elementary dead clade walking

Sherlock’s (Jonny Lee Miller) continuing growth of becoming an understanding, compassionate person charges on in this episode of Elementary. “Dead Clade Walking” accumulates a cool balance between an unsolved case and his unexpected sponsoring of a former drug addict.

The Players:

  • Director: Helen Shaver
  • Writer: Jeffrey Paul King
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill, Aidan Quinn, Jack Dimich

Episode Title: “Dead Clade Walking”

Watson (Liu) decides to dig up one of Sherlock’s unsolved cases pertaining to the murder of a man in his own home. When they quickly discover that it has all to do with a rare fossil hidden in his backyard, the two are on the case. At the same time Sherlock is struggling to connect with Randy as his sponsor. He’s increasingly annoyed by the amount of communication the former drug addict must have in order to stay sober.

The Good:

  • Sherlock and Randy: When Sherlock was first presented, and slightly forced, to be a sponsor, it didn’t thrill him too much. The idea of him having to be the shoulder to lean on was anything but a delight. Now that he’s had Randy under his supervision for a short time, his skills are put to the test when Randy’s ex girlfriend re-enters the picture. Sherlock, still stifled by the prospect of being the voice of reason, almost completely botches it. He takes some advice from Watson but goes a little too far, pushing Randy to fall off the wagon. The great thing about these interactions, especially towards the end, is that Sherlock is still learning how to crawl out of his shell and be more open. Being the sober sponsor for Randy is helping with that. The two may have a long way to go in their own, slightly unspoken individual goals, but this part-time job of Sherlock’s has turned from an occasional task to something that is vital in his own life.
  • The Skull: The scenes where Sherlock is trying to crack open a skull is cute in the symbolic sense. Normally most of the episodes from Elementary don’t lend themselves to blatant symbolic messages. But it definitely worked in the case of “Dead Clade Walking.” Sherlock is still not entirely sure how to crack open the inner psyche of the human mind, more so dealing with communication, compassion and heavy-set emotions that he’s shielded himself from. So the fact that he’s given up trying to dissect a skull, and puts it aside for human interaction was a nice touch.
  • This Week’s Case: Nothing tickles our fancy more than the culprit not being flashed in our faces throughout the episode. “Dead Clade Walking” dealt a lot with the growing murder case, but that was more of a side story compared to what was going on with Sherlock and Randy. It was nice that we had a variety of suspects rather than our killer prancing around in front of us.

The So-So:

  • Watson Almost Solving a Case: It’s fantastic that Sherlock and Watson decided to go after a cold case rather than deal with a recent murder. In “Dead Clade Walking” it’s obvious that Sherlock’s more troubled and preoccupied mentally with what’s going on in Randy’s world, than the case at hand. To some degree Watson is more or less running the show, and it’s great but towards the end Sherlock leads it towards the finish line. He thanks Watson for it, but it felt unfair to her character. It would be great to see Watson go out and solve more of her own cases, but we probably won’t be seeing too much of that anytime soon.
  • Lighting: Is it just me or did the lighting go a little fuzzy as the episode wore on? The slightly softer choice in the second half proved to be distracting, but it couldn’t take away how entertaining “Dead Clade Walking” was.


“Dead Clade Walking” shows Sherlock’s continual improvement, although it did stifle Watson. We’re still taking this journey with Sherlock as he proceeds to go from socially awkward to slightly socially awkward.

Rating: 8/10

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

What did you think of this week’s episode?