing and babbling his apologies. This is so we can see that (a) Morland really is evil, and (b) he's also really powerful. Which is supposed to make us think he'll be tough to defeat or something.

But really, it all feels done before. Didn't we do the thing where it was clear Mycroft was hiding something and might be bad too? Honestly, Mycroft was a more interesting character because he was not morally black or white but gray. His motives were more interesting, his behavior and choices, his relationship with his brother—all way more nuanced than what we're getting with Morland. I think Mycroft and Sherlock should get together and form BAD: Brothers Against Dad. Or something. Anything to make this more engaging to watch.

Thing is, I've enjoyed this season more than last. But on the flip side, it's getting a bit stale. The "we hate money and capitalism" stuff is tired. Find some other bad guys. A crime ring or something. A forger. That would be fun, right? I mean anything but another CEO or whatever. Which is all Morland amounts to either. More of the same. Please. Do something different.

No comments: