?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
13 February 2015 @ 11:44 pm
Elementary: The Female of the Species  
Sherlock does some very good peopling in this episode.


The writers of Elementary should give themselves a round of applause for their writing of Sherlock this episode. This is how you evolve a character so that he still retains his unique characteristics without remaining completely static in terms of development. I can think of a good handful of shows that star socially or morally tetchy main characters who remained so set in their ways that they rapidly lost their charm (I'm looking at you Shawn Spencer and Neal Caffrey). In this episode, Sherlock manages to be a good friend to Joan plus works rather well with Bell and even learns to call him by his first name! At the same time, he very much was not willing to help out a fellow apiarist until the guy posted Sherlock's messages and changed his ridiculous username. That's the Sherlock we all know and sometimes want to throttle but we ultimately love.

I liked that while Sherlock was absolutely on his best behavior with Joan following the death of Andrew and really did make an effort to be a good friend to her (like bringing her food and offering to listen), he still remained Sherlock in that he was frowning like crazy at the thought of just having to sit there in silence with Joan rather than work. It spoke a lot to the kind of established rhythm Sherlock and Joan have that he was able to comfort her by giving her some room while still being close by. I smiled a bit when Joan rather happily woke up Sherlock by slamming the books on the desk.

However, despite Sherlock's good peopling with regard to Joan, I do worry about Joan's decision to move back to the brownstone. Her words suggest she's at least unconsciously punishing herself for what happened to Andrew by choosing to deny herself a social life. Sherlock can live the life that he does because that's how he's built but Joan isn't someone who can live a life of isolation, I don't think. It's a fine line between accepting that you lead an unconventional and sometimes dangerous life and cutting yourself off from the things that are important to you. I'm very curious what Sherlock's response will be to her moving back.

I also liked that the show did a good job with Andrew's father. I liked that he doesn't blame Joan directly for what happened to Andrew but he can be upset that certain precautions weren't taken earlier. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense on a practical level that Joan would have guards stationed outside her apartment 24/7 from the start, but he's a grieving parent so he gets a full pass on logistics.

Also, nice job show in completely shocking me with the offscreen return of Jamie Moriarty. This was such a neat way of reminding us she's still out there and a dangerous person. I really wasn't sure how the writers were going to close out the Elena Marsh plot and speculated that they would just leave it dangling but I was so wrong.

On the mystery front, Sherlock and Bell team up to stop someone who stole zebras to try and breed quaggas back into the world. Which is apparently based on a real thing, at least on a phenotypic level. The case was okay. I thought the quagga was pretty cute. And it was kind of fun to watch Sherlock and Bell work a case together.
 
 
 
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on February 14th, 2015 10:06 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you too think that Joan may be making a mistake here! Brilliant Husband thinks that she is thinking clearly and that this is the life she has chosen for herself. He says being a sober companion wasn't a normal life either. Yet she has never wanted exactly what Sherlock has, and I'm afraid that's what she seems to have chosen. I agree that she's punishing herself, even if she doesn't realize it. I think the writers know it, too, and that's why we didn't get to see Sherlock's reaction. He must be torn between wanting her to move back and thinking that this is the best lifestyle for a consulting detective, on the one hand—and, on the other, at least a niggling little suspicion that it's not right for her.

If Joan continues to have friends and a life outside the brownstone, then she may be fine. I'm afraid, though, that her awareness that "Andrew died because he knew me" and his grieving father's reaction, she'll cut herself off. (And you're quite right about his father; it's not fully rational, but of course he's grief-stricken. One day his son introduces him to a woman, and a day or two later, the son has been poisoned by that woman's enemy.)

I really enjoyed seeing Marcus try his hand at being Holmes's partner and sounding board. I think he doesn't have quite the imagination that Joan does, but he's very patient with Sherlock, and he tosses questions back at him, and he's game. I was surprised that Sherlock had nothing worse than an alarm clock to wake him up, but Sherlock may have known he'd be pushing his luck if he went any further than that! The case wasn't very exciting, so it was the changed dynamics that made their interaction interesting. Marcus doesn't have much of a life, either! It also showed how far their relationship had come.

