No Lack of Void

There’s never any lack of mysteries taking place in Elementary, but the gap of interest between the main murder mystery was nowhere near interesting than what Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) was personally going through. “No Lack of Void” is rather clunky in story compared to previous episodes, but the main character’s struggle in this story gets the viewer’s attention.

The Players:

  • Director: Sanaa Hamri
  • Writer: Liz Friedman, Jeffrey Paul King
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill

Episode Title: “No Lack of Void”

Watson (Liu) is at the police station and investigates a random inmate locked downstairs. When it’s revealed that he’s been poisoned by anthrax, the town goes in a panic. While Watson is on the case, Sherlock’s attention is elsewhere due to the unexpected death of a dear friend. Sherlock quickly realizes that the balance between concentrating on his work and dealing with this sudden loss is going to be a lot tougher than he expected.

The Good:

  • The Sudden Loss: At the beginning of the episode we see Sherlock almost gleefully talking about how he’s going to spend breakfast with one of hist good friends, a man who was there for him even during his painful drug stint. Unfortunately for Sherlock, he had no idea that his beloved friend had passed away just a week prior to his meeting. It hurt the detective in a way that viewers wouldn’t have imagined, mainly due to the reactions he had over his friend’s unexpected death. Sherlock became a lot more spontaneous, in a bad way, when he finally began participating in the main case at hand. At one point he goes and blames the son for possibly murdering his friend, which wasn’t the case at all. He went through a variety of emotions dealing with the grief, but from this we saw a couple different sides to the consulting detective that we haven’t seen before, from all-out rage to emotionally falling into pieces, appearing to be a completely broken man. While I wasn’t a big fan of a Sherlock who was practically hallucinating that his friend was following him around throughout the episode, it served its purpose for the narrative.
  • Direction: Sometimes the direction of an episode isn’t noticeable, but in “No Lack of Void” it caught my attention. We’re swooping past the meeting in the police station to Sherlock investigating movers who are putting a suspicious object in the truck. The story may have been rather uneventful, but at least we got to see a couple nice shots sprinkled in between the lukewarm story.

The So-S0:

  • Everyone Else: It’s understandable that Sherlock needs his episodes to shine in the sun, but whenever he’s the center of attention in that regard, a lot of the other characters get pushed to the waist side. Watson barely said a few words and we barely heard a few words from the detectives before they jumped on in. It’s just nice seeing him interact more, but this is an episode where Sherlock is definitely stuck in his own head. It’s only him who has the power to get himself back out there, conversing and dishing out all these feelings he has inside.
  • Anthrax/Murder Mystery: The whole anti-government, anthrax poisoning portion for “No Lack of Void” only bothered me because it felt painfully dated to have on a show set in the present day. In the end it’s revealed that this was just a simple scheme for one brother to inherit millions of dollars. What was annoying about all of this was the anthrax scare from early 2000s and bringing it back up in this episode. There wasn’t any real hook to it, and the outdated portion of it made it out to be rather stale.

The Bad:

  • Big Reveal: There’s normally a moment towards the end of an episode where Sherlock and/or Watson explain how they’ve figured out the missing puzzle pieces to whoever the prime suspect is and how they’re not going to be let go like he/she wants. There was a similar version to that at the farm, except they layout of the delivery is what bothered me the most. They would say a sentence or two, pause, then pass it onto the next person in line. It comes off as more of a verbal essay that the four of them have to deliver to some invisible teacher more than anything else, and it took me out of the episode for a minute.

Overall:

“No Lack of Void” left me feeling a little indifferent towards what just appeared in front of me. The characters, and some of the story, were still appealing but this is one of the very few throwaway episodes of this season. It’s not bad but it’s not the best either.

Rating: 6/10

Elementary airs at 10 PM, Thursdays on CBS.