‘Elementary’ (Season 5): Kitty Grabs Back

Elementary new 1

Ah, Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond). Love her or hate her- and many weren’t fans- her return to “Elementary” at least finally facilitated a multi-episode arc that was easily amongst the most gratifying storylines of the season thus far. Granted, to do so, the show had to somewhat conveniently eliminate the main reason for her leaving in the first place- the repercussions of her actions when we last saw her, in which she kidnapped a man and burned his face with chemicals- albeit not without good reason.

Supposedly, Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) had sworn to arrest Kitty on sight if she ever came back, and yet, his reaction was instead to… hug her voraciously? Because of a letter she wrote him? Um, alrighty then. As Holmes said, “That must have been one hell of a letter.” It would have been nice if the show elaborated on this, being as they had two episodes to do so, but ok, fine, whatever- it’s not like I wanted to see Kitty in jail, anyway.

Elementary new 2

As it turns out, the show had bigger fish to fry, as Kitty had a secret. It seems that, in her approximately two year absence, she had both found herself a man and had his baby on the sly, and didn’t seem too keen on sharing that with anyone. The obvious thing to do would have simply been to have left the child back home, but I do think her plan was to ultimately share the good news, but only once her main reason for being there was dealt with.

Of course, when you’re dealing with not one, but two of the best detectives in the world, keeping a secret is easier said than done. Watson (Lucy Liu) got to the bottom of why Kitty was being so cagey, nearly getting her head caved in by a slightly overzealous nanny Margaret (Marianne Muellerleile, who some of you soap watchers might recall as “Norma Bates” on “Passions”- though she’s been a TV regular since the 80’s- see also “Third Rock from the Sun”) in the process. Good thing Watson was well-trained by Holmes!

Fidelity

Watson naturally had no problem with the scenario, though she was puzzled as to why Kitty was hiding it. Turns out that Kitty was concerned over how Holmes would react to her news that she was no longer going to be a detective, in light of what had happened, not wanting to put her child in potential harm’s way, and was worried that Holmes would be upset by it, given all the time he invested in training her.

Cut to her introducing the seriously well-behaved child to Holmes, who did indeed have an adverse reaction to it- but not for the reasons Kitty thought. Instead, as we later discovered, his negative reaction wasn’t due to the fact she had a child or was retiring from detective work, but disappointment that she hadn’t felt compelled to contact him and tell him in the first place.

Elementary new 3

Indeed, it would seem that Holmes was literally the last to know, as it was inferred in retrospect that she had even told Gregson about it in that letter, which I guess is why Gregson reacted the way he did- though not why he opted to let a felony slide! Another big problem Holmes had was the fact that Kitty hadn’t contacted him at all over the course of those absent two years, if only to let him know she was alright.

It’s a testament to Jonny Lee Miller’s finely-tuned performance here that his reactions all made perfect sense once you had all the information. It also was yet another indication of how far Holmes has come over the years. Early on, his having so much as a single friend was questionable, so unpleasant was his overall demeanor as a whole. In time, however, that changed, and not just with the people he worked with, but with others, such as Alfredo (Ato Essandoh).

Fidelity

As such, the scene with the two former comrades in the church was especially powerful, as was the follow-up back at the Brownstone, with the two combining to provide one of the better emotional beats of not just the episodes at hand, but the series on the whole. Who said Kitty couldn’t serve a greater purpose? (For the record, as my loyal readers know, I was actually a fan of the character, and was really happy to see her return.)

Though all of this was the heart of the two episodes, “Wrong Side of the Road” and “Fidelity,” there was, of course, also a mystery at hand as well. Thankfully, in expanding the story to two episodes, neither the emotional core of the two episodes nor the mystery felt slighted, with there being ample time devoted to both.

Fidelity

The case was an extension of one that Holmes and Kitty worked on back in London, in which those involved were being picked off one by one, leading Kitty to suspect that Holmes and she might be next. As such, she came back to New York to both warn Holmes and hopefully get to the bottom of why it was happening. At first, the obvious suspect seemed to be Eli Kotite (Michael Patrick Thornton, “Private Practice”)- that was, until he took a flying leap off his balcony shortly after calling Holmes to let him know he knew who the real culprit was.

Clearly the victim of foul play, it turns out that Kotite’s trial was only the launching pad- no pun intended- for a much more nefarious cover-up involving an agent of the shadowy Defense Intelligence Agency, Anson Gephardt (Scott Shepherd, “The Young Pope”). (This name sounds crazy familiar to me, but I couldn’t find a connection to the original stories- if someone else can, let me know in the comments section down below, because it’s driving me crazy!)

Fidelity

Once Holmes started getting on the right track, Gephardt didn’t waste any time in kidnapping him and letting him know in no uncertain terms that if he didn’t drop it, he wouldn’t be solving any more cases anytime soon. Naturally, Holmes did no such thing, only digging deeper into the case, which led them to one Sidney Garber (Alan Rosenberg, TV’s “The Guardian” and “L.A. Law”), who was shortly thereafter nearly killed by Gephardt in an attempted drive-by shooting that both Watson and Kitty were present for.

Unfortunately for him, the action only led Garber to cooperate where he wasn’t going to before, giving Holmes and company a flash drive containing the so-called “Fidel Files,” a cache of information involving Fidel Castro and the government’s investigation of him that was supposedly a treasure trove of information. In turn, this led Gephardt to intentionally leak the information himself to beat them to the punch, only with a special addition meant to potentially start a war with the Middle East.

Fidelity

Fortunately, Holmes caught the addition and was able to prove it was falsified, thus stopping the potential war before it began. Naturally, there was more to the overall case, including a schizophrenic lawyer given to announcing classified material in court- which was why Gephardt felt the need to eliminate everyone present at said hearing- and his wife, Kate Durning (Blair Brown, following in the footsteps of fellow “Fringe” co-star John Noble, aka Holmes’ dad, in appearing on the show), but space and not wanting this article to be longer than it already is forbids me from going into more detail than I have.

Whatever the case, it was an enjoyable arc, and I’d have to say, my overall favorite episodes of the season thus far. Interestingly, the episodes were set up in such a way as to allow star Jonny Lee Miller to not have to be as involved as much as usual, due to his being needed to go out and promote his latest film, “Trainspotting 2” (aka “T2”), which I can’t wait to see, as the original had quite an impact on me as a teenager and was the first thing I saw Miller in, among others in the cast. Honestly, his presence was so strongly felt throughout I barely noticed his absence.

Fidelity

That’s not a knock by any means, just a way of saying that it was a particularly strong set of episodes, and that the show did a great job of giving everyone something to do, though clearly, the emphasis was on the dynamic between Kitty and Watson, which happens to be a dynamic I quite enjoy, so I really liked these two episodes on the whole as a direct result. I’d be interested to hear what everyone else thought, especially those who maybe weren’t the biggest fans of Kitty in the first place. Did the two episodes change your mind in any way in that regard?

Fidelity

Join me next month for a look at the next few episodes, around April 12th. Thanks for reading, and be sure to let me know what you thought of the two episodes down below!

  • ptjackson

    I’m in your camp – I have always been a fan of Kitty and was happy to see her return, even for just two episodes. But, yeah, the thing with Gregson – I guess every cop show has seen an instance of letting a crime slide, but this one just felt weird.

    • Mark Trammell

      It didn’t help that he seemed downright overjoyed to see her- enough to hug her like nothing whatsoever had gone down!

      • ptjackson

        Yes, that was definitely over the top!