The first season of Elementary is nearly over, but the games have just begun for Sherlock Holmes. “Risk Management” is a great starting point for the bigger battle that will erupt between Sherlock and Moriarty. It’s filled with suspense that will satisfy fans of the show and bring in new ones. Warning: there are major spoilers in this review.

The Players:

  • Director: Liz Friedman
  • Writers: Robert Doherty, Liz Friedman
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Natalie Dormer

Episode Title: “Risk Management”

After a phone call with Moriarty, Sherlock (Miller) and Watson (Liu) are “hired” to solve another mystery to get more info from the man. At the same time, Watson struggles as Captain Gregson (Quinn) tries to discourage her from the life of a consulting detective.

The Good:

  • Sherlock vs. Moriarty: At this point in Elementary Sherlock has no choice but to give in to Moriarty’s demands. He does something for Moriarty and in return the villain will do something for Sherlock. The cat and mouse game is in full swing as Sherlock’s perception of the world around him slowly begins to change, clouded by the determination to discover his nemisis.
  • The Big Reveal: It’s official: Irene Adler is alive, or so we think. At the end of this episode, Sherlock finds himself at a secluded mansion on the far end of town accompanied by Joan. When they enter, they follow a row of paintings. At the end of it? Irene Adler! Miller’s reaction to her discovery is perfect as he nearly collapses, rendered almost speechless as he struggles to say “Irene.” It marks the beginning of Moriarty’s major influence on Sherlock’s life. What else will he do? If this is actually Irene and not a figment of Sherlock’s imagination, then a new set of questions arise. How did she fake her own death? Why would she hide from Sherlock for so long? Surely, we’ll get some of those answers in the two-part finale but for the time being, we can’t help but question things.
  • Joan The Brave Woman: Could this line of work be too much for Joan? She may not believe it but Gregson definitely does. This episode felt like a small turning point for Watson as she further had to prove why she’s chosen this career. When she interacted with Mrs. Sutter, Joan at one point, managed to see through the lies. She’s a great counterbalance to Sherlock, with her ability to sympathize with others. Joan takes a slightly softer approach when it comes to dealing with people and it’s greatly beneficial to her when it comes to solving a case.
  • Flashback Scenes: No more barf green flashbacks! The editor’s decision to slightly blur the edges instead of drowning the scenes in color was a fantastic choice. It should have been implemented from the start of the show.

The Decent:

  • Editing: Every once in a while the flow of the episode was roughed up with a stray cut. It was something stuffed into a scene that showed a character or general setting. It’s not a monstrous error but it happened at the worst times.


“Risk Management” was a heart-stopping thrill-ride. We can’t wait to see more int he two-part season finale.

Rating: 9/10

Elementary airs on CBS Thursdays at 10 p.m.