I felt torn about Moriarty—on the one hand, I'm glad the writers haven't forgotten. On the other hand, it was very much deal ex machina: now we don't have to worry about Marsh targeting Joan again, which could get very tedious. Marsh was right: there's not a lot Joan can do to her. But this means Moriarty feels almost omniscient and omnipotent! She heard about the murder and took out Marsh pretty darned quickly, all while being in custody at an unknown location. If she can do all that, why doesn't she just escape?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 18th, 2015 03:04 am (UTC)
Brilliant Husband thinks that she is thinking clearly and that this is the life she has chosen for herself. He says being a sober companion wasn't a normal life either. Yet she has never wanted exactly what Sherlock has, and I'm afraid that's what she seems to have chosen.

I feel like there has to be happy middle for Joan in that she doesn't embrace Sherlock's solitary life but that she acknowledges her own dissatisfaction with a "normal" existence.

The case wasn't very exciting, so it was the changed dynamics that made their interaction interesting. Marcus doesn't have much of a life, either! It also showed how far their relationship had come.

Yeah, the mystery was whatever but I enjoyed seeing someone work with Sherlock whom he wasn't actively mentoring. That it was a relatively pleasant working relationship really does show how far both of them have come.

But this means Moriarty feels almost omniscient and omnipotent! She heard about the murder and took out Marsh pretty darned quickly, all while being in custody at an unknown location. If she can do all that, why doesn't she just escape?

The fact that Moriarty is seemingly choosing to stay incarcerated, for me, ups her scary factor. She's just biding her time which I think makes her a more alarming foe.
X-parrotxparrot on February 15th, 2015 10:10 am (UTC)
I loved this ep! Sherlock was really trying - and really succeeding. And Joan waking him was marvelous.

I'm torn because I'm thrilled to have Joan move back into the brownstone - it just wasn't right, them not being roommates - but at the same time, yeah, she's not doing it for the right reasons. I think you're right that she's punishing herself. The thing is, I think Sherlock is right in that Joan really doesn't want a normal life - but that doesn't mean she wants Sherlock's life, either, she needs to find her own way of being that will make her happy, and Sherlock's life isn't it. Joan needs to be more connected than that. But I don't think she was happy before, either, maybe mostly content, but not really satisfied.

She needs to find the right circles to connect with, and the happy medium between being a detective and having a personal life. Which she may or may not be able to do living in the brownstone, guess we'll see. And yeah, want to see how Sherlock is going to take it.

And Moriarty coming back was so YAAAAAAAY - I love love love how she is doing the badass mastermind thing from in prison; I've always enjoyed characters who can turn any situation whatsoever to their advantage (and Moriarty is maybe the first female character of that type which I've seen, which is extra icing on the delicious supervillain cake!)

Also now I know how to pronounce quagga!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 18th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)
I really do hope that Joan figures out what makes her happy in her life as a PI but also as someone who clearly needs more social connections than Sherlock.

But I don't think she was happy before, either, maybe mostly content, but not really satisfied.

I agree. I think Joan would have perhaps been okay with her life as a doctor and reasonably content. But her suspension and the death of her patient, I think, shook something up in her which sent her on a soul searching that came to a close somewhat when she met Sherlock and accepted her new role as a PI. I was really glad that Joan's mom in that season 1 episode made it clear that Joan was always a bit lost until she started working with Sherlock.

I've always enjoyed characters who can turn any situation whatsoever to their advantage (and Moriarty is maybe the first female character of that type which I've seen, which is extra icing on the delicious supervillain cake!)

That's true! I think this Moriarty might be the first female villain who is a proper supervillain with her all watching eye and abilities to manipulate situations.

Also now I know how to pronounce quagga!

I wonder who got those two quaggas? The zoo? Are we to now believe that Elementary exists in a universe where quaggas are back?
X-parrotxparrot on February 18th, 2015 06:54 am (UTC)
I was researching the quagga a bit after this ep, and it appears that it has indeed been part of a de-extinction - though through back-breeding rather than cloning; genetic analysis has found it's a subspecies of existing zebra, so a group has been trying to selectively breed stock to match the original subspecies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quagga_Project

From what I've found, they haven't been quite as successful as in the show, but our universe might eventually match Elementary's in quagga specimens!
Dusty: ST-VOY. 7 + Dreams of Flightdustlines on February 17th, 2015 03:01 am (UTC)
I haven't been able to watch this yet, but I'm pretty sure I can get it on demand tonight, so I'm excited about it! I'm happy to see Joan and Sherlock becoming closer friends again, but I am really, really going to miss Kitty.:'(
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 18th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)
Let me know what you thought of the episode!