Ears to You

Not every episode of Elementary is a home run, and “Ears To You” is a perfect example. We get more one-on-one time with Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson’s (Lucy Liu) unexpected houseguest Lestrade (Sean Pertwee), but the cases aren’t entirely engaging or notable.

The Players:

  • Director: Seith Mann
  • Writers: Lauren MacKenzie, Andrew Gettens
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Sean Pertwee

Episode Title: “Ears To You”

A man who’s accused of killing his wife five years ago, is delivered a package with her severed ears inside. He goes to the NYPD who, along with Sherlock and Watson, are on the case. At the same time Watson has her own problems, dealing with Lestrade whose visit has turned into a semi-permanent stay. Sherlock is annoyed by his presence, and Lestrade is dragging his feet on where to go next. It’s up to Watson to push him in the right direction.

The Good:

  • More Lestrade: Sean Pertwee is a joy to watch on Elementary. Seeing Lestrade grow in these latest episodes has been a treat. He struggles to gain the confidence to take the next step in his life. At one point he tells Watson he’s afraid of moving forward because he doesn’t believe he can survive as a consulting detective without Sherlock. But as he takes on his own case, Lestrade proves that he’s very capable of solving crimes. Pertwee’s performance has a number of layers to it, ones that showcase the broken man who desperately wants to get back on track after a number of missteps. The character may have his faults, but his personality and the actor’s performance makes him relatable.
  • Watson, The Consulting Detective in Training: We’re accustomed to seeing Watson as a smart woman, and a good consulting detective. Will there ever be a day when Sherlock ends his training and walks away from her? Lestrade pointed out what could be the inevitable. It could eventually get Watson thinking about her own future. She’s already demonstrated her gradual mastery at detective work. So would she ever decide to go off on her own? Perhaps, but we don’t see it happening anytime soon.

The So-So:

  • Plot A: In the first half of the episode we hit a stride with Sherlock and Watson’s case. Once they do some investigating and find the missing woman, the case practically solves itself. The detectives quickly discovered that the woman was alive, hiding in plain sight. The minute she revealed that she was married to a plastic surgeon, the  pieces fell into place. Her new husband, was duping her ex-husband in order to get more money and to publicly humiliate him. But they never revealed why she committed the crimes. We understand her husband’s motivation but what was hers? They just let the story conclude without her saying a word.
  • Plot B: Let’s not forget the mugging Lestrade was part of. His case was also too easy, which made the thrill of the episode underwhelming compared to most. It’s always a blast watching the consulting detectives chase leads, but there wasn’t much of that in this episode.
  • Sherlock’s Latest Gadget: In “The One Percent Solution” we pointed out the obvious symbolism going on with the roosters that were in Sherlock’s home. Are we going to get an overtly symbolic item or animal a second time around? Nope, it’s just Sherlock learning how to diffuse a bomb, because that’s how he functions. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, it’s just upsetting that we tried to dig up symbolism that obviously wasn’t there.


“Ears To Know” wasn’t a memorable episode, but the conclusion to Lestrade’s two-episode arc was a delight. We’re fairly confident we’ll be seeing him again in the future, hopefully not drowning his frustrations in a bottle.

Rating: 6.5/10

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

What did you think of this week’s episode?