This week’s Elementary made some risky moves. “One Way to Get Off” almost shook up the dynamic between several of its main characters. As a result, we were given what’s clearly one of the season’s strongest episodes. Warning: Heavy spoilers ahead.

The Players:

  • Director: Seith Mann
  • Writers: Robert Doherty, Christopher Silber
  • Cast: Jonny Lee MillerLucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Keith Szarabajka

Episode Title: “One Way to Get Off”

When an old case from Captain Gregson’s (Quinn) past comes back to haunt him, Sherlock (Miller) pries a little too close to home. He may not like what he discovers about his colleague and friend. At the same time Joan (Liu) continues to research Irene, adamant to know who she is and what kind of effect she had on Sherlock.

The Good:

  • The Twists and Turns: This is the kind of murder mystery we should be seeing on Elementary. They pose a challenge to everyone involved, including Sherlock. In the middle of the episode, we’re even fed a couple of red herrings between the Captain’s old partner (who planted evidence) and another suspect.
  • Captain Gregson Exposed: Just like with “Rat Race,” we get more brotherly love between Gregson and Holmes, except this time it’s not that sentimental. At one point in the story Sherlock, with his great power of deduction, realizes that Gregson could have planted fingerprints at a crime scene in order to get his suspect (Wade Crews) behind bars. When he’s confronted about it their friendship is tested, trust shaken. Sherlock’s aware of it, down to his suddenly clean-cut attire. It’s later proven that Gregson never did such a thing, it was all on his partner. But seeing their relationship put to the test was really captivating.
  • Sherlock and Joan’s Friendship:  Joan continues to try and figure out who this Irene lady is, and eventually finds some letters from her written to Sherlock. Before Joan visits Sherlock’s old rehab, their household is thick with tension. They’re barely talking to each other and their dynamic is loosely mirroring that of an old married couple. Joan’s obviously cares about keeping the friendship going. It’s not just as a sober companion, but as a concerned friend. Sherlock knows the kind of stubborn woman she is and tries to brush her off. But Watson’s slowly starting to crack away at his shell. Which brings us to our next point…
  • Sherlock’s Character Transformation: In the beginning, Elementary’s Sherlock was a smug, arrogant, while broken and complicated version of the fictional character. Between the pilot episode and this one, we’ve seen him start a change for the better. He’s still shielding his emotions but slowly morphing into a more competent sociable human being. Captain Gregson and more so, Joan are reinventing him for the better. Bravo Jonny Lee Miller for making us realize this. You alone make the show worth watching.

The So-So:

  • The Woman: Clearly we’re making a reference to Irene Adler, the one woman who, in every Sherlock Holmes story, has always made a brief but ever-lasting impact on his life. Unfortunately, it’s revealed at the end of this episode that there’s an unlikely chance that we’ll meet Elementary’s version of Adler since she’s dead. We hope it’s a ruse and that she’ll make an appearance towards the end of the season.

The Bad:

  • The Captain’s Old Partner/Plot Hole: Wait, what happened with the partner? First she shows up, then admits to planting the evidence. Then it doesn’t even matter because Crews admitted that his son was his accomplice. So what was the point of all of that? We don’t like plot holes.

Overall:

Elementary’s getting better and better by the week. Bring on the next episode.

Rating: 9/10

Elementary airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of this week’s Elementary?