Television: Elementary, "Alma Matters"

A ripped-from-John-Oliver story of how a for-profit educational institution hires felons from its own student rolls to keep the Department of Education from building a case against it.

And a secondary story line in which Holmes discovers his father suspected him of trying to have him killed.

So assassins all around, really.

I've written before about Elementary's skew against the rich and corporate America; in almost every episode, you can look to those institutions as the culprits and be right. This episode goes a bit further by making actual criminals into semi-heroes—a murder it witnessed by the lookout of a burglary crew, and the ex-cons are painted quite sympathetically as they try to dig themselves out of debt incurred while trying to better themselves and their lives. And as I've mentioned before, I'm not saying that isn't a valid point of view for a story; I'm not championing big business or saying people don't deserve second chances. I'm only pointing out that Elementary works from almost exclusively this angle. Which means there is very little mystery to the show. And why am I watching this show if not for the mystery? (Especially since character development, which was so great starting out, has slowed to near nil.)

This thesis is crowned by Sherlock's evil father who is very wealthy and also very shady. There are no good, charitable rich people or CEOs in Elementary's philosophy. Even the "good" ones only do it for the tax break and the publicity.

To sum up: a solid episode but nothing new under the sun.

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