Elementary 3.01 Review: The Problem with Protegesby Mel BiJeaux / October 31, 2014
I doubt you could find a more awkward episode of Elementary if you tried. And the awkward, off-beat tempo between the characters is earned, no doubt, but it still made for a somewhat uncomfortable watching experience.
Almost a year has gone by since Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes have seen each other, and the time and space has not been good for their relationship. And I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most of the fans are going to be upset with Watson’s reactions to Holmes throughout most of the episode. The thing you have to remember is, she’s hurt. For all that Watson says she didn’t need Sherlock anymore before he left and she needed to discover who she could be without him, she’s still hurt by his abrupt departure.
The “goodbye in a five sentence note” probably didn’t help matters, way to go, Sherlock.
What was also somewhat jarring was Captain Gregson’s reaction to Sherlock coming back. He was harsher than I expected, and maybe that can be blamed on him feeling stung but Sherlock up and leaving with no word, but the “we’re not friends, you are a means to an end with me as much as I am for you” was just… harsh! Because after two seasons, I’d have said that Gregson considered Sherlock somewhat of a friend. Certainly more than a colleague.
It’s heartening to see how well Joan has done since Sherlock left, becoming an excellent investigator in her own right, and Sherlock is very proud. And I did not have a problem with her anger and cold shoulder toward him until he – as nicely as Sherlock Holmes is capable – asked to be her sounding board and she shut him down. That was unnecessary. Especially when he went to lengths to pour his soul and his vulnerabilities out to her about why he left (doesn’t excuse his crappy exit, but still) and asking for nothing more than an ear to listen isn’t asking too much.
They spent most of last season showing how much Watson has learned and how far she has come, and this episode is a culmination of her character’s growth. But there is still room for Sherlock in her life.
You gotta almost feel sorry for poor Kitty Winter, Sherlock’s new protege. She’s playing against a stacked deck, and she’s no where near big enough to fill Watson’s shoes. And I don’t know if it is intentional on Elementary‘s part, or just that we don’t know enough about her, but it’s hard for the audience to even like Kitty when the reaction we get toward her from other characters, like Sherlock, is nothing but disdain and disappointment. Kitty came off as whiny, brash and envious. If Sherlock sneers at her constantly, what are we the viewers supposed to think? And yeah, Sherlock gave Watson plenty of Hell before they really worked together, but she wasn’t begging to be his girl Friday then, and he asked Watson to train as a detective. Unlike Kitty, who seems to be a Holmes fangirl. Or she’s running away from something.
The case actually had a pretty cool part, the “locked room” scenario is always interesting to see play out. The magnetically driven bullets in the elevator was a nice twist, as was building a large Tesla magnet in a hotel room.
But this episode revolved around relationships, and for the time being, Sherlock is going to have to work very hard to repair the bridges he’s burned in New York. While I relish a good bit of angst, I’d really like to see a bit of warming up from Joan. I applaud her wanting to have her own cases and such I just don’t want to spend the next several episodes watching her and Sherlock snipe at each other and Kitty instigating more drama.
I guess time will tell, but it doesn’t look like we should be expecting Watson and Sherlock to be back to their old working arrangement any time soon.
Elementary returns Thursday November6th at 10/9c on CBS