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16 May 2014 @ 02:45 pm
Elementary: The Grand Experiment  
And thus concludes season 2 of Elementary. See everyone for season 3!

I'm usually the first one in line to cheer on a story that features a lot of angst and downer moments. So I was rather surprised at how unhappy and heartbroken I got over how this season concluded. That's not to say there weren't some good moments in this episode but this season's conclusion felt markedly sad compared to the hopeful tone to last season's closer.

I can't even begin to recall the actual plot of how Mycroft got framed and why. So I'll just stick to what I usually stick to with this show which is the character stuff. I'm very very sad about Joan's choice to move out despite my very much supporting her decision and her reasoning. That scene with her and Sherlock talking over the fake blood splatter was one of the best moments of this season with her articulating rather well how she gets drawn into Sherlock so easily; that she ends up orbiting him because he is so fascinating. But she also knows that this cannot be enough for her, she needs space and boundaries so she's making a choice to at least physically distance herself from Sherlock. But she has faith that they will work it out. And in many ways, I felt like Sherlock was echoing her sentiment in his more insular Sherlock-way when he stated that even when they were somewhat at odds with each other, their partnership still works. Case in point, he managed to solve the entire case at the moment Joan refused to back down from her decision to move out.

Joan's characterization throughout this season was overall very strong, giving me faith that TV writers have it in them (or at least some of them) to write good, complicated, interesting female characters. I liked that Joan was smart, brave and independent (calling Everyone when the handler stopped by was awesome! Although why would any member of Everyone show their actual faces?) but also flawed and impulsive. She seemed like a real person. The only real WTF note for me in her depiction was really her relationship with Mycroft. I could, at best, even over my own prejudice of loathing that pairing, still be able to understand it if the writers had given us more than them having a one night stand and a bizarre understanding through their own individual relationship to Sherlock. Joan has always made sense to me, whatever her faults but her rather emotional reaction to Mycroft going on the run and her attachment to him in general felt completely confusing given what we know about her. I was never able to reconcile it by this season's end so it remains a flaw in an otherwise very well written character.

I remained unimpressed with this show's version of Mycroft. Yes, he turned out to be maybe above average clever but he's not at a Holmes level of genius which is what I always expected from him. We got one scene where he sort of vaguely references his own laziness having perhaps prevented him living up to his potential but that felt like a shoddily put together excuse for the writers rather than something insightful about Mycroft himself. His only real positive trait is that he does genuinely seem to love and care about Sherlock. I liked his last hug with Sherlock before leaving but he overall felt rather unremarkable which is a shame.

And then Sherlock. At first when he took that drug out of his book, I very much feared that the show was going to have him relapse so I was less upset when he offered himself to MI6. It's still not a great reaction to Joan leaving but it's at least productive? I do hope though that it's not going to turn into Sherlock falling back on old habits of doing his work while high. Everyone deserves better than that. It also would completely undermine his speech to Joan that he realized after living with her that he's capable of change. Yes, you are, Sherlock! So change! Stop doing harmful things to yourself! Or at least dial it down. And along with Lucy Liu, I thought JLM did some fine acting himself during that blood splatter scene where he described to her how he saw the last 18 months. A grand experiment, indeed. Seriously, Sherlock, don't fall back to old habits.

So while the show did not do a direct Reichenbach episode, it did reference it a bit (Mycroft faking his death) and do it's own spin with Sherlock potentially going off the grid by joining MI6 and leaving Joan alone without much information. I'm very saddened that after the image we got of Sherlock and Joan standing with each other looking at bees with quiet contentment as a season 1 closer, we get them very removed from one another as the closer to season 2. I do hope an estrangement doesn't last for long in season 3.
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on May 17th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
Yes to just about everything! I feel very much the same about Mycroft and Joan, as does BH, so I'm not convinced you simply have a prejudice here. I think it wasn't written well or convincingly, and it wasn't acted well enough to overcome the poor writing. I don't know that there was anything Lucy Liu could have done to convince me. We never saw the charm that Joan is supposed to have seen, which may be a little bit on Rhys Ifans, but may just be the writers.

I am also disappointed in Mycroft. Going to the NSA was a nice twist that I didn't see coming, but I really thought he should have waited and touched base with Sherlock before doing anything irrevocable. Turning him into a martyr for his younger brother didn't quite work for me, and now he has done it twice, first returning to MI-6 and then allowing his death to be faked. As Sherlock said, he never wrote! And he blew up Sherlock's stuff, and he did all kinds of other unpleasant things. I'm not seeing that kind of sacrificial love. Maybe he's just trying to cover it, but I really felt like the writers changed their mind about who the character was, and the actor was doing his very best to convey a different person than he'd originally done.

Also, I was shocked "Everyone" would have their faces there too. Masks, at least! I love that Joan connected to them, though. That was brilliant.

I have decided that Sherlock has joined MI-6 for the real purpose of undoing Le Milieu so that his brother can be resurrected—and he'll have paid off his debt. He'll insist to the end that it was nothing more than making amends, as the program to which he owes his sobriety requires.

I'm not sure what he did with the heroin packet. I really hope we see him dispose of it early in s3.

How long do we have to wait for s3?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 17th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
but I really felt like the writers changed their mind about who the character was, and the actor was doing his very best to convey a different person than he'd originally done.

YES. I think if this had been any other show I would have let this slide but Elementary is usually so good with characters I held them to a higher standard. Their versions of Lestrade, Moriarty and Ms. Hudson were all so good. I'm rather sad the ball got fumbled with Mycroft.

Also, I was shocked "Everyone" would have their faces there too. Masks, at least!

I feel like this show missed a great opportunity to have Everyone don masks that would either all be creepily uniform (probably not likely since Joan just called them) or each one having some sort of Sherlock Holmes original canon in joke.