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10 April 2014 @ 11:05 pm
Elementary: No Lack of Void  
I think I've gone back to caring about the character stuff and putting the actual mystery in the backseat again.

Several pounds of Anthrax are missing, potentially meaning a statewide crisis. Holmes and Watson are on the case but that barely felt like the point of this episode.

Alistair (Roger Rees), the actor whom Sherlock once got to pretend to be his dad in season 1 passes away. It's only after his death that we learn he was a recovering drug addict with 30 years sobriety before a relapse led to his demise. I'd actually forgotten about Alistair's character all together until this episode so I wasn't personally upset to hear he was gone. Nor could I immediately drum up intense sympathy for Sherlock because I didn't recall them being that close. However, the show managed to do a nice job of using Sherlock's reactions to illustrate the unpleasant stages of how death can affect those left behind. I liked that the show didn't shy away from Sherlock narcissism in jumping directly to how in the hell he was going to survive sobriety if after 30 years, drugs still killed Alistair. I liked how he went about trying to figure it out in a very Sherlock way of trying to solve it like a mystery and unintentionally leaving Alistair's partner and son deeply unsettled and/or angry. I actually sort of wish there had been a scene where Sherlock went back to visit Ian or Jeremy afterward to apologize.

As much as Sherlock did upturn a lot, I did love JLM's acting when Sherlock spoke to Watson about needing to figure out the trigger for the relapse. I loved Joan laying out for Sherlock how he was going to have to live each day, him sarcastically telling her thanks for telling him something he already knew and her throwing it back by asking when he was going to start acting like he knew. I was glad though that Sherlock had come to recognize his fixation on himself in the wake of Alistair's passing on his own rather than have Joan need to point it out to him.

I was less of a fan of Alistair appearing to Sherlock at various moments but I guess they had to use Rees for something. In the end, Sherlock is able to untangle his own story with addiction from Alistair's and simply tell his lost friend that he loved him and will miss him. It's a nice, simple expression of feeling from Sherlock and continuing emotional growth for him which was lovely.

RIP, Alistair. We barely knew you. Really.
Liliaethliliaeth on April 11th, 2014 03:15 am (UTC)
I've got to admit, that I liked that they didn't use a more established character for the sake of a one ep emotional effect. A lesser show would have just used Alfredo for the same plotline.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on April 11th, 2014 03:17 am (UTC)
A lesser show would have just used Alfredo for the same plotline.

You're totally right. And I would have wailed if he had been the one to go.

Alistair's death was more in service of us seeing Sherlock's reaction to it so it was better than a one off character was used.
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on April 12th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
When Alistair first appeared, I thought for a moment that Sherlock must be hallucinating—had he already been exposed to anthrax? Had someone drugged him? I wasn't a fan of that bit.

I thought the storyline overall was good, though--the B plot, not so much the mystery.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on April 16th, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
I wasn't a fan of that bit.

I'm almost never a fan of characters "seeing" someone who has died. Unless we're talking about legit ghosts. It worked okay in terms of getting Sherlock to "tell" his feelings to Alistair and I did like the "Waiting for Godot" quote. But as a general narrative device I tend to frown at it.