Wed, May. 22nd, 2013, 03:20 pm || Elementary 1x19-1x22

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Elementary 1x19 Snow Angels

I watched this several weeks ago, so now I don't remember much. I like that it was less murderful than most Elementary episodes, in that the bulk of the episode is about the heist. Also, as pretty much everyone has noted, Pam is fun, and Clyde is back!

I liked Ms. Hudson very much, particularly her book reorganization strategy (I like all people who have a strategy for book reorganization), and I liked that it wasn't a Special Trans Episode. That said, I am cis and could very well have missed something.

And yay Marcus going off detecting and using a lightbulb to detect wig hair!

Elementary 1x20 Dead Man's Switch

I was not too pleased with the fat shaming and the rape narrative in this episode. The fat shaming was particularly bad, from the man using his weight to make false accusations against various companies for easy money to the discovery of his naked corpse. First, the corpse was kind of grisly for the show's overall tone, and it seemed like it was chosen in some ways to further remark on Bloom's weight.

I was also kind of disappointed with the rape narrative, which centers the pain around the fathers of the women who were raped, as opposed to the women themselves. Though at least it isn't a "stranger in the bushes" type rape, it did still seem to be stranger rape, and I very much would like more TV shows to acknowledge that most people are raped by people they know. Alas.

Things I liked: the further confirmation that Sherlock, despite his abrasiveness, wants to help people, and I loved the little scene between him and Gregson. I also like that Gregson won't blatantly cover stuff up, because he has his own job, but he will at least let Sherlock know that the blackmailer's body was found. And the small affirmation that Gregson is a man whose opinion Sherlock respects was another nice note.

Alfredo! Hello! I'm a little torn about his bit to Sherlock about sometimes doing things for the community instead of for yourself, since I think everyone fights addiction their own way and shouldn't have to do things just to be an example for other people. On the other hand, as pretty much everyone has noticed, Sherlock is pretty damn self absorbed and frequently places himself in a category that is different from "everyone else." The disparity between his opinion of his lofty genius and his empathy for many of the victims (esp. in this episode) is interesting, and I like that Alfredo's comment really makes Sherlock think about his fellow recovering addicts and empathize with them in a way that he has been able to do with victims of other cases.

I also love that Alfredo and Joan don't push Sherlock to talk; they hold out a hand, note Sherlock's resistance and maybe argue a little, and then after stating their piece, they don't push it. And Sherlock's eventual conversation with Joan was great, from his admitting that he had in fact ordered the sobriety chips to passive aggressively get her to raise the topic again to how much those 24 hours had meant to him to how he felt he owed it to Joan to tell her first.

And yay to Joan foiling Sherlock's attempts at sensory deprivation. The bulk of the detecting is still on Sherlock on most of the episodes, but I like how the writers consistently have Joan contribute things on each case.

Elementary 1x21 A Landmark Story

Hi creepy Salieri! That was great casting.

I love that Joan refuses to let Sherlock pressure her into doing the autopsy, and that she chooses to do it in the end because she cannot stand his incompetence at it. (AV Club's review says Sherlock tricked her into it, but that wasn't how I had read it.) And her scrubbing her hands and arms later and then moisturizing them after (all the way to the elbow!) was a nice reminder of her former profession as well as the pilot episode. I guess she still keeps the beeswax around!

I was kind of disappointed that John Douglas did not turn out to be Moriarty. I'm not entirely sure what I would have thought of it... on the one hand, POC as villain, not new. On the other hand, black man as extremely famous villain Moriarty who is one of the few people who can outsmart Sherlock, fairly outside of the usual stereotypes about black men. Alas, it was not to be.

The message to Moran was nicely creepy.

I love how very delighted Sherlock was at the assassin bees.

OMG that park bench conversation. OMG. It's not quite as long as his proposal of partnership in Details, but it's got the same level of vulnerability, and just... gaaaaah. Joan and Sherlock hit on so many of the same buttons Mulder and Scully used to hit for me. I love Joan's little smile and her acknowledgement of the compliment, and Sherlock's revelation of just how difficult it had been for him to think of her leaving. It kind of makes how very careful he was to get on a path of recovery and not pressure her in Details even more awesome.

Not to de-emphasize the bond Sherlock and Joan have, but Sherlock's wrong about Joan being the only difference. She's the main one for sure, but he's also starting to make meaningful connections with Alfredo and Gregson and maybe even Bell. And much as I love the two-people-in-it-against-all-things vibe, I also love that a) the show doesn't use that to make Joan responsible for Sherlock's mental well-being and b) it avoids one-itis and validates the importance of other relationships and friendships and the network of emotional connections that make up people's lives.

Elementary 1x22 Risk Management

Whoo, Joan ultimately solves the case!

The parallels between the case of the week and Sherlock's obsession with Irene's killer were great and emphasize how far Sherlock has come even from the middle of the season, when he goes after Moran by himself. Loved the increasing agitation and Sherlock's inability to stay away from the case on several levels, from his empathy for Daren Sutter to his drive to find out more. I'm wondering if his lines about not ever being at peace until he could strangle his sister's killer with his own hands are meant as foreshadowing for Sherlock, not just a call back to M. (Speaking of which, I really liked Gregson saying he sympathized with the father killing the blackmailer in Dead Man's Switch, Sherlock questioning him, and Gregson clarifying that understanding is not condoning. I think large swathes of fandom and people in general fail to see the difference.)

The AV Club review seems to think the final shot of Irene is actually Sherlock's hallucination, but I am fairly convinced that she is not fridged. I also like that she has a profession that seems to be a fairly big part of her. And I'm glad there weren't really undertones of jealousy from when Sherlock finally talks about what she's like with Joan.

Obviously this case is All About Sherlock, but I am actually brimming with "ILU, Joan Watson, ILU!" I love that Gregson acknowledges that she's becoming a pretty good investigator in her own right, and that it's Gregson she calls out for sexism. I think often you get a straw man sexist who is so over the top that no one agrees with him (a la Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast), so people can easily think about sexists as those mean people over there. Gregson, on the other hand, is someone we know and like, and it's a nice example of how these things can be so pervasive and pop up everywhere.

I also love that while Joan is annoyed by Gregson's protectiveness, she also doesn't do the spunky heroine thing of completely writing it off and running off to do something risky. She looks legitimately worried and more than a little afraid when she confronts Sherlock about it later. And then! After having thought about it, she foils Sherlock in his attempt to protect her and tells him that this is her case too, and she deserves to see how it concludes for herself. ♥♥♥♥Joan♥♥♥♥

It is so nice that I feel like I can count on the show and the writers to not make Joan the damsel in distress for the season finale.

On a minor note, I like that the show has quietly shown that Sherlock was totally wrong in some of his Joan hypotheses from the pilot: he very consistently is the one waking up Joan, who just wants to burrow back in the covers and go back to sleep no matter what her profession is.

I hope Ms. Hudson shows up again for the finale!

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