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03 May 2014 @ 08:31 pm
Elementary: Paint It Black  
Fun fact that I just found out: one of the executive producers for Elementary is Robert Hewitt Wolfe aka the creator of The Dresden Files TV series. This explains so much about why Joan's characterization is awesome. He also wrote this week's episode.

This week's episode was also the debut of Lucy Liu as a director. And she did a great job. Even as I wanted more Joan.


I'm going to do this all backwards:

So obviously Mycroft DOES work for the British government! I'm so glad him being basically useless during the actual case all now makes sense and it's not Mycroft being completely underwritten. I'm very curious now how he's going to explain everything but now I'm very much on board with why the writers made him so creepy. He'd totally allow Sherlock and Joan to be in peril if it means helping the government. He's THAT guy. It all makes sense now.

I was surprised that despite Joan not being instrumental in her own rescue, Wolfe wrote her captivity in a way that I still very much enjoyed what was happening. Her faith in Sherlock and Mycroft (mostly Sherlock) is solid so she's not going to try and escape on her own. BUT, that doesn't stop her from being a doctor and trying to save lives. I really liked how despite the French guy holding her captive clearly liked Joan as just an admirable person, he was still going to do his job. The thing I hate most in these types of stories is when a captive (usually a female one) by the sheer force of their awesomeness somehow turns the villain around. It tends to veer toward Mary Sue-ism for me so I was wondering during all of Joan's parts if the show was going to go there. But French Guy very much stuck to his plan and it was refreshing to see that he was able to admit that he admired her but hey, a job's a job.

This episode gives you a taste of what the show would look like if Sherlock more or less worked a case alone. As a viewer, I wouldn't be able to keep going long term with this show if there was no Joan. But as just a peek into how Sherlock becomes when under this level of stress without anyone helping him (Mycroft again, useless) was pretty interesting. He's certainly nastier (understandably) about getting others to do what he wants in order to progress with the case. His threatening to reveal the banker's history of manic depression was pretty low and so not shocking. And there was also him torturing that guy. Granted, it was more threatened than done but push comes to shove, he would have made that guy's hand come off.

After Sherlock's more overt upset at the news that Joan was kidnapped, I liked the almost flippant way he told Mycroft he would murder him if Joan is harmed. For whatever reason, that got me 'aw-ing' more than his earlier freak out that she was gone. (And yes, I aw'd at someone threatening murder. I have problems). I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see a reunion between Sherlock and Joan at the exchange point but ending it with Mycroft's reveal was a solid choice.

So, I'm going to guess that Joan won't be dating Mycroft. But I do wonder if she still plans on moving out. I actually wouldn't mind that as it's a nice hat tip to the original canon where Watson left 221B for marriage. While Joan's thoughts about moving out are pushed by her wanting to pursue a relationship with Mycroft, she could just end up leaving to give herself some space for the sake of maintaining boundaries with Sherlock which feels healthy. I will, however, miss the scenes of Sherlock waking her up. Who are we kidding? He'd probably go to her new place to do it whenever a case is on.
 
 
 
aelfgyfu_mead: Deep Space 9aelfgyfu_mead on May 4th, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
I know Robert Hewitt Wolfe first from Deep Space 9, which had some great women characters, and he wrote some of my favorite episodes, like "Past Tense."

I was very pleased with the turns this week's episode took! If Joan had managed to escape, I'd have been unimpressed with her captors; if she'd just been traumatized or passive, I'd have been Very Angry Indeed. I was glad to see her doing something, and something I didn't expect. I was horrified when her captor shot his cousin, but it absolutely went with the character, and it showed us that he wasn't going to be redeemed by Joan, which was right.

And Sherlock alone is scary. That scene at the bank with all the food and the two Holmes brothers and the bank officials hardly knowing what to say but managing to parry Sherlock's remarks about his father: "aggressive business practices"! I loved Sherlock's snipe at Mycroft about becoming vapors and Mycroft's own "We need only be our father's sons."

Now, of course, I'm rethinking everything I have ever seen Mycroft do.
* My first thought is that he slept with Joan deliberately to keep Sherlock off balance. He knew that Sherlock stood a real chance of figuring out his secret, and he kept annoying Sherlock to throw him off, but once he'd taken the flat and blown up Sherlock's stuff, he would be out of ammo. So he may well have been attracted to Joan, but I think he had a more pragmatic motive as well. (I will never figure out hers. Bad writing. They should have given us scenes that would make it believable that she'd want to sleep with him.)
• Mycroft never left Sherlock not just to keep him "on track," as he said, but so that he could drop hints as necessary?

He clearly played a heck of a long game here, having been in business with these guys for some time, and I'm guessing from NSA guy that US intelligence didn't know anything about it. I wonder if they'll do anything about the stink that must have been raised when NSA guy found out that MI-6 ran an op in the US?

I will, however, miss the scenes of Sherlock waking her up. Who are we kidding? He'd probably go to her new place to do it whenever a case is on.
Yep!

Oh, and check out turtle cozies on Tumblr! Some of these look familiar!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 4th, 2014 09:18 pm (UTC)
I will never figure out hers. Bad writing. They should have given us scenes that would make it believable that she'd want to sleep with him.

I know the writers have sort of tried by having Joan list what she finds attractive about Mycroft. I'd really be okay with Joan having a casual one night stand with someone she found attractive but the fact that he's Sherlock's brother is such a HUGE boundary crossing that I can't accept Joan found him THAT attractive to the point where she would do this. I know Joan has been written as impulsive in the past but this is a whole new level.

I was horrified when her captor shot his cousin, but it absolutely went with the character,

Me too. I think I did the same sort of gasp that Joan did when it happened because it was so shocking. And yet so in character.

Those turtle cozies! I want the bee one to end up on the show.