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Friday, 16 of April of 2021

Elementary – “One Way to Get Off”

It’s always fun watching a show find its feet.

Elementary came out of the gate very self-assured for a new show, very certain of its tone and style and direction. It has also been very certain of its characters – who they are, where they’ve been, and where they are going. While Sherlock and Watson are clearly the focus of the show, its nice to see some time being spent developing – or, perhaps more accurately, displaying – the show’s other characters.

While we’ve had a bit of Gregson so far, it’s always been in relation to other characters. Most of his personality has been shown through his interactions with Sherlock and Watson. “One Way to Get Off” gives us a bit of Gregson-for-Gregson’s-sake. I do hope this is a sign of things to come.

I’m a little surprised we’re getting a case connected to Gregson’s past so early on. This feels like the sort of thing that would typically turn up later in a series. I’m not complaining, however, as we will no doubt get more of the same in the future and the plot here gives Gregson’s Aidan Quinn some delicious drama to play with.

Of course Sherlock knows about Gregson’s past; that seems to be running theme between the two of them. Of course Sherlock has read the case file of Wade Crewes’ home invasion double murders. And of course Sherlock notices something that no one else gave any weight to (much to my utter disbelief): a single highly expensive shoe missing from each crime scene. Uncharacteristically for him (at least so far), Gregson completely discounts the significance of the shoes and flat-out refuses to believe that there may be any connection between Crewes’ crimes and the most recent murders. He is vehemently against a possible connection or speaking with Crewes, despite Sherlock and logic pointing in that direction.

“Don’t people lose shoes all the time?”
“Not thousand dollar ones.”

 Sherlock eventually brings Gregson around courtesy a ballistics test that proves that the bullets from all the murders match. (Though, why Sherlock didn’t suggest the ballistics test – or perform it himself, as he is wont to do – earlier, we may never know.) At any rate, Gregson stays touchy about the whole subject despite (or perhaps because of) accepting that the murder are connected. Things don’t get any better when his old partner from the Crewes days shows up – after Sherlock called her, of course. It’s Dr. Dani, you guys!

I appreciate Gregson’s reticence and prickliness: it’s completely within character for him as a cop and makes him more flawed and complex. No cop wants to think they’ve put away the wrong person and no cop wants to be told they missed a vital piece of evidence, at least no cop on Gregson’s level. And I like the way the show made it initially seem like Gregson may have, in a moment of frustration, planted the evidence that put Crewes behind bars. I wouldn’t have liked it had things gone in that direction, but I would have understood it. Thankfully, the dirty cop was Dr. Dani, not Gregson. This also allowed for some great drama time for Gregson as he was confronted by a very uncertain and conflicted Sherlock, did his own confronting with Dr. Dani, vowed to reveal the truth should Crewes be innocent, and made his case to Sherlock for not being the evidence planter and making said vow. It’s good stuff and – based both on Sherlock’s observations and my own – I feel like this isn’t the last we’ll see of Dr. Dani and Gregson’s past. I’m excited!

We didn’t get as much of face-off between Sherlock and the Big Bad this week, but I don’t mind since that time was given over to a episode-long stand-off between Sherlock and Watson. Despite the fact that they’re quite domestic (or even adding to that effect), Sherlock and Watson are having their first big tiff. Following last week’s Irene bombshell, Sherlock is snubbing Watson and Watson finally has enough.

I love that Sherlock is very uppity about the whole thing, all, “Welcome to our new arrangement,” and Watson, meanwhile, is all, “You know I’m not going to [let this go],” and then flounces off. AND STRAIGHT TO SHERLOCK’S REHAB. Because Watson is very SRS BSNZ about her BSNZ.

She doesn’t glean much from the rehab director or Sherlock’s group therapist, but that shouldn’t be surprising. With her mad skills of observation, she does manage to put bees and smoke together to make nice with the bee-loving groundskeeper, who Sherlock befriended because he was “the only person in this place wtihout an agenda.” Even so, Watson almost walks away empty handed when the groundskeeper pretends not to know about Irene. He relents based off of her reaction and gives her the personal effects Sherlock left behind: a stack of letters from Irene in a lovely little box.

The episode vacillates a little with a will-she-won’t-she over Watson reading the letters, but in the end it isn’t surprising that she chooses not to. She wants to know about Sherlock, but she also thinks the only way that will be beneficial is if Sherlock is the one who gives her the information. Part of the rehab-to-real-life process is getting people to open up about the problems that got them into rehab in the first place.

As he is wont to do, Sherlock does eventually open up a little. As she is wont to do, Watson knows when to stop pushing.

“I’m going to bed. Goodnight.”
“She died.”
“Irene?”
“We were quite close. I did not take her passing well. Goodnight.”

The show has done so well with its elements so far that I am extremely excited to see what they will do with Irene. What exactly will be the nature of her relationship with Sherlock? How did they meet? How did she die? Once again, is Moriarty going to come into play? She’s dead, so will they use flashbacks to show her with Sherlock? The show hasn’t used flashbacks yet so long as you exclude the mini flashes that detail Sherlock’s hyper-observation. Will we even see her at all?

One thing I do know: we are definitely going to get more of this delicious Sherlock, Watson, and emotions trifecta. And we will all be a little better for it.

 

 

Extras:

  • Sherlock has the Psycho strings as his ringtone. I love it.
  • Warning to criminalistic fans of obscure football teams: eschew the tattoos.
  • SHERLOCK’S ACCENTS. I do hope they become a running gag. I’ve quite enjoyed them thusfar.
  • “I left some urine in your room.” “Please tell me it’s in a cup.”
  • Potential suspect is blind in his right eye. Sherlock gets that from spilled orange juice, an unbalanced arrangement of toiletries, and blue marks on the ceiling. This is why we’re here. (Though I would have appreciated us getting to see the blue marks that Sherlock was so clearly staring at during the room inspection. We want all the clues, too!)
  • Know how I mentioned that I love the opening credits? There was just something about them. NOW I KNOW.
  • Special focus on Sherlock’s actions concerning Katya: his rushed efforts to get to her, the gentle way he speaks to her, his reaction when she clings to him in terror and relief, his expression and tone when he relays what she tells him about her captivity. I so dearly love this Sherlock, his humanity and vulnerability, and the shell he wears to protect them.

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