Elementary 3.03 Review: An Irregular Problem

by Mel BiJeaux / November 14, 2014
Just a Regular Irregular

It’s getting hard for me to be excited about the weekly Elementary episode when the cases of the week start dragging out, with little character development to beef them up. That’s not to say this was a terrible episode, because it wasn’t. I quite like Harlan the needy math genius. But the progression of the case seemed to lag out while they took a time out to check back in with Kitty and Joan’s attempt to build a civil working relationship.

But then there was NFL legend Phil Simms throwing knives and that was actually pretty wonderful. Does he actually have a knife throwing talent? Wow!

Sherlock Holmes has always had his network of “Irregulars” – in the novels they were¬† mostly a homeless network who did his leg work around town with spying and tailing suspects. They brought him information and in exchange, he’d help them out with money, food, or whatever. In Elementary, Sherlock keeps a bevy of specialist at hand, even knife-throwing, to consult him during cases.

Harlan showed up last season when another case revolved around complex maths. Poor Harlan got a bit too attached to Sherlock, not knowing the detective’s penchant for being a bastard, and got his feelings hurt when Sherlock turned to another, less needy mathematician in London. And in this case he seems to have gotten mixed up in a game of murder, rather than a math scavenger hunt.

The problem with this episode may lie in the fact that watching them try to figure out where all the math is leading them, why mathematicians are getting killed and then listening to Harlan wax on about his math whistle blower blog is rather boring. Not that a suspect blowing a hole in a hotel door at Detective Bell and Sherlock wasn’t jolting, but on the whole, waiting for Sherlock to make the connection to Harlan’s blog and the cheating lottery winner took a bit too long.

That and it was annoyingly obvious early on that Harlan was going to be the new target, and once the skeevy rich math genius was introduced, you knew he had to be the bad guy. Throwing him and his team of math nerds in mid stream claiming to be searching for the “real” killer, he literally had no other choice than to be the killer.

The rest of the episode revolves around Kitty and Joan trying to work together on a sideline case that Kitty thinks is beneath her. And again, it is very hard to warm up to Kitty since she blows off Joan’s attempts to help and Sherlock spends half his time sneering at her. Sure, she’s been through something horrific. But a horrific back story doesn’t necessarily make her more interesting, or easier for the audience to warm up to her.

But at least she seems to be trying. It just looks like Kitty has a monster ego of her own to scale before she’ll admit that Joan and Sherlock may actually know whats best for her. I did like that Joan pointed out the conflict of interest between Sherlock’s needs with Kitty – recreating what he had with Joan which is a big need in his life – and Kitty’s needs.

Poor Watson, if she’s forced to have to mother both the kiddies.

I have a feeling Kitty will get more tolerable, if she turns the attitude down a few notches. I just don’t think that making her a victim of rape and kidnapping makes her any more compelling, especially if the reason she wants to be a detective so badly is because she wants vengeance in some form or another. It’s far too predictable an outcome for her. and it’s already hard enough being the new girl trying to come between to already beloved characters and find a way to stand out.

I suppose only time will tell with Kitty, if the fans decide to give her a chance.

Elementary returns Thursday, November 20th at 10/9c on CBS


Mel is a writer, blogger and TV fanatic whose work and celebrity interviews have been seen on Popstar.com and 50Undercover.com. She fears no fandom or social media platform and you can follow her on Twitter @Melapaloosa.