elementary-step-nine

After a summer hiatus we’re still following the Americanized, but delightful Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) in Elementary. The second season kicks off in an intriguing way with “Step Nine.” The premiere episode gives us a better look at how much Sherlock’s changed and will continue to do so as the series progresses.

The Players:

  • Director: John Polson
  • Writers: Robert Doherty, Craig Sweeny
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Rhys Ifans, Sean Petwee

Episode Title: “Step Nine”

Sherlock and Watson head to London to help his old mentor Lestrade with an unsolved case. Watson’s finally introduced to Sherlock’s estranged brother, Mycroft (Ifans), whose relationship has soured for a number of reasons.

The Good:

  • A Slightly Changed Sherlock: Last season, we saw Sherlock go from zany and hard-to-read to emotionally struggling thanks to his ex-girlfriend who was Moriarty in disguise. When we’re re-introduced to Sherlock he’s still on top of his consulting game but Joan’s teachings have made quite an impact on him. There are a couple moments where he continues his road to recovery. At one point, he tries to share heartfelt moments with Lestrade and Joan. We see the changes he’s made in order to be a better person.
  • The Fun Banter: Sherlock and Joan have a fun round of banter with each other in the first season. Now that the two actors have found their footing as these characters, the once harsh criticism from Sherlock has turned into a sibling-fueled conversation. The point of where they could have possibly slept together – which would have ruined the show – has passed. The writers were right in turning their relationship into a genuine friendship. It’s worked out beautifully and continues to show signs of leveling up.
  • Mycroft: It’s fun seeing a talented actor like Rhys Ifans tackle such an iconic character as Mycroft Holmes. There’s more going on beneath the surface of this incarnation. We got to see some of that as the episode continued on. We do admit it was slightly disappointing not seeing his face more often. We were waiting for him most of last season, but it’s safe to say this won’t be the last time we see Mycroft.
  • Pretty London: We’d like to thank John Polson, who directed this episode for showing off the beauty of London. Another shout out goes to the person who designed the exterior to the famous living space where Sherlock and Watson lived in, in the books. The lighting and camera work made these locations look absolutely gorgeous. It also made us want to visit immediately.

The So-So:

  • Our Crime Story: It was great to be introduced to this broken Lestrade (Petwee), his story was eclipsed by the ever-known presence of Mycroft. Still, the actor behind the alcoholic officer was fine in his role as the man who’d send a shock through Sherlock’s system. He reminded him of what he once was and what he knows he shall never be again. At the same time, the murder was more clever than Elementary’s previous crime-of-the-week stories. They had a smart murderer to deal with whose weapon touched on the ever-going advancements in technology. We dig it.

The Bad:

  • That Green Screen Flash Back: Those puke green flashbacks will always get on our nerves. But if that’s the only thing we have to complain about it proves how good an episode “Step Nine” was.

Overall:

Elementary returned gracefully, giving us intriguing new crimes for Sherlock and Joan to solve along with another set of obstacles they’ll encounter as the season goes on. To put it simply, this was a really great episode.

Rating: 9/10

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