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07 February 2014 @ 09:05 pm
Elementary: Corpse du Ballet  
A nice subtle characterization piece comes together in this episode.


Back during "Tremors," I noted that I liked Joan's comment about how they didn't know what the suspect, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was like when on his meds in response to Bell's dismissal of the man's ability to maintain a stable relationship. It was a line that spoke to how schizophrenics can potentially lead a fulfilling life which is a facet of this illness that rarely gets highlighted in TV. Much less by a medical professional. Well, the latest episode of Elementary seemed to bring everything back to full circle with the reveal that Joan's biological father has schizophrenia.

Her disclosure to Sherlock about trying to help her father into a program before eventually having to accept that she couldn't force him into one put everything we know about Joan into a particular context and had it all make sense. Her endless patience with Sherlock and her clients, her ability to be caring yet completely firm with them, her tendency to see hope for people with mental illness rather than dismissing them, etc. It also gives some context to what we saw of Joan's family. I remember Joan's mother noting that Joan's brother never calls her (the mom) and was very happy when he did to do a family dinner. I sort of wondered about that and was curious if the relationship was strained and if so, why. Now that we know a bit more about Joan's family make up, I'm curious if her brother Oren has any lingering resentment about the loss of their father, someone he probably remembers better than Joan can since he left when she was so young.

I liked that Joan's father isn't actually dead. I like that he is a figure that's still out there and Joan has a relationship of sorts with him but is always weathering this sadness that he is someone who can't be the person she wishes he was and yet balancing it out with at least trying to be with him in some way. And obviously I was pleased with the way Sherlock handled the disclosure. Namely, he felt sympathetic feelings and acted on them. I liked that the writers didn't have Sherlock go on some tirade about Joan's search for Freebow being pointless or a waste of her talents. I mean, yes, he was skeptical and a little confused but he asked questions rather than dismiss. I liked that he got Joan's personal interest in the matter and that it was important to her.

Oh, and there was a murdered ballerina in this one. I really didn't care. Actually, I cared way more about the Freebow case and was extremely sad to find out that the sister was a fake. That couple was beyond evil.
 
 
 
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on February 8th, 2014 03:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, the murdered ballerina kind of took a back seat!

As a side note, I was happy to see Bell back in action, even if still somewhat restricted, and interested to see his interactions with Sherlock. He seems okay with Sherlock now, but Sherlock asked if he could come to the interview with the ex-boyfriend. Apparently, Sherlock has decided that Bell is one of the very few worthy of at least some small consideration.

I had forgotten the exchange about the schizophrenic suspect—that was an excellent gentle set-up. I loved the characterization in this one, the interactions between Joan and Sherlock. (JLM sounded like he was really sick when they were filming; I felt bad for him. I hope he didn't feel as awful as he sounded!)

I was horrified by what happened to Freebow and had trouble wrapping my head around what had even happened there. I was glad Sherlock recognized Joan's accomplishment there. I can't tell you how pleased I am that she has become a detective in her own right, pursuing cases Sherlock doesn't even think are worth her time and doing good.

Joan rocks.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 8th, 2014 03:11 am (UTC)
Apparently, Sherlock has decided that Bell is one of the very few worthy of at least some small consideration.

Sherlock's esteem for Bell was highlighted for me in that episode where he said he refers to all the other detectives at the precinct as "Not Bell."

JLM sounded like he was really sick when they were filming; I felt bad for him. I hope he didn't feel as awful as he sounded!

Is it me or has his voice been sounding gravelly for the past couple of episodes?

I was horrified by what happened to Freebow and had trouble wrapping my head around what had even happened there.

I actually couldn't figure out how their scheme worked. How were they getting the checks when the people collecting them were in their basement? Were the checks being sent to their shelters and they were collecting them on their behalf? This confused me.
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on February 8th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think Miller has been sick for a couple of episodes: his voice has been low and a little strained.

I was struggling with the plot too! I think they convinced each of these guys to stay with them for a time, long enough to have their checks sent to the house, but Freebow didn't want to stay long enough, or he said he was going to have check redirected. So they grabbed him. I'm not sure the writers fully thought this one through.
ericadawn16: Nostalgicericadawn16 on February 9th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC)
I've been reading a number of comparisons lately about how the modern adaptations but especially Elementary, do cast Sherlock in a more sympathetic light.

Traditional Sherlock has little regard for anyone but himself, Watson and possibly the woman while everyone else, including Watson's wives are basically beneath him. There was one scene with a child where he showed emotion but otherwise...

Ritchie did it a little bit by having Sherlock involve Watson's wife in their caper, but the newer ones allow Sherlock show much more emotion. However, I feel like Elementary gives him the most emotions because he's allowed great vulnerability and weakness in allowing him to have been a victim of domestic abuse but he has also has VARIOUS women! I even got the feeling that Watson was worried that Sherlock had traded one addiction for another: drugs for sex.

I love your analysis about Watson, it's totally right.

My only real complaint about Thursday's episode is that being a 10th Kingdom fan, it was hard seeing Wolf as a villain...
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 10th, 2014 11:29 pm (UTC)
My only real complaint about Thursday's episode is that being a 10th Kingdom fan, it was hard seeing Wolf as a villain...

!!! You mean, I'm not the only one who remembers that miniseries?! I loved Scott Cohen as Wolf and yes, I always have a tough time buying him in any other role because of the impression he made as that character.
ericadawn16: Weirdericadawn16 on February 12th, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I upgraded to a DVD copy a few years ago but can't bear to part with my VHS just yet...
I also have the novelization which is awesome.

Oddly enough, the villain thing bothered me more than his role on The Carrie Diaries even though The Carrie Diaries has Wolf being lovers with Martha Jones which should seem quite strange...