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30 January 2014 @ 11:44 pm
Elementary: Dead Clade Walking  
While I haven't been posting about Elementary in awhile, I'm still watching.

I also slip into some Elementary/Sherlock comparisons in this review again. I apologize. I'm really not trying to say one is better than the other (it doesn't work like that!).

Once again the mystery was completely ho hum but we get to see Sherlock and Joan swap roles for a little bit.

While Joan spearheads a cold case of Sherlock's, Sherlock gets to take an active role as sponsor for Randy. I'm really glad this show didn't just drop the storyline of Sherlock becoming a sponsor because in terms of character development, I thought it demonstrated all the ways in which Sherlock has grown as a human being. I really very much liked how he stopped himself from siccing the cops on Eve because he knew it would not Be Good, even though he saw it as a good solution. I liked that he didn't prioritize the case above Randy's sobriety, even if he momentarily forgot in the beginning. I especially liked how while Joan was chopping shallots, Sherlock basically associated out loud to eventually end up at the conclusion that his own vanity is tied to Randy's sobriety and he knows he's not in control of neither Randy nor his addiction.

This idea of Sherlock having a level of self-awareness and a "take me as I am, World" attitude has been shining point for me in JLM's portrayal. I like that Sherlock recognizes flaws in himself (or truths, as he might say), some which he's attempting to correct and others he just has accepted as part of his personality. And I like that while Joan often challenged him in season 1 to really self-examine, season 2 has left Sherlock to be the one to really actively engage in changing himself. With the most recent season of Sherlock, it feels like the writers are trying to evolve Sherlock a bit on the emotional front in that he can be very blunt in stating his affections for John and altering his behavior because he wants the people he cares about (John, Mary) to be happy. Even if he doesn't always get WHY certain things make them happy. It's good. It's a good shift. My general take on Elementary's Sherlock is that he does moderate himself around Joan because he thinks so highly of her (he's said so himself) but the larger changes he's making in his life (being a sponsor) seem motivated by a more general cause that he wants his own life to be richer, which I like. It all feels like a nice progression for this version of Sherlock whose past addiction issue has been central to the character in contrast to the BBC Sherlock where the addiction component was more downplayed.

In any case, I also liked that Randy did fall off the wagon ultimately. Not good as in hooray, he's suffering. More good in that we see the system is imperfect and sometimes the best intentions lead to not the optimal conclusion. I can't actually weigh in on whether or not Sherlock made the wrong choice by telling Randy he had to get rid of Eve. Maybe he shouldn't have laid it out the way he did but I'm not entirely sure if constantly just being there to listen to Randy be ambivalent about Eve would have necessarily led to him staying sober. I was pleased that Randy did reach back out to Sherlock and that the latter is now getting a chance to see what it's like to try and be the sober one, watching the struggling sober one.

It was also a huge pleasure to watch Joan and Sherlock investigate a case as very much a team. While Sherlock gave his input as he always does, Joan also made some good links and deductions which Sherlock clearly valued. He may be feeling a little discouraged in his role as a sponsor this week but he should really feel good about his role as a mentor to Joan's developing detective.
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on February 1st, 2014 12:47 am (UTC)
I was underwhelmed by the mystery, but I'd rather have a poor mystery and good character scenes than the other way around, to be honest, so I was pretty pleased with this one.

I was very pleased with the Randy storyline: with how important Randy's sobriety is to Sherlock and Sherlock's struggles with his own motivation as well as what to do, with Randy trying to get help and then coming back even after he fell off the wagon, with Joan not trying to take over or even give much advice (surely she was tempted!). . . . I think Sherlock gave the best advice he could, and I think he was right. I'm not sure he could have put it in a way that Randy would be able to accept it until Randy got high again, because Randy already knew that Sherlock was right.

I loved Joan in this episode: inviting someone Sherlock didn't know to their home, waking him up by throwing clothes at him, and generally being full of win! She solved one of the cold cases. I feel like the writers hedged a little by having it be a case on which Sherlock had been high and hadn't done his best, but maybe that's a necessary starting point. The ones he couldn't get when he was cold sober are going to be harder, I'd expect.

formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 1st, 2014 03:48 am (UTC)
I've really enjoyed the way this show has handled Joan's growth as an investigator. I like that they make her competent but not idealistically so where she's solving cases without Sherlock's help or solving cases that had stumped Sherlock when he was at his sharpest.

Her throwing the clothes on Sherlock was a nice parallel to the blizzard episode where he woke her up in exactly the same way. The role swapping was good fun to see and I'm glad everyone showed growth.