Saturday, April 26, 2014

Elementary - The Man with the Twisted Lip

While investigating a disappearance of an acquaintance from AA and the murder of a drone designer, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) is distracted by the unannounced return of his brother Mycroft (Rhys Ifans) who has plans to remain in New York for the foreseeable future and begin seeing Watson (Lucy Liu) socially again. Given that the audience knows Mycroft needs Holmes to return to London, although not why, every aspect of his interaction with Joan (and what happens to her later in the episode) must be viewed with a suspicious eye.

The murder investigation points Holmes and Watson to a guilty secret which the scientist was about to reveal and the engineer's former employers who dispatch one bug-sized reconnaissance drone to spy on the detectives and another to poison a suspect in police custody before he can tie the company to the recent deaths. Eventually Holmes is able to create a trap to snag the head of the company while relying on a bluff and Watson's new-found safe-cracking skills.

Other than simply causing tension between Holmes and Watson, Mycroft's return also alerts Holmes, and later Watson, to some rather unscrupulous business being done in the man's New York restaurant. Without back-up, Watson decides to do a little snooping of her own which gets Holmes' partner in a bit of trouble setting up the season's final three episodes.

The tease of taking a Watson/Mycroft relationship to the next level is well-handled, as is the continued introduction of a darker side to Mycroft's world who is likely to be revealed as something far more complicated than just a restaurant owner. Watson's abduction will force to the two brothers to work together, but I have to wonder whether her kidnapping was done with or without the knowledge of the older Holmes brother. Is it just bad luck for Watson or is this a piece of Mycrof's latest attempt to convince his brother to return home by taking away one of the only reasons Sherlock has to stay in New York?

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