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10 January 2013 @ 11:12 pm
Elementary: M  
I've fallen waaaaaay behind in reviewing the episodes, even though I've been watching pretty faithfully. But this last one before the break was pretty awesome so...

I have no idea what's wrong with my brain lately because despite the fact that I knew Vinnie Jones couldn't possibly be Moriarty, I completely did not then go to the logical conclusion that he must be Sebastian Moran. Jones' whole character totally fits what an updated Moran may be like: smart, competent, ruthless, and a complete thug. Considering how often I've wanted Sherlock to give us a modernized Moran, I'm embarrassed I did not deduce it from the start.

I actually thought throughout most of the episode that Watson might leave but continue to work with Holmes on a more unofficial capacity. But the ending completely warmed my heart. I do wonder though if Holmes is able to tell that Watson is lying about his father agreeing to let her stay on. I'm guessing he can but is either ignoring it or repressing it out of the sheer desire for Watson to stay on. Either way, I can't wait for the fall out.

My only complaint about this episode is the once again poor usage of Irene Adler. Elementary's update is less overtly insulting but it again placed Adler in the role of a romantic interest for Holmes which NEVER FAILS TO ANNOY ME. Can't we ever get an Irene Adler that's at least somewhat close to ACD's original version?
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on January 12th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
I too am very upset with what they've done with Irene Adler.

I didn't see Moran coming, though I should have—but he seemed more a thug than I would have expected. If they'd had a sniper, I'd have guessed it at once! Also, they've changed so much that I don't necessarily expect characters to be at all as they are in the books: if Irene had any special skills, they have quite notably failed to mention them. Joan has no military background (and I don't know if Moran does). Holmes sleeps with women. I should have expected Moran, I guess, but I didn't. (After all, in canon, Holmes doesn't get Moran until long after Moriarty.)

Did you notice that the text to Joan came from "M. Holmes"? Have they made Mycroft his father? shudder Or are we supposed to be worried about the presence of yet another M in Holmes's life? Ms seem to be up to no good.

Joan was the best thing about the episode—as usual. I was not happy with Holmes at all. He has only delayed his revenge until he finds the right target. That's not the Holmes I know, and I'm not sure it's a Holmes I'd want to know. In the heat of the moment? Oh, I could totally see him clobbering someone who messed with one of the few people who mattered to him—maybe even killing the perp. But planned torture? No. Do not want. (I also wish we'd never let Small Child start watching. She insists that she isn't bothered by the violence, which I find more disturbing than if she were bothered. We try to talk about the episodes in not too heavy-handed a way, though—pausing the TiVo to ask what Joan should do when she found the photo and understood Sherlock's plan. "Tell the NYPD," SC said without hesitation.)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 12th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
In a series of emails with guardian_chaos, I told her that I'd rather prefer this show goes the route of making Irene Adler evil if they have to rather than completely out of the picture from the start. Granted, I'm suspicious that perhaps she isn't dead. I'd rather the twist be that she orchestrated this battle between Moriarty and Holmes from the start because for personal reasons, she wants Moriarty dead and decided to use Holmes as the weapon. Hence the starting the relationship with him and then faking her death.

In an ideal world I'd rather get a modernized Irene Adler who shares more in common with the original in that her honor is impeachable. But at this point I'd rather she be the ultimate villain with some sense of agency than be yet another Love Interest or even worse The Dead Love Interest.
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on January 12th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
I'm suspicious that perhaps she isn't dead
Ooh—I like that! Perhaps hers was one of the bodies never found, and the lab work on the blood was faked? We have Holmes's own admission that he just got completely high and was useless after her death (or is that "death").

Better Evil Than Dead. Good slogan?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 12th, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
I believe many a former hero turned villain has used that slogan.

Oh! But yes, I forgot to reply that yes, I did notice the message to Watson was from an M. Holmes. It made me think that maybe there is no Pater Holmes and it's been Mycroft forcing his brother to enter rehab all along. Why this has to be a sort of secret for the audience, I'm not sure. But surely they can't be giving yet another M name to a character on this show?
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on January 12th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
I wondered too whether Mycroft is in fact the one running the whole thing, paying Joan, but then I'd expect Sherlock to figure it out and say disparaging things about his brother.

I was also perplexed that M. Holmes would not want her to stay on, and I wonder if that message is really from M. Holmes or someone spoofing the number. Or maybe Moriarty engaged her all along! Holmes is no fun to play with when he's strung out, so Moriarty wanted him sober before starting a new game!

I suppose Father Holmes was there in England and so may originally have been involved; Sherlock seems to believe he hired Joan and made the restaurant date with her, even if he never was going to show.

Now I've about convinced myself that Daddy Holmes checked Sherlock into rehab, but Moriarty hired Joan.

