Elementary “The Female of the Species” Review Season 3 Episode 14

Elementary The Female of the Species Season 3 Episode 14 02

When is an episode all about a character not about a character? When it’s the latest episode of “Elementary.” For one thing, “The Female of the Species” was directed by none other than Watson herself, Lucy Liu, so there’s that. But aside from minimizing the screen time of Watson for the sake of accommodating Liu’s considerably involved side gig to ensure she was given the space to effectively do a good job, there was a method to the madness of leaving Watson on the sidelines this time around, especially so soon after the attempt on her life.

For one thing, it allowed her to deal with the fall-out of Andrew’s death, including a talk with his father, who thankfully didn’t blame her for it, but did pointedly wish that she’d taken more precautions against her safety- implying, by extension, his own son’s in the process. That said, it’s not as if anyone would have thought to be on their guard at a freaking coffee shop, anyway, even if she had upped the ante on her protection. That’s what made the method of execution so effective- and devious. Obviously, it would have worked, too, if it hadn’t been for Andrew’s misfortune to drink from the wrong cup.

As such, it didn’t take much for Watson to determine that the likely culprit was Elana March (Gina Gershon), which proved to be right, though Watson couldn’t really prove it, sadly. In the end, though, she didn’t have to, as another party with a more vested interest took matters into their own hands- none other than Moriarty herself. So, in a sense, those of us who predicted that either March or Moriarty was most likely to blame were both right to suspect the two.

Although March was ultimately the responsible party, Moriarty was not amused that someone else had invaded “her” territory, and promptly took care of the matter, even from behind bars, showing that March wasn’t the only one with the power to take care of business while seemingly being powerless to do so- and mind you, Moriarty’s level of difficulty was considerably higher than March’s, given her current circumstances. Whatever the case, March will no longer be a problem for Watson, though it’s clear that Moriarty eventually will be at some point- hopefully sooner than later. Not that I want anything bad to happen to Homes or Watson, of course- simply that Moriarty is such a juicy character, and I completely adore Natalie Dormer, so I say bring it on!

This also all had the overarching effect of forcing the circumstances to circle back around to what the die-hard Holmes & Watson ‘shippers really wanted, which was to get the “band” back together again. Not that they hadn’t been working together since Holmes’ return, of course, but I think the more adamant fans wanted their favorite detectives working side-by-side in a more unfiltered fashion, as was the case in the earlier days of the show.

In other words, they wanted it to be back to basics: Watson living with Holmes, working together, with the occasional assist from the local police. No more Kitty, no more separate living quarters, no more separate PI agencies, no more obstacles in the way of our favorite sleuths, together again, in the truest sense of the word. Those fans certainly got their wish by the episode’s end, as Watson doubled-down on her commitment to Holmes, not only wanting to work together in an official capacity again full-time, but also to go so far as to move back in with him again.

Though it was actually kind of a melancholic moment when you think about it, given Watson’s sad revelation that she just wasn’t cut out for traditional relationships anymore- and likely never would be. On the one hand, I’m as glad to see the two reunited again as any fan; on the other, it’s kind of sad to see Watson give up on some semblance of a “normal” life, even if she does know deep down that she’s not really a “normal life” sort of person.

But, then again, I suppose that depends on how you feel about traditional relationships. If someone being a lifelong “bachelor”- not sure what the female equivalent of that is (“bachelorette,” perhaps?), but feel free to chime in with any suggestions below- seems sad to you, then I guess Watson is destined for a solitary life, sad to say. On the other hand, if you’re more of the free-thinking type, then being eternally single might not be the metaphorical “death sentence” some people might classify it as, either. Hey, whatever works.

There is one other option, naturally, but it’s one that I and many others are skeptical about: that perhaps Holmes and Watson might end up being a couple together. I have really mixed feelings about that. Sure, on one level they’re perfect for one another, given their respective and complimentary personalities, but, at the same time, it would also make for a sort of joyless affair, given the way both tend to shield their emotions overall. I mean, not that everyone has to wear their heart on their sleeve, obviously, but sometimes predictability is its own death sentence. That’s why opposites attract: most people like to be involved with someone that will keep them on their toes, to keep them active and vital.

