Elementary Season 2 Review “Paint it Black”

Paint It Black

In the latest episode of “Elementary,” Watson herself, Lucy Liu, took the directorial reins for the first time, in “Paint It Black.” Given the way things were left last week, it was only natural that the bulk of the episode revolve around the efforts of Holmes and his brother, Mycroft, to retrieve Watson from the clutches of the French mob, Le Milieu. But was Mycroft playing a bigger, more dangerous game than he let on?

The short answer is, of course, yes, but as it turned out, not quite in the way most of us probably suspected. I personally thought that it had something to do with the nefarious Moriarty, after actress Natalie Dormer hinted she’d be on the show in a recent interview, but now it turns out that may have been part of a long con. Instead, it would seem that Mycroft was actually in cahoots with British Intelligence, who swooped in at literally the last minute to rescue Mycroft and Watson, just as it seemed there was no hope for either one.

Though we don’t know the whole story yet, it would seem that Mycroft was working undercover to help bring down Le Milieu. Only he hadn’t told anyone, even Holmes or Watson, what he was up to, likely hoping that they’d figure it out in time to avoid any nastiness. They did not, in large part due to the distraction caused by both last week’s case and Holmes and Watson’s bickering over Mycroft’s suitability as a mate for Watson. As a result, Watson got a little too close to the flames and got herself burnt in the process- or rather, kidnapped.

I liked how cool under fire Watson was, and how true to herself. When the lead kidnapper’s cousin, Jem, was injured, in fact, she did everything in her power to save the guy, even as her kidnapper warned it wouldn’t do her any good, even going so far to shoot the poor guy when her efforts failed. I’m probably the only “Elementary” watcher that flashed on this every time they mentioned Jem’s name, and for that, I am deeply ashamed- dare I say, outraged? But what can I say: I was a child of the 80s!

This was a solid episode all around, and directed in a way that didn’t call too much attention to itself, which was a relief. All too often when actors take the reins as directors, they can get overindulgent with flashy camera tricks and filters and the like, often taking away from the story at hand and drawing too much attention to the direction over the subject matter. Not so here, as Liu underplayed things just right, with a sure but steady hand. It was only flashy when the story called for it, and that was only at the end of the episode, when it made perfect sense to do so. Well played, Watson- well played, indeed.

While I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed that Natalie Dormer, who I adore, didn’t crop up, I also would be deceitful if I didn’t admit that I fell for the premise at hand hook, line, and sinker, and I would imagine most everyone else did, too. It’s so easy to think of Mycroft as a screw-up who got in too deep with the wrong crowd that it never occurred to me that he was playing for the right team and that he never meant for Watson to be put into the position she was. It would seem that he really cares for her after all, and that her getting kidnapped really was a direct result of her poking around a little too close for comfort to the mob.

Now whether she forgives Mycroft for not clueing her in on the situation, and endangering her life is another matter, so we’ll just have to wait and see on that one. Until then, this was an engaging episode with a nice twist that I didn’t see coming a mile away, which is saying something, as I’ve certainly watched my fair share of cop shows and the like.

What did you think of “Elementary” this week? Were you impressed by Liu’s steady hand at directing? How about the big twist? Disappointed that Moriarty wasn’t involved? How do you think things will play out from here? Will Holmes ever forgive Mycroft? Will Watson? Will Holmes come clean about the drugs he stashed? How do you think the season will end? Sound off below, and see you next week!