After a brief holiday hiatus, Elementary is back with all-new episodes. Thankfully the latest, entitled “Dirty Laundry,” starts off on the right foot. It has consistent layers of mystery that make it the first great episode of the year.

The Players:

  • Director: John David Coles
  • Writer(s): Liz Friedman, Christopher Silber
  • Cast: Jonny Lee MillerLucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Mark Moses

Episode Title: “Dirty Laundry”

When a dead woman’s found shoved into a washing machine, Sherlock’s tasked with finding her killer without any forensic evidence. But as he and Watson slowly put the pieces together, they discover the victim’s family has an incriminating lifestyle they’d like keep hidden.

The Good:

  • Layers of Mystery: A lot of Elementary’s episodes are annoyingly mundane when referring to their murders. By the half hour mark you more or less know who did it. “Dirty Laundry” isn’t a simple murder mystery. You learn that the parents are secretly spies for Russia, explaining their odd behavior leading up to the point of the wife’s murder. There was a lot to chew on story-wise when it came to what the wife and husband were up to (running a brothel, blackmail, etc.). By the time we reach the climax there’s still more to unearth, which Joan does on her own.
  • Reassignment: Assigning Joan to another client at the end of this episode is just what we needed. It throws a wrench in the thought process that her and Sherlock will live and work happily ever after. When it comes to his personality and desire to keep Joan near, we say desperate times calls for desperate measures.

The Decent:

  • Joan Possibly Extending Her Stay with Sherlock: In the previous episode, we were reminded that Joan is a temporary fixture. But we know that’s not going to happen. She has to stay with Sherlock in some way, shape or form. It’s been discussed before and if you know Joan’s personality, she won’t budge from her decision unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • The Teenager: We know that Carly (Melissa Farman), the only daughter of the secretive family, would be a little shaken up by the sudden death of her mother. At the same time, we had no idea a person could cry that immensely within the span of an hour. She’s a teenager with raging hormones that make her emotionally imbalanced at times, but she was too over-the-top.

Overall:

It’s always great to see an episode where Sherlock has a lot more to deal with than he originally thought. His brain got a workout, while he was dealt the blow of Joan’s exit. Now get excited because next week, we’re finally getting into the Moriarty chapter of Holmes’ lore.

Rating: 8.5/10

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

What did you think of this week’s episode?