In “Step Nine,” the premiere episode of Elementary Season 2, we were introduced to Mycroft (Rhys Ifans), the more patient and kind of the Holmes brothers. This week, he returns unannounced in New York City in “The Marchioness,” much to Sherlock’s (Jonny Lee Miller) dismay. With that comes a barrage of problems he would rather not face. His lack of comfort makes this episode slightly funnier to watch.

The Players:

  • Director: Sanaa Hamri
  • Writers: Craig Sweeny, Christopher Hollier
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Rhys Ifans, Olivia d’Abo

Episode Title: “The Marchioness”

Sherlock has adjusted to his life in New York City, but part of his London past comes back to haunt him in the form of his brother Mycroft. While Mycroft struggles to reconnect with Sherlock, they embark on a case that centers on the woman who caused a rift in their relationship years ago.

The Good:

  • Sherlock and Mycroft: We got an idea on how rocky the relationship is between Mycroft and Sherlock during the first episode of the season. When it was revealed that Sherlock slept with Mycroft’s fianceé Nigela (Oliva d’Abo) in order to reveal “the truth” about her, they severed ties. Now that Mycroft’s gone through a great deal in his life due to his illness, naturally he wants to reconnect and forgive those from his past, his old fianceé being one of them. The head-butting between Mycroft and Sherlock escalates once she enters the picture, and naturally the two bond again thanks to this horrible woman. It’s sweet seeing how the brothers have changed in recent years. They’re now starting to rediscover their sibling friendship. It certainly helps that these characters are played by talented actors who accentuate the tension between them. Miller develops this kind of unease in his performance, his uncomfortable stiffness is apparent. Subtle movements make their characters’ rows with each other that more entertaining.
  • Complicated Murder: Thank goodness the episode didn’t bore us to death with the normal roundabout mystery that ends with a family member committing the crime. “The Marchioness” worked mainly for the surprises that it threw at us right away. First, we’re dealing with a single murder, then it transforms into several that are connected to a drug cartel. Not every crime Sherlock and Watson deal with has to be intimate. They could be grand in scale like it was in this episode.

The So-So:

  • Joan’s Big Secret: Did we really need an additional twist here? It was revealed that Joan slept with Mycroft while her and Sherlock were running around in London. Once Sherlock figured it out, he was bothered throughout most of the episode. What irritates me about Sherlock’s actions after the reveal is how he takes it, sulking at the mere thought of it. In “Step Nine” Sherlock was practically pushing Joan into Mycroft’s arms, telling her how unsurprising it would be if the two of them got together. The fact that his mood changed so easily for no reason, is just irritating.
  • What Are We Looking At?: Every few episodes you’ll stumble across a director who lets the camera sit wherever it can. There were a few shots that were irritating, as they served no real purpose. For example: A scene halfway through the episode where Sherlock discovers Nigela is being targeted by the drug cartel’s hit man. When the shot is fired, it cuts to her, and it comes off as if the “bullet” is coming through one side of the frame instead of the other.

The Bad:

  • Police Force: Did the NYPD come off as a bunch of bumbling fools this episode? There were a couple of moments where they seemed like an amateur group of cops that Sherlock had no choice but to work with. They normally help out with the investigation, as Sherlock figures the rest of the case out at rapid speed. But the police came off as really unintelligent. It’s as if they couldn’t do their job if Sherlock wasn’t there.


“The Marchioness” is a slightly clunky episode but succeeds in further establishing the brotherly bond between Mycroft and Sherlock. Now if they can just ditch the Mycroft/Watson sub-plot then I’ll be happy.

Rating: 7/10

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

What did you think of this week’s episode?