I do think that Holmes and Watson keep each other vital in the way that most counts for what they do for a living: solve crimes. That’s the perfect reason why they should continue to work together, and the best reason for Watson to move back in and resume their former relationship. Another is that it provides Holmes with the stability he needs to not fall back into bad habits, and Watson with someone who truly gets her (and vice versa). Those are all good things.

But they can also be bad things, least of all when applied to a romantic scenario. No one likes predictability in a romantic relationship- stability, sure, but not predictability. That’s the kind of thing that spells death for a romance, and these two know each other all too well by now. So, I’m hoping the show will resist the common urge to pair off its leads, just because they can. Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should, you know what I mean? That said, hopefully, they will also find a way to come up with a happy ending for these beloved characters that doesn’t involve them ending up alone, if together, for the rest of their lives. We shall see.

As for the main case at hand, it was a mildly diverting one that revolved around two kidnapped, pregnant zebras, of all things. To be honest, my main source of entertainment value came from two areas- one notable, one a bit slight, if I’m being honest. On the plus side, we got the rare full-on pairing between Holmes and Bell (Jon Michael Hill, in fine form). It was great seeing them work together in a much more involved capacity, and it showed that, despite the nay-saying of some fans about anyone but Holmes & Watson working together, that it is certainly possible, and even plausible, for the show to mix things up from time to time by pairing our two main characters with the other secondary characters on the show.

I like to think that the writers did this on purpose, after implying that everything was going back to “normal” on last week’s episode, intentionally subverting our expectations by going in another direction with it. By refusing us the obvious choice of having Holmes & Watson working together furiously to figure out who killed Andrew, the show instead let Watson contend with that, while wisely giving Holmes something else to work on.

To that end, I loved the scene where he went to Watson’s to cook her dinner and amiably sat down to eat and watch sports with her before Watson dismissed him to go work on the zebra case. The look on his face while considering the television was priceless! Tellingly, Watson wasted no time in sending him off to work on the case- like I said, these two know each other all too well at this point.

So, that said, it was cool seeing Holmes and Bell work together, even bonding a little- at least enough that Bell finally broke down and asked Holmes if he could please call him Marcus, instead of his usual, more formal approach. This says to me, without saying it aloud, that Bell genuinely cares for Holmes and considers him a friend, despite their occasional differences, and some of the more negative aspects of their working together in the past. It also says to me that Bell has forgiven Holmes for those trespasses, and wanted to say that without really having to say it, as guys are wont to do when expressing- or not expressing- their feelings. As such, having Holmes refer to him by his first name spoke volumes about the current state of their relationship- as did the fact that Holmes actually did it.

The other, more frivolous thing I enjoyed about the case was Holmes’ pointed over-pronunciation of the words “zebra” and “quagga.” On the one hand, I know that Holmes is British, and that it’s hardly uncommon for the English to enunciate certain words; on the other hand, it did make me giggle every time, which probably points to me having the maturity level of a twelve-year-old. Hey, at least I’m self-aware!

So, all in all, though the main case might have been somewhat subpar, the subtext wasn’t and I don’t think any of it was unintentional. Note the scene towards the end, in which Holmes had Bell meet him at a specific location to update him on the case. As the other meet Holmes had set up with the culprit of the crime at hand and the police played out in the background, we stuck with the action going on in the foreground, which was Holmes continuing to bond with Bell in earnest. It was as if to tip the hat to viewers: sometimes, it’s not about the case or solving it- it’s about the characters. Amen to that.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Do you agree that there was a method to the writers’ madness, in terms of what was going on beneath the surface of the episode? Do you think they intentionally made the case a bit slight, in order to focus on what was more important: the ongoing relationships between the main characters? What do you see in the future for Holmes & Watson and the nature of their relationship? Will they come together romantically, or find happiness in other ways, with other people? Will their true romance be in the solving of cases together instead of the more obvious way? Would you prefer it that way? If not, why not? Sound off below, and see you next time!