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31 January 2015 @ 08:52 pm
Elementary: The One That Got Away  
A lot happened in this one.

Emotions were high in the conclusion of this 2 parter. I'll start out by saying that in general the track record for the writers of Elementary is excellent, particularly in the character department. And one way in which the writers always wrote smartly was by allowing their characters to act like real people who make real people mistakes and bear the consequences. At times I felt like they were toeing the line here with this episode but after I watched it twice (mainly because the first time I was too upset about a lot of things to take it in properly), I enjoyed mostly what we got.

Plot-wise, I really liked their profiling of Del Gruner. The story struck the right notes in terms of showing Gruner's malicious narcissism and I particularly enjoyed the plot about how he orchestrated things to keep tabs on his son. Even the detail of how quickly Gruner lost his temper when Joan got closer to his real relationship with Tabitha Laird felt very true to everything I've ever been taught about these types of narcissists who are too used to things going their way to hide their anger when events take a sharp downward turn. So my hats off to the writers for giving us a very hateful, accurate narcissist.

So on to the character stuff. I was at first very disappointed when Joan didn't immediately believe Kitty that Gruner was her kidnapper and chalked it up to her deteriorating mental state. But then I tried to make an allowance for the fact that sure, if you're not watching this story unfold as a viewer and are a participant in said story, Kitty's accusation could sound a bit out there. Still, I was very glad that Joan didn't stubbornly hold onto her skepticism the more Sherlock laid out why Gruner was an excellent suspect. And then of course she got fired which set everything off.

I enjoyed seeing the early days of Kitty and Sherlock's working relationship because it looked a lot like the way I imagined it. Kitty being wary and closed off, Sherlock being impatient and comparing Kitty to Joan. In the end, I thought the episode did a good enough job showing the roots of their relationship and how it developed at a critical point in both Kitty and Sherlock's individual lives that it made their current connection to one another very strong and wholly different from Sherlock and Joan's relationship. While I was a little disappointed that we didn't see Kitty getting a chance to say goodbye to Joan, I sort of understood why the episode chose to focus in on Sherlock and Kitty.

The minute Kitty said she was leaving for England, I knew she was going to pull a Sherlock From Season 1 and stay behind to try and murder Gruner. On one hand, I really wanted Sherlock to stop Kitty directly because her life shouldn't be completely ruined as a murderer because of someone as worthless as Gruner. On the other hand, I liked Sherlock's acknowledgement that he cannot know what Kitty is feeling and can only give her facts such as him always being her friend. I was glad that Sherlock's respect for and faith in Kitty sort of paid off as she did not murder Gruner. She just horribly disfigured him which might be worse for someone like him.

I was really anxious about how the show was going to handle Kitty's actions. In the end, I think the tone they struck where things felt unresolved and plenty sad was about right. Kitty has to go on the run and while Sherlock is still her friend, he also acknowledges why Gregson would have to go after her if and when Gruner talks. As a general rule of life, I don't believe in an eye for an eye. But I've also never been in Kitty's shoes so a part of me felt like she had earned the right to do onto Gruner a small piece of what he did onto her. I think I was just more sad that Kitty was once someone who wasn't like this before Gruner and I'm sad now that she has to leave. Her last phone conversation with Sherlock sort of sums it all up where the focus is on loss (how she hasn't said 'I love you' to anyone in so long) rather than a justification of her actions or a sense of her being whole again after she confronted Gruner. Despite all that's happened, I do hope this isn't the last we see of Kitty because it very much feels like her story with Sherlock and Joan is not over.
aelfgyfu_mead: Joan Watsonaelfgyfu_mead on February 2nd, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
Aw, Kitty. I'm a little heartbroken. I'm glad she didn't kill him, but I felt sick about what she did too—it kept me awake a while last night. (Yes, I have to be careful about what I watch on tv. That's why I don't watch Orphan Black or The Blacklist and should never have gotten into Being Human. I know perfectly well that they're all fiction, but some part of my head doesn't get that and dwells on bad things.)

At the same time, I found what she did really believable. I also found Sherlock's talk with her very much in character for him—and something that he couldn't have done even several months ago. I wanted her to just give Gruner up, see if they could get the kidnapping charges dropped or decreased—Kitty had loads of reasons for doing what she did, and I know the captain would have been sympathetic (though he also has to follow the laws). I bet he could have found a sympathetic person in the DA's office. I think what she did harmed Kitty, too—she will have to live with having done that and with maybe never going back to New York. I don't know how hard they'll pursue her and whether she can go back to her family in London. I feel really bad for her. Yet I can see that just turning him over to the law wouldn't feel like enough. I'm glad she took Sherlock's words to heart: I was afraid from the moment they showed us the nutmeg stuff in the recap that she would kill him and dispose of the body, and Gregson might never be able to prove it, but they'd all always know.

I too hope we see Kitty again.

I'm sorry that Joan didn't get to say goodbye. At first, I was disappointed that Joan didn't immediately believe Kitty, but of course it would be an absurd coincidence. She needed Sherlock to explain the evidence that it wasn't coincidence, because naturally she wanted to believe that she had been hired for her talents, not because she happened to be near someone Gruner wanted. I was glad she came around so quickly when Sherlock reasoned with her. I also think someone had to doubt to get the audience on board: Sherlock laid out Gruner's motives and actions because Joan didn't believe Kitty. If they'd both believed her at once, they'd have skipped that bit of dialogue.

I could believe Gruner and Tabitha Laird too, and I really felt for Tabitha. It must have looked to her like these detectives were just out to get Gruner, but she just couldn't take the chance that they were right and not check.

The only thing I don't get is how Gruner knew Kitty was even in New York. Chance? Was he keeping tabs on the police to know if they got wind of his activities, and he recognized her? I'm leaning towards the latter. At that point, he starts keeping tabs, and he has a large number of investigators at his disposal; it would be easy to learn who is important in her life. I think he never counted on Kitty hearing and recognizing his voice, nor on everyone drawing around to support her once she did.

I almost cried for Kitty at the end. I hope we see her again—not right away, but in time.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 2nd, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC)
I feel really bad for her. Yet I can see that just turning him over to the law wouldn't feel like enough.

I think this is where the writers did a nice job of creating conflicting feelings for the viewers. I didn't want Kitty to do anything that would get her into further trouble with the law because Gruner had already had such a negative effect on her. At the same time, it felt like if she just turned him over and washed her hands of him, it would just not be enough. In the end, I just felt really sad that things had to end up this way.

The only thing I don't get is how Gruner knew Kitty was even in New York. Chance? Was he keeping tabs on the police to know if they got wind of his activities, and he recognized her?

Given how much he fixated on her being the one who got away after breaking his fingers, I agree with you that he was probably keeping his feelers out to see if the police was closing in on him at all and immediately recognized Kitty. I'm guessing he has some sort of contact at the police who may have mentioned at some point that there's a new British woman consulting with the police, closing cases and Gruner looked in on that.