After a few weeks, Elementary‘s begun sprouting its wings to become a beautiful TV butterfly. This could be part of the period where it transforms from the Jonny Lee Miller hour to an ensemble. In “The Rat Race,” both Lucy Liu and Aidan Quinn had a little more to do.

 

The Players:

  • Director: Rosemary Rodriguez
  • Writer: Robert Doherty, Craig Sweeny
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Craig Bierko, Molly Price

Episode Title: “The Rat Race”

Sherlock Holmes (Miller) investigates the disappearance of a wealthy businessman. When he discovers the missing billionaire’s body (and the drug that killed him), Holmes is put on edge. He begins fighting off the urge to relapse. It’s up to Watson (Liu) to make sure he doesn’t go back down that dark path.

The Good:

  • Less Murder Mystery, More Holmes’ Addiction: We’ve spoken about how intrigued we are by Miller’s rendition of Holmes, and we still are. This episode had little to do with the homicide investigation and more with Holmes’ recovery. We learn that one of his drugs of choice was heroin. It was fascinating to watch him quietly break down throughout the episode. There were some sweet moments with Watson and even Capt. Gregson (Quinn). It makes this Holmes more tangible and human for a fictionalized character.
  • Watson/Holmes: This may sound odd but the interactions between these two was a lot stronger this week. Part of it is due to strong writing, while the other half is capable actors. While Liu still comes off as a disinterested Watson, she had more to do in regards to Holmes and her personal life. That’s what’s been missing from the show. She’s now fully engaged in Holmes world. At the same time, she’s starting to maintain her own wacky personal life in the process. We’re curious to see how she further develops from this point forward.
  • Most of The Story: We want to tip our hat to the writers. We loved Holmes and Watson’s personal stories. The murder mystery? Well, we’ll get to that part.
  • No More Crummy Puke Green Flashback Shots: Yeah, we didn’t really like those. They were annoying and degraded the show. It felt more like a bland crime series. So thanks!
  • Holmes Getting in Too Deep: We like that he almost becomes a victim by the hand of this week’s murderer. The fact that he’s vulnerable emotionally (with his addiction) and physically was engaging to watch.

The So-So:

  • (Some Of) The Supporting Cast: Craig Bierko, our businessman CEO, was fine when on screen. In regards to the other two — the secretary-turned-murderer and Watson’s brief love interest — they could’ve cast better. They both came off as slightly uncomfortable in their roles.

The Bad:

  • The Murder Mystery Could’ve Been More Clever: We know this episode wasn’t really concerned with the murder mystery at hand. But we still would’ve liked a little additional effort on there. The whole conversation between Holmes and the CEO of the business company? The twists just aren’t that thrilling. Towards the half-hour mark it felt like they could skip to the next episode because we already knew who did it.

Overall:

This is easily the best episode of Elementary so far. We like that the show’s starting to find it’s voice, and keeps drawing us in. We can’t wait to see where they go from here. Hopefully, they won’t step backwards.

Rating: 8/10

What did you think of the latest episode of Elementary?