Elementary “The Past is Parent” Review (Season 4 Episode 1)


On the long awaited premiere of “Elementary,” fans finally got to see what Holmes’ fate was- and it was just as many of us feared, unfortunately, in “The Past is Parent.” Yes, rather than being shaken but not stirred by the events of last season’s finale, Holmes had indeed given in to the pressure and used heroin for the first time since his initial sobriety. On the plus side, rather than causing a full-on back-slide, Holmes was able to rectify the matter almost immediately and get off the stuff, attending multiple meetings to help him along.

On the negative side, his past actions, not just with using again, but with nearly beating Oscar to death, also cost him that which would have most helped him- his job. Pending a decision from the DA, Holmes was suspended from his consulting duties, leaving him with way too much free time on his hands. Making matters worse was the supposed impending visit from his father, who was all too aware of his son’s foibles, and had never been very supportive.

In order to further take his mind off of things, Holmes immersed himself in an ancient cold case, recruiting his two favorite prostitutes, Athena (Alia Attallah) and Minerva (Devika Bhise, “The Accidental Husband”) to help. (Those are some pretty high-minded monikers for call girls, even the upper-class kind!) But soon enough, a new opportunity presented itself, in the form of Jonathan Bloom (Patrick Page), the man Holmes suspected of murdering several prostitutes in last season’s finale.


Bloom approached Holmes outside a church where his latest NA meeting was being held and confessed to the two crimes Holmes accused him of, but not the other- that of his wife, Alicia, whom he claimed to have loved very much. Bloom said that she had indeed disappeared, but he had nothing to do with it, and wanted to hire Holmes to find out what had really happened and clear his name of that particular crime. Before Holmes could say one way or another what his decision was, Bloom promptly pulled out a gun and shot himself.

Left with the choice of letting sleeping dogs lie or possibly using the case as an opportunity to save himself- or at least Watson- from early retirement, Holmes obviously went for the case. Alas, a meeting with the Captain, proved that the decision had already been made for him, as both Holmes and Watson had been let go as consultants altogether from the precinct.

Opting to keep this information on the down-low for the time being, Holmes recruited Watson in hopes that he could at least secure some public glory for her, should they solve the case, and thus, secure her some gainful employment on her own, since it was becoming clearer and clearer no one would touch him. Of course, the case also served as another distraction to keep his mind off of what had happened, as well.

To be honest, the case was pretty straight-forward and easy to figure out. Even if I hadn’t recognized noted character actor David Zayas from “Gotham” and “Dexter,” among other shows, I still suspected he was lying in the scene in which Watson interrogated him, which proved to be true. So, the fact that Zayas was a known actor- and if you know crime procedurals, you know that, more often than not, the known actors are the culprits in the end- coupled with the fact that he fit the profile of someone that could be a so-called “coyote” made this a relatively easy one to get to the bottom of.

The Past is Parent

Of course, it was also, to a large extent, beside the point. The episode wasn’t actually about the case-of-the-week, not really. Instead, it was about the fall-out of last season’s finale, and how Holmes (and Watson, to a slightly lesser extent) would handle it. Thankfully, Holmes is handling it well so far, but will he continue to, now that he’s officially been relieved of duty from the precinct, and effectively unhireable to boot? Okay, “unhireable” is not a word, but you know what I mean.

That remains to be seen, but there were two new tidbits of information: first off, the show subtly dropped the information that Holmes was still corresponding with Moriarty, which I think most of us already suspected, but it was still nice to have confirmed, even if it was (intentionally) glossed over.

The other was, of course, the long-awaited appearance of Holmes’ much-referenced but never seen father, Morland, and I could not have been happier with the choice of his casting in actor John Noble, as a huge “Fringe” fan- he played the resident “mad doctor” Walter Bishop on that cult hit- and, of course, he was in some of the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Their initial meeting was priceless alone.

Holmes, to Morland: “You look as spry as ever. My compliments to the virgins whose blood you bathed in.” (Sly Countess Elizabeth Báthory reference there, “Elementary”- why should “American Horror Story: Hotel” have all the fun?)

Lol. Good stuff. Indeed, even with the relative straight-forward nature of the main case, this was a well-written, well-executed episode all around, with some great moments for fans, as well as some wonderful quotes along the way. My favorites include when he told the prostitutes who were a little dubious of what he’d hired them for: “Justice is like an orgasm- it can never come too late” and his summary of the Bloom suicide as the following: “Bloom left an impression on me last night- not to mention some grey matter…a bad man let his brains out for some fresh air. What else is there to discuss?”

Okay, a few more. What the hell, it’s the premiere. When Watson accused Holmes of using the case as a way of taking his mind off of his bigger problems, Holmes said: “If I wanted a distraction, Watson, I’d pay another visit to Athena and Minerva and thrust myself into work more aerobic than crime scene reconstruction.” Then finally, after catching the notorious “El Gato,” who had given Watson a bogus description of himself to throw her off his path: “If you were attempting to describe your exact opposite, well done. You have the face and frame of a distressed catcher’s mitt.” Holmes, it’s good to have you back!

The Past is Parent

So, the real question is, of course, is where do we go from here? Assuming that Moreland pulled some strings to help Holmes escape the wrath of the DA for his assault on Oscar, it’s also a safe assumption that he could either get him his job back, or at least secure him another one. But will Holmes accept his help? It certainly didn’t seem like the two were on the greatest of terms. Although perhaps better than that of his associate Mr. Cook, who, in another great moment, Watson threatened to punch.

I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see, but until then, a solid enough premiere that was well-worth the wait, not in the least because the show didn’t pull any punches, for the most part. Well, expect Watson’s, of course. Who knows? Maybe she’ll have another opportunity to do just that, eventually. One can hope, because that guy was the worst.

As for Noble, really excited to see what he does with his latest role. Oh, and for the love of God, writers, please bring back Moriarty. Natalie Dormer certainly isn’t getting much screen time on “Game of Thrones,” that’s for sure, though I’m guessing she’ll fare better in the final “Hunger Games” flick. (See also this creepy-looking new effort.)

So, what did you think of the “Elementary” premiere? Was it worth the wait? Was it everything you hoped it would be? Or do you think they should have gone even darker with it? Might they still? What do you think will happen next? Will Holmes get his old job back, or get another elsewhere? What about Watson? (BTW, that was also a nice moment when Watson declared she was in it with Holmes to the bitter end, for better or worse. Ah, the feels…)

Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next week!