Elementary: Rat Race


By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

It would be safe to say that most people have heard of Sherlock Holmes, about his intellect and his ability to solve crimes which, without him, may go unsolved. It would also be safe to say that people know of Doctor Watson, about Watson’s being Robin to Holmes’s Batman and how they work together, almost like yin and yang. What Elementary has displayed through the first episodes is that this version of Holmes has deeper emotional and psychological issues that he needs to deal with and that Watson has picked up on these things. It’s also shown character growth and that expands in the most recent episode of Elementary – “Rat Race.”

The episode begins with Watson going to Gregson, worried about Sherlock after hours of not hearing or speaking to him, and telling him the truth about her relationship with the detective, saying she’s his sober companion after his stint in rehab. She’s afraid that he’s had a relapse. Flashback to the beginning of the episode—Watson is now happy and relaxed, out to lunch with a friend, until she is ambushed with a blind date. The date is Aaron. They seemingly hit it off until Watson has to leave to attend to Sherlock, and the two plan for a possible date.

Back with Sherlock, she confronts him about his usage of shorthand texting. She tells him that he is obviously articulate enough to write full, comprehensible messages. He brushes it off saying he’s fascinated with it. Sherlock and Watson are beckoned to a meeting with a company on Wall Street and Sherlock tries his best to look as unimpressive as he can.

At the meeting, they’re told that one of their associates has gone missing, Peter. Sherlock uses his intellect to prove his worth and is allowed into Peter’s office. He doesn’t find much except for a private account that documented his affinity for high priced prostitutes. The two call for a meeting with Peter’s accountant. The meeting with Peter’s accountant leads them to his apartment and that’s where they find him, dead from an apparent accidental drug overdose, at least that’s what the police think. Sherlock believes it’s murder. He says that the first dose of heroin was in Peter’s salad, and then when he was unconscious, he was dragged to the chair and delivered the fatal dosage. When Gregson doesn’t believe him he asks what junkie would have the life Peter had, but Watson let us know that one of the drugs that landed Sherlock in rehab was heroin.

Back at home, Watson tries to have a moment with Sherlock to discuss what he saw and how it affected him. He says he’s fine and reminds her of her date with Aaron. Out on the date, things are going well until the very end when something feels off to Watson. She tells Sherlock later that it’s something she never would have noticed before meeting him, but she thinks Aaron was lying about him ever being married. Sherlock looks him up and finds out that while Aaron wasn’t lying about being married in the past, he is currently married.

The next day, Sherlock arranges another board meeting to try and call their attention to a possible murderer among their midst. Sherlock apparently make a mistake and later, annoyed, he contemplates his misdirection in the case and shoos Watson out of the house so that he can think in peace and not disturb her with the racket he may possibly make. As he sits alone, he comes up with who must have been the murderer all along, Peter’s secretary.

Sherlock goes to confront her and ends up on the receiving end of a taser. In the car, she tells him why she did it and tells him that someone has been texting him a lot ever since she knocked him out. It’s Watson, and she decides to text back so that no one will suspect a thing. However, back with Watson and Gregson, she gets the text and immediately knows something wrong because it isn’t in Sherlock’s typical shorthand. It’s all about the little, seemingly inconsequential moments.

As the killer tries to get Sherlock to dig his own grave, he adamantly refuses, and instead tries to get her to talk more, stalling for time as he picks his way out of his handcuffs. As the exchange takes place the police suddenly arrive and she, surprised, is allowed to be overtaken by Sherlock just as he’s managed to unlock himself. Joan and Sherlock sit in the aftermath as he tries to give her something of a compliment. She tells him that she had feared he had relapsed and had been forced to tell Gregson of their condition. Holmes goes to confess to Gregson who, in turn, tells him that he’s proud he made out of rehab and he’s still the best detective he’s got.

It’s seems as if the writers are, rather than showcasing Sherlock’s intellect and having that be the main draw of the show, are instead showing what his intellect and how he uses it can affect his life, and how does he live with such a gift. We’re getting the private life of Sherlock Holmes and instead of simply being wowed by his masterful mind, we’re being moved by him and his daily struggles. As Watson and Holmes grow a little closer each episode, with Watson still deserving some more exploration, audiences begin to get a clearer look at just how Holmes works and it’s captivating. Here is the man behind the cases.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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