Sunday, April 13, 2014

Elementary - No Lack of Void

When a pickpocket in holding dies from exposure to Anthrax, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) are called in to help Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) in the police's hunt to discover the source of the biological weapon which killed the thief before it is used to do far more damage. While working the case Holmes is also forced to deal with the unexpected death of his old friend Alistair (Roger Rees) and the repercussions of how his friend celebrating more than three decades of sobriety met his end.

Holmes is able to help the police trace their way back to the maksehift lab used to grow the biological weapon but by the time they arrive they only find the man hired to cook the compound as the 40lbs. of Anthrax which could be weaponized to kill 500,000 people is still missing. A little out of control, Holmes acts rashly and accidentally exposes himself and two members of a militant anti-government group to what he believes is the missing Anthrax only to discover it's a fake.

Talking with a high-up member of the group (Michael Medeiros) screwed over and given fake Anthrax leads Holmes to look into a pair of estranged brothers and their cattle farm which holds the true secret to the creation of the drug, the deception involving the fake Anthrax, and the monetary rather than terrorist motives behind the entire plot.

I had hoped to see Roger Rees reprise his role so I'm somewhat disappointed that Elementary's writers decided to kill him off. However, his death is used to underscore several important pieces of the show's main character including the small group whom he calls friends and the daily battle with sobriety which will get no easier, even after 30 years. The storyline allows the episode to also play on a humanity and shame of the character (who at first hides the real facts about his friend's death from Watson) while allowing Holmes to struggle to work through the unexpected news both intellectually and emotionally.

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