I don't really like this Sherlock Holmes, which is a problem for me. The Sherlock of Sherlock isn't my favorite character on the show; in fact, I think he comes after John, Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, and Molly, in that order; I might stick Sarah somewhere in there as well! But I do like him. I don't like JLM's Holmes. I don't like the sex with prostitutes (and twins), the way he treats Joan sometimes (though he has improved significantly), and most of all the way he cold-bloodedly plotted torture and eventual murder as revenge. Also, he's an idiot to have thought Joan couldn't figure out why he was looking at that property.
formerly lifeinsomniac: JoanWatsonjoonscribble on January 12th, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
Now I've about convinced myself that Daddy Holmes checked Sherlock into rehab, but Moriarty hired Joan.

Now THAT would be an inspired twist.

I'm strangely okay with this Holmes. On paper I totally see why he's off putting and he's certainly the least Holmes-ish of all the incarnations. I took his usage of prostitutes to be in a lot of ways how he was once addicted to drugs in that he is in many ways a slave to his bodily urges. He prides himself on having a first rate mind but it's clear that this hardly puts him above bodily impulses. If anything, his heightened powers of observation seem tied to an increased vulnerability to external stimulus, drugs or otherwise.

For both the BBC Sherlock and the original, drug use seemed to be a way of stemming boredom but it's always felt like this Holmes doesn't get bored per se but is addicted to the actual rush of having his senses firing if that makes sense.

I also largely credit that JLM's acting is never aggressive enough to make me believe that he can be a cold-blooded torturer. The second he revealed he was going to do this, I knew it wasn't going to happen. One, because clearly the writers don't want to go there but also it felt off from what we've been seeing of his Holmes so far. His treatment of Joan doesn't get me nearly as riled up as Sherlock's treatment of Molly but this is probably because unlike Molly, Joan so does not put up with half his crap.
aelfgyfu_mead: Watson plotaelfgyfu_mead on January 12th, 2013 03:40 am (UTC)
Sherlock's treatment of Molly is one of the big reasons he's at the bottom of my list of characters I like on the BBC version. I do think he has learned, though, and I hope he'll never be quite so thoughtless again!

Yes, this Holmes isn't like the others. It's a much looser adaptation. I figured something would stop Holmes from torturing the man solely because the show couldn't come back from that. He seemed pretty ready to do it, and he did stab the man in the stomach, just to show that he could! But that's okay, because Moran won't tell. I didn't like that bit at all.

If it weren't for Joan, I'd have bailed on this show weeks ago. She makes it worth watching. She's smart, she's learning from him, and she's pretty darned stubborn herself.
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Coming Alongawanderingbard on January 12th, 2013 04:26 am (UTC)
I've sort of resigned myself to the fact that pretty much all adaptations of Sherlock Holmes will make Irene Adler into the love interest. In fact, one of the few things I liked about bbc!Irene was that Sherlock didn't appear to be attracted to her in that way. I have to admit that I agree with Moffatt somewhat that I don't really understand what makes Irene Adler so special in the story. The resolution to Scandal in Bohemia never struck me as particularly clever, or at least not worthy of the amount of admiration Holmes seems to heap on her. I'm sure it was more surprising at the time it was written. But it's sort of an anticlimax to me. I don't agree with how Moffatt choose to rectify it, but I can see how changes were needed to make the story exciting to a modern audience. I find the original stories sometimes suffer from Holmes appearing clever because everyone else is so stupid and Irene is merely not stupid and that makes her special.

Um, I think I've wandered off topic. L'anyway: I am still really enjoying Elementary and Mum is loving it. The crimes and resolutions are very meh to me, but I enjoy the character stuff. I'm very pleased with this partnership of equals that Holmes and Watson have going. I feel like if they had a bit more time for each episode, like an hour without commercials, they could tell even better stories. I'm too spoiled by British television runtimes, I guess.

I did suspect Sebastian Moran might be M, but I admit to having been exposed to speculation on tumblr. I didn't think he could be Moriarty. Moriarty doesn't get his hands dirty. I did like the slightly darker Holmes we saw, as well. Not so cuddly and very clinical about what he was doing. Though I felt like Joan should have been slightly more worried than she was. If he'd told me he was going to torture and kill someone, there would have been more yelling on my part.

I've often wondered if Holmes didn't hire Joan himself and that's why she can never get a hold of Papa. But it wouldn't surprise me if Mycroft had decided to play father and take matters in to his own hands. Or that Holmes calls him father ironically.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 12th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
Given how much this show is about turning the characters on their heads, I did think at some point in the episode that maybe Vinnie Jones really was Moriarty and the show was going in a different direction with the character. But then he got caught by Holmes pretty early and I knew he couldn't be. But for a brief moment I started to entertain myself with the idea that this show's Moriarty was a total thug.