Elementary Season 2 Review “Poison Pen”

In one of the better episodes of “Elementary” thus far, we got another glimpse into Holmes’ past in “Poison Pen,” via a case that tied into what he essentially considers his first case: albeit of the “unsolved” variety. Not so much that Holmes didn’t figure it out, but that he let the culprit get away with it. In the end, though, she basically did end up paying the price for her past sins in a future context, by confessing to a crime she didn’t commit, even though she was ultimately guilty of doing same thing to someone else- though not without reason.

I really liked the way the present case dovetailed with the past one, and found the main suspect, Anne (Laura Benanti), to be a highly compelling perpetrator. I liked the vibe between her and Holmes as well. Too bad she’s taking the rap for the current crime, as they might have made for a good couple. Like Holmes said, I think Anne got him on a level that few do. At the same time, it was a really good way for her to do the right thing and pay penance for the crime she did commit, and got away with, so even if it was a sad ending, it made sense.

You had to feel for her, and the actual culprit Graham, who was also the victim of abuse. The episode really kept you guessing as to who did what, and what their real motives were. It was interesting that the mother was thinking of doing it already, but never got the chance because someone beat her to punch. I also liked the idea that Holmes was exchanging letters with someone the way we did pre-internet. That was a nice choice, their being pen pals and all.

I really like Benanti. Much like Lynn Collins a few weeks back, she’s one of those actresses that has slipped through the cracks any number of times in the past. I thought she was one of the best things on the short-lived “The Playboy Club,” which I’ll allow is faint praise, but she really does solid work, all things considered. I also liked her on “Eli Stone,” which is a show that starred…wait for it…none other than Jonny Lee Miller, aka Sherlock Holmes himself. Might that past connection helped her get the job here? The two certainly have solid chemistry, regardless.

That business with the dominatrix was interesting, too. The actress playing the role is another long-standing TV vet, Keesha Sharp, who some of you may know from “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Are We There Yet?” both of which co-starred Terry Crews. I loved Watson’s reaction to the knowledge that Holmes knew her- and the way they connected in the first place- at a visit to the history of torture devices! How very romantic!

All in all, a really solid episode of “Elementary.” It’s always nice to get some Holmes’ back-story, and I like that he passed the mantle onto Graham, in terms of making himself available, should Graham need to talk. That’s pretty caring move for someone who tends to keep their emotions at bay more often than not. With the exception of the premiere, this was far and away my favorite of the season thus far.

What did you think of “Elementary” this week? Did you rank it among the best, or did it leave you cold? Do you think Holmes and Anne will eventually reconnect? Will Graham actually call him on down the line? Did you detect a light twinge of jealousy on Watson’s part when she found out Holmes and the dominatrix knew each other? Sound off on this and anything else you please down below, in the comments section, and I’ll see you next week!

About The Author

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. His impossible dream is that "Twin Peaks" will one day be resurrected and pick up where it left off. Until then, he drowns his woes in anything remotely similar, from "Buffy" to "Lost" to "Pretty Little Liars." This has not always been a good thing-cough, "Ringer", cough- but now at least it can help pay the